Category: Digital Marketing

Content

Lead Conversion Statistics All B2B Marketers Need to Know

B2B marketing is complex with a myriad of tactics, technologies, and data solutions to choose from to promote your business and sell your products and services.

As complex as modern B2B marketing is, it is also as simple as:

  • How do I attract people to my products and services?
  • How do I convert those people to purchase?

Ascend2, in partnership with Verse, surveyed 277 marketing professionals to learn more about the state of lead conversion.

If you find that lead conversion is difficult, you are not alone. The State of Lead Conversion in Marketing and Sales found that only 12% of marketing professionals are very satisfied with their lead conversion abilities.

Satisfaction with Lead-to-Sales conversion rate

Companies continue to struggle with establishing contact, qualifying, and effectively following up with the leads they spend so much time and money to generate. Lead conversion is challenging, but the inability to improve lead conversion rates has several significant, negative downstream impacts: wasted marketing budget, wasted sales team time, and significant lost revenue opportunity.

“Verse calls this the lead conversion gap, and we believe closing it is the next frontier for marketing and sales,” said David Tal, Verse co-founder, and co-CEO. The Lead Conversion Report provides valuable insight to help companies understand the lead conversion gap and provides insight and tips on how to close the gap.

Here are a few noteworthy lead conversion statistics from the research study, The State of Lead Conversion in Marketing and Sales.

Finding #1: Companies Need More Lead Qualification Data

Lead conversion is hard. Identifying the challenges with lead conversion allows you to develop a plan to overcome those challenges.

Gathering and organizing relevant data, then leveraging it to better communicate with your leads is essential to increasing lead conversion rates. 43% of those surveyed report that collecting enough data on leads is the greatest barrier to successful lead conversion. Following up with leads quickly, before they lose interest, and making initial contact with leads also rank at the top of this list of challenges for 41% and 39% of marketing and sales professionals, respectively.

Finding #2: Companies Struggle to Establish Fast Initial Contact with Leads

Research shows that 24/7 speed of response to a lead inquiry is critical for improving conversion. 41% of companies feel following up with leads quickly is a challenge, especially given that a significant number of leads come in after regular business hours.

There are three reasons Inside Sales cited why speed-to-lead is so vital:

  1. Presence detection – if a lead puts their information in on a website or fills out some sort of online inquiry form, the lead is likely still next to their phone or computer. Contacting a lead immediately provides the best odds by far for getting a lead to engage quickly.
  2. Top-of-mind-awareness – this concept of calling or contacting a lead immediately equates to staying on their mind. The average callback time is nearly 48 hours after a lead submits an inquiry — if you can’t outperform that significantly, the consumer will likely have forgotten about your business. (InsideSales.Com)
  3. The “Wow” effect – people seem to be impressed rather than concerned when a company follows up within minutes of inquiring! This “wow” factor creates a response from consumers that establishes immediate trust. Prospects likely correlate the promptness of response and assume that their business was prioritized and valued.

The speed-to-lead mission is non-negotiable for sales teams to capitalize on their leads. According to LeadSimple, you’re 21X more likely to convert a lead if you respond within the first 5 minutes versus 30 minutes.

Finding #3: Communication Capabilities Matter

The vast majority of marketing and sales teams are utilizing more manual and time-consuming methods of attempting contact with inbound leads. Over two-thirds of those surveyed say email (37%) and phone calls (36%) are the communication channels used most often to follow up with inbound leads. Only 6% of those surveyed take advantage of text/SMS to follow up with leads.

A Closer Look: Do you use text to follow-up with leads? 89% of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses via SMS. With an opportunity as clearly defined as this, now may be the time to re-examine your communication strategy and ask the question, are phone and email still the best option?

Finding #4: The State of Marketing Automation

Nearly half (44%) of those surveyed have email marketing automation and 39% use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Interestingly, only 25% of marketing and sales professionals have an automation software specific to lead conversion.

Marketing Automation Software Used

Did you know? There are 8,000+ MarTech solutions and the number continues to grow. There is plenty of technology available but expensive and complex tech stacks aren’t cutting it, especially at the bottom of the funnel. Smart integration between systems is critical to success. For example, software that integrates with any CRM solution, meaning you do not have to invest tons of time and money creating and maintaining additional software for the sake of a contact center. This simple solution is one more step to closing the lead conversion gap.

Bonus Finding: Sequencing Matters

According to 43% of marketing and sales professionals, the first attempt to contact a lead is made by phone call, followed by email for 40%. By the third follow-up attempt, those surveyed begin to utilize text (21%) and live chat (11%) more frequently.

The most common follow-up sequence is: ❶ Phone → ❷ Email → ❸ Phone

Lead Conversion Follow Up Sequence by Channel

Lead Conversion Follow Up Sequence by Channel

While phone calls remain the communication channel of choice, 87% of people don’t answer phone calls from numbers they don’t know. And according to Gartner, SMS/text is much more effective than email – 98% of text messages are read, compared to just 22% of emails.

Final Thoughts

How are you closing the lead conversion gap? Please leave a comment and share what is working for you. How are you improving data, sequencing your follow-up, securing and speeding up the first contact, and using technology to optimize the process? Help the community by sharing what works for you.

You can download the entire The State of Lead Conversion in Marketing and Sales for more data, tips, and strategies to close the lead conversion gap.

The post Lead Conversion Statistics All B2B Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

CRM

Podcasts We Loved: December 2020

This month on our Podcast (Episodes) We Loved (and that we think marketers should give a listen to) – from this passing month of December – we bring you 12 episodes because… well, cause it’s the 12th month of the year. How’s that as an excuse?

No, really, it’s because there was too much great content to choose from, and I just couldn’t narrow it down further – after leaving out many great conversations.

I did try to stay away from all the year-end summaries as much as I could, though. Because I didn’t want a random date change take the place of actual, quality content.

Enjoy!

(all episode descriptions below are the original show’s text)

(links are to Google Podcasts)

1. Is it Too Late for General Motors to Go Electric?(49 mins)

Freakonomics, Dec 3

G.M. produces more than 20 times as many cars as Tesla, but Tesla is worth nearly 10 times as much. Mary Barra, the C.E.O. of G.M., is trying to fix that. We speak with her about the race toward an electrified (and autonomous) future, China and Trump, and what it’s like to be the “fifth-most powerful woman in the world.”

**

2. How to foster true diversity and inclusion at work (23 mins)

TED Talks Daily, Dec 3

When companies think of diversity and inclusion, they too often focus on meeting metrics instead of building relationships with people of diverse backgrounds, says Starbucks COO Rosalind G. Brewer. In this personable and wide-ranging conversation with TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, Brewer invites leaders to rethink what it takes to create a truly inclusive workplace — and lays out how to bring real, grassroots change to boardrooms and communities alike.

**

3. Mariah Carey on the Rise of Her Christmas Anthem (21 mins)

The Journal, Dec 11

Mariah Carey released “All I Want for Christmas Is You” 26 years ago to moderate success. Today, the song is a megahit and Christmas playlist staple. What happened? WSJ’s John Jurgensen called up the “Queen of Christmas” to find out.

**

4. We Buy A Lot Of Christmas Trees (29 mins)

Planet Money, Dec 12

Nick and Robert head to the world’s largest Christmas tree auction with $1,000 and a truck. And get schooled in the tree market.

**

5. A look at the state of retail, as holiday shopping wraps up (27 mins)

Marketplace, Dec 17

Retail sales fell a bit more than 1% in November, which matters because that most likely includes the first wave of holiday shopping. And now that we’ve passed a lot of retailers’ holiday shipping deadlines, sales are likely to slow further. On today’s show: how the pandemic is affecting retailers and consumers alike. Plus, what the SolarWinds hack could mean for the U.S. economy and why fewer Americans are moving this year.

**

6. The solution to clothing’s sustainability problem with Patagonia’s CEO (39 mins)

Business Casual, Dec 17

Last episode, we got a deeper understanding of fast fashion’s unfathomably negative impacts on the environment and supply chains across the globe. That was step 1—identifying the problem.

In this episode, we get step 2—understanding what we can do about it. I’m bringing in Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert to speak about his experience leading a company steadfastly committed to environmental stewardship and worker protections…and still making money.

Because despite what fast fashion empires might suggest, there is a role for business to play in mitigating the negative impacts of consumerism. Don’t miss this one.

**

7. Facebook vs. Apple, Robinhood reckoning, and a prediction for Zoom (67 mins)

Pivot, Dec 18

Kara and Scott talk about Facebook’s ad campaign going after Apple as both companies face antitrust lawsuits. They also discuss the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth filing a complaint against Robinhood. In listener mail, we get a question about whether podcasters will go behind paywalls. Scott has a prediction for Zoom

**

8. What Corporate America Can Learn From Coke’s Reckoning With Race (23 mins)

The Journal, Dec 18

Two decades ago, black employees sued Coca-Cola for racial discrimination. The company pledged to turn things around — and it did. WSJ’s Jennifer Maloney and Lauren Weber explain how Coke successfully transformed itself into a more equitable company…and how it failed to stay that way.

**

9. Should Facebook Be Broken Up? (27 mins)

The Daily, Dec 17

This episode contains strong language.

When the photo-sharing app Instagram started to grow in popularity in the 2010s, the chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, had two options: build something comparable or buy it out. He opted for the latter.

The subsequent $1 billion deal is central to a case being brought against Facebook by the federal government and 48 attorneys general. They want to see the social network broken up.

Will they succeed? On today’s episode, we look at one of the biggest cases to hit Silicon Valley in decades.

**

10. AlgoPix Hits $2.4m Revenue Helping CPG Brands Monitor Competitors Pricing (20 mins)

Nathan Latka, Dec 18

Alogpix is the only place to understand eCommerce market share, pricing, and promotions of your competitors and category in real-time

**

11. The year live music died (30 mins)

Today, Explained, Dec 22

In the second of our five-part series, “You, Me, and Covid-19,” musicians explain how they got creative when live shows and tours were canceled.

**

12. Working from home? Take a break … if you can (25 mins)

Marketplace, Dec 27

With the COVID-19 relief bill still in limbo, we talk about how people working from home are attempting to take care of their mental health. It hasn’t been easy. Also, the travel industry is hurting, even during the holidays. Then we look at how a Black-owned puzzle company has managed to piece together success as a small business during the pandemic.

**

ICYM our past Podcasts We Loved

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Content

5 Reasons to Use accessiBe to Make Your Website…

According to the CDC, 26% of American adults are living with some type of challenge including visual impairment, hearing loss, motor skills problems, epilepsy, or cognitive disorders.

This has HUGE implications for your website, from both a fairness and effectiveness perspective.

Recently, my team and I were introduced to accessiBe, the easiest and best way to make your website available to all. I’m ashamed to tell you that for many years, ConvinceAndConvert.com wasn’t fully compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and wasn’t accessible to everyone.

I’m sorry for that, especially since I now know how fast it would have been to rectify.

Within 48 hours of signing up with accessiBe, we turned ConvinceAndConvert.com into a fully-compliant site that is available to everyone. Didn’t cost much at all, didn’t slow the site down, and didn’t impact SEO. And our site is bigger than most (several thousand pages).

Our site now includes screen-reader optimization for blind users, keyboard navigation optimization for the motor impaired, on-page, live dictionary/glossary for people with cognitive disorders and a lot more.

INCREDIBLE.

Is your website accessible?

Here’s how to find out:

1. Run a fast, no-cost accessibility audit on your website (takes just a moment).

2. Enter your website URL and find out if you are ADA-compliant right now (probably not).

Here are 5 reasons why accessiBe is a no-brainer for website accessibility, and you should check it out today.

1. You’ll increase conversions by making your website easier to use.

26% of American adults are living with a disability now. They deserve equal access to your website.

From a business perspective, it makes sense. People living with disabilities have money in their pockets, just like anyone else, so the easier it is for them to access your website, the easier it will be to get them to convert and become a customer.

2. Making your website accessible with accessiBe will help you win lawsuits.

It will help prevent lawsuits too, because suing a company with an accessible website about ADA compliance isn’t worth the effort.

If your website is not ADA compliant, your company can get sued or receive a demand letter from a law firm specializing in ADA compliance seeking a settlement on behalf of a disabled person. Will it completely prevent lawsuits? No. In the United States, you can sue anyone for anything. But you’ll be MUCH less likely to get sued if your website is compliant.

For any customers who are subject to lawsuits, accessiBe will go through a litigation support process with you. They’ll do an audit and prove exactly how your website is compliant. They’ll provide you with a form letter to send back to any law firms that have approached you, as well as your purchase invoice (just so you have it handy), in addition to your statement of accessibility.

As of now, accessiBe has never had a customer who has been sued after installing accessiBe exclusively. But, in the US, anything is possible. It’s reassuring to know that accessiBe will support you if that were to happen.

3. Setting up accessiBe is truly painless.

We’ve all been through martech implementations that are supposed to be easy but drag out for months. Not the case with accessiBe. Not even close.

All you need to do is add one line of JavaScript code to your website. You can send it to your developer and be up and running with accessiBe in less than 48 hours (we were up and running in that amount of time at Convince & Convert). It’s extremely straight forward. I wish all implementations were that simple.

You also have the option to customize the branding and colors for your website. That will take a tiny bit more effort (hand that part of to your agency or creative team).

4. accessiBe is the easiest way to make your website accessible

In point 3, I talked about how painless the set up is. Phew.

The same is true for the actual product. Making your website accessible with accessiBe is truly effortless. accessiBe is the only fully automatic website accessibility solution that is powered by AI.

You add 1 line of script to your website, and the accessibility interface instantly appears on your website

Using the contextual understanding and image recognition, acessiBe’s AI scans and analyzes websites to learn what elements and functionality they include, and adjusts them to blind users’ screen-readers.

And Every 24 hours, the AI scans for new and revised content to fix. INCREDIBLE.

Here at Convince & Convert, Kelly Santina, our director of operations, is the accessiBe administrator. Kelly is super busy (probably the busiest person on our team), but it made sense for her to admin accessiBe because it requires 0 effort. Truly. Or she is just that amazing (it’s both, really).

5. You’ll spread positive word of mouth.

In my book, Talk Triggers, I discuss how critical it is that EVERYONE has a positive experience with your company. That will ultimately help fuel word of mouth.

Now let’s go back to that 26% statistic. If 26% of your audience can’t access your website in an easy and positive way, what will those people say about your company?

And let’s face it: making your website accessible the right thing to do.

Not only is having an ADA compliant website important from a legal standpoint, but it’s also important from a moral standpoint.

Next Steps for Making Your Website Accessible

  1. If you haven’t already, find out if you website is ADA & WCAG compliant with accessiBe’s ACE checker–it’s easy and free.
  2. Watch this fast and fun video demonstration of accessiBe, The Easiest Way to Make Your Website Accessible to All with accessiBe now.
  3. Sign up for a free trial of accessiBe.

Installing accessiBe is the easiest and most important way for you to improve your website in 2021. Heck, if you contact them now, you’ll have it up and running in 2020.

The post 5 Reasons to Use accessiBe to Make Your Website Accessible appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

CRM

Podcasts We Loved: November 2020

As we wrap up November, in the middle of the holiday/shipping/shipping-chaos season, trying to think back on this entire truly insane year and make sense of it, while also plan for 2021… we’re all kinda busy right now. 

Enter: Podcasts. As in, the ones we loved from the past month. 

So sit back, or make dinner, or do the dishes, or go for a walk, and let these 12 hand ear-picked episodes work for you, fill in the gaps on so many things that are important, interesting, helpful, mind-expanding. Things that will make you a better marketer, even if they’re not necessarily about marketing. 

1. Where Is Consumer Attention Going Right Now? (2:01 hours)
The GaryVee Audio Experience 

VaynerX Presents: Marketing for the Now, a content series offering the moment perspectives and practical ideas to help guide marketers on how to modernize their marketing approach as we define this “new normal.” In this episode, the 12 speakers joined him for 10 minutes, rapid-fire 1:1 conversations answering the question – “Where is consumer attention going right now?” 

**

2. How to Succeed by Being Authentic (Hint: Carefully) (48 mins)
Freakonomics Radio

John Mackey, the C.E.O. of Whole Foods, has learned the perils of speaking his mind. But he still says what he thinks about everything from “conscious leadership” to the behavioral roots of the obesity epidemic. He also argues for a style of capitalism and politics that at this moment seems like a fantasy. What does he know that we don’t?

**

3. Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 1: TV) (38 mins) 
Freakonomics Radio

Companies around the world spend more than half-a-trillion dollars each year on ads. The ad industry swears by its efficacy — but a massive new study tells a different story.

**

4. Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 2: Digital) ( 49 mins)
Freakonomics Radio

Google and Facebook are worth a combined $2 trillion, with the vast majority of their revenue coming from advertising. In our previous episode, we learned that TV advertising is much less effective than the industry says. Is digital any better? Some say yes, some say no — and some say we’re in a full-blown digital-ad bubble.

**

5. While Airlines Shrink, Southwest Goes Big (14 mins)
The Journal.

While most airlines are parking planes and cutting costs, Southwest is starting flights to 10 new airports. WSJ’s Alison Sider explains why Southwest is expanding and how the company has used this strategy before.

**

6. Airbnb’s IPO, Amazon breaks into the pharmacy business, and predictions on a CNN sale (74 mins)
Pivot

Kara and Scott talk about Airbnb’s S1 and public offering in a risky moment. Then they discuss Amazon’s announcement that it will now sell prescription drugs on its website and app, which may spell doom for some competitors. In listener mail, they answer the question about how young people should choose mentors. In predictions, Scott thinks CNN will be sold. Learn more about your ad choices.

**

7. Media consolidations, Snapchat’s TikTok competitor, and Joanna Coles on retail during the pandemic (64 mins)
Pivot

Kara and Scott talk about BuzzFeed acquiring the Huffington Post and other media consolidations as the industry shifts. They also discuss Snapchat’s new feature “Spotlight” that will function like TikTok and pay top creators. In Friend of Pivot, we hear from Joanna Coles about what and how people are shopping during the pandemic holiday season. For Kara and Scott, the Biden cabinet picks are the win of the week. Learn more about your ad choices.

**

8.  E-commerce is retail’s promised land (41 min)
Business Casual

For an economy that’s almost constantly buying things, we sure have a lot of struggling retailers. That’s due to a confluence of factors, not the least of which are a saturated field of competitors and a finicky consumer. Recently, though, retail has landed in something of a promised land with e-commerce. Our propensity to shop online has been the saving grace for IRL sellers put out by Covid-19 shutdowns. But can our inclination toward online shopping stick around? That’s what we’re asking this week on Business Casual in a deep dive into e-commerce: how the industry’s biggest players are innovating, why it matters for our economy as a whole, and what comes next in an uncertain holiday shopping season. Today’s guest: Etsy CEO Josh Silverman.

**

9. SPECIAL EPISODE: How to Promote Your Content Using Tactics That Work Today with Brian Dean (19 mins)
Marketing School – Digital Marketing and Online Marketing Tips

Neil Patel with a special bonus episode – with special guest Brian Dean from Backlinko! This is a highlight from Brian’s talk at our Growth Accelerator Mastermind.

**

10. How This Brand Increased Their Revenue From Abandoned Cart Emails By 6X
Ecommerce Marketing School with Ben Jabbawy

Cart abandonment skyrockets this time of year. So Lisa on our Customer Success team suggested tweaking one small thing in this brand’s abandoned cart email series. In just 30 days, it helped them save $29,000 in revenue. Over the 9 months prior, it was $41,000 total. Here’s what they did to drive such a big lift.

**

11. Breaking Benford (30 mins)
Radiolab

In the days after the US Presidential election was called for Joe Biden, many supporters of Donald Trump are crying foul. Voter fraud. And a key piece of evidence? A century-old quirk of math called Benford’s Law. We at Radiolab know Benford’s Law well, and have covered it before. In this political dispatch, Latif and Soren Sherlock their way through the precinct numbers to see if these claims hold up. Spoiler: they don’t. But the reason why is more interesting than you’d expect. This episode was reported by Latif Nasser.

**

12. Shipageddon DeepDive (48 mins)
Radiolab

In the days after the US Presidential election was called for Joe Biden, many supporters of Donald Trump are crying foul. Voter fraud. And a key piece of evidence? A century-old quirk of math called Benford’s Law. We at Radiolab know Benford’s Law well, and have covered it before. In this political dispatch, Latif and Soren Sherlock their way through the precinct numbers to see if these claims hold up. Spoiler: they don’t. But the reason why is more interesting than you’d expect. This episode was reported by Latif Nasser.

Full Spotify Playlist here:

ICYM our past Podcasts We Loved

The post Podcasts We Loved: November 2020 appeared first on Post Funnel.

Content

New Research Reveals Mind-Blowing Truth About Customer Reviews

Online reviews are more important than ever.

In fact, new research from the 2020 State of Reviews report by Podium confirms consumers are analyzing and reading reviews more than EVER before.

This makes sense.

We trust real people more than ever. And consumers trust companies and organizations less.

The pandemic has brought great uncertainty, and online reviews are the deciding factor when making the decision of whether to go to a local business, make a purchase online, or select a competitor.

Customer Reviews ResearchThe message is clear: if you’re selling to consumers, you need to encourage and manage your customer reviews.

I want you to download the entire report and see for yourself. Need to get your boss or colleagues on board with your customer review strategy? Please send it to them too. This is the most important research you will read this year.

 

Here are my favorite customer review statistics from Podium’s fantastic 2020 State of Reviews report.

31% of consumers say they are more likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting it than they were pre-COVID.

Encouraging and replying to reviews is an incredible opportunity to grow your business NOW.

Half of consumers are reading reviews to validate local businesses’ safety practices.

Most businesses have communicated safety practices via email and on their website. But as you are probably aware, the safety practices are not always followed or enforced, so customers are confirming the safety of businesses by checking reviews and photos in advance. Pandemic time is the best time to get your review strategy in place.

Approximately half of consumers are willing to travel farther and pay more in order to patronize a business with higher reviews.

Consumers are willing to pay more if a business has positive reviews. Incredible. Customer reviews can make price irrelevant.

Most consumers have read a review in the past week.

In fact, 23% of consumers have read an online review in the LAST DAY. Reviews are here to stay, and this number will only continue to increase.

28% of consumers say they have looked up a business’s reviews while standing or being parked right outside to decide if they should go in or not.

Yes, checks out. I do this all the time.

Whether you’re a small business owner or enterprise managing multiple locations, encouraging and managing local reviews is NOT optional. How sad would it be to scare a customer away when they’re 20 feet away from your business?

92% of consumers say they will not consider buying from a business with a 1 or 2-star rating.

As if local businesses don’t have it hard enough these days, not having a customer review strategy can spell disaster.

Only 24% of businesses respond to negative reviews all the time.

The premise of my book, Hug Your Haters, is that responding to your most vocal, negative customers can turn them into your most vocal, happy customers. I’d wager to say responding to negative reviews is more important than responding to positive reviews. Make THAT your priority.

Encourage your customers to leave online reviews by texting them.

The state of online reviews paints a clear picture: reviews are more important than ever. Make it super easy for customers to leave a review on the websites that matter most. The best way to do this is by texting them with a local messaging platform like Podium.

And make sure to reply and engage with those customers. They’re relying on reviews to make decisions about your business — you should use customer reviews to grow yours.

If you haven’t already, download the full 2020 State of Reviews Report now. It’s the best piece of content on customer reviews you’ll read all year.

Podium is a Convince & Convert partner and client.

The post New Research Reveals Mind-Blowing Truth About Customer Reviews appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Content

12 Marketing Tools We Are Thankful for This Year

Back in the early-ish days of marketing technology in 2011, there were about 150 martech solutions available.

But now, there are a seemingly endless number of marketing tools. In fact, according to Scott Brinker’s most recent Marketing Technology Supergraphic, there are around 8,000 martech solutions, up from about 7,000 in 2019. Incredible!

martech growth

Image courtesy of ChiefMarTech.com

 

At Convince & Convert, we are thankful to have so many awesome marketing tools at our disposal and to work with so many amazing marketing technology companies (check out our content marketing creation services when you have a sec).

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked our team to share some of their favorite marketing tools this year. This list is in no way conclusive — if it were, we would be writing a book and not a blog post. A few of the tools are from C&C clients (accessiBe and SharpSpring), most are tools we use daily, and all are tools we love!

Let’s dive in now to our list of 12 marketing tools we are thankful for this year, plus a few additional shoutouts for marketing solutions we love but just didn’t have the bandwidth to cover in this blog post.

#1: SparkToro

Audience intelligence platform

“This is a relatively new tool from Rand Fishkin and his associates that is an easy and illuminating way to find circles of influence online. I use it to find possible collaborators, websites to sponsors, podcasts to sponsor, and even search terms and hashtags of interest. It’s a flexible tool that should be part of every project and program.”

 

Jay Baer, Founder, Convince & Convert

#2: Miro

Visual collaboration software

“Miro is my favorite new tool for visualizing content like org charts, content workflows, brainstorming, user stories, whatever. It’s basically an online whiteboard for collaborating visually, which is so helpful now that the entire world is remote.”

Fun Fact: The Miro template library has hundreds of layouts just waiting for you to try them out!

Jenny Magic, Content & Marketing Strategist

Jenny Magic, Strategist

….and Anna Hrach loves Miro too!

“I’m with Jenny on this, and she was the one that brought it to my attention. I love Miro for visualizing information and content and remote/virtual collaboration. Plus, they have a ton of existing templates (over 150+) to work from that are all easily customizable. The free version of Miro is also fantastic, so it’s easy to try out and see if the tool is a good fit for any organization. Miro also has over 70+ integrations, including Slack and Google Drive, so it fits into a lot of existing virtual workflows.”

Anna Hrach, Strategist

#3: accessiBe

Automated web accessibility

“Over my twenty-year career in digital, I have learned A LOT from web development teams and website requirement documents. What I love about the approach accessiBe has developed is there is virtually ZERO code changes needed to ensure your site is not only ADA compliant but also a positive experience for visitors.

The dashboard is simple to configure, allows for your branding to be matched, and adjusts to the needs of each site visitor without sweeping code changes. At an affordable price, this tool is a win for site visitors, a win for site developers, and a win for marketers. The legal team will likely find it a win as well!”

Fun Fact: accessiBe estimates that “the disabled population in almost every society is about 20% of the residents.” This has a huge impact on the function and services your website can (and should) be offering the entirety of your audience.

Kelly Santina, Director of Operations

Kelly Santina, Director of Operations

#4: RivalIQ

Social media analytics

“It’s vital to be able to monitor your social media performance and compare it to your peers or competitors, so you can continue to learn, iterate, and improve performance. RivalIQ is one of our go-to tools to benchmark our clients’ competitors on social media. Not only can we monitor growth rate, breakout posts, and look for boosted posts, we can also use RivalIQ’s ability to tag content to analyze the best performing types of content by medium and content. RivalIQ also makes it easy to bring data from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms into one place to create attractive, easy to use dashboards to share with clients and internal teams.”

Fun Fact: Highly data-driven organizations are 3X more likely to report significant improvements in decision-making, according to PwC research.

Side note: Our founder Jay Baer is an investor in RivalIQ, but our team would still use the solution, even if he weren’t.

Zontee Hou

Zontee Hou, Director of Strategy

#5: ScreamingFrog

SEO spider tool and crawler software

“Despite the odd name, this SEO spider is a powerful and flexible site crawler, able to crawl both small and very large websites efficiently while allowing the user to analyze the results in real-time. It gathers key onsite data to allow SEOs to make informed assessments, both on your own internal site or a competitors’ site. This is primarily used to identify SEO best-practices and shortcomings (there are always more than one would think), but also helps in content identification that may be difficult to find via main navigation options.

They offer a free version (limited to 500 URLs) and a paid license option.”

Anthony Helmstetter, Strategist

Anthony Helmstetter, Strategist

#6: Airtable

Cloud collaboration

‘”As the resident Airtable queen at C&C, I have both convinced and converted the consulting team of the power of Airtable. A cloud-based DIY software solution uses tools we’re familiar with, like database, spreadsheet grids and calendars, to create unique ways to get work done. Airtable offers flexibility and an ecosystem for pulling together any project. In the past year, Airtable has super-powered the product with pro-level automations, apps, collaboration and integrations.

At C&C, we use Airtable for a range of client and internal tasks and project management. My favorite use cases bring together audience journey maps, content gap analysis, and content marketing production into a single (massive) tool, as we did for clients like Oregon State Ecampus. Tracking the team submissions for our ‘People We Love’ series is emotionally rewarding and brings our team closer together.

To get started, check out the numerous base templates Airtable gives away for free. Then go deeper into the Universe to see how others use this powerful tool to manage their professional and personal lives.”

Fun Fact: Over 15 million bases have been created on Airtable. And their content is also awesome.

Lauren Teague

Lauren Teague, Strategist

#7: SharpSpring

Marketing automation and CRM

“When I joined Convince & Convert, we were using a simple email solution to deploy blast-style emails. No lead scoring. No drip campaigns. No automation. No A/B testing.

As we ramped up our efforts, we quickly reached the limits of our previous solution (we were actually A/B testing emails by uploading our email list to Google Sheets and random sorting—not good!), we evaluated a few marketing automation solutions and finally selected SharpSpring.

Like all marketing technology transitions, there were a few bumps along the way, but within a few months, we got into a good rhythm and really ramped up our efforts. The automations are really easy to set up, and unlike most of the solutions we evaluated, SharpSpring has a built-in CRM, which was key for us. We are a lean sales & marketing team, so we don’t have the resources to manage a standalone CRM. We’re now 18 months into our initial setup, and we continue to grow and optimize our efforts. Plus, the support team is only an email, phone call, or chat away. Big fans!”

Megan Leap, Director of Content

Megan Leap, Director of Content

#8: SEMrush

SEO and content marketing

“The other tool I love geeking out in is SEMrush. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing our rankings improve for key terms! The Keyword Magic Tool is ridiculously useful — especially the ‘Questions’ tab. I get a ton of inspiration for our content in SEMrush, and it’s helped us achieve big gains in our SEO.”

– Megan Leap

#9: Litmus

Email testing & analysis

“I first was introduced to Litmus over 12 years ago when the web developer I worked with used it to test and check the rendering of HTML on emails. Since then, I’ve signed up for it in every single digital marketing position I’ve had. It’s easy to sell a solution to your boss when it makes your job easier, your marketing more effective, and keeps your brand on-point. I even used it for browser testing, but Litmus has since retired that feature in order to focus on email. If you’re sending emails, you need to make sure they render correctly on all browsers and in all email clients.”

– Megan Leap

#10: AgoraPulse

Social media management

“AgoraPulse is our go-to tool for social listening and engagement. We use this tool daily to monitor brand/name mentions and to engage with our community. We use the browser-based dashboard during normal business hours and the mobile app when on the go. Three standout features of AgoraPulse are its ability to gather comments and activity on Facebook and Instagram ads, its ability to monitor YouTube comments, and its insights on Instagram Stories.”

Christin Kardos, Community Manager

#11: CoSchedule

Content marketing management

“I probably use CoSchedule more than anyone on our team. We use it for planning social media content, sponsored content, podcasts and more. There’s no better way to manage and plan multiple types of content across business units and virtual teams (both internal and external). I love it. It keeps me sane.”

Side note: Our founder, Jay Baer, is an investor in CoSchedule, but we’d still use it regardless.

– Christin Kardos, Community Manager

#12: BuzzSumo

“BuzzSumo offers a great place to start when thinking about content planning. It offers effective ways to stay on the pulse of what is trending in traditional media and in social. It also provides a great place to identify influencers and get new ideas for different topics within your planned content pillars.”

Mary Nice

Mary Nice, Strategist

Notable Mentions

This wouldn’t be a “marketing tools we are thankful for” post without a few other shout outs. In no particular order, here are a few more martech solutions we love that you should check out too:

  • Ceralytics (content intelligence platform)
  • NetLine (B2B content syndication)
  • Oracle Marketing Cloud (integrated digital marketing solutions)
  • Cisco WebEx (video conferencing and online meetings)
  • Podium (messaging tools for local business)
  • Calabrio (workforce optimization)
  • Cision (cloud-based communications/PR)

The post 12 Marketing Tools We Are Thankful for This Year appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

B2CRM News

United Colors of Benetton: Embracing Online Millennial Shoppers

A couple of years ago, United Colors of Benetton revamped its store format and customer experience with a new concept “that goes beyond the traditional notion of a store to become an urban and contemporary showroom,” according to Fashion Retailer.

Yes, even the 90s are up to date with Retention and Loyalty’s best practices of 2020.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

And, indeed, nowadays it’s a whole new ball game, as consumers embrace online shopping like never before. Fittingly, the Italian fashion brand has turned its focus towards the creation of a superb online experience for its wide variety of customers who have grown with the brand over the years.

The most obvious driving force behind the timing of it all must be the ongoing covid-19 pandemic that forced us all to hunker down under lockdown for months. Digital Commerce 360 notes that consumers spent $347.26 billion online with U.S. retailers in the first half of 2020 – that’s an increase of 30.1% from $266.84 billion for the same time in 2019.

To help Benetton create a market-leading fashion brand and rethink its global omnichannel strategy, it has appointed the agency R/GA London as its digital transformation partner.

“With the importance of Benetton’s digital experience more significant than ever due to the changing market conditions, we are thrilled to have been selected as their new Digital Transformation partner,” said Rebecca Bezzina, SVP managing director R/GA London.

“We look forward to helping pivot this incredible fashion brand and create a next-generation eCommerce platform that sets them apart from the competition.”

Additionally, Benetton is aiming to generate a better shopping eCommerce experience on www.Benetton.com for localizing reasons.

Set to launch next month, the brand’s new website will be available in 25 countries. The website will be translated into six languages as well as offer numerous currencies to shop in. That’s a big move, which requires a modernized platform to enable it.

“With Covid, every market is in a unique position – as a brand, you need to have a personalized strategy and approach to each… Marketers must be aware of the local context above all,” Bezzina added.

Finally, as millennials represent the largest group of consumers today, who particularly enjoy shopping online, many with D2C brands – it is important to cater to this key customer segment.

Together with R/GA, Benetton is also set to track online behavioral changes and shopping browsing habits to provide the business with a successful digital transformation and a superior omnichannel experience.

“We wanted to collaborate with an agency that fully understood the complex challenges and different disruptions that the fashion industry is currently facing,” Antonio Patrissi, Group Chief Digital Officer at Benetton.

“Since the moment we met the team over Zoom, they have demonstrated themselves to be entirely the right partner to help us transform digital vision. We’re very much looking forward to working together”.

We will make sure to check in on Benetton’s site in the near future and tell you how this digital transformation is going from retention loyalty and general CRM best practices.

The post United Colors of Benetton: Embracing Online Millennial Shoppers appeared first on Post Funnel.

Content

How We Successfully Rewired Our Business During the Pandemic

In March of this year, Jay Baer, Founder and CEO of Convince and Convert, assembled his entire virtual team to announce an unexpected departure from our very successful strategy and consulting business. With the prospect of a pandemic, the business of public speaking was in jeopardy for the foreseeable future. Jay repurposed and repackaged our entire offering.

8 steps to rewire customer relationshipsIt was a smart move, one in which he predicted our business actions over the next six months would likely determine the direction and viability for the next six years. This is possibly true for your business as well.

In a recent live broadcast, 8 Steps to Rewire Customer Relationships, Jay recounts his observations and rationale for such a shift in strategy. Here he is in his own words:

“The first thing to do is to reconfigure your products and services. Do we offer something fundamentally different? Once you’ve done that, once you’ve reconfigured, then it’s time to Repackage Products and Services. So, alight, we know what we’re going sell now, maybe that different or substantially different than what we sold before, now how can we make it easier to buy from us given the circumstances the world is in right now. And we spend a lot of time in my own organization Convince and Convert doing just that.”

Historically, what we sell on the consulting side is very custom strategic plans (60-90 days to create) that provide a tremendous amount of guidance and detail to large corporate clients on how they should improve their social media, their content marketing, etc. It’s not an easy thing to buy, and it’s not an easy thing to deliver, nor was it intended to be. But our observation was we’re going have to repackage this because the plans we sold are intended to look at an 18-24-month time horizon. These are the things that you should do over the next two years, Mrs. or Mr. Client.

Nobody knows what is going to happen in two years. Nobody wants to buy a two-year strategic plan right now. Two years is a long time in the current state of affairs. So we completely structured our offering, cut the price (because we cut the scope) and decided we’re going to sell  “Quick Wins.” It’s the same kind of strategic thinking we have always sold, but, instead of saying “here’s what you should do over the next 24 months,” we pivoted to “here’s what you should do over the next four months.” We deliver this in 30 days, instead of the 60-90 days.

  • It’s faster
  • It’s less expensive
  • It’s more relevant
  • It’s easier to buy
  • It’s easier to see the end

It’s been really successful. It’s helped our business very much during this uncertain time for consultants and strategists.

It’s frustrating to me when I see companies not making it easier to be than ever right now. They’re still throwing up foolish obstacles in the way of their customers; things like, well, you can’t return it if you don’t like it, or the price isn’t any different than it was before, or any number of other circumstances.

42% of customers refuse or are unwilling
to pay full price since the pandemic

You have to understand your customers may be unlikely, for obvious financial reasons, to transact the way they did before. I saw a stat just yesterday, it was a survey of chief marketing officers of large companies, that 42% of customers refuse or are unwilling to pay full price since the pandemic. Maybe they can’t, they don’t have a job or they’ve been furloughed, but 4 out of 10 customers can’t pay full price.

I’m not suggesting this is just about discounts—that’s not the point here—the point is you have to find a way to make it easier than ever to buy from you.

Maybe that is making it less expensive, maybe that is making it smaller as we have done at C&C. Maybe it’s taking the pain away from a risk and the doubt standpoint.

Jay shared this example:

“I bought an outdoor couch a couple of weeks ago. We’re trying to spend more time outdoors since we’re not going anywhere on an airplane.

This really neat start-up company makes cool outdoor furniture built for the weather, even in a place like Indiana which is not really known for great weather, but this couch was pretty expensive. I don’t know, it seemed like a lot for a couch, but I had it in my shopping cart, I didn’t transact, they sent me an email—cart abandonment (always a nice idea)—which said, ‘Jay, we want to remind you that we have a 365-day return policy.’ And I was like, ‘Dang.’

So you’re telling me I can sit on this couch for a year? And then be like, ‘Nah bro, I’m not into the couch.’ There’s a minor restocking fee which makes sense, it’s a whole couch, and that’s it.

OK. Boom. Checked out, take my money. I don’t know if that was the policy pre-pandemic, but that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.

Can you make it less expensive? Can you make it easier? Can you take the doubt out of people’s minds?

Here’s the Rest of the Story

Jay’s foresight and seemingly drastic plan to switch paths on deliverables was pure genius. Perhaps blatantly obvious in hindsight, but think back to early March; none of us knew much of anything about how this would disrupt business and everyday life. This pivot required agility not only to our operations but also to our clients, existing and newly acquired. Everyone still needs agility. The singular decision to retool the company deliverables, price points, and timeframe for delivery was spot-on. If you haven’t already done so, it may not be too late. This storm isn’t over.

Shortened Sales Cycles

Another direct benefit was an easier and shortened sales cycle. Previously, multi-month engagements at high price points often have to be budgeted or approved well in advance of execution. These new, smaller, more tactical, quick-turn projects were often priced within someone’s signing authority or discretionary budgets. Once one was delivered to a client, there was often a second one to follow-up.

Character—Another Key Factor

I don’t think you’ll read this or hear it anywhere else. I heard it, the entire C&C team heard it, and we took it to heart. Jay told us that, “Our mission was to keep our clients in business. If they go out of business, we go out of business.” He told us, do whatever you can, provide Youtility, be helpful, even if we don’t charge them for our services.

Yes, he said, “…even if we don’t charge them for our services.” He quickly added, “It’d be better if we can charge them…”. He played the long game, the smart game, and the ethically sound game. That’s why he prophesized, “The next six months will likely define the next six years for your business.” At the time of this writing, we’re about six months into it.

Client Reactions

The ‘quick wins’ approach worked, probably better than expected. As Jay stated above, it was still the type of strategic thinking clients expect from C&C, but now it was bite-sized as opposed to an entire 10-course meal spread over 18 months. The quick wins were crafted to be more easily executed with our client’s existing staff and resources, rather than, for example, building out a social media customer service team. Since the specific recommendations were to be completed in 90-120 days, that was a manageable timeframe in which immediate actions could be taken, and results shared with management.

Applying This to Your Situation

In hindsight, the formula seems obvious. You just read it, in one short article. No books to read, no training courses to attend, no MBA required. Watch Jay’s full broadcast on 8 Steps to Rewire Customer Relationships. Start there and if you have questions drop us a note. We’re happy to help, even if we don’t charge you. 😁

The post How We Successfully Rewired Our Business During the Pandemic appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

CRM

Podcasts We Loved: October 2020

October 2020 was the month of yet another Coronavirus wave, of American presidential elections home stretch, and the kickoff for a Q4 of a looming shipping chaos. It was also the month when Quibi closed shop and got everyone talking about the perils of forced marketing concepts, of another escalation in the big-tech/social media giants fights against Donald Trump. And of Ocean Spray.

Yup. A dude one wheels with a cranberry juice bottle, Fleetwood Mac lip-sync, and maybe the best organic, UGC, unintentional free ad in the history of advertising.

We collected the best podcast episodes covering these topics from the past month, so you could give it a couple of condensed listening sessions and stay on top of the most important topics surrounding the world of marketing and customer relationships.

Quibi Demise

1. Quibi’s Quick Collapse, Oct 23 (18 mins)
The Journal

The streaming platform Quibi broke onto the scene earlier this year with tons of cash and a Hollywood visionary at the helm. Six months later, the company is shutting down. WSJ’s Benjamin Mullin talks through the high hopes for Quibi and the platform’s dramatic fall from grace.

**
2. RIP Quibi, Oct 23 (65 mins)
Pivot

Kara and Scott discuss the shutdown of Quibi – we hardly knew ye… (among other topics)

**
3. Revisiting Jeffrey Katzenberg on Quibi, Oct 25 (30 mins)
The Business

Following Quibi’s announcement of closing, The Business revisits an interview with founder Jeffrey Katzenberg on his gamble to launch Quibi.

**
4. What we can learn from Quibi calling it quit, Oct 28 (9 mins)
Recode Daily

Recode’s Peter Kafka talks with Teddy about why the video startup is shutting down just six months after it launched. He also makes the case for why the media landscape could use more quibis in the future.

Big Tech (vs DOJ/Donald Trump/Us)

5. Breaking Up Big Tech, Oct 1 (61 mins)
The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway

Zephyr Teachout, an attorney and associate professor of Law at Fordham University, joins Scott to discuss monopoly power and antitrust as it relates to the U.S. economy and her latest book, “Break ‘Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money.”

**

6. The DOJ’s Case Against Google, Oct 22 (63 mins)
The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway

Roger McNamee joins Scott to break down the US Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Google and how monopolies stifle innovation. They also discuss the sharing economy, how the social platforms tear at our society, and the remedies that can be put in place moving forward. Roger is an activist, investor, and musician.

**

7. Will tech save the world…or end it? Oct 1 (41 mins)
Business Casual

Where’s the real danger in tech? It might be a little less apocalyptic and a little more pedestrian than you think.What would our biggest tech firms look like if they’d been created in China, Myanmar, Brazil, or anywhere else in the world?

**

8. A Misinformation Test for Social Media, Oct 21 (27 mins)
The Daily

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have invested a significant amount of time and money trying to avoid the mistakes made during the 2016 election.A test of those new policies came last week, when The New York Post published a story that contained supposedly incriminating documents and pictures taken from the laptop of Hunter Biden. The provenance and authenticity of that information is still in question, and Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions.

Ocean Spray

9. Why A Human Made Ocean Spray’s Best Commercial Of All Time | GaryVee RAW Thoughts, Oct 16 (6 mins)
The GaryVee Audio Experience

A raw take on the recent TikTok video released by Doggface208, and why it might be the single best “commercial” in the history of Ocean Spray’s brand.

**

10. Ocean Spray Cranberries Chief Digital and Technology Officer Jamie Head, rebroadcast from August 24 (19 mins)
Technovation with Peter High (CXO Interviews)

An interview with OS’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer about the company’s five-year plan to transform from a cranberry business to a health and wellness business. We also discuss the company’s innovation plan, the digital hub his team is building, and the company’s relationship with the farmers who grow the cranberries. Finally, we discuss how the company approaches external partnerships, Jamie’s interest in the health and wellness space, and a variety of other topics.

**

11. TikTok Dreams, Ocean Spray and the Longboarder Who Could, Oct 21 (77 mins)
More Than Hashtags

On this episode: the best viral story of 2020, Nathan Apodaca and his influence on TikTok, the music charts, Boomers, and social media as a whole, Instagram growth (not growth hacking though), disinformation and a little on how to deal with it, and the inimitable frozen beef sheet brand that is Steak-umm.

Bonus:

12. Retail ETFs & Presidential Election Impact on ESG, Oct 12 (23 mins)
ETF Edge

A discussions on the booming e-commerce space ahead of Amazon Prime day, dividend growth coming back and consolidation in the financial services space. Plus: a few words on the possible election impact on ETFs.

 

ICYM our past Podcasts We Loved

The post Podcasts We Loved: October 2020 appeared first on Post Funnel.

B2CRM News

Revlon Makes a Bold Move on TikTok

#DoItBold is the name of the challenge that Revlon launched on TikTok in October.

It’s not Revlon’s first venture into using the popular app. It has used it before to promote particular products and ran a challenge last year called #SlickUpYourLook. But it now made a conscious effort to connect with Gen Z with the hopes of seeing the kind of success ELF (see Don’t Make Ads: Make Engaging Entertainment) had in selling its makeup to that demographic through the channel that captures their attention.

Revlon did need a jolt of successful marketing, as reported in Glossy, to regain some market share, as its sales declined a whopping 45% for this past quarter. That’s far worse than the category’s 19% decline for that time.

The bold campaign definitely won it attention, as well as new followers who engaged with the brand.

Global Cosmetic Industry reports that at the end of the three-day Tik Tok challenge led by influencers such as Loren Gray, Abby Roberts, Seth O’Brien, and MicahCow – Revlon garnered 2 billion views.

As far as three-day measurements, this challenge topped the counts for the year among those tracked by Movers+S­hakers. It also generated the most songs for a three-day challenge: 3,800.

Engagement rates were impressive, too, averaging between 15% and 20% influencer engagement.

The gains don’t end with the campaign. By October 19, Revlon had obtained 30,000 new followers plus 390,000 likes on @Revlon. The hope, of course, is that these engaged followers will not just follow but also buy products from the brand.

The post Revlon Makes a Bold Move on TikTok appeared first on Post Funnel.

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