Akshat Biyani, Author at MarTech Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Marketing Transformation Thu, 14 Jul 2022 12:53:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 Why we care about audience development https://martech.org/why-we-care-about-audience-development/ Wed, 01 Jun 2022 16:29:09 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352643 Explore our marketers' guide to audience development, a process imperative for brand success.

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Despite the sea of information available to the 4.95 billion internet users today, fresh content is being generated by the second. Producing engaging content that can distinguish itself within this volume takes a considerable amount of time and effort. In this context, it is critical to develop strategies to keep your audience engaged and further develop your customer base.

It is ironic that social media, one of the most potent conduits of content, is also the force behind the attrition of our attention. With a profusion of content competing for short attention spans, keeping your audience engaged is an increasingly challenging endeavor. However, having a robust audience development plan can help combat this problem.

Audience development is not about volume alone. Of course, marketers like reach, but in an environment where competitors are only a click away, deeper engagement based on trust and an authentic value exchange is of premium value. The value exchange involves delivering valuable content that meets the audience’s needs — not just promotional messaging. It involves performance metrics and optimization to grow the audience and keep it coming back for more.

The key points this article will cover include:

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What is audience development?

Broadly defined, audience development is the process of keeping your audience engaged with your business. It starts with getting new consumers to pay attention to your brand, converting them to customers, and finally, building a long-term relationship to foster loyalty amongst those customers. Think of audience development as a timeline that involves attracting customers to your brand and keeping them loyal to your business over time.

Regardless of your industry or business model, customers are essential to running a successful business and the ultimate goal of audience development is to eventually convert the audience for your content into paying customers. How you employ audience development strategies to eventually achieve that goal depends on the context of your business.

With content being produced to cater to every possible niche, it’s difficult to stand out from the competition and keep your audience engaged. You need to have a detailed understanding of your current customer base, and segments within it, to develop strategies that work. This involves putting your audience first and thinking from their perspective.

High-impact audience development strategies

While the best strategies are always context-specific, there are general guidelines that can help with most audience development initiatives. However, marketers need to be mindful of changing customer characteristics and the external environment in which their company operates. The strategies you use should be dynamic and adaptable for maximal impact on consumers.

Graphic depicting the components of audience development including: knowing your audience, content strategy, skilled and trained content teams, and the ability to track and measure results

Here are the factors to consider while developing high-impact audience development strategies:

Get to know your demographic. The first step is to figure out who your audience is. What kind of customers do you want to attract to your brand? Next, divide your customers into segments that include age, gender, and geography. Understand which segment shows the highest engagement with your brand. Do you want to develop this segment further? Perhaps it’s already too saturated, and it makes more sense to chase a new target segment.

Competitor benchmarking can help with this process. For example, what kind of content and campaigns are your competitors running? Who are they targeting? By keeping a close watch over your competitors’ audience development strategies, you can identify which segments are the most reactive and use that data to inform your strategy.

Develop a content strategy. When you know your demographic and have gained familiarity with the marketing practices in your industry, it becomes much easier to develop content that resonates with your audience. You can use a multi-channel strategy that includes producing content for your website, emailing your audience, or leveraging social media platforms to connect with them. Using emerging platforms such as Twitch or Tik-Tok can be effective if you target young consumers.

High level graphic of the marketing funnel moving from awareness to consideration, conversion and then retention

Define your content team. Figure out who is going to produce your content. The value your content delivers to your customers is crucial. Do you have a team of in-house marketers proficient in developing the kind of content you seek, or would you need to hire external resources? Are you creating a multi-part or a one-time campaign? Further, using the right content management tools to produce effective content is key.

Track metrics and optimize. You need to track the metrics of your content or campaign using content management tools. How many views, clicks, reads, or likes do you get per post? This data will help you fine-tune your future content and improve with each iteration. While your content might be good, it’s futile to use it if it doesn’t reach or engage your target audience.

Optimizing your content for search engines is vital to producing engagement. Make sure your articles have keywords and phrases that are likely to appear in a Google search for the kind of product or service your company sells. Each platform has its unique way of optimizing content for maximum traffic, so it would be worth your while to become familiar with these differences. For example, if you plan to use Twitter or Instagram, ensure you use the right hashtags and captions to reach the most people.

Use tech to optimize audience development

Data and technology can help you understand your audience and optimize your audience development strategies. Businesses that leverage data early to understand their customers are a step ahead of their competition.

Marketing analytics has considerably improved businesses’ ability to track their metrics and develop high-impact strategies. For example, marketing analytics tools measure the performance of your campaign across an array of metrics and use those insights to inform you of the best ways to optimize your content. These tools also give you the bigger picture by linking your campaigns to your website traffic. This enables you to track your multi-channel approach and understand which tactics and campaigns are creating the deepest impact on customer behavior.

Topic analysis tools show you how your target audience behaves online. These tools help you create online personas for your customers to develop the best strategies to attract their attention. Additionally, analytics software let you track the success of each campaign and identify areas for improvement. For example, Google Analytics is an effective tool that offers you data-driven insights on how visitors engage with your site. Common metrics include when customers visit your site, which page they first clicked on, and how long they spent consuming your content. It also helps you track basic demographic data such as your customers’ age, gender, and location.

Leveraging data obtained through such tools is the backbone of an effective audience development strategy. Data and analytics tools play a critical role throughout the process, from getting to know your audience to producing and tracking your content.

How does audience development add value to your business?

Engaged audiences are more likely to seek out your content actively. They are also more likely to buy your products and refer them to other potential customers through word-of-mouth marketing. This makes an engaged audience highly valuable for your business because it contributes to your sales revenue.

The most significant advantages of audience development are:

  • Customer acquisition: Since expanding your customer base is a key factor determining the growth of your business, your marketing efforts should consider customer acquisition as one of the primary goals. This can be achieved through referrals and targeted advertising.
  • Building relationships: Audience development is also a qualitative process centered on relationship-building. Marketers should focus on developing quality relationships with existing and new customers.
  • Improving customer loyalty: Nudging your current customers to keep coming back and selecting your business over the competition is one of the most efficient ways to increase sales. Since new customer acquisition costs can be high, getting repeat business from current customers is a relatively cheaper alternative.

It’s worthwhile to invest in developing your audience and engaging it effectively through interesting, value-adding content. Engaged audiences tend to make more frequent and higher-value transactions.

Resources for learning about audience development

Here are some helpful resources to help your brand’s audience development efforts:

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Why we care about marketing agencies https://martech.org/why-we-care-about-marketing-agencies/ Tue, 31 May 2022 16:27:29 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352607 Marketing agencies are an essential part of the digital marketing ecosystem. Agencies provide strategic marketing guidance and expertise.

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Nobody can do it all. No matter how good your marketing team is, there is going to be expertise and experience they don’t have. Fortunately, there is a marketing agency somewhere that does. They are an essential part of the martech ecosystem, filling gaps and providing insight faster and (hopefully) less expensively than you could do yourself.

If your company engages in advertising campaigns, chances are you have already considered using the services of an agency. Whether businesses should bring in external expertise or rely on internal talent is an age-old conundrum and a tough decision to make. It requires careful consideration of industry trends and a detailed understanding of your marketing objectives and capabilities. 

With user preferences changing rapidly, you need to constantly rethink your advertising strategy to stay relevant in the advertising scene. In light of this, it may be wise to bring in an external agency with expertise in the changing advertising landscape and the best practices within it.

This article will discuss:

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Important factors when considering external help 

The decision to bring in external help is context-specific. You can choose to outsource a specific campaign or your entire marketing vertical, depending on the requirements of your business. 

Consider the following factors while making this decision:

The complexity of your campaign

If you plan to use a single-channel approach with a relatively straightforward campaign, you can use in-house talent. However, the nature of advertising has changed; most campaigns now use multiple platforms. In fact, using a multi-channel approach enables you to reach the most potential customers. 

Selecting multiple platforms and coordinating their use requires considerable time and energy. Additionally, it also requires cross-channel expertise. Agencies can guide which channels are the most effective and in what combinations. They also centrally manage your campaign, making it easier to track the impact of various platforms. 

The skills of your internal talent

The advertising landscape is subject to constant changes. Constantly upskilling and retraining your employees to match industry requirements can be a fairly expensive affair. In addition, hiring full-time employees each time a specific marketing need arises can blow up your marketing budget. 

You should also consider what technical tools your team can access and use effectively. Is your internal marketing team able to successfully track customer data and campaign performance? Certain third-party agencies specialize in leveraging data to generate high-impact campaigns. 

Cost-benefit analysis

While hiring external agencies can be more expensive than producing an in-house campaign, you should also consider the marginal benefit agencies provide. Advertising agencies aim to keep their teams updated with current market trends. Hence, the quality of the content they produce can be remarkably better than the output of your internal team. 

Is the additional cost imposed by external agencies offset by the additional benefit they provide? That is the primary question to consider from both a quantitative and qualitative lens. You can also consider your past experiences while making this cost-benefit analysis.


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How to find the right agency

Finding the right agency can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re taking external help for the first time. All advertising agencies are not the same; different firms specialize in different aspects of advertising. You should consider your marketing objectives, requirements, and budget to identify the right agency for your business. 

The following process can help you shortlist the right agency:

Do diligent research

The fundamental purpose of conducting detailed research is to ensure that an agency’s expertise aligns with your advertising objectives. First, determine your budget. This will help you eliminate agencies that fall out of that budget and focus on a smaller pool. Additionally, you can also tap into your network or analyze your competition to determine which agencies are the most popular in your industry. 

Next, outline your requirements in detail. Do you need help with the creative or technical aspects of advertising? Or do you prefer getting support for both? Certain agencies specialize in leveraging data and using sophisticated artificial intelligence tools to optimize the reach of your campaign. Others specialize in producing creative and engaging content. It is crucial to understand which agency is likely to help you meet your objectives.

Listen to pitches

Invite shortlisted candidates to present their pitches. Typically, this process involves agencies understanding your budget and requirements in detail and proposing their plan of action for your campaign and business. As part of this process, agencies might take a close look at your past and current campaigns on platforms such as Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. 

The pitch will give you a concrete idea of what to expect from the agency and will allow you to judge whether their expertise can support the marketing needs of your business. You can finally hire the right agency depending on which pitch aligns best with your objectives. 

Finding the right agency has numerous benefits for your business:

  • Save time and energy. By relying on external experts to produce high-impact campaigns, you can focus on the core functions of your business. Streamlining your core functions can considerably improve your sales revenue and reduce costs. Further, the cost of hiring and training new employees can be higher than working with an agency. 
  • Leverage the latest technologies. Advertising agencies stay up-to-date on shifting market trends. From tracking data to employing AI tools, agencies can supplement the work of your in-house team to produce high-impact campaigns. This can give you a competitive edge and help engage your audience effectively.  
  • Get an external perspective. An outside opinion can be valuable, especially from an expert. Being closely attached to your product, brand, and customers might narrow your perspective and be an impediment to producing an impartial and effective campaign. Expert advice and multiple perspectives from professionals can improve the creativity of your marketing efforts. 

Read next: How are digital agencies helping marketers transform in 2022?

The advertising industry is witnessing considerable startup activity aiming to compete with traditional agencies. These startups are leveraging cutting-edge technology, such as AI, to help circumvent the problems arising from privacy law restrictions and increased competition. 

There exists an agency to cater to every niche of advertising and marketing. If you have clear objectives and a fair assessment of the limits of your in-house talents’ capabilities, you can consider using an external agency to supplement your marketing efforts. Agencies can help you produce state-of-the-art, effective, and technology-backed campaigns that can provide the highest return on your investment. While identifying the best agency for your needs is a time-consuming process, the right agency partner can supercharge your marketing efforts.

Resources for learning more about agency services

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Why we care about advertising: A marketer’s guide https://martech.org/why-we-care-about-advertising-a-marketers-guide/ Fri, 27 May 2022 15:51:49 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352583 Here's our guide to advertising in a transformed digital landscape.

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With digital transformation, advertising isn’t just about growing brand awareness or planting a seed. Advertisers and their adtech partners can reach audiences big and small at any stage of the funnel, delivering cross-channel ads across multiple touchpoints. And they aren’t just using traditional demographics and ratings, they’re leveraging device-level or user-specific data, as well as contextual insights, to serve the right message to the right customer at the right time.

Advertising is deeply impacted by emerging tech platforms and social media trends, making it susceptible to constant disruptions. As marketers, you have to stay on top of your game by keeping up to date with industry trends.

As consumers have shifted their attention from traditional advertising to digital channels, it has become crucial for marketers to pivot. When this is studied within the context of an annual increase of 10.3% in the overall marketing budget and a 16.2% increase in digital marketing spending, we can see a trend of increasing reliance on digital advertising channels over traditional advertising options. 

This data highlights the ever-evolving nature of advertising and underscores the importance of adopting relevant marketing strategies. It is only by understanding how customer preferences change over time that you can devise an effective advertising campaign.

This article covers the following key points:

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What are the best advertising practices?

The best advertising tactics are contextual and continue to evolve. Here are some guiding principles that can help with your advertising strategy.

Be adaptive. As marketers, you have to be able to keep up with the shifting landscape. After identifying what platforms drive the most traffic and are the most popular with your target group, you have to quickly learn and adapt to the platform’s features and algorithms. For example, TikTok’s popularity has grown exponentially; it had 1.2 billion monthly active users in Q4, 2021, up from 381 million in 2019. Additionally, the platform has repeatedly proven itself as a strong conversion channel, driving 155% more clicks than Instagram and Facebook ads for a Jungle Topp Media experiment.

Incorporate feedback. Your advertising methodology needs to have a built-in feedback loop to collect crucial performance data and incorporate it into your ongoing campaign. Create new content, release it, track metrics, collect feedback, and use it to design future campaigns. One of the biggest benefits of non-traditional marketing tools, such as social media, is that they generate actionable data that reveal insights. This makes assessing the impact of your campaigns easier than ever before.

For example, Instagram offers engagement insights for Reels and live broadcasts. For Reels, Instagram provides data on total plays, accounts reached, likes, comments, saves and shares. For live broadcasts, there is data on accounts reached, peak concurrent viewers, comments and shares. This is extremely valuable feedback that captures your current content’s effectiveness and engagement level, allowing you to tweak your future content accordingly.

Consider employing outside help. The best advertising practices are efficient. However, you have to be aware of the capacity of your business to use these tools effectively. Do you have the right team to produce content on emerging platforms? Does your team understand data and analytics? Using external vendors to optimize your advertising can give your business a competitive edge.

The most significant advantage of effective advertising is that it engages your audience. An engaged audience is more likely to purchase your products and refer your brand to other people through word of mouth. Specifically, advertising leads to audience development, and these are the benefits it offers:

  • Customer acquisition: A burgeoning customer base is vital for your long-term revenue growth. To access new customer segments and markets, it is vital to make your brand visible and relatable. Advertising is that mechanism that fills the gap between your brand and potential customers.
  • Customer retention: Since customer acquisition cost is often cited to be 5x the cost of customer retention, it is wise to increase your focus on building customer loyalty. Understanding customer feedback and implementing that into your campaign is essential for long-term relationship development.
customer lifetime value compared to customer acquisition cost in advertising
Source: Taylor Peterson

Changes in the advertising landscape today

While the changing landscape driven by the amalgamation of tech and advertising is sure to bring multiple opportunities to marketers, it also imposes certain restrictions. Navigating this space can be challenging for the following reasons.

Standing out from the clutter. Advertising is omnipresent on the web today. Whether a customer is browsing on Google, reading an article, or watching a video on YouTube, they will see promotions and ads everywhere.

The sheer volume of advertising has made people increasingly numb to conventional digital advertising techniques. Marketers using digital advertising face more pressure than ever to stand out from the clutter and produce engaging content.

graphc showing percentage of survey participants who disklike or don't watch ads

The decline of third-party cookies. Marketers have counted on third-party cookies for decades to track website visitors and collect consumer data online. This data is critical to improving user experience and generating targeted ads. However, data protection and privacy issues have now come to the forefront, bringing increased scrutiny to companies’ data practices and giving rise to regulatory frameworks to curb privacy violations.

Apple has implemented changes to its iOS14 operating system using Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP). Firefox also offers Enhanced Tracking Protection that blocks third-party cookies by default. Google controls over 63% of the browser market and plans to phase out third-party cookies by 2023. Marketers will no longer be able to rely on these cookies to generate consumer-level data, which will hamper their ability to create targeted ads.

Adapting to industry changes

The message is clear – advertising, in the years to come, can’t be based on privacy breaches or manipulative tactics. Instead, successful advertisers will have to produce transparent, ethical ads that speak to consumers authentically.

Know your audience. Different tech platforms and social media channels cater to different audiences. As a marketer, you need to understand which platforms are most widely used by your customers and make your ads compatible with the platform you’re using to advertise. Unwanted ads drive 84% of consumers away from the platform, with approximately 40% of baby boomers paying for premium subscriptions to avoid them. 

Platforms like TikTok and tools like Instagram Reels have incorporated ads into the content itself. Unlike YouTube, TikTok and Instagram ads are not disconnected from the underlying video content; rather, they assimilate the ads into the content itself. This kind of organic and informal approach to advertising is a better way to engage consumers. 

Contextual advertising. Unlike targeted advertising, contextual advertising does not rely on third-party cookies. It involves matching the content of a webpage with the content of your ad. This model is able to influence consumers’ purchase decisions by taking into account the interests that drew them to that webpage while respecting their privacy. 

Applications of machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) in advertising have provided marketers with numerous opportunities. It is these capabilities that enable the “reading” of webpage content for effective contextual advertising. A recent study by GumGum, a contextual advertising company, and SPARK Neuro, a neuro analytics company, found that ads that match the underlying page’s content generate 43% more neural engagement and 2.2 times better ad recall. Contextual advertising can mitigate the impact of declining third-party cookies and provide a potent alternative for marketers.

Keys to successful advertising

The digital transformation of the advertising industry has provided multiple opportunities and challenges. While it is easier today than ever before to reach a larger audience through multiple platforms, growing content competition and rising privacy concerns have required marketers to be more creative.

At its core, successful advertising involves knowing your audience and identifying the most effective platform to deliver high-impact ads to your specific target group.

Resources for learning more about advertising

The advertising landscape is constantly changing, so brands need to develop new methods of audience engagement on a regular basis.

Here are some helpful advertising resources to help improve your strategies:

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Why we care about AR and VR: A guide for marketers https://martech.org/why-we-care-about-ar-and-vr-a-guide-for-marketers/ Tue, 24 May 2022 14:30:18 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352507 Augmented and virtual reality technologies have the potential to revolutionize marketers' engagement efforts.

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If there ever were a golden word in marketing, it’d be evolution. As consumers access more advanced technology, old marketing strategies fail to impress them. This is why modern marketers need to adapt to the constantly changing media and technology landscape to appeal to customers.

Two innovations marketers should stay abreast of are augmented and virtual reality devices. Although their marketing applications are still growing, both these tools are already being used in many ways. For example, AR is being used to let buyers see what furniture would look like in their homes.

Likewise, marketers should also ensure accessibility and interoperability with other more traditional experiences. Not to mention, as concepts like Web3 and the metaverse start to become more mainstream, these technologies will play a much larger role.

While the marketing applications of both are still emerging, these experiences are being tested in a host of ways that customers are beginning to have exposure to. For example, online shopping experiences are becoming more augmented through smartphone apps.

This article will discuss the ideas behind these two technologies, their differences, and the various outcomes that can emerge through using them. We’ll cover:

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a self-explanatory term— it is a tool that augments or enhances our perception of our physical surroundings. It helps bridge the gap between the digital and the physical world by overlaying digital elements in our immediate environment.

This data overlay can range from simple elements such as the lines displayed in a car’s rear-view camera while reversing to more complex product presentations for B2B clients. 

With its significant interactive and engaging learning potential, it’s no surprise that the demand for AR has been exponentially increasing. As of 2021, AR’s market size was $6.12 billion, but it is expected to rise to a whopping $97.76 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 48.6%.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality (VR) uses devices like VR headsets to create a completely immersive digital experience for users. Unlike AR, which combines digital elements with our real surroundings, VR offers a virtual replacement for our physical environment. 

The idea of VR has been around for a pretty long time now. In fact, it debuted in the 1950s with Morton Heilig’s Sensorama and has been a staple of science fiction since the early 1930s. Modern VR, however, is still in its infancy.

That being said, the potential uses of VR are limitless. It has found applications in healthcare, entertainment, automobiles, education, and many other industries (we’ll get into specific cases later). The VR market is expected to reach $84.09 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 44.8%.

The differences between AR and VR

Although there are some overlaps between AR and VR applications, these technologies serve different purposes. AR seeks to enhance and add to the way we perceive our surroundings, while VR attempts to replace it altogether. However, it is important to note that AR and VR are not competitors; they complement one another.

It might be more cost-effective to use AR for some purposes than VR since the former does not require any additional devices or headsets and can often be operated through a regular smartphone.

customer interacting with VR marketing campaign

Examples of AR and VR

Both AR and VR find applications across many fields. This section will highlight some of their use cases across industries.

Augmented reality

AR in retail. Augmented reality tools can be used to recreate a 3D model of the item that customers wish to purchase. This 3D image can then be inspected in detail to provide customers with a better insight into the product.

Harley-Davidson is already leveraging augmented reality technology to enhance its customer experience. They have developed an AR demo offered in-store that lets users create photorealistic versions of vintage motorcycles. This app was created by Theia Interactive and is powered by Unreal Engine. Customers can zoom into the individual parts of the bike to look at a 3D-rendered model of them in a real-world environment.

AR in architecture and design. Architecture and design experts are using augmented reality tools in various stages of the production and development process. Apps like ARki can help non-architects understand the dimensions and layout of a building in the project planning phase by rendering a 3D model of the space. 

AR apps like Fologram improve real-time collaboration between on-site project managers and construction experts by enabling virtual meetings. Fologram can also act as a replacement for blueprints on construction sites by displaying the underground layout of the area, including pipelines and electrical wirings in 3D.

brands using AR to design infrastructure

AR in tourism. Augmented reality also holds a lot in store for the travel industry. It allows tourists to enhance their experience and perception of their surroundings by providing extra information about the place by simply scanning where the person is.

Apps like City Guide Tour are already making this dream come true. The app uses object recognition to provide information about popular attractions like museums, historical sites, and galleries. And all of this without the hassle of hiring a tour guide or looking everything up online. 

AR also allows travel agents to immerse their clients in the location they want to visit. Potential tourists can take a walk through the streets of Paris and see what cafés they might want to visit or even compare it to the sunny beaches of Ibiza to decide where to go for their next vacation.

Virtual Reality

VR in the automobile industry. Virtual reality devices enter the automobile market at two junctions— at the planning stage of the vehicle and when the customer is purchasing it. In both situations, the parties involved benefit from the ability to visualize the product up close without having the car with them physically.

While companies like Jaguar have been using VR to create prototypes of cars for over a decade, Ford has also recently revamped their design process to trade in 2D drawings for 3D VR models. This helps manufacturers cut down on the overhead costs as well as the time taken to design a car. 

Other automobile giants like Audi and Volkswagen have gone the Harley-Davidson way by allowing their potential customers to virtually sit inside the car they want to buy.

VR in psychology and mental health. As the emphasis on mental health grows, so do the tools that doctors have at their disposal. VR has emerged as a method for treating post-traumatic stress. People enter a re-enactment of the traumatic incident through a VR device to attempt to reconcile with the memory and start the healing process. 

Similarly, VR can be used to treat other mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. It allows patients to confront their issues in a virtual environment without having to come in contact with the things they fear.

UW-School of Medicine and Public Health is already researching the potential of VR to treat teenage mental health disorders. The study involves getting participants to play a video game that allows them to control their breathing patterns. These researchers then use the data to identify children who are most in need of care.

VR in the sports industry. Many athletes are now using VR to enhance their performances on the field. VR is mainly used as a training aid in sports like golf, athletics, football, and cycling. It can be used to gauge the technique and overall performance of an athlete to help them improve their game. 

NFL and college football teams are already integrating VR into their regular training schedules. It helps coaches and players recreate scenarios virtually to learn from previous instances. Additionally, even NASCAR drivers and professional soccer teams are using VR to retrace their mistakes in games.

VR can also be used to design better and more efficient equipment for sports. By using the technology to study stress patterns and durability of sporting equipment, companies can improve their products to better suit the athletes’ needs.

What are the tools and software that enable AR and VR?

There are many tools available to you online that can be used to develop AR and VR-based applications. However, you need to consider the kind of product you wish to market to decide which software you should use.

For example, your choice will vary depending on whether you want to develop marker-based apps or location-based apps, etc. So, you must choose the correct AR/VR software development kit (SDK) for your needs.

Here are some SDKs that may be useful to your brand.

Vuforia. Vuforia is one of the highest-rated AR SDKs that frequently feature on lists of the best SDKs on the market. There are several products under Vuforia, including Vuforia Engine, Studio, and Chalk.

The added advantage of this SDK is that it allows the creation of both marker-based and markerless augmented reality applications. Marker-based apps are those which need to scan a physical marker like a barcode or a tag to trigger an AR experience.

Wikitude. Wikitude is an SDK that can be used to develop location-centric AR experiences. It allows users to integrate geolocation and cloud recognition software into the app. Wikitude allows 3D location, image recognition, and tracking. It also enables video overlay and can be used on smart glasses.

Apple ARKit. Apple’s ARKit was introduced back in June 2017, along with the launch of iOS 11. Since it has been tailor-made for Apple devices, it can be used to create apps for iPhones and iPads as long as they have an A9 processor or better.

It is an extremely versatile tool that allows developers to create applications that allow for 2D image detection and tracking, recognition and placement of 3D objects, facial tracking, and detecting planes.

ARKit’s software uses a camera sensor and other auxiliary data to analyze user surroundings for motion tracking. It is also easy to understand as Apple releases updated tutorials for every new iOS update.

Unity 3D. Unity 3D is a tool used to create VR environments accessible to professionals and amateurs alike. Its popularity and intuitive display make it easy to learn, and its vast array of 2D and 3D assets saves time and effort in creating new characters and landscapes.

Since Unity has a large user base, most issues with the software can be resolved within the community itself. It is also compatible with many devices like Oculus Quest headsets, VR/Vive, Playstation VR, Gear VR, etc., and operating software like Windows, Android, and Mac OS, among many others.

Unreal Engine 4. Unreal Engine is the preferred SDK for most professionals to build games and VR simulations. The software ensures high-quality graphics with advanced and realistic features. It also has a reliable store of assets that includes animations, plugins, live training, and blueprints that you can access to build your VR environment.

Despite its highly advanced features, Unreal Engine is supported on several platforms such as Windows PC, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, and HTML5. It is also compatible with Head-Mounted Devices like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Gear VR, and Google VR.

How AR and VR can help marketers succeed at their jobs

AR and VR mark the future of the digital marketing industry. By virtually immersing your audience in the product you’re trying to sell, you can bring them closer to the product.

Grab customer attention

Using AR and VR tools will help you reach a large audience, collect information about them, and personalize your marketing strategy to their tastes. The novelty of AR and VR in marketing can also help raise interest in the product.

Improve product visualization

AR and VR can help potential customers visualize in 3D before buying it. This gives customers increased confidence in the product they are purchasing. In this way, marketers don’t have to physically reach their customers to give them an experience of the product.

Try before you buy

Marketers can also let users try on the products virtually before buying them. Warby Parker has already pioneered this technology by letting their customers check how different glass frames look on their faces using AR. 

Augmented and virtual reality technologies hold great promise for many industries across the world. They allow users to be transported into a world where they can virtually interact with a product without having to spend any money on it. In other words, AR and VR are game-changers. These two innovations represent an almost unprecedented customer experience.

Resources for learning more about AR and VR

Do you want to learn more about VR, AR, and their marketing applications? We recommend the following resources:

  • Getting the most out of AR and VR experiences: Digital and physical are becoming closely interwoven. Consumers steeped in online shopping are going to want digital experiences (and seamless discovery and checkout) in-store too.
  • Marketers: The metaverse is coming: The metaverse and Web3 aren’t here yet, but it’s time to start thinking about the positive opportunities they might create as well as the negative risks.
  • Become a metaverse marketing maven: Find out where you can get smart with online training on immersive media for marketing.
  • Google AR and VR: Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) bridge the digital and physical worlds. They allow you to take in information and content visually, in the same way you take in the world.

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Why we care about video advertising https://martech.org/why-we-care-about-video-advertising/ Wed, 18 May 2022 12:21:00 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352423 The power of video advertising is proven but engagement metrics are complex and differ from platform to platform. Here's our guide.

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Video has become an effective revenue generator for brands, especially on social platforms. In fact, digital video ad spending in the U.S. is up 50.8% compared to last year, with total revenues of $39.5 billion. Twitter receives over 2 billion video views every day, and 91% of active users watch videos on Instagram weekly. Clearly, having a video ad strategy is highly beneficial.

Customers are more responsive to video content than text, regardless of which channel it lives on. This can be credited to the fact that video content uses images, sound, and text to create an immersive experience.This can pose a new content creation challenge for marketers, though, and has led to the need for new tactics and technologies that focus on creating and executing video ad campaigns. 

However, comparing and analyzing video ad performance across platforms isn’t as easy as it may seem. The growing popularity of video ads has prompted many social media platforms to modify and expand their video ad options and metrics, so bidding, view counting, and reporting can vary significantly from platform to platform.

For instance, viewing a video for three seconds or more is considered a view on Facebook and Instagram. In contrast, watching a video ad for 11-30 seconds is considered a view on YouTube Trueview ads. Many platforms also follow the Media Rating Council (MRC) standard or variations of it (more on this below).

To accurately analyze and leverage video ad results, advertisers need to understand the way each platform counts and charges for video ad views since they aren’t all the same. That’s why we’ve created this guide to provide an overview of how video ads work across various platforms and how marketers can use video ads to their advantage. We will cover:

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What are video ads?

A video ad is generally a short, informative video that aims to help promote a product or service. These ads can be anywhere from a few seconds to over a couple of minutes long. They are expected to be a concise representation of what the product and brand stand for and what they offer to the customers. 

Video ads generally appear before, during, or after the non-commercial video content is played on video-sharing platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. However, they can also be a short standalone video that aims to push a product/service in an innovative way. 

How do video ad views work?

Platforms have different policies about how they display and treat their video ads. While some might consider a few seconds of viewing time as a view, others require users to watch the ad for a longer duration for it to count as a view. Engagement metrics also depend on what kind of ad is being shown to the user. An ad that plays before a video is usually treated differently from ads produced and published as standalone videos. This then affects the videos’ engagement metrics and how they will be promoted on the platform.


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What counts as a video view on each platform?

The Media Rating Council (MRC) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) define a video ad as viewable when at least 50% of an ad is in view for a minimum of one second (for display ads) or two seconds (for video ads). While some social media companies and platforms have adopted this standard, many have defined their own view measurement systems.

Here’s a look at how some of the biggest companies define video views:

Google and YouTube

The skippable TrueView ads running on YouTube and the Google Display Network consider a video as viewed in either of the following scenarios:

  • Someone engages with the ad by clicking on it or a CTA link.
  • Someone watches at least 30 seconds of the video ad if it is longer than 30 seconds.
  • Someone watches for the entire ad duration if it is shorter than 30 seconds.

Unique metrics to keep in mind 

YouTube focuses on simple engagement metrics like watch time, audience retention, and demographics. This means that for YouTube video ads, you need to tailor content that:

  • Keeps the audience engaged throughout the video.
  • Keeps the audience coming back to your account for more content.
  • Is being watched by people of the age, race, gender, and geographical demographic that it was made to target.

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and its subsidiaries, including Instagram, count a video as viewed for both in-stream and Stories video ads after three seconds of watching. However, you can choose to pay for video ads on either a cost per thousand (CPM) basis or a ThruPlay basis. 

When buying on a CPM basis, an impression is counted when one pixel of the video ad comes into view. On the other hand, with ThruPlay, it’s counted as a view when the video is played to 97% completion or for 15 seconds, whichever comes first.

Unique metrics to keep in mind 

Facebook and its subsidiaries give special attention to two engagement metrics: Reach and Engagement. Reach is the number of users/accounts that see your ad. These can be organic views from friends and followers, views from the video being shared by people to their followers, or by the platform’s algorithm suggesting it to viewers. Engagement is how many people like, share, and comment on your ad post. Facebook and Instagram ad strategies are largely tailored around optimizing both these metrics.

LinkedIn

For LinkedIn’s sponsored content, videos are counted as viewed when 50% of the ad is in view and plays for two or more consecutive seconds- on both desktop and mobile.

Unique metrics to keep in mind

Apart from the standard view count (50%), LinkedIn also counts views at 25%, views at 75%, and views at 97-100%. As the names suggest, these metrics count the number of viewers watching the ad till a specific point. LinkedIn also focuses on its full-screen views, which is the total number of clicks to view a video in full-screen mode.

TikTok 

On TikTok, it’s counted as a view as soon your video starts to play. If the video is on autoplay or loops, or a user rewatches the video multiple times, all of that is counted as new views too. However, watching your own video is not considered a view.

Unique metrics to keep in mind

TikTok counts your net views over the course of seven or 28 days. The counter is refreshed after every interval, but the initial watches count towards views and help the ad get more engagement so that they can be shown to a larger audience. TikTok also keeps track of how many followers your account gained within the last seven or 28 days and how many profile views it attracted.  

Some other video-sharing platforms with their own unique engagement metrics include the following.

Pinterest 

Pinterest uses the MRC standard definition of views, so it measures the total number of times someone watches your video with at least 50% of the video in view for two or more consecutive seconds.

The video ads on Pinterest are used to generate brand awareness and conversions campaign objectives.

Reddit 

Reddit also follows the MRC standard and considers a video viewed after the video is played for at least two seconds at 50% viewability. However, a full video view is counted after the video plays for three consecutive seconds at 100% viewability. You can pay on a cost-per-view (CPV) or cost per thousand (CPM) basis.

Snapchat 

Snapchat’s video ads play full-screen, typically with the sound on. It counts views after at least two consecutive seconds of viewing or a swipe-up action on the ad. Some ads also qualify as viewed after two seconds of consecutive watch time without the swipe-up action.

Twitter

Twitter has also adopted the MRC standard and considers a video ad viewed when 50% of the video is viewed for two seconds or more. It is also considered a view when the viewer engages with the video by expanding or unmuting it. In contrast, a 3s/100% view is when your video is played for at least three seconds in 100% view and a six-second view is when your video is played for at least six seconds in 50% view.


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Additional video metrics to consider

Many platforms offer more engagement metrics and view-counting mechanisms. For example, Google also tracks quartile watch time metrics and other key performance metrics such as click performance, engagement performance, and reach and frequency.

Facebook, too, offers quartile watch time metrics, showing how often users watched 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of a video ad. It also used to report two-second, three-second, 10-second, and ThruPlay views for all bidding options; however, in 2019, the social media giant revealed that ThruPlay would be the default buying option for video ad campaigns and view optimization. As a result, advertisers had to manually switch their 10-second video ad campaigns to ThruPlay to keep their campaigns up and running.

Reddit reports views at 25%, 50%, 75%, 95%, and 100% of video length, as well as the number of times your video is started and played for at least three seconds, five seconds, and 10 seconds. It also shows the percentage of users who watched your video and clicked.

YouTube counts engaged-view conversions for in-stream ads whenever a user clicks on the video ad or watches 10 seconds or more of the skippable ad. The number of clicks your video receives can help you understand how your ad appeals to its viewers. YouTube also offers quartile reporting, showing how often a video is played to 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.

How video ad measurement helps marketers succeed

Video ads are an excellent way to create immersive ad campaigns that work better with modern audiences. These ads help your company get its message across concisely while also establishing a familiar brand image that resonates with users. Marketers can leverage video sharing platform metrics to create content that is designed to reach a large number of viewers within days of the initial launch. This allows them to use social media algorithms for generating high revenue and excellent leads for their company. 

Additionally, studies have found that video messages make people happier than pure text, which can help break the overall negative mood of business inboxes. Marketers can use video ads to help their campaigns find a diverse, genuinely organic audience that is much more likely to engage with the ad and create loyal customers for the brand.

Learn more about video advertising 

Video is an engaging tool for marketing and creating brand awareness. It leads across the board as the most popular and effective format with the highest ROI.

Here are some helpful video marketing resources to help you learn more about the best solutions for your brand:

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How estimated reading times increase content engagement https://martech.org/estimated-reading-times-increase-engagement/ https://martech.org/estimated-reading-times-increase-engagement/#comments Tue, 10 May 2022 16:36:00 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=79830 Letting your readers know how much time it takes to read your content helps improve user experience.

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The advent of digital platforms has increased the amount of content people read on computers, smartphones, and tablets. The average person spends almost seven hours a day viewing internet-connected content on a screen, according to data from Comparitech. And it’s even higher in the U.S., with the average person spending over seven hours viewing screen content each day.

This shows that there are many opportunities to engage customers digitally, which is why it’s worth asking how much of their time is spent on your online content.

Estimated online reading time

Marketers can use advanced marketing analytics tools to determine how much time users spend engaging with your content. Customer traffic to your article can be thought of as a consumption funnel – starting with the total number of people who load the page and narrowing it down to those who start reading, reach the bottom of your article, and eventually hit the bottom of your page. These tools also show how much time the customers take to reach a particular point in the article. 

One example of these tools is Page Analytics from Google. This Chrome extension lets you analyze how customers interact with each page on your website. 

If these tools tell you a large number of people view your article but few reach the end, this might indicate a need to make your content more engaging. 

An effective way to encourage customers to read your article is to mention the estimated reading time. Showing site visitors how many minutes it takes to read your article can help convince them that the time commitment will be less than what they originally thought. This can lead to better engagement with your content.


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Why it’s worth mentioning reading time

Mentioning the estimated reading time of articles seems to have positive impacts – it can reduce bounce rates and increase time spent onsite. A study from Simpleview Europe even found that engagement rates have increased by up to 40% after reading times were added to the post.

There is also psychological evidence supporting estimated reading time mentions. In psychology, the “paradox of choice” is a phenomenon in which having a large number of choices can negatively impact your decision-making experience. This could play out within your audience, such as when readers wonder whether or not they have time to read your articles.

Intuitively, you might think the more choices you have, the more capable you are of choosing something that suits your needs. However, having too many choices can overwhelm customers.

Having fewer options can put less burden on customers. And, fewer choices ensure greater confidence in their decisions and lower chances of regret. 

If you can tell readers how long it will take to finish reading an article, your content will can become more enticing. This reduces the burden on readers to figure out how much time they need to invest. 

Knowing precisely how much time they need to invest helps customers set aside time to read your article. For example, if someone has 10 minutes to spare on their morning commute, and they know that the article is less than 10 minutes long, they will be more likely to read your article.

Calculating estimated reading time

There are multiple methods you can use to get an accurate reading time for your article. Depending on what suits you the best, you can either choose to do this manually or with an online tool.

Estimate manually

Research varies, but generally, the average adult reads 200-250 words in one minute. You can use this information to calculate the estimated time to read.

Here’s how:

  1. Find your total word count. Let’s say it’s 938 words.
  2. Divide your total word count by 200. You’ll get a decimal number, in this case, 4.69.
  3. The first part of your decimal number is your minute. In this case, it’s 4.
  4. Take the second part — the decimal points — and multiply that by 0.60. Those are your seconds. Round up or down as necessary to get a whole second. In this case, 0.69 x 0.60 = 0.414. We’ll round that to 41 seconds.

The result? A four-minute, 41-second read.

You can also round up that time to make things simpler for your reader. That would make your 938-word article a 5-minute read.

The most important parameter to keep in mind while using this method is the average speed of reading you are assuming. Depending on the complexity of your material or the audience type, this number is subject to change. For example, if you are talking about a straightforward subject to a knowledgeable audience, you can assume a higher number of words per minute. This allows you to customize the estimated reading type according to the context of a particular article.

Use online tools

There are many online tools that you can use to calculate the estimated reading time of your content. Read-o-meter is an easy-to-use online tool that lets you cut and paste your content into their dashboard. It will then give you an output of the estimated time to read your article. The tool assumes a 200 words per minute reading average. 

However, keep in mind that while 200 words per minute is the average, this number may have to be adjusted depending on your article and audience. If you think the average reading time for your audience is different, using the manual method might be a better option.

Other websites that help with these calculations are The Read Time and Words to Time. The Read Time calculates this speed based on an average reading time of 238 words per minute, whereas Words to Time uses an average of 130 words per minute for calculation.

Lastly, if you want to move a step further, you can also incorporate a reading bar in your article. This bar will show your users how much of the article is left to read as your readers keep scrolling down.

If your visitors know what percentage of the article they’ve read in real-time, it will encourage them to finish reading your article.

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8 companies that use social media marketing effectively https://martech.org/8-companies-social-media-right-marketers-can-learn/ Fri, 06 May 2022 18:10:37 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=198228 Are you reaching your audience on social media? Here are some of the most successful campaigns to use as inspiration.

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There are many emerging social media platforms that marketers would be wise to take note of. These new platforms enable digital marketers to better connect with their target audiences. For example, TikTok gains eight new users per second and claims the top spot in the global app download charts.

Other emerging platforms — like Twitch and Discord — are becoming increasingly popular, making them ideal tools to include in your marketing strategy. While these networks may have a comparatively smaller user base, they focus on different niches and are helpful for targeted advertising. For instance, these two platforms have large communities of online gamers.

Regardless of which platform you choose, you must engage your audience and capture their attention. This article will discuss eight modern campaigns that you can use for inspiration when marketing your brand.

TikTok’s Re: Make campaign

In July 2021, TikTok challenged its community to think about the most memorable advertisements in recent history and create their versions of the ads for its Re: Make campaign. The idea was to turn iconic commercials into TikTok shorts.

people taking part in Tik Tok's re:make campaign

The first brands to participate in the Re: Make initiative were Skittles, Snickers, and Old Spice. It was a great way for TikTok to stay in contact with big companies like these and get them to participate in future Re: Make campaigns. It also boosted engagement tenfold and led to tons of user-generated content. TikTok launched the campaign and let its users do the rest.

The brilliance behind Re: Make was that TikTok, despite being a platform for new-age content, had now briefly become a creative hub to reimagine the ’90s and 2000s nostalgia.

This campaign was a success because it combined the familiarity of growing up with an increasingly popular application like TikTok. This shows that content can be recycled and still have a massive impact.


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Anhueser-Busch’s “Let’s Grab A Beer” by Wieden+Kennedy

In 2021, American brewing company Anheuser-Busch came together with Academy Award-winning director David Fincher and musician Atticus Ross to create the excellent “Let’s Grab A Beer” campaign.

This ad creates an escapist reality wherein consumers associate the product with positive emotions.

The ad aired at the 2021 Super Bowl, and Anheuser-Busch continued to build on the initial success of its campaign by adding a call to action through its collaboration with the White House, giving out free beers to those who got vaccinated. This also enabled them to share user-generated content from social media at the same time.

This campaign combines the shared and common experience, the festive vibe of the Super Bowl, famous actors, and user-generated content. This creation of a collective and optimistic future using the free distribution of its product and user-generated content made this campaign an instant success.

LEGO’s Rebuild the World campaign by BETC

LEGO’s Rebuild the World campaign by BETC

The 2021 iteration of the company’s Rebuild the World campaign, named “The Damp Knight,” focuses on creativity in children – it celebrates children as experts in creative problem-solving. The commercial demonstrates what can be accomplished when individuals come together to solve problems and overcome challenges.

The ad follows a classic template: make the audience sympathize with the protagonist (the Damp Knight), trying to cross the river to see his friend, the bear. However, the conflict is eventually resolved when people of different occupations come together, using their varied skills to help the knight.

Although this campaign uses a rather traditional story, it shows that it can still be effective, depending on the context of your product. As a result, LEGO was able to market to both children and adults on social media and boost its overall revenue by 27%.

Starbucks’ in-store augmented reality experience

A Starbucks outlet in Shanghai became the first Starbucks to offer an augmented reality (AR) experience in its outlet. Customers have to download an app that enables them to unlock this experience. They can point their phones at key features around the roaster, like the cask, which will display new information, acting as a tour guide. Customers can explore the space and collect virtual badges. Once they order all, the customers receive a custom roastery social media filter to share.

Emily Chang, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Starbucks China, said, “We wanted to create a completely new brand experience for our customers. Coffee is already such a deeply sensorial experience, even before the first sip: from hearing the unmistakable sound of beans being freshly ground to inhaling that rich aroma and sipping your perfect blend, brewed just right. We wanted to take that customer experience even further.”

This campaign transforms a seemingly everyday experience into a unique and immersive experience. By leveraging trendy technology and the authenticity of your product, you can create an effective campaign that helps your business grow.

Coca-Cola’s metaverse campaign

The metaverse is a digital space where people can interact, play, work, and socialize. Many companies, such as Meta (formerly known as Facebook), invest heavily in developing the metaverse.

Coca-Cola has leveraged this exponential interest in the metaverse, especially by its younger customers, to launch a “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte,” which will “bring the flavor of pixels to life.” This drink will be launched in the metaverse before being available in stores.

The innovative marketing approach is proving to be effective as revenue per launch has increased by 30% and gross profit per launch by 25%, compared to previous years. 

Coca-Cola’s campaign demonstrates that tech will invariably play a significant role in innovative marketing techniques. By using disruptive technology and catering to the desires of its millennial customers, Coca-Cola has effectively combined tech, creativity, marketing, and product development to improve the returns on its campaigns.

Hershey’s Twitch campaign

Twitch is an interactive live streaming service for content spanning gaming, entertainment, sports, music, and more. Hershey’s started its campaign on Twitch in 2019. They advertised through video ads on Twitch itself, participated in TwitchCon, and sponsored two Twitch streamers, Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar, Ben, and “DrLupo” Lupo.

More recently, Hershey’s has continued its partnership with Twitch to promote its brand Oh Henry! They want to improve the brand’s relevance and become the go-to snack for gamers. With every purchase of the Oh Henry! Level up bar, customers receive “Bits” – an online currency that Twitch viewers can use to support streamers and get access to special features on the platform.

Kaetlyn Graham, senior marketing manager at The Hershey Company, noted, “Since Twitch reaches a highly engaged target and enables on-pack branding and video advertising, the partnership just made sense.”

Hershey’s figured out precisely what consumer segment they want to target and has effectively found the right platform to reach a highly engaged consumer base. Platforms like Twitch often have a sense of community, which can prove to be a highly lucrative source for promoting and developing your brand.

The ASICS NFT campaign

ASICS became one of the first sportswear brands to launch an NFT campaign. In July 2021, ASICS announced the ASICS SUNRISE RED™ NFT COLLECTION – a footwear release available via a digital auction.

NFTs – non-fungible tokens – allow owners exclusive ownership rights for a particular digital asset. Given that NFTs are non-duplicable and unique, brands can use them to further enhance their brand exclusivity and positioning on social media.

“At ASICS, we strive to be at the forefront of innovation in the sporting goods sector,” said Joe Pace, Head of Business Development, ASICS Running Apps. “So, while we are excited to drop the world’s first digital shoe release from a major sporting goods company, this is only the beginning. In coming together with some of the most creative and forward-thinking digital artists in the world through our new Artist-in-Residence program, our long-term vision is to push the boundaries of digital goods to inspire physical activity.”

Oscar Mayer’s Bologna Face Mask

Oscar Mayer is an American meat production company that has ventured into the skincare industry with its iconic “Bologna Face Mask.” Earlier this year, the meat company, a subsidiary of Kraft Heinz, released its unique product, which sold out within a few hours on Amazon.

The product’s branding and packaging were impeccable. The packaging mimics an Oscar Mayer deli meat box, except for a message written in giant red letters on the back that says “DO NOT EAT BOLOGNA MASKS.” Of course, the masks are not made of real bologna.

The goal of this social campaign was to evoke quirky childhood memories of nostalgia wherein kids in school would take bites out of their bologna slices to make eyes and mouths and stick them on their faces during lunchtime. It even encouraged customers to take selfies wearing the masks to foster engagement on social channels.

The eccentricity of the product, combined with the targeted social media marketing through YouTubers and beauty influencers, made this campaign an instant hit.

The key to learning from this campaign is that you can use your product or brand’s eccentricity to your advantage if you combine it with effective marketing. In this case, the quirky product worked well with the audience as it was marketed in a targeted manner through trendy influencers.

Brands should pay attention to social media

As the lines between real-life and virtual ownership continue to blur, brands can use social media to their advantage by launching technologically advanced products and keeping up with digital evolutions. It enhances the ability of a company to stay relevant and connect with customers who have already engaged with these new trends.

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Why we care about social media marketing: A guide for brands https://martech.org/social-media-marketing-the-ultimate-guide/ Tue, 03 May 2022 13:34:48 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=351486 Learn how to be successful with social media marketing – one of the most important channels across the digital landscape.

The post Why we care about social media marketing: A guide for brands appeared first on MarTech.

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Social media is still one of the most powerful marketing channels. Social platforms enable word-of-mouth, brand authenticity, brand trust, community and more. All of this comes with a degree of brand risk because it is very easy to stumble given the speed with which information travels on social media. More established platforms have also become more pay-to-play. Meanwhile, organic engagement is growing on newer platforms, especially through the use of influencers, allowing marketers to reach new generations of customers.

4.62 billion people worldwide use social media, and the social media advertising market’s worldwide revenue was $153 billion in 2021, according to data from Hootsuite.

While this may seem like a massive opportunity, it is becoming increasingly competitive. To succeed in social media marketing today, you need to be innovative in your approach. This can help you stand out from the plethora of brand competitors and competing influencers.

Many brands struggle to create engaging content that attracts their target audience. So, we’ve created this guide to give marketers a comprehensive overview of what social media marketing is and how it is evolving and shaping the future of marketing. We will cover:

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing refers to creating content to engage with audiences on social media platforms. The goal is to build your brand reputation, promote your products and services, connect and build community with new and existing customers, and drive traffic to your business.

Although social media marketing may seem simple on the surface, it involves multiple facets that impact the performance and outcome of your strategies. Additionally, there are often new social media platforms and features, and the social media marketing landscape is evolving constantly.

The components of social media marketing

In order to excel at social media marketing, marketers must understand and integrate the following core components into their process.

Strategy

A solid social media marketing strategy can make or break your business’s social media presence. Without a plan, you’re likely going to struggle to reach your audience and achieve your goals.

Marketers should ask themselves the following questions while formulating their social media marketing strategy.

What are your goals?

What business goals are you trying to achieve through your social media? For example, are you trying to reach new audiences, build brand awareness, boost conversion rates and sales, or just find a new way to communicate and share updates with your customers?

Which social media platform should you focus on?

Your strategy will differ based on which social networks your target audience spends most of their time on. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest are great for B2C marketing, whereas LinkedIn is good for B2B, and Twitter and YouTube are great for both.

These platforms appeal to a range of age groups and can serve different purposes. For example, TikTok’s primary audience includes Gen Z and millennials, and it is suited to short, creative video content and building brand awareness. Facebook has a strong appeal to millennials too, but less so to Gen Z. However, Facebook is the largest social medium platform in the world, with close to 1.93 billion daily active users as of December 2021.

What kind of content should you share?

What kind of content will engage and attract the most customers? Is it images, videos, GIFs, infographics, or website links? Does your audience prefer informational content, entertaining content, or a mix of both? It might be helpful to study your target audience and come up with a marketing persona to help you accurately answer these questions.

Answering these three questions will give you a clear idea of your goals and how to reach them. You should also set benchmarks to monitor progress and determine whether you need to modify or change your approach.

Planning and publishing

To build a strong social media presence, you must be consistent with sharing content. It’s good practice to plan content, whether it’s a blog post, image, or video, ahead of time rather than post spontaneously.

When you’re planning and publishing content, make sure to do the following:

  • Know your audience: Marketers need to know their target demographic to connect with them successfully.
  • Focus on quality: The quality of your content is as, if not more, important than the quantity. Marketers should aim to share the right content at the right time and with the right frequency to ensure maximum reach.
  • Consider your brand: Your content should stay consistent with your brand image and values.

A regular publishing schedule and great content ensure that people keep coming back to your page for more. There are many scheduling tools, such as Hootsuite, Canva and Buffer, that can help you stay consistent with your posting.


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Listening and engagement

As your page gains traction, people will comment on your social media posts, tag you in their social media posts, or message you directly. So after planning and publishing your content, take the time to engage with your audience as well.

While the feedback might not always be positive, it’s important to regularly monitor social media conversations about your brand. You should address questions, thank people, share positive comments and acknowledge and offer support to negative ones.

Reading and responding to audience reviews is a big part of designing a successful marketing campaign and significantly enhances the overall customer experience. It also helps you learn about new trends, gain valuable industry insights, track new income streams, and find new influencers and brands to collaborate with. You should build connections and strong relationships with other brands, sponsors, celebrities, influencers, and customers.

Analytics and reporting

To ensure you’re on the right path, it’s vital to utilize social media analytics tools to track and collect data. This involves:

  • Understanding user behavior.
  • Finding which platform works best for your brand.
  • Choosing the best time and frequency to post.
  • Analyzing competitors.
  • Refining your strategy.

Most social media platforms offer their own analytics tools for businesses and professionals. These allow you to track whether you’re reaching more users now than last month, how many tags you get in a month, how many users used your brand’s hashtags, etc. In addition, you can use external tools NetBase Quid, Sendible, and Feedly to track more detailed data.

Social media trends and user preferences are constantly changing. Monitoring your social media lets you know what works and what doesn’t and makes decision-making a lot easier. For example, if certain types of video content and audios receive double the engagement of other posts, leverage that.

Advertising

Social media advertising makes it easier to reach a broader audience beyond your followers and subscribers. Advertising is paid (i.e. content that costs money to post and share with users).

Audiences can be specified based on their demographics, interests, and behaviors. You can also use social media advertising tools to make mass changes to your campaigns, automate processes like responding to users, and optimize data analytics. It’s important to find which method works best for your brand and audience.

The future of social media marketing

The social media world changes faster than any other online space. Here are some social media marketing trends marketers should watch out for.

Virtual and augmented reality technologies

Many brands are engaging with customers through AR and VR. Marketers can use AR and VR technologies to offer a personalized and interactive experience. Customers can also use these technologies to try your products and services from the comfort and safety of their homes.

Here are some AR and VR examples used by companies to improve their social media interactions:

  • Photo filters by Snapchat.
  • Pinterest’s “Try on for Home Decor” AR feature.
  • L’Oréal Paris’ virtual makeup feature on their website.

AR and VR can improve customer experience and satisfaction, leading to more conversions and better retention.

Personalized marketing content

Personalized content is more important than ever. The more relevant your content is to your target audience, the more valued your audience will feel and the more encouraged they will be to engage with your brand. You can gather data regarding audience preferences and behavior through your social media analytics tools.

According to a study by McKinsey, 72% of customers said they expect the businesses they buy from to recognize them as individuals and know their interests. When asked to define personalization, consumers associated it with positive experiences and being made to feel special.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing refers to the process of using external content creators to communicate your brand’s messages and build brand awareness. It has grown a lot in recent years and has successfully helped drive engagement. In fact, the influencer marketing market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $13.8 billion in 2021, according to data from the 2022 State of Influencer Marketing report.

Influencer marketing is effective because consumers often trust recommendations from influencers and other users more than the brands themselves.

Ways to learn more about social media marketing

To effectively differentiate your brand from the crowd, you need to be innovative and leverage all the assets and tools available to improve your content and sharing process.

Here are some helpful social media marketing resources to help you choose the best solutions for your organization:

The post Why we care about social media marketing: A guide for brands appeared first on MarTech.

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Why we care about B2B marketing: A guide for marketers https://martech.org/why-we-care-about-b2b-marketing-a-guide-for-marketers/ Fri, 15 Apr 2022 14:08:36 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=351039 Learn what B2B marketing entails, how it differs from B2C, and what best practices marketers should be aware of.

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The B2B buyer journey is evolving rapidly as it becomes more digitized, less predictable, and more complex. The challenge for B2B marketers is to support what is now largely a self-guided journey involving numerous personas on accounts and increasingly expanding buying teams. Strategies that were once traditionally B2C are now being adopted by B2B marketers.

As companies speed up the adoption of digital processes and technologies, it is likely you will soon be interacting with increasingly tech-savvy customers. As a result, you can no longer appeal to buyers using traditional tools. Marketers need a more analytical and innovative approach to selling.

This article will walk you through various marketing strategies to help you reach your target business audiences and tell you about a few of the latest trends in the industry. Key points covered include:

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What is B2B marketing?

B2B marketing refers to the marketing strategies employed by firms selling their products and services to other businesses. In B2C marketing, companies sell directly to the end customers and are more transactional, with a higher volume but a generally lower price per sale.

B2B marketing often relies on educational content to communicate with business clients. This is because buyers seek expertise when dealing with other businesses, while consumers typically seek the best deals and most exciting products. So your marketing needs to be more personalized than it might otherwise be when targeting B2C customers. This difference often results in longer sales cycles for B2B marketing than for B2C marketing.

Types of B2B marketing

There are many different B2B marketing strategies. While companies tend to focus on B2B marketing channels that produce more leads, it may make sense to prioritize the ones that produce the highest ROI for your company. The following section lists a number of strategies that you can mold and adapt to suit your specific needs and target audience.

Email marketing

Email marketing has long been the mainstay of B2B e-commerce. It is a cost-effective and efficient way to reach potential clients and, as a rule of thumb, has the highest return on investment (ROI) in B2B marketing. It is this simplicity and high ROI that makes email marketing the cornerstone of any marketing operation. According to a study by Litmus, four out of five marketers find email marketing more essential to their operations than social media marketing.  

Email marketing gives you direct access to buyers without relying on any intermediate party, as is the case with search and social media.

As for B2B marketing, email marketing should be used in conjunction with other useful strategies like account-based marketing (ABM). ABM involves triaging potential accounts and optimizing your marketing strategy to target the accounts that are likely to be most valuable.

Ultimately, you need to remember that the most important element is to personalize the content for your audience. The more your clients feel valued, the more likely they are to use your services and keep coming back for more. Prioritize quality over quantity.


Everything you need to know about email marketing deliverability that your customers want and that inboxes won’t block. Get MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table.

Click here to check it out!


Content marketing

Content marketing strategies have consistently been one of the most reliable tools at a B2B marketer’s disposal.

If customers regularly see your firm as a source of top-quality industry content and thought-leadership, their trust in its products and services increases accordingly.

Remember that your content marketing isn’t restricted to written blogs; you should also focus on publishing e-books, white papers, images, infographics, GIFs, podcasts, and videos that you can share to engage and retain your audience. Webinars are not only an important part of a B2B content strategy, but excerpts can be re-utilized on websites and landing pages.

Social media marketing

Most successful businesses today have an online presence on at least one of the top social media websites. In the B2B marketing space, LinkedIn and Facebook are the most commonly used social media platforms, according to survey data from Databox.

Typically, firms use these platforms to achieve the same goals they seek to achieve through other forms of digital marketing — high engagement and advertising. However, to be successful on social media, B2B companies need to find a middle ground between creating engaging content and ensuring they don’t ruin their audience’s experience on the platform. To do this, marketers should identify the kind of content their target audience wants to see on social media platforms.

While developing and posting social media content, firms need to consider what their buyers’ collectives are after. Buyers’ collectives are groups of important stakeholders whose approval is mandatory if the company is to make any business purchases. They are an important audience that should not be overlooked while planning your social media marketing strategy.

Your social media content should also project values that align with the concerns of the buyers’ collectives of your target firms. Create content that is relevant to their needs and speaks the language of their industries.

You should also track your competitor’s social media marketing strategies and measure their success. However, while keeping tabs on your competitors is crucial, it doesn’t mean a parting of ways with original content. In order to catch buyers’ attention, your social media content needs to offer them something they haven’t seen before.


New features are making marketing automation platforms more powerful than ever. Learn about trends and capabilities of marketing automation software in the latest edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.

Click here to download!


Frequently asked questions about B2B marketing

B2B marketing is a straightforward concept, but marketers still may have some reservations about the process. Here are some of the most popular questions marketers have about B2B marketing.

What are the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing?

One of the main differences between these two forms of marketing is the target audience. B2C marketers seek buy-in from individual consumers while B2B marketers engage with decision-making teams’ brands.

Another difference is that B2B marketing tends to focus more on providing educational resources to customers to help them become better leaders in their respective industries.

What are the benefits of B2B marketing?

B2B marketing programs meet executive-level buyer needs via highly targeted promotions. These tactics can help marketers increase customer lifetime value and overall brand loyalty by speaking more effectively to their needs. This helps brands craft better customer experiences and reduce churn.

Brands who practice B2B marketing also get to engage with a growing market — one that’s expected to hit $18.57 trillion by 2026.

What are the types of B2B marketing platforms and software available?

Most B2B marketing platforms use automation technology to help professionals better scale their efforts. These platforms offer features such as AI-based predictive lead scoring, product recommendations, and ABM and social media campaign integration. Some of the biggest names in this sphere include Marketo, HubSpot and Salesforce Pardot.

What are the top brands in the B2B marketing space?

Many of the top B2B brands have been around for decades, helping pave the way for others in the space. However, several newer companies have become big players as well. Today, the B2B space is led by brands such as Adobe (which owns Marketo), HubSpot, Oracle and Salesforce, with many other leaders in the mix as well.

Top platforms specializing in ABM capabilities include Demandbase, MRP, 6Sense, Terminus and Triblio.

The future of B2B digital marketing

The growing number of brands in B2B suggests a bright future for marketers in the space. Yet, as we’ve seen over the past few years, a combination of societal factors has transformed the ways B2B marketing engages with customers.

Online events and interactions

The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered the format of events and interactions in the B2B marketing sphere. An increasing number of marketing events are now virtual or hybrid. And, 72% of marketing professionals expect to attend the same number or more once in-person events return, according to a survey conducted by Vimeo.

As buyers become more willing to access digital spaces, marketers must make the most of their potential. This includes expanding digital marketing strategies to the metaverse, which could be a great way to connect with millennial and Gen Z buyers as over half of both groups are interested in using the technology, according to a survey from Morning Consult.

For B2B marketers, the metaverse represents a unique opportunity to interact with a large audience at an unprecedented scale. It enables B2B vendors to provide remote assistance to their clients, create immersive training programs, and get involved in the production process right from the manufacturing stage.

The metaverse’s virtual reality capabilities also allow B2B marketers to give customers a 360-degree view of their product.

Leveraging AI in marketing

Artificial intelligence has the potential to be used in several stages of the marketing process, making it an invaluable asset for marketers in many ways.

Integrating customer data. Most brands interact with their clients both digitally and physically. AI can bridge the gap between these two modes of interaction and help you get a bird’s eye view of all customer preferences.

You can use AI-powered nurture campaigns to send personalized emails to individuals who may have visited the company’s website. AI can also be used to keep track of intent data, which enables marketers to understand a customer’s actions. This is preferred over clicks and download statistics since it gives you a better idea of whether the customer is willing to buy.

More efficient programmatic advertising. AI can also aid B2B marketers in segmenting channels to identify the most effective way to engage with potential buyers. Artificial intelligence completely revamps media buying and programmatic advertising through this process. This is essential for personalizing your advertisements.

Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing allows marketers to focus their efforts on best-fit accounts to boost conversion rates. In today’s highly competitive environments, marketers must make the most of the data they have at their disposal. ABM ensures that companies focus on the accounts with the highest potential ROI. This allows sales teams to prioritize boosting relationships with bigger accounts.

While account-based marketing is not a new concept, the abundance of information now available to prospective clients makes this easier to undertake at scale. In fact, the proper implementation of ABM can mean higher attributed revenues and lead to more conversions, improving marketing ROI.

Successful ABM requires a strong alignment between sales and marketing on which accounts to target and the ability to provide clients with a personalized experience.

The pandemic has re-emphasized that change is the only constant. B2B marketers must keep up with the latest trends in the industry to differentiate themselves and stay well ahead of the curve.


More B2B marketers are adopting account-based marketing than ever before. Find out why and explore the ABM platforms making it possible in the latest edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.

Click here to download!


Resources for learning more about B2B marketing

The B2B sector represents a compelling yet constantly shifting market for marketers. The proliferation of digital channels increasingly puts pressure on marketers to generate engaging content that can drive leads.

Here are some B2B marketing resources to help you choose the best solution for your brand:

Account-based marketing: A snapshot

What it is. Account-based marketing, or ABM, is a B2B marketing strategy that aligns sales and marketing efforts to focus on high-value accounts. 

This customer acquisition strategy focuses on delivering promotions — advertising, direct mail, content syndication, etc. — to targeted accounts. Individuals who may be involved in the purchase decision are targeted in a variety of ways, in order to soften the earth for the sales organization. 

Why it’s hot. Account-based marketing addresses changes in B2B buyer behavior. Buyers now do extensive online research before contacting sales, a trend that has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of marketing’s tasks in an ABM strategy is to make certain its company’s message is reaching potential customers while they are doing their research. 

Why we care. Account engagement, win rate, average deal size, and ROI increase after implementing account-based marketing, according to a recent Forrester/SiriusDecisions survey. While B2B marketers benefit from that win rate, ABM vendors are also reaping the benefits as B2B marketers invest in these technologies and apply them to their channels.

Read next: What is ABM and why are B2B marketers so bullish on it?

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Why we care about RevOps: A marketer’s guide https://martech.org/why-we-care-about-revops-a-marketers-guide/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 18:35:05 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=350365 RevOps seeks to maximize your brand's revenue potential by aligning departments and processes. Here's why organizations should consider implementing it.

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The siloing of marketing and sales has never been good for business, and organizations are starting to agree. That’s given rise to RevOps, short for revenue operations, which is a relatively new organizational structure that seeks to improve alignment between marketing, sales and customer success by bringing separate operation teams together, establishing one reporting line and driving common revenue goals.

The rise of RevOps comes as companies realize that providing a stellar customer experience across all interactions from marketing, sales and service is key to driving revenue. And as customer journeys become more complex and more digital than ever, an alignment model like RevOps can ensure all teams are operating with shared goals and strategies.

But while the high-level promise of organizing these teams in RevOps models is attractive, these are still in the early phase of adoption and are being embraced in different forms by different brands.

This article provides an overview of what RevOps is, why organizations are rapidly embracing the concept, and how you can start taking steps toward implementing RevOps in your organization. We’ll cover:

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

What is RevOps?

RevOps brings together people, processes, and data from across various departments in an organization, aligning them on three common goals::

  • Increasing profits by maximizing customer conversion and profit margin on sales. 
  • Cutting costs across various departments.
  • Finding new opportunities for revenue generation.

With RevOps, you have a dedicated function solely focused on analyzing and overseeing revenue maximization opportunities across the entire organization and customer life cycle.

What’s causing the rise in RevOps?

Traditionally, disconnected sales and marketing teams were the norm and seemed to be working well enough. Each department was expected to work toward meeting its own goals with little to no involvement in the financial and operational planning of another department.

However, this resulted in frequent miscommunication, duplicated efforts, and inconsistencies. Not to mention it only gets messier as you scale up and provide more offerings. There was a clear need for a better, more comprehensive business function that can maximize marketing budgets and user experience without causing big dents in the company’s operational budget.

RevOps is the perfect solution for this because it: 

  • Helps cut costs and save on the company’s overall expenditure. 
  • Looks for new opportunities for revenue generation.
issues revops is designed to tackle

How to ensure your RevOps team is successful

Revenue operations, like any other business function, needs to be implemented properly or else it runs the risk of failure. A survey of 270 B2B professionals in the US by RevOps automation vendor Openprise suggests RevOps is falling short and has yet to solve the long-established problem of aligning sales and marketing teams. So, how do you ensure your RevOps strategy is successful?

Let’s start with their fundamental structure. RevOps aims to link marketing, sales, and customer success. Both that doesn’t mean the entirety of those teams is linked into one gargantuan RevOps team. Rather, RevOps teams are compiled by linking key operations talent from within sales and marketing and organizing them into a single operating team.

The success of your RevOps team relies on their ability to act on three important pillars.

Strategy

The RevOps team’s job is to ease processes, find more efficient connections between the siloed departments, and detect pain points. It can do this by strategizing actionable, well-defined plans that are also goal-oriented and effectively communicated throughout the organization. 

Keeping your internal and external stakeholders in the loop and ensuring all departments work toward a common goal can help them make better decisions. The RevOps team is also expected to run regular analyses which evaluate market trends and opportunities. These can then be used to shape your business strategies and the actions of different departments. Simply put, supply your RevOps team with tons of market data. It’ll help them make better-informed decisions.

Process

Your RevOps team is also in charge of ensuring that all areas of the organization are running smoothly. A well-defined strategy leads to a smooth business process that ensures maximum efficiency and minimal usage of money and manpower. It’s up to the RevOps team to develop a smooth business process, communicate clearly with all teams involved, and regularly assess each step for effectiveness and potential areas of improvement.

If steps of the process are missed, or stages are out of order, it could ultimately result in inefficiency, delays, added costs, and customer dissatisfaction.

Insights

Insights allow for a consistent feedback loop regarding the above-mentioned strategies and processes. It provides answers to the questions: What are we doing? Is that working for the company? Is there scope for improvement? What other aspects of the strategy and process could be influencing our outcomes?

As mentioned above, industry insights are all about good data. These insights inform your RevOps team of current trends and how (and to what extent) they can be leveraged to help your business. Ultimately, RevOps is about finding and maximizing business opportunities.


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The benefits of RevOps implementation

People, processes, and information working in isolation within an organization can lead to many problems like duplicated efforts, miscommunication, inconsistencies, and inaccurate financial projections. Here’s how RevOps can help solve this:

  • Alignment: By bringing together customer-facing departments like sales, marketing, and customer service, businesses can focus on shared goals across departments. It can also ensure that the results of every campaign and customer initiative are measurable from beginning to end.
  • Simplification: Employing RevOps simplifies collaboration, removes conflicts and silos amongst departments, and allows for better communication and data to support team members, empowering them to make better decisions and achieve better outcomes. This boosts overall efficiency and creates a better customer experience. 
  • More accuracy: Forecasting also becomes more accurate, as information is accessible across departments. Having a special RevOps team can make it easier for different teams to collaborate and come up with robust business strategies.
  • More strategic use of technology: RevOps can help a company make better use of its technological resources. It can increase conversion, shorten sales cycles, and improve forecast accuracy by using AI and automation to boost accountability across the customer-facing teams.
  • Better culture: When you use RevOps to bring teams together and share information, you’re redirecting to transparency and data-driven teamwork. There is a common goal and measurable results that everyone can work toward, preventing conflicts regarding blame or credit.

Ultimately, all of these benefits result in higher success rates and shorter sales cycles, which, in turn, translates to higher revenue and growth.

Frequently asked questions about RevOps

Here are some of the most popular questions marketers ask regarding RevOps.

What is the difference between RevOps and Sales Ops?

Sales operations focus on facilitating sales functions and allowing sales representatives to focus on selling.

On the other hand, revenue operations is about making the entire revenue-generating side of the business more effective at what they do. It works by centralizing four previously disconnected departments, including sales operations, marketing operations, customer success operations, and systems. RevOps is not only about achieving revenue goals but also about providing a positive experience for employees and customers.

What problems does RevOps solve?

Although RevOps focuses on maximizing brand revenue, its benefits go beyond this function. A well-trained RevOps team can resolve a whole host of problems, from improving data quality to building more sustainable work processes.

RevOps builds processes at every stage. RevOps teams help brands unify processes across every department by aligning their functions with campaign goals. Aligning these processes can also help prevent discrepancies in communication, helping craft a consistent and excellent experience for customers. 

It addresses inconsistent data and duplicated efforts. RevOps can help marketers identify data issues such as duplicate contacts, inconsistent records, and more. This can help it track the flow of (and any leaks in) revenue throughout the organization.

It breaks down departmental and data silos. RevOps facilitates the breakdown of company silos by tying the revenue success of every department together. It can help resolve disputes between departments by creating a collaborative mindset with a unified goal.

How do you measure the success of RevOps?

​​RevOps is a collaborative, customer-centric approach to maximizing a business’s revenue potential and minimizing leaks. To measure how well your RevOps team is doing, you should turn toward a constant feedback loop and transparent sharing of information. However, the size of your venture and the length of the project would also play a role in gauging RevOps success. 

Ideally, you can track progress by assessing your short-term and long-term revenue goals. You can align short-term goals with your company’s strategies, which can then be divided into actionable parts. The outcome of these actions can be measured, with reference to your goals, through a goal-setting framework.

Long-term goals are slightly more complicated to measure and involve various analyses, such as evaluating your pricing, competition, sales funnel, and churn:

Pricing analysis. Knowing your company’s pricing history can help you understand how customers view your product. It can also help you understand whether you can increase prices without losing customers.

Competitor analysis. It’s also helpful to understand what your competitors are doing. This doesn’t have to influence your pricing, but it can help you reevaluate your selling strategy and revisit your value proposition.

Sales funnel analysis. This allows you to focus on revenue leaks by identifying the barriers to successful conversions. Knowing this information can help your team understand why there is a drop-off at a certain stage and take corrective measures.

Churn analysis. This helps you understand why customers aren’t coming back for repeat business. It may be the case that you have a solid selling strategy, but your product just isn’t good enough. If that is the case, it makes sense to invest time in improving your product before trying to sell more.

How to make the transition to RevOps

According to Gartner, 75% of the top companies in the world (in terms of growth) will deploy a RevOps model by 2025. Plus, the number of “director of revenue operations” and “VP of revenue operations” job titles is rapidly increasing. 

Are you wondering how you can join the ever-increasing number of companies using RevOps? Here are a few ways: 

Audit your processes to find areas of disconnect between departments. Gather and align all your existing data with your customer’s lifecycle stage and create a plan to fill in any gaps. Audit the technology you use in each of your customer-facing departments to ensure that they’re accurately tracking data.

Define your lifecycle stage definitions for your team. Evaluate your data to ensure you’re getting insights into the entire 360-degree customer journey and the financial health of your business. In addition, regularly audit your tech stack to identify and combat any redundancies and discrepancies, and brief your team about the impact RevOps processes have on various aspects of a company’s revenue.

Improve your customer experience. Put together a plan for improving customer acquisition, relying on inbound sales strategies, follow-up emails, and outbound sales outreach emails. Build a RevOps dashboard that highlights your current problem areas.

Maintain consistency with your RevOps growth strategy. Set regular RevOps check-ins to maintain alignment by reinforcing revenue and growth goals with marketing, sales, and service heads to ensure that they’re all on the same page. Create and follow an implementation plan to boost the adoption and optimization of your RevOps strategy.

Resources for learning more about RevOps

Maximizing revenue operations for your organization is no simple task. But, with a qualified team and the right assets, marketers will have a greater chance of achieving their goals.

Here are some helpful RevOps resources to help you choose the best solutions for your organization:

The post Why we care about RevOps: A marketer’s guide appeared first on MarTech.

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