• Russ Fradin
    Russ Fradin on July 29, 2014

    Why Employee Advocacy Matters

    Employee advocacy is an emerging new marketing strategy where companies empower their influential employees to authentically distribute brand approved content, create original content, and in turn earn recognition and rewards for their activity and participation.
  • alexmoffit
    Alex Moffit on September 4, 2014

    John Doerr on OKRs and Goal Setting at Google and Intel [VIDEO]

    “Ideas are precious, but they’re relatively easy. It’s execution that’s everything,” says John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the man who introduced Objective & Key Results (OKRs) to Google. Google widely credits OKRs for helping the company grow from 40 to 40,000 employees. Other businesses including LinkedIn and Twitter have also embraced OKRs. Hear Doerr explain how the OKR process gets teams pulling together by surfacing what matters most, and how a powerful goal system from BetterWorks is leading organizations to operating excellence.
  • Greg Gerik
    Greg Gerik on September 15, 2014

    Shaking Up Social: Attending the Social Shake-Up in Atlanta

    Last year, the Social Shake-Up was one of the best social conferences to attend and this year promises to be even better. Here are a few of the hottest topics and sessions at the Shake-Up this year that are sure to deliver and drive this industry forward.
  • If there is a new emerging paradigm for business, it is SMAC. Social, Mobile, Analytic, and Cloud based business models are becoming a hotter trend in digital marketing networks.


    If there is a new emerging paradigm for business, it is SMAC. Social, Mobile, Analytic, and Cloud (SMAC) based business models are becoming a hotter trend in digital marketing networks. Intuitive business owners are embracing the SMAC as a convergent force that could drive their business thrusts towards productivity. SMAC-based enterprises are able to develop an enticing customer engagement process and it consequently unfolds vast revenue opportunities for business.


    The internet has created a door for the proliferation of technology applications such as open source platforms that can be used for various business strategies. With this door of opportunity open, innovative business solutions became available. Integrating various platforms for business applications, the SMAC business model emerged.
     

    Image credit: exuberantsolutions.com

    What is SMAC for business solution?

    The SMAC uses four drivers of digital marketing innovative channels, namely social, mobile, analytic and cloud. Combining these four drivers for business productivity gives you a holistic solution in transforming your organization as a highly functional and productive entity with the capability of managing future business challenges.

    Social sharing enhances your business popularity in the social networks through the rapid sharing of your business products and services. Social marketing also enhances the collaborative knowledge for your business where your brand interacts with potential customers, giving them the opportunity to share feedback and insights on how to improve your products and services. From these activities, you can harness valuable data coming from your customers that can help you build better marketing strategies for your business.

    Mobile technology reinforces your business ability to connect with your customers. With about 60 to 80 percent of consumers using their mobile devices for shopping and looking for services online, you can boost your potential revenues by embracing mobile marketing as part of your business marketing strategy. Using mobile devices, the consumer enters the mobile marketplace where shopping can be done with ease.

    Using analytics to your business can enhance your supply chain and reinforces your ability to improve customer experience to your business. Using big data, you can extract valuable information that can enhance customer engagement with your brand, products or services. You can use data as business values to work on using analytics to acquire significant guide in marketing decisions.

    Cloud computing is another valuable driving force that offers businesses a cost effective way of building flexibility and enterprise agility for better productive outcomes for business. The cloud technology helps create a more cost effective IT ecology and infrastructure for organizations with the ability of businesses to cut down the costs for maintaining a physical server.

    Creating your SMAC business model

    SMAC

    Image credit: http://www.collaborative.com/

    Creating your own SMAC business model can be quite a challenge. For most organizations, the process is overwhelming. Indeed, building a SMAC business model can be daunting owing to the complex processes involved, more significantly because of the constantly evolving web based business environment. Every digital marketer needs to take a more systematic approach when designing their own SMAC business model, taking into consideration the following:

    1. Consider your business objectives and resources.
    2. Implement a more realistic initiatives to drive your business marketing strategies
    3. Discover your business capability in using SMAC and explore every aspect of benefits that can be derived from each.
    4. Link with technology partners that can help you manage your SMAC based marketing campaigns in a constantly changing SMAC environment.

    Every business has different marketing goals. You can implement yours by using the following techniques when creating your SMAC based business model.

    Build your business as a platform

    Most businesses create a pipeline where they launch their business with products and services to offer to their customers. In a SMAC based business model, you need to create your business not in the pipeline model, but more on the platform model where instead of offering your products and services for others to use, you make a reverse effect where you make people come to you in order to use your product or services. For instance, television channels are built on a pipe business model where it offers various television shows for people to watch. However, YouTube operates in a platform model where people seek its services to upload their own videos. In this regard, your business in a SMAC based environment will never falter to earn revenues because social, mobile, analytics and cloud channels remain relevant to your business.

    Transition from transaction to interaction

    Current business models are focused on transactions. However, a SMAC based business will likely stand longer by transitioning their business approach from transaction to interaction. SMAC applications are more relevant to customer engagement. As a matter of fact, it is about how your business connects with people, understanding what they think and how they feel about your business. This makes your business more customers centric where you get to build more personal relationship and connection with your customers instead of a mere formal transaction with them. After all, interacting with people is the essence of modern business applications these days such as social media apps, web logs and usage data.

    Customizing customer engagement

    Customization of your business according to your customers’ needs may be an expensive marketing approach. However, by using SMAC based business models, you take a more cost effective direction in integrating personalized customer engagement to your business. By using data analytics, you are enabling your business to gather vital information about your customers that will help you obtain better insights about them. Using the analytics report, you can create a marketing model that will tend to specifically address your customers’ needs and preference using a SMAC based business solutions.

    If you need assistance in growing your digital marketing strategies in a highly competitive web based environment, our digital marketing solutions can help you. Digital Warriors can provide the following services to help grow small businesses: marketing analytics, social media marketing, search engine optimization, IT consulting and web design and development. Talk to us now!

    Photo Credit: Business Models/shutterstock

    There were an estimated 3.9 billion email accounts in 2013. The majority of email comes from business correspondence, accounting for over 100 billion sent and received each day.

    There were an estimated 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide in 2013. The majority of daily email comes from business correspondence, accounting for over 100 billion emails sent and received each day. As the predominant form of communication in the business world, it's important to know how to use it effectively. This infographic from whoishostingthis takes a closer look at how to write better emails.

    Here are a few tips:

    Re-read before sending. Twice: This will help you catch typos and make sure you've addressed everything.

    Write with a respectful tone: Don't use emoticons, unless you know the person very well, and know you can use a relaxed style.

    Be mindful of Reply All, CC, and BCC: Make sure you're sending the message only to people you intended to receive it.
     

    • Use Reply-All when: Trying to set up a meeting with a few people and everyone needs to know everyone else's availability.
    • Use CC when you need to say FYI: When you CC someone, you don't expect action on their part. You're just letting them know what's going on.
    • Use BCC when: Sending out a bulk email and you do not want everyone's email addresses to be visible in the To or CC line.


    There' more in the full visual. Take a peek:

    A Beginner's Guide to Writing Perfect Emails #Infographic #marketing

    Article hat tip: entrepreneur.

    One of the most pressing questions facing organizations today is this one: How do we connect with the outside world of customers and buyers today?

    One of the most pressing questions facing organizations today is this one: How do we connect with the outside world of customers and buyers today?

    It is not an easy question to answer. Recently, we have had several studies, including those by Forrester and the Content Marketing Institute, which suggests companies have been struggling to connect with their customers and buyers. Finding many organizations and marketers believe their content marketing and B2B marketing efforts are only effective well below forty-percent of the time.

    The sobering news is the needle of effectiveness has not moved very much in the last few years and continues to struggle to break the forty-percent ceiling. This is despite the marked increase in spending for content marketing, digital marketing, and marketing automation.

    Held Captive By Business Assumptions

    Companies who often struggle to connect with the outside world of customers and buyers can look to a common problem. Which is, many times organizations can be held captive by a set of assumptions on how the world works as well as views of their customers. The “disconnect” arises when these assumptions directly oppose how customers and buyers view how the world works. When organizations only focus on business intelligence, this limits their view of the outside world. And, never really knowing what reality looks like.

    Businesses need to breakthrough this captivity – and soon. According to a Fortune Knowledge Group recent study done in collaboration with the agency gyro:, surveying 720 U.S.-based senior executives, nearly 65% of executives today rely on subjective human insights oriented values for decision-making today. Meaning less and less on business intelligence and analytics. Also, meaning more reliance on intuition, emotions, company culture, goals, reputation, and situational fit.  Suggesting business decision-making is becoming extremely personal.  Below is an interesting infographic summarizing the study:

     

    only-human_0

    In the past dozen years, since originating buyer persona development, I have conducted well over a 1,000 buyer interviews. What I have witnessed is the reliance on subjective factors and emotions trending upwards. Recent studies by Google and the CEB also validate this emerging reliance on emotional factors for decision-making. Thus, if you are guided by misinformed assumptions related to buyer personas being based on business intelligence, you are being misguided away from the factors your customers and buyers are truly basing their decisions on.

    Listening And Connecting To The Outside World

    For marketing to be able to connect with the outside world of customers and buyers today, they must be guided by human insights. Guided by understanding the human story behind business problems as opposed to total dependency on fact-based business intelligence.

    While business intelligence related to knowledge of strategic initiatives, buying criteria, risks, and performance success factors help drive sales effectiveness, human insights paves the way for a deep connection to the human story of customers – allowing for marketing effectiveness.

    How do organizations build into their DNA and way of thinking, the human abilities of listening and empathy? This is an important question for after years and years of engaging in business speak and business assumptions, organizations’ views of customers have become dehumanized.

    One company and executive leading the way in answering this question is Marc Mathieu, Global SVP of Marketing for Unilever. In this interview, he discusses the importance of listening, empathy, and understanding the human story:

    Basic Human-Centered Principles

    For marketing to practice listening and empathy, there are three basic human-centered principles to keep in mind:

    Focus on human insights. While sales-centric intelligence and business insights are important, companies cannot lose sight of the growing importance of gaining human-centered insights. This is especially true when you consider the growing trend of 65% or more of executives relying on subjective human factors in making critical decisions.  If your research and buyer personas are not accounting for human factors and insights, then they are not providing you with the human-centered understanding needed for buyer personas to be effective.

    Understand immersion. Business today must not only look at the outside world of customers, they must become immersed in this world. The status quo based on assumptions mentioned above prevents many organizations from opening up avenues for immersive experiences.  Immersion calls for new means of research and understanding the use of customer ethnography.

    Develop human-centered approach.   Many companies are still stuck in a business-centric mode of operating. Lacking real connection to the world of their customers. Some have made leaps to a buyer-centric mode of thinking. A buyer-centric only approach can still fall far short of having a human-centered approach to understanding the human story of buyers.  Buyer personas, since their origins, have been based on human-centered innovation principles – and can be effective at communicating the human story of customers and buyers.

    The Human Story

    We are undergoing profound changes in the purposes of marketing. To succeed in the future, marketing will not only need to understand the human experience but also must be able to add value to the human experience. To do so, new skills sets in marketing will undoubtedly include capabilities to understand the human story of customers. And more importantly, to know how to add as well as contribute value to the human story of customers.

    Are you evolving to be a human-centered marketer?

    Photo Credit: Human Centered Marketing/shutterstock

    Should you tweet, like, snap, or comment? This infographic breaks down the most popular social networks into digestible snippets, describing how they can be utilized, as well as highlighting their pros and cons. Learn how to best leverage each platform & start socializing!

    With all of the social media outlets available today, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to focus on. Should you tweet, like, snap, or comment? This infographic, Social Media Cheat Sheet (For Users) breaks down the most popular social networks into digestible snippets, describing how they can be utilized, as well as highlighting their pros and cons. Learn how to best leverage each platform & start socializing! 

     
    Likeable_Blog_Infographic

     

    Did we miss anything? Add your own pros and cons for each network below!

    Content marketing is on everybody’s radar, right? Well, if it isn’t, it should be–if you are interested in internet marketing at all.

    Content marketing is on everybody’s radar, right? Well, if it isn’t, it should be–if you are interested in internet marketing at all. Content is what makes your site unique and differentiates your message from all the rest of the messages everybody gets hit with, so it’s important to pay attention to what you are saying to the world. It’s kind of ironic that “content marketing” is a trend because, in reality, the point of marketing has always been what you are saying to the world and how they are perceiving your message.

     

    Who, What & How

    Who is your audience, and who is your spokesperson? Probably the most important thing about marketing is knowing who your audience is. If you haven’t worked on developing buyer personas or some other way of knowing your customer, how will you know how to reach them? And your spokesperson is the persona or voice your site and all communications have. If your business doesn’t have a consistent “voice,” you are missing out on a great way to communicate and connect with people. What is your voice? It’s how you say the message, the words you use, the tone…all the things that make it sound like a person wrote this instead of a robot.

    What is your message? Is it relevant right now? Can they hear this message from anybody else? Can they hear it expressed as clearly and helpfully somewhere else? There’s a lot of noise out there, and many marketers are saying the same things. If you say what they want to know in a way that connects and it’s easy to access, yours will be the content and message they choose.

    How are you going to make this content and message accessible? There are two sides to good content marketing. The creativity that develops all the content and the various messages is usually not the same person who is great at analyzing the data. I think a content team is one of the best ways to do content marketing, because together you create a much better message than one individual can possibly accomplish on his or her own.

    Photo Credit: Content Marketing/shutterstock