Tag Archives: B2B Marketing

SnapChat for B2B Tech – Say What?

Since its release in 2011, SnapChat has been known as a fun way for young people to goof around and send non-committal messages to their friends. The platform is based on the idea of a 24-hour cycle – no image lasts longer than a day. Nothing you post will last forever, a conundrum that has been a staple of the Internet since its beginning, plaguing those who’ve made poor decisions in the past.  Of course, SnapChat isn’t just for the individual user. Numerous consumer brands use the channel to engage with current and potential customers, using the same tactics that SnapChat was invented for – to have a lot of fun and then move on.

‘Well that makes sense,’ you say, ‘but it’s hardly applicable for serious B2B technology companies looking to build relationships and brand awareness with customers and prospects. Surely vendor companies selling to business audiences are not on SnapChat, right? I mean, why would they bother?’

The SnapChat Difference
Think about this: companies are not people themselves, but they are made up of people. Individuals. SnapChat has over 180 million users every day with 10 billion people having an account on the app at any time. It’s safe to assume that at least some portion of these users work for companies that are clients or potential clients of B2B companies. Bloomberg even claims that SnapChat has more active users than Twitter.

The demographics on SnapChat might, in popular culture, appear to be just teenagers, but research shows that 41% of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. use SnapChat daily. So while SnapChat’s primary users might be perceived as teens below 18, a large portion of users are older and are starting their careers in a variety of industries.  This is not that different from the Facebook effect where social pass-along or sharing of media coverage by individuals being written about or quoted in the news makes the channel a major amplifier of earned media coverage.

Beyond the numbers game (considering an account is free to create and has the benefit of these high audience numbers), SnapChat offers special features that can improve engagement. With geofilters and the 24-hour rotation, SnapChat is positioned to offer new opportunities for B2B companies. These features can keep companies relevant with trends, able to cycle new posts every day, and be in the know with hot topics from filters that often have nods to pop culture like movies and music festivals.

Making a SnapChat account is easy enough. Knowing how to use it is a whole other beast to tame. Consider three major uses for SnapChat: integrated communications, engagement, and recruiting.

Integrated Communications
This seems like an obvious one, but consider the value from SnapChat when used as part of an integrated campaign. Cross-channel promotion is one of the strongest benefits SnapChat offers. B2B companies can post with tags that lead viewers to other social platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

Building one-on-one conversations with users, regardless of where they are., means B2B companies can engage decision makers and innovative thinkers anytime, anywhere. You can showcase your products, your company, your tech, your people as an individual experience for each viewer.

Demoing your product becomes a personal experience too. SnapChat can offer video demos that aren’t stale. These videos act as live action demos. Users opt in to engage with the demo by way of simply watching it.

Consider the last time your B2B company sent out a press release. It goes out online and reaches reporters and analysts. But it’s a slow go. You have to wait for stories to be written, wait for briefings to happen. SnapChat gives you the chance to fill that time immediately. You can post brief interviews about the press release, share a  video of it officially going over the wire, showcase the product or service or partnership that’s at the center of your release. SnapChat integrates the instant feedback loop of social media with the traditional style of reporter outreach and pitching.

You can even schedule your posts with StoryHeap, just like you’d use Hootsuite for other social. You’ll not only be able to time your posts but you can archive your stories and access analytics like views, screenshots, open rate and complete rate. That means that you can have a social plan that utilizes the quirkiness of SnapChat with the momentum of your brand’s current social campaigns.

SnapChat also excels in providing individual viewers with exclusive access not only to product demos but thought leaders. Take Mark Suster (@msuster on SnapChat), a VC with Upfront Ventures, for example. Suster has invested in a variety of companies and has years of financial and marketing advice in the startup realm to draw from. He uses SnapChat to pass these tips on to an audience of executives, entrepreneurs and anyone who can make a SnapChat account. This one-on-one access provides high level thought leadership in a casual, low-stakes environment. Suster has even kept an archive of his stories at snapstorms.com.

Individual potential clients can be a part of the daily operation of a B2B company through exclusive interviews, insider scoops and event or tradeshow video.

Utilizing geofilters from industry events not only provide the audience with a view into where and how the company is engaging with an industry, but also showcases company observations and insights gained at these events, where not everyone can attend in person. Including insider scoops from these events makes SnapChat, users, who could be current or potential customers, feel included and in-the-know while further establishing your company as a thought leader. Take DocuSign’s (@DocuSignInc on SnapChat) custom geofilter at Domain-Specific Modeling in 2016. Attendees were able to simply add the image overlay to their stories and have bought into the brand’s storytelling. Not only did the user engage with DocuSign but every viewer of their stories – their friends on SnapChat – saw the geofilter too.

Bringing these kinds of events directly to SnapChat users can make them feel like a part of the company’s’ activities in real time. They see where you’re going. They see what you value. They understand your brand as more than just a name. Your enterprise and everyone who contributes to it, projects a personality. Doing things like showcasing your employees or your facilities like IBM (@ibm on SnapChat) did in their SnapChat stories, can make your company feel relevant to viewers. In the B2B world, this can differentiate your company from others who may focus relentlessly on products and engineering specs before they engage and build context for a relationship.

By displaying the daily work of a company, SnapChat can help you showcase your employees as real people. Potential employees get to see what it’s really like to work for your company. You can show – versus simply talking about – company perks, culture and philosophy. Professionals in all stages of their careers can see the value in working for your company.  And who doesn’t have a recruiting challenge these days whether it’s for engineers or masterful marketers.

A great example of this is Cisco’s “WeAreCisco tribe.” This recruiting and careers team took over the Cisco company SnapChat (@wearecisco on SnapChat) in 2016. They kicked it off with a blog post to generate awareness and excitement, providing a preview of what viewers might see. Cisco featured employees at annual events, working in the office and exemplifying the Cisco brand. They had one major goal: showcase what it’s like to work at Cisco and encourage others to work there too.

Beyond reaching potential employees, other professionals in your client target industry can see your business environment. Decision makers at companies that buy B2B services can be recruited as new clients simply by seeing how well a company is run (in addition to the product/service demos, of course).

Using SnapChat as a recruiting channel can break through some of the hype found in the tech world, and help establish your company as an authentic voice. Just like the audience, a B2B company is made of individual people – maybe even SnapChat users themselves – that contribute to the philosophy and the quality of the company.

B2B Opportunity Awaits
Going to an industry conference or event? Schedule a fun story about the product you’re showcasing. Post live videos of your travels there. Promote your Twitter page that has links to the full press release. Use a local geofilter to show where you are.

The SnapChat benefit is endless. Even for B2B companies. And if you’re not using it yet, it’s time to join. And if you are, we’d love to hear what working for you and lessons learned.  Of course we’d also love to field any questions you may have.

By Morgan Eisenstot

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get our content and other updates straight to your email as soon as it’s posted!

3 Reasons Startups Should Pay Attention to Indie…Analysts

In the enterprise software world, Gartner and Forrester command significant respect, but for many startups, their price tags ($30-50,000 or more for an annual subscription!) just don’t fit in the budget. Are startups just out of luck until the revenue starts multiplying? What if they need a quote for a press release, a white paper or some third-party credibility for prospects or investors?

The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations estimated that there were more than 13,000 industry analyst firms, so while a few large players may dominate mindshare, they really do have a lot of options. Many of these firms are what we’d call “indie” analysts – they operate in smaller shops or even independently – and focus on specific niches in the technology world. Many of them have spent time at larger analyst firms, so their experience and knowledge about how to craft messaging and design products that sells to enterprises is not to be discounted.

Here’s why it pays to turn the analyst radio station to “indie:”

Concept Validation for Prospects: Companies seeking to be disruptive (and who isn’t?) are challenging the status quo and not everyone is on the same page about the need or potential solution they’re offering. As PR professionals, we look first to the analyst community to identify someone knowledgeable in the field to confirm the problem they’re seeking to solve and their approach. Is it feasible? Will it work? Is it painful enough for businesses to the point that they’ll pay to solve it and potentially turn to a relative “unknown” to do so?  An indie analyst in that space can help answer those questions.

Once the concept behind the product or solution is confirmed, analysts can also help review and revise go-to-market plans and messaging. Since they are familiar with other companies in your space, they know where to start – up or down market – and if specific vertical industries are more likely to adopt early.

Media Reference: Larger analyst firms including Gartner, Forrester, IDC and the like, are notoriously challenging to work with to secure a quote for a press release. You’re out of luck unless you’re a paying client, and even then, all you can do is quote existing research…not very compelling. Smaller analyst firms appreciate the visibility that being quoted in a press release offers and are more likely to be available to a journalist if they’re interested in learning more about the market as they write their story. In fact, a good way to identify an indie analyst in your space is to check out articles by competitors or others in your ecosystem for what analysts are being quoted.

For early stage or disruptive companies, media will often ask for supporting details – proof points in the form of survey data, statistics, revenue, etc. This information is hard to come by, so queuing up that indie analyst is often the only thing that a startup can point to for support.

Niche Expertise: While the large firms have hundreds of analysts on staff, they have blind spots in terms of coverage areas. For example, Gartner lacks analysts with in-depth knowledge of mobile marketing and advertising solutions. If a technology sector is new, chances are the larger firms may not have someone dedicated to covering it. And if the existing analysts are tied down with their current clients and report load – they may not even have time to give to your brilliant new approach. Indie analysts can hone in quickly on new areas and aren’t beholden to a Magic Quadrant or Marketscape schedule. As a result, they can go deeper into the actual technology and offer insights that others won’t have the context to provide. When it comes to crafting a white paper or conducting specific research on a new area, this is a critical element for success.

Need help finding an indie analyst to support your marketing needs? Stay tuned for tips on finding the indie analyst of your dreams.

By Caitlin Haskins

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get our content and other updates straight to your email as soon as it’s posted!

Why Using VR for Your Next Launch Puts You Ahead of the Game

10Fold is a high-tech integrated marketing and public relations agency that knows the best tools, rules, and techniques to give each client the competitive edge in their industry. Virtual Reality is the next innovative tool for media and companies, allowing viewers to experience and in some cases, interact with products and different environments in ways that create increased understanding and greater connection.

Among the three identified forms of VR – see graphic table, 360 immersive videos present the largest potential for business and technology demos. Demos typically use pre-recorded or live video for product or brand introductions, but 360 immersive videos can take these presentations to the next level. Imagine a company demo where a consumer can be a part of the presentation. For example, if the business is promoting a new work space, a consumer can metaphorically walk through the building, hear the chatter of workers at their desk, and see 360 views of the space.

Making an Immersive Video
To further understand what VR is, let’s take a minute to understand how it is made. Cameras are set back to back in a full circle covering everything in the surrounding area. After filming takes place, the images are edited to form a full panoramic video. From that stage, the video can be edited for the viewer to see full sights and sounds of the area. Editors can easily add voice-overs and closed captioning to the film to allow instruction for viewers. National Geographic and USA Today are just two examples of media using 360 immersive videos to tell stories.  While National Geographic transports viewers to another location allowing them to experience the world’s splendors, including outer space, USA Today has a segment dedicated to VR stories explaining an idea or product.  Currently YouTube is the main distribution channel for 360 videos, allowing a potentially huge audience to access and actively engage with VR content no matter where they are

Virtual Reality vs Live and Pre-recorded Demos
The most common types of product demo today still remains the live demos, and pre-recorded videos including animation. Whether live (and being recorded for later viewing or pre- recorded for later presentation or viewing, there can be a number of  issues with these styled demos. Live demos are limited to time and the ability of the camera-person to capture the entire “scene” during the demonstration. In addition, any mistakes made in a live recording will not be edited out. If the demo fails, the entire audience gets to see it happen in real-time.  Another common struggle with live videos is that if there are technological difficulties then the presentation may be delayed entirely. Since live demos have a higher risk rate, most companies do not use this technique, instead opting for pre-recorded demos. These can be used repeatedly; however, the viewer is limited to what the editor wants them to see. Though pre-recorded videos can be edited and have a lower risk rate, the audience cannot be personally involved with demonstration and can become bored or frustrated.

360 immersive videos solve a lot of these issues, while also bringing audiences closer to a company or product because the viewer has a personal experience with the demo. Because the videos are edited, the company still has full control of what they want the viewer to see, hear, and physically experience. Creative audio solutions can include a step by step process on how to use a product or how a product works. Though the editor has full control over what the audience can and cannot experience, based on the content presented, viewers have control over what they choose to look at or explore based on their individual needs and interest. No one will have the same exact experience or reaction based on an immersive video, but every viewer will be presented with a perfectly orchestrated demo.

Use of VR Growing Daily – See for Yourself
Use of 360 immersive videos in the media is growing daily. Journalists and companies are using  VR  to present ideas, product (Waymo Self-Driving Journey) issues, and new environments. Companies that invest in using 360 immersive videos for demos are likely to increase their appeal both to their target customers as well as to media who are receptive to this form of content.

These two sample uses cases walk through potential scenarios. Your company has a product that alerts inhabitants when there is a gas leak in their home.  A 360-immersive video would place a consumer in a simulated, but fully realistic situation where the features are demonstrated. Imagine actually seeing yourself laying in a bed late into the night and you can hear the beeping in each ear coming from the company’s device alerting you to wake up for your own safety. You can see the product light up and tell you how much gas is in air. You can read the prompt on the product’s screen asking if you would like to notify the local police for aid. You can control what you want to see in the room and how the product works. Though the consumer has this control, the company is providing the audience with exactly what they want them to see and experience.

Scenario number two focuses on placing the viewer in a new location such as a city in America. Consider this for launches, building tours, ceremonies, or press conferences. Regardless of where the viewer is located –they can see, walk through and experience  the grand opening of a brand new corporate office, or the launch of a new product, or major corporate announcement. In the case of a grand opening, that viewer can see the reporters and guests attending that event as if they were standing next to them at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. As the immersive video continues, the viewer can explore the halls, hear the questions being asked by reporters, and the chatter of small conversations around them. The immersive video will allow the viewer to see as little and as much of the new building as they would personally like.

VR and Why it Works
360 immersive videos can elevate the experience a person has with a brand without giving up total control to the viewer.Jaron Lanier one of the first pioneers of VR technology describe a term called “the conversion moment”. This is when portions of one’s brain stop rationalizing between virtual reality and reality. viewers become more engaged with the immersive video because they have more control over what they want to see in the 360 presentation.

In turn the audience will be more invested in the company and product and trust the authenticity of the brand because they feel more involved with the demonstration.   Now companies are limited only by imagination.

By Shelby Canady

P.S: As a bonus for reading to the end, here are a couple of examples for the adrenaline junkies: Great White – An Amazing Virtual Dive

Mega Coaster: Get Ready for the Drop – Feel free to skip the ads!

Video Marketing and Its Effect on Marketing Today

This blog first appeared on our video divisions website, ProMotion Studios.

There is no denying video marketing has become a staple of modern online marketing. Brands have flocked to the web to exploit video’s explosive effectiveness, reflected in the projected growth rate of video to 80% of all internet traffic by 2019 as estimated by Cisco.

One in four of us will lose interest entirely if we are not able to watch a video Click To Tweet

Not only is this marketing tactic increasing in popularity, one could argue it’s becoming the de facto standard for top marketers. A recent Animoto Survey confirms that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it, and what’s more — one in four of us will lose interest entirely if we are not able to watch a video!

Video has also exhibited a capability to drive higher sales as well.
Forbes has reported that 65% of executives who watch video continue their buyer’s journey to the vendor’s website.

So what does this mean for marketers? Video marketing success has reached over 82% in the B2B field and continues to grow. Ben Kopetti, Director of Video Commerce Strategy at Liveclicker, has said “It’s no longer a ‘nice to have’—it should be a key instrument in every brand marketer’s orchestra.” The demand from consumers is readily apparent, with greater than three quarters expressing their belief in the importance of a service providing a video to demonstrate what that service really provides and how it will benefit them. A LOT of Marketing Execs feel the same way about the value of video, and it’s easy to see why. Taking a look at 10Fold’s own Content Survey, you can see that nearly 40% of content decision makers said that video marketing was a top priority in 2017. If current trends continue, even if you only implement smaller income streams like affiliate marketing or web-advertising your partners will want to see video.

In short, if you have yet to add video to your content marketing “bag of tricks,” you’re missing a huge market opportunity as millions of customers will never even give you the time of day – no matter how great your product is – if they can’t see your story through video.

Looking for video content as well as an extra boost to your B2B Marketing? 10Fold has many packages that are crafted to fit your specific needs. Find more information about those here.

By Tyler Trainer

More insights from our other content can be found here, and be sure to subscribe to our email list below:

Stay ahead of the B2B mobile marketing curve; B2B mobile marketing trends

In the B2B world, marketing is more influential than it’s ever been, as it’s increasingly playing an integral role in organizations’ business strategies and technology purchasing decisions. All you need to do to understand marketing’s prominence in the B2B arena is glance at this infographic detailing the marketing technology landscape in 2017.

And as with most technology-dependent sectors, B2B marketers are realizing that in order to reach their audiences at the right place and right time, they need to have a mobile marketing strategy. Not surprisingly, it’s a trend that Google has jumped on: per Robert Allen of Smart Insights, “More than half of Google’s ad revenue is coming from mobile ads last year … it’s clear that the smartphone has become a gateway to the majority of customer attention.”

It makes sense that mobile has become one of, if not the most important platforms to connect with customers and reach an audience, but marketing for B2B presents a unique set of challenges and requirements for organizations to overcome in order to effectively reach their audiences.

Mobile has connected people not only to each other, but now to content, and this has created a new subset of marketing: content marketing. This is necessary now that over 84 percent of millennials believe their cell phone is imperative for business and not following far behind that the Gen X and baby boomer generations.

With this statement, you could only imagine how important it is for PR and marketing professionals to understand this mobile tool and tap into the creativity of using cell phones for the beneficial platform of the company.

There is new importance in the market and it is content marketing through mobile devices. This is the time to ramp your marketing budget up and apply it to the mobile sphere for your company.

Global marketing is taking new stride in importance. We can see this with the rising popularity in mobile content marketing, overall in the graph above.

With the shift from desktop to mobile visibility, marketers are recognizing that mobile is now more than half of the web traffic they are receiving on their sites. This is shocking to many as we typically think it is desktop, but putting it into perspective how often are you on your mobile device verses your desktop?

Even the giant Google is launching new mobile-first index. Although there is no set date for this, Google does plan to make the switch for their platform this year. This is mainly because they are able to identify as a company that their consumers are mostly transitioning into mobile now.

Google released three pieces of advice to follow in order to prepare your website for the mobile-first index. With more structure to come in the upcoming months.

  1. Make sure your mobile site has the content you want to rank for.
  2. Make sure structured data are on your mobile site.
  3. Make sure rel-annotations are on your mobile site.

This is imperative for marketers and PR professionals alike to understand where the readers are progressing to. It is mobile, and that is where the creativity, time, and budget should be shifting towards.

The next step to take is to update your companies mobile site. This is become more important than the desk top version. If you are not already doing this, it is essential to make this a top priority. Missing out on the curve of the mobile marketing trends will be a lost opportunity.

Today, more than half of B2B companies have mobile sites and apps. Although, the viewership is mainly on the sites verses the apps.

The benefits of going mobile is now being seen by marketers. The top metrics are being aligned with top goals and there is a 75 percent increased in audience engagement and the number of leads increasing by 72 percent additionally, a 57 percent increase in help with company sales.

To create a successful mobile platform, make sure content is relevant and creative. Additionally, emphasize that it is necessary to have content that your audience will value in the little bit of time they have when shifting through their mobile devices.

Mobile, mobile, mobile.

By Gabby Garcy

Enjoy your read? Check out our other content here.













This Week in MarTech: Mobile Technologies and Contextual Marketing To Drive the Next Marketing Technology Wave

We’re observing some trends within the digital marketing industry that are already having an impact on budgets and resources – and will continue to in the future. Mobile technologies, contextual marketing and automation tools are altering the MarTech landscape sooner than we expected. Read on to keep yourself abreast of the latest insights from the digital marketing industry.

Here’s how marketers are using different mobile technologies to reach consumers – Business Insider

According to the article, mobile marketing has gained momentum recently. Per IAB, revenue from mobile advertising accounted for 30% of total ad spend in the first half of 2015, and it’s on track to account for more than one-third in the second half of the year. In a new report from BI Intelligence, the article takes a close look at the different mobile marketing tactics being used today, spanning legacy mobile technologies like SMS to emerging capabilities like beacon-aided location-based marketing. It also identifies some of the most useful mobile marketing technologies that mobile marketers are putting to good use as parts of larger strategies.

Let’s Put Enterprise Marketing Technology Into Context – Forrester

In this post, analyst Rusty Warner takes a deep dive into why it’s critical for marketers to embrace customer context. According to Rusty, winning in the age of the customer depends on the interactions that people have with brands, and compelling customer experiences materialize only when a firm understands its customers and anticipates their needs.  The context of all those interactions determines whether customers will engage and, more importantly, transact with your brand again. Marketing’s job is to harness the power of customer context to create a repeatable cycle of interactions, drive deeper engagement, and learn more about the customer in the process.

Facebook opens Messenger to publishers – Business Insider

At Facebook’s annual F8 conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced new tools that developers can use to harness the power of Messenger, positioning the messaging platform as a way for businesses and publishers to connect with consumers they wouldn’t otherwise reach.

Today the messaging apps have evolved beyond simple tools for communicating with family and friends. They are full ecosystems that include communication, commerce, and more.

Everything the tech world says about marketing is wrong – Tech Crunch

The biggest problem in marketing in the tech world today is that too many marketers do not know the first thing about marketing. Digital marketers — who, as marketers, really should be cynical enough to know better — have fallen into an echo chamber of meaningless buzzwords.

5 Essential Facts for Marketing to Millennials – Huffington Post

Advertising has evolved at lightning speed over the past decade, with millennials – now totaling 77 million (or about one-fourth of the US population) – leading the charge against old ad platforms.

Millennials view traditional forms of advertising as dishonest. When they make purchasing decisions, they rely on the opinions of their friends and family, their own research, customer reviews, and use every tool at their disposal before making a buying decision.

Airports around the world to embrace mobile apps 2018 – Business Insider

According to Skift, an industry intelligence platform provider, by 2018 it is expected that 91% of global airports will have navigation tools within their mobile apps and 83% of the airports will offer mobile notifications about the airport’s status. Another report by Business Insider suggests that mobile will make up over half of all digital bookings (including lodging and airfare) by the end of this year. And this share is forecast to jump to almost 70% by 2019.

It has become more important than ever for travel companies to expand their mobile capabilities in order to better reach their customers.

Forrester Consulting study confirms that best-of-breed marketing stacks are “thriving” – Marketing Land

In a recently released Forrester Research study commissioned by a data management provider (DMP), titled “Put Data Management at The Core of 1:1 Marketing,” 74 percent of all surveyed marketers are employing a “best-of-breed” approach as they mix and match their choice of tools. Only 23 percent are choosing a “full-stack” provider that offers a marketing cloud or suite.

The report points out that high-maturity teams usually have more leeway to experiment, so they could consider different mixes of tools and approaches. In other words, they have the resources and authority to mix and match their marketing stack, which could offer both bigger integration headaches and a more “flexible customization.”

This Week in MarTech: Future of MarTech, Mobile Marketing, and Omnichannel

As venture capitalists continue to invest heavily in MarTech, we see their viewpoints on this space in three different write-ups last week. Foundation Capital’s Ashu Garg recently released a whitepaper predicting the coming decade to be the Decade of the CMO with marketing technology spend increasing 10x to make MarTech a $120 billion industry in the next ten years. Ajay Agarwal of Bain Capital opines that while MarTech has yet to produce a $50 billion unicorn like Salesforce did for sales automation, he feels that the company that can create value by bringing together customer data, predictive learning, and mass personalization for B2C marketers will emerge as the MarTech winner. Infer CEO Vik Singh states that marketing automation giant Marketo is poised to dominate the martech space, and with its undervalued stock price, the company is a perfect acquisition target for Salesforce or a competitor. Here’s more on the latest marketing and ad technology stories of the week.

A Guide to Mobile Digital Marketing – Forbes

In this article, Forbes reporter Mike Templeman explains that in spite of increasing usage of smartphones and tablets, users still do not enjoy the same kind of user experience as they do while browsing on a computer. To help the companies address this pain point, Mike listed three important steps – a mobile friendly website, and scannable and concise content, that’ll help companies make their campaigns mobile friendly.

7 Digital-Marketing Predictions You Need to Keep Your Eye On – Entrepreneur

In this article, Entrepreneur reporter Samuel Edwards explains how digital marketing strategies are changing on a weekly basis and, in order to gain an advantage over competition, companies need to always be on the cutting edge. To maximize marketing efforts, he offers seven important digital-marketing predictions for 2016. Of the predictions mentioned, Edwards notes marketing automation and location-based marketing will grow in importance for marketers.

Want to compete with Salesforce? Buy Marketo – TechCrunch

According to the article, there are several enterprise players that want a share of Salesforce’s business, but just aren’t making headway by knuckling up against the company’s dominant, entrenched SaaS CRM offerings. Rather than competing head on, a smarter approach for these businesses is to “front door” Salesforce, instead. The majority of Marketo’s 4,000 customers also use Salesforce, but the marketing automation system has access to more data about the funnel than its CRM counterpart. Marketo can sync bi-directionally with Salesforce, capturing all the data stored there, while also holding top-of-the-funnel lead behavior data that doesn’t get stored in CRM. Hence, it has access to an invaluable superset of data about a company’s potential and existing customers.

Branding and Performance Intersect For Lexus – AdExchanger

In this article, AdExchanger reporter Kelly Liyakasa reports that in order to reach more mediums to improve marketing strategy, luxury automaker Lexus has invested in a data strategy with Oracle Marketing Cloud. Lexus is working with Oracle Marketing Cloud’s data management platform to optimize its performance based on where the customer is in the Lexus life cycle.

Building Blocks: Roland Smart, VP of Social & Community Marketing at Oracle Talks Marketing Tech – MarTech Advisor

In this article, MarTech Advisor’s Editor in Chief Ankush Gupta sits down with Roland Smart, VP of social and community marketing at Oracle, to discuss the company’s MarTech strategies. Smart explains that the company is utilizing marketing technologies to improve customer experience and to implement marketing practices that scale to a company of Oracle’s size.

Marketing Tech’s Bumpy Road: Consolidation, Growth and a New Frontier – TechCrunch

According to the article, marketing technology has become big business over the last five years, securing $134 billion in venture funding and spawning more than 2,000 new companies. And CMOs are buying — roughly $23 billion in 2015, according to IDC, and likely growing to $32.4 billion in 2018. Moving forward, it’s important to remember that martech is not monolithic. Ajay Agarwal, partner at Bain Cap Ventures sees a very different prospects and paths ahead for the three macro categories in martech: B2B marketing, B2C marketing and advertising technology. Each has a set of characteristics and verticals and needs that are distinct from each other — and while there may be some overlap, each will require a different “stack” of software.

3 Predictions on How Omnichannel Will Be Omnipotent in 2016 – Multichannel Merchant

In this article, Multichannel Merchant reporter Rob Gonzalez explains the importance of omnichannel and how it is allowing consumers to shop from any location or device, making the shopping experience more on-demand than ever before. To provide readers with further context, Gonzalez listed three predictions about what omnichannel will look like in 2016. Of the predictions listed, Gonzalez notes that although many brick-and-mortar businesses are turning online, many online-based marketplaces may be transitioning to opening brick-and-mortar establishments.


The Latest on Enhancing Omnichannel, Internet of Things and Marketing Efficiencies

Marketing has increasingly come to be dependent on data for actionable insights that deliver results. A user-friendly way of handling new, fresh data – the different lead scenarios and account details – can prove to be quite a transformative agent. Strong data promises to do just this, and more. Read below for guidance on leveraging strong data, omnichannel and the Internet of Things (IoT) to become more efficient in marketing.

Tech giants court retailers chasing omnichannel dream, Amazon – ZDNet

Large technology vendors such as Intel, NCR and SAP are using the Internet of Things and analytics to approach retailers that are struggling to meld their brick-and-mortar operations with faster growing ecommerce operations. At the National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York, omnichannel was a primary focus for digital leaders from Home Depot, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble and The North Face.

Industry Preview 2016: For Platform Leaders, Getting Over Their Own Walls Is a Growing Concern – AdExchanger

According to several speakers at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview conference, walled-garden players are still trying to formulate and communicate what value their data brings to brands.

Facebook’s digital video initiative is a good example of an ad strategy that has achieved widespread adoption. Facebook claims it generates 8 billion video views daily, but still requires significant investment before the company even knows how effective the product is for brands. Figuring out what data agencies need to have in order to invest bigger budgets into video will be a priority in 2016, said Patrick Harris, Facebook’s director of global agency development.

Amazon VP of global ad sales Seth Dallaire echoed similar sentiments when describing the ecommerce giant’s priority for data and marketing on the platform this year. “(We are) trying to help agencies and advertisers understand the types of reporting and interpret the events on our platform.” Data that can inform marketers, including how users interact with brand pages, product reviews or their online shopping cart, is first and foremost a part of the Amazon user experience. “Understanding the purchase funnel was something we had to develop for ourselves,” Dallaire said.

Why you should pay attention to the Internet of Things – Marketing Interactive

The IoT has gained significant momentum in the past year, with Gartner now estimating that there will be nearly 21 billion IoT devices by 2020. There’s no doubt that the IoT is disrupting many business sectors. Organizations in consumer electronics, healthcare, retail, financial services and other sectors are already engaged in digital transformation efforts to reposition their businesses for the new competitive landscape. The IoT is particularly valuable for marketers because it gives organizations access to huge amounts of personal user data.

Embedded in our everyday lives, IoT devices continuously gather actionable information on customer habits, tastes, and preferences. This presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to create targeted offers, personalized experiences, and other important features that engage customers in new, authentic ways.

3 Steps to Boost Marketing Efficiency with Strong Data – MarTech Advisor

Author Rohit Roy provides readers with steps on how to leverage data to create more efficient marketing campaigns. Of the steps listed, Rohit suggests marketers need to develop a streamlined process for manual data entry to get the most from their data.

Happy (Early) Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day (DPD), held every January 28 and coordinated by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), is an international effort highlighting “Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust.” DPD provides an opportunity for you to re-enforce these themes within your organization to improve privacy awareness. With the upcoming DPD in mind, here’s a quick look at the latest developments for marketers in context to data privacy.

Did you know that Jan. 28 is Data Privacy Day? – Stay Safe Online (Video)

To being with, this informational video on Data Privacy Day shares quick tips on how to make sure personal data is kept secure and safe from exploitation. It offers best practices on how to share on social media and to what extent.

Data Security and Privacy: Marketing’s Top Condundrum In 2016 – Marketing Land

Digital marketers in the US have tended to put data privacy in the back seat, unlike in Europe, where users’ right to anonymity enables them to explicitly opt out of leaving information identifying them on website visits. But that’s changing, and US marketers know this. In the final months of 2016, the stakes for US marketers doing cross-border business grew astronomically. With stronger regulations looming, US marketers need to put data privacy front and center. Josh Manion, CEO of tag management company Ensighten, explains how enterprise tag management can help you manage customer data.

To learn more about tag management, follow Josh Manion on Twitter: @joshmanion.

Privacy Is Good for Business – Stay Safe Online (Infographic)

This infographic shares insights for businesses on how to create a culture of respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust – all without compromising on customer value. The article recommends marketers to be open and honest about how they collect data, use and share personal information.

Brave: New Ad Blocking Browser Promises More Privacy & Faster Page Loading – Marketing Land

Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla, is introducing a new browser to block ads…kind of. Dubbed Brave, the browser works by blocking ads by default and replacing those blocked ads with its own anonymous ads.

In a post on the Brave site, Eich says he wants to “fix the web”:

At Brave, we’re building a solution designed to avert war and give users the fair deal they deserve for coming to the Web to browse and contribute. We are building a new browser and a connected private cloud service with anonymous ads… We keep user data out of our cloud Brave Vault by default. It’s better for you and us that we don’t store any of your data without your permission.

Most display ads (and those from programmatic platforms/exchanges) will be blocked, though users can override the default settings. Search ads won’t be blocked because they’re “intent-based” and don’t rely on the same kinds of targeting that display ads do.

People don’t want to trade privacy for targeted ads – Poynter

The Pew Research Center has released the latest in a series of studies of privacy issues with fresh evidence that consumers do not want to sacrifice personal information to get served targeted ads. According to the survey, only a third of respondents found the tradeoff acceptable, while fifty-one percent said it was not.  Consumers reported more benefit and mostly approved scenarios involving surveillance at a workplace to stop thefts, agreeing to digitized health records for a doctor’s office or getting loyalty card discounts from a grocery store that tracks your spending habits. Those surveyed also showed particularly negative reactions to providing location data if it resulted in a deluge of ads on their smart phones.

The study goes on to suggest that policy-makers reject the “tradeoff argument” as a “false justification” for allowing wholesale harvesting of personal data.

Legal Pitfalls Marketers Should Avoid in 2016 – AdAge

In 2016, advertisers and marketers alike will find it harder to balance key objectives with new legal guidelines. False advertising lawsuits show no signs of abating. And as regulation of digital, social and mobile advertising becomes increasingly restrictive, marketers are going to find it harder to balance their marketing objectives with new regulations.