The big picture — how to make all the pieces of your marketing plan, as well as your agency or brand team, fit together into a harmonious, effective whole.

Today’s Methods Help Us More Aggressively Compete

shutterstock_114257098 It used to be that one of your primary means of competing as a brand was raising the spend and buying more impressions than your competitors -- and doing it creatively, in order to stir up more laughter and tears than the other guy. Your budget and creative wherewithal were your arsenal. We carried that approach over from traditional marketing. Even fairly recently, a marketer or agency might tell you that the top focus of the media lead was to build and optimize the right plan for achieving desired reach. "Reach" was the mandate. The audience piece was somewhat left to happy accident, as w [...]

Ten Bold Predictions For Affiliate Marketing in 2014

future-predictions-vision-featured When it comes to affiliate marketing, 2013 was quite an interesting year. Some of the biggest milestones included a record-breaking e-commerce holiday season, double-digit network growth, and the closing of the Google Affiliate Network. And let's not forget about "Cookiegate," which was sparked when Mozilla announced plans for its Firefox browser to block certain cookies. As we look back on 2013, we can’t help but make educated guesses on what the next year will bring. While nobody can predict the future, a closer look at some of the more recent industry shifts and trends are a good indic [...]

A Look Back On 2013 In Digital Marketing

pageviews-traffic-smartphone-Adobe This year was all over the map in terms of consumer optimization and conversion trends. Crowdfunding was propelled into the next stratosphere and mobile maximized every moment in our lives, while apps and couch commerce exploded, thanks in part to a semi-restored global economy that gave billions even more disposable income to toss around — and shifted emerging markets to the (almost) top of the buying food chain. It was an amazing year for marketers, no doubt. We shopped from our phones and from our couches, and we consumed content in every imaginable way. Cheers to what was a great year [...]

Influencer Marketing: How Google Will Change The Game

Influencers_Altimeter I hear a lot of buzz about influencer marketing -- how it has evolved, how it comes in different flavors and how brands are using it -- but I never hear anyone talk about Google’s plans to change it... dramatically! An Emerging Channel When brands first began to capitalize on the power of influencer marketing, they tried to do so with casual and subtle efforts that often included complimentary products or other perks. Moreover, they usually kept their efforts "under the radar." Traditional blogger outreach programs are a good example of this, where brands would give product samples to blog [...]

Maximizing Marketing Data: Turning Immediacy Into Impact

social media databases Businesses today are infusing their brand presence into every corner of the media and marketing landscapes. As digital channels continue to multiply, customers have spread across all of them, creating the need to converge social media, microsites, display ads and other assets into one seamless brand perception. At first, it might seem like this has placed a burdensome demand on marketers: to create persistent marketing programs that sync up across all channels to reach leads and customers wherever they are. Disconnected programs just aren't effective in our fast-moving world. To achieve [...]

8 Often-Overlooked Opportunities To Authentically Thank Your Customers

Thank You First impressions are important. We all know that. Marketers spend a great deal of time on improving that first impression. They build beautiful websites, gorgeous campaigns, and pick their words specifically to capture interest that very first time a consumer finds them. But what about after they convert? Are you spending as much time improving your "thank you"? Today's consumer expects to be delighted at every step of the customer journey, including -- perhaps especially -- once they have committed to you in some way (transaction, registration, comment, share, etc.). That is a moment at wh [...]

Keeping The Holiday Drill In Check: How To Plan Rather Than React

holidays-christmas-featured It's that time of year. Once again, we are awash in holiday projections -- and with those projections come seasonally specific recommendations for marketers. This includes everything from capitalizing on mobile's first true holiday to investing more in programmatic as that trend ramp steepens into 2014. Assuming you are more dexterous than you were this time last year (which most of us are), the seasonal imperative suggests you raise the bar on testing offers and calls-to-action. But, rather than enter into a seasonal frenzy which you may or may not be able to sustain, or which may not h [...]

Destroy Stress, Enhance Zen – 13 Tips To Thrive Mentally In Marketing

Have a Rockstar Marketing Mentality I know this article is a little outside the Marketing Land wheelhouse (I was actually told that by one of the amazing editors here, and I agree), but I felt like these were tips any marketing professional could appreciate. So for this article, let's take a step back and focus on strategies for creating a winning mental state in the world of marketing. When you work in a fast-paced work agency or in-house marketing environment, or really any line of work where you are pushing the envelope, stress is something that inevitably pops up -- especially at this high-pressure time of year. I supp [...]

Real Time Marketing: How Brands Can Prepare And Succeed

Big Data Oreo. Starbucks. American Express. Dell. These are brands that come to mind when the topic of real-time marketing (RTM) arises -- as it does with increasing frequency these days. Real-time is gaining traction for all kinds of reasons. A recent study by GolinHarris demonstrates real-time can raise literally all desirable marketing metrics. Eighty-three percent of marketers say they plan to begin to use, or to increase their use of, real-time data in marketing campaigns this year, according to Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive (pdf). The movement toward RTM is undeniabl [...]

Why It’s Critical To Connect Your Offline & Online Marketing

Branding All of the buzz about digital marketing has left an old, familiar and still viable marketing medium in the dust: offline programs. The marketing divide between online and offline spheres can be so epic, in fact, that it's not uncommon inside companies to see separate print, Web and social marketing teams using different strategies and launching campaigns that are in no way connected. But those silos only exist inside marketing departments. The customer's mind perceives one continuous brand. We live in a world where customers casually cross multiple marketing channels throughout the course o [...]

How To Keep Leads From Getting Stuck In The Middle Of The Sales Funnel

lead generation Did you know that a whopping 79 percent of leads never convert? 79 percent! That is 4/5ths of your potential revenue down the drain. All that money and effort spent generating those leads? Also down the drain. That should be a wakeup call: the industry at large needs to reexamine how it approaches lead generation to reduce that waste and boost actual conversions. As most marketers know, generating leads is relatively easy. Hundreds of quality leads can be drummed up with trade shows, search campaigns or content syndication. But then what? That 79 percent of non-converting leads often [...]

How To Conquer The Age-Old Marketing Buy-In Challenge

boat We've all been there. We have the big idea. We are sure that if we just created it and launched it, this marketing campaign could make a huge difference for the company. We've done the research, we've built the spec, and we've got the rest of the marketing team stoked to give it a try. No easy feat, for sure. But then the rest of the company hears about it. Eyebrows rise. Arms cross. People get worried and -- BAM -- bye, bye big idea. It happens all too often, particularly for those marketers trying to shake things up. The bigger the wave you hope to make, the more critical it is that yo [...]

A Simple Commitment To “Experience” May Just Ease Marketer Distress

Internet Marketing This week, I spent some time with Adobe's recent report, Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night? [PDF]. It was an online study of 1,000 marketers, including both digital marketers and marketing generalists, ranging from marketing staff to high-level decision-makers. As one might anticipate, this report chronicles and quantifies marketers' anxieties about their profession. The Uncertainty In Marketing Reviewing the Adobe findings, you'll see that marketer self-doubt (and doubt of one's team or department) extends to whether one has a grasp on their audience, the right tool set, t [...]

Understanding Digital Enmeshment

qrcode The digital industry is at a crossroads as social, mobile, display and search advertising become increasingly essential to marketing budgets. As a result, the intersection of these channels has forced marketers to view digital as less of a customer acquisition channel, and more of a platform for branding, increasing customer retention and building lasting relationships. This will forever change the way in which marketers plan their media buys and determine their creative strategies. Even traditional media is impacted by the rise of digital -- it isn't uncommon to see TV ads that have a s [...]

5 Ways To Be More Transparent In Your Marketing

strategy We all understand the importance of transparency -- this past year alone, we've seen the titans of tech have transparency wars, and Google itself has committed to transparency as a core value. At this point, companies know they need to be honest to build trust with consumers and, hopefully, that translates into brand loyalty. But why, if it's so important, do so many marketers fail to invest in transparency? There are a lot of excuses for keeping your cards close to your chest. Some include fear of losing control of the story, not having the time or resources to invest, or simply not feelin [...]

How to Embrace True Persistent Marketing

For years, it was commonplace for traditional marketing campaigns to require 90-day planning cycles -- at a minimum. More recently, digital marketing has brought about an evolution in both speed and agility that has quickly made these lengthy cycles inadequate and unacceptable. Customers are increasingly available on their phones, websites and social media platforms, and marketers are finding greater access to real-time data. As a result, a strong opportunity exists to create a pervasive digital buzz that intensifies brand presence while extending campaign reach in unprecedented ways. So [...]

Digital Marketing: The Past, Present & Future

Marketing Strategies In recent years, marketing has changed dramatically. Back in the old days, one annual planning meeting to create a go-to-market strategy, marketing plan and budget used to be sufficient. Today, marketers adjust course frequently and modify plans according to real-time customer insights, new media, emerging channels and technology. Unfortunately, even the most nimble marketers today are unable to keep pace with this ever changing marketing environment, citing lack of resources, skills and outdated technology as the main factors. Although marketing technology may not be the only solution, why [...]

Holiday Road: Boost Q4 Results By Better Understanding The Customer Journey

online shopping There's nothing like the August sunshine to bring out a creative spark to drive your holiday campaigns! If you're like most e-commerce marketers, chances are good that you're already knee-deep in end-of-year planning -- and it's also highly likely that your boss has raised the performance bar yet again. After all, if the past two years are any indication, we can anticipate another lucrative e-commerce holiday season. Below are three reasons why. [caption id="attachment_56575" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] E-Commerce holiday shopping continues to bre [...]

Omnicom + Publicis = Publicom & Much Ado About Shareholder Equity? What’s The Real Impact?

publicom-groupe There's never a dull moment in the advertising world. The proposed Omnicom and Publicis merger has everyone talking, but what (if anything) does this mean for the digital ad world? Who will be the winners and losers? What possible upside exists for the clients? Having had the pleasure of working within large and small agencies (and having lived through many a merger), I'd like to share a summary of the collective voices in my head offering (sometimes conflicting) viewpoints of the potential victors and also-rans in the proposed union. Clients The mega agency pitch to clients is pretty sim [...]

How To Organize Resources To Unlock The True Power Of Distributed Data

data mining Over the past couple years, it's become clear that ad marketing and media folks  are more readily identifying themselves as data-driven marketers. We are ready to embrace that data is utterly integral to what we do -- and we must conduct our work accordingly. [caption id="attachment_51543" align="alignright" width="352"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] But this professed focus on data has real implications for a company's systems, talent, and organization -- as well as its choice of partners, vendors and suppliers. You see, it's not enough to commit spiritually to a data focus or to [...]

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