Our monthly round-up of the main developments in marketing

The main platform developments this month were Twitter Digits and the relaunch of Facebook Atlas which we report on in our Social Media section. We also heard about Google's reinvention of email through Inbox - although there's not much to report on just yet, we'll have to see when it officially goes to Public Beta - request your invite here!

Strategy and Planning

This month we’ve been focusing on an aspect of Digital Marketing that you don’t hear discussed very often, but we think will be discussed a lot more in the future as more businesses start to get the fundamentals of digital marketing right. That’s Digital Marketing Optimization - check out our post for why we see it is important and how the best results will go to those businesses who succeed in getting People, Process and Tools to work effectively…

Expanding your affiliate program to the US the right way

The globalization of e-commerce, coupled with a growing American demand for British goods, has many U.K. retailers eyeing the U.S. market. And with global B2C e-commerce expected to reach $1.5 trillion this year, they’re not alone. Retailers across the world are tapping into this lucrative consumer base with sophisticated affiliate programs. With global retail affiliates like RetailMeNot, rewardStyle, and ShopStyle gaining in popularity, homing in on consumers who crave your products is becoming easier than ever. However, it’s important to note that not every retailer is ready for the competitive affiliate landscape across the pond as there are a number of differences you must consider when launching an affiliate program in the U.S. These include program management services, industry standards, compliance, and interactions with merchants and networks. Without a thorough understanding of how…

It looks cool, but how should you use insights from attribution to improve media spend?

With the growing maturity in analytics tools and the geniuses at Google and other analytics services working to improve them, it is great to see attribution modelling data and insights now widely available. But availability of these tools doesn't equal use, indeed the Smart Insights Customer Experience Management report shows that while we're pretty good at reviewing engagement with websites, email and social media through hurdle rates, the use of attribution is languishing way down at the bottom of methods of assessing engagement. [Editor's note: To help shed some light on the what-why-how of attribution modelling and as part of our mission to make analytics more actionable, we asked Hugh Gage to write a…

Re-imagining the recruitment process in a digital world

Using digital to provide a human touch In relationships between two people, the person instigating the break up may feel they may have little to lose, especially in the early days of the relationship. 'You never return my phone calls, my emails. You never told me why you don’t accept me for who I am? I just get voicemail. Tell me why you don’t love me.'

Unnecessary behaviour

This behaviour appears to me, to often also manifest itself in the HR recruitment processes of companies. Even in a digital age when a prospective employee could also be a customer or even a shareholder. They could be left thinking that if this is how they treat their prospective employees then this is how they might treat their current employees. Worse still, it could mean they walk away as a customer or shareholder. Marketing Directors and Customer Service Directors are…

Visuals and Videos win if you want more ReTweets

We thought this research worth sharing since it's completed by Twitter's own data scientist Douglas Mason. It suggests which types of content marketing via Twitter may be more effective. Mason examined millions of Tweets from verified users (that's big brands and celebs) to see whether some types of Tweets receive more engagement than others.

So, what impacts Twitter engagement?

Is it the hashtag, video, tweet containing a digit, a quote or photo? His findings discovered that there are differences by industry and as expected, they do boost retweets. Though which are more impactful than others? on average, sharing photos boosts engagement more, followed  by videos and quotes.   Access the full research via Twitter's blog where you can select the effect for different media sectors.…

What are your recommended Email Marketing techniques?

That’s the question we posed in our recent email marketing tips competition. Thanks if you contributed a tip or shared the suggestions! We had lots of great suggestions, so it’s a pity we don’t have a prize for all, but we have now selected 3 winners and there are 3 “highly commended” tips. I asked our judges Chad White who offered up 3 copies of his new book Email Marketing Rules and Tim Watson, Email consultant at Zettasphere and regular Expert commentator on Smart Insights to each choose 3 tips and explain why they liked them. I then decided on a winning three based on the depth of the contributor’s insight and those who gave a specific example of a test.

Three winning Email marketing tips

Here are the “lucky winners”:

1. Alan Moir on Personalisation.

In one…

How I boosted my lead generation with visitor tracking software, in conjunction with blogging, pay per click, email and social media outreach.

When you’re growing an audience, and converting website visitors into customers, you need a watertight marketing funnel.

The sad truth is that most of us convert less than 5 per cent of our website visitors into contacts, meaning that more than 95% of visitors leave our sites, potentially never to be seen again.

So what steps can we take to improve our website marketing, tighten up our funnel, and generate more leads from what we have already?

I faced this challenge earlier this year, and have written this post to share my experience with you. 

My website was only four months old, so I had insufficient visitor data in Analytics, and I was up against a tight deadline. My challenge was that I needed to…

New research shows a significant multiplier effect from combining search and social media advertising

This research summarises how some advertisers are making their online media buys more effective by integrating social and search campaigns together. Marin Software surveyed over 200 Advertisers, managing Google, Facebook and Bing campaigns and their report reveals tactics and strategies that have worked for leading brands. As we would expect from the theory of the 4Cs of integrated communications, the findings showed that 'marketers who integrate their search and social advertising programs find significantly more consumers who are not only more likely to convert, but who are also likely to spend more'. This multichannel research showed that advertisers achieve a 68% higher conversion rate when their search campaigns are integrated with social advertising. Download their full research on integrating search and social media advertising (registration is required) to find…

Introducing the 7 principles of engagement marketing

Just a few generations ago, the world of doing business was driven by face-to-face relationships.  Many of us have heard stories from grandparents who talked about their butcher or baker as if they were old friends. These unique and intimate relationships were powerful, built strong relationships with customers and ultimately drove customer loyalty. This concept was one of the main casualties of the digital revolution – as buying moved into online channels and a plethora of new tools and channels became available to marketers to help them to communicate with customers in a digital world. Databases were blasted, demand was generated and victory was achieved – in the short-term at least. But in today’s digital world, buyers are more becoming ever more empowered.  Steadily, buyers have acquired the power to define their own buying process so the days…

The 7 traits of an effective Social Media Marketing Manager

The Social Media Marketing Manager role is now an established role in many large businesses. It's featured as one of the main digital marketing roles in the Smart Insights top 12 digital job descriptions template. In smaller businesses, social media will be one marketing approach of many that a digital marketing manager will be working on, or social media may be a combined responsibility with SEO and content marketing. But in all cases, as social media continues to evolve, so does the role of the Social Media Manager. Whilst the first Social Media Managers were mainly responsible for setting up and running a Facebook presence or answering customer service queries on Twitter, their roles now encompass many more skills and attributes. Of course, a Social Media Manager's scope of responsibility will be influenced by…

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