Four Trends Marketers Shouldn’t Ignore

Are you wondering what you should be keeping an eye out in 2016? Look no further, within this post I share key findings from recently published reports from PulsePoint and PageFair and Adobe highlighting key trends and stats marketers can’t afford to ignore.

1. Content Marketing is King!

If you’re vaguely familiar with Content Marketing you’ve heard heard the term “Content Is King.”  A report published by PulsePoint found that by 2017 content marketing budgets are projected to double, and 83% of marketers believe content marketing will go “programatic” by 2017. (Click to Tweet)

When most of us think about real-time content marketing, we think of examples like Oreo’s tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout, when they advised customers that they “can still dunk in the dark.” That tweet was a great response to an unexpected occasion and the birth of the awareness of real time content marketing.

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Keep in mind that real-time content does not always have to be spontaneous. The majority of real-time content advertising and marketing can be prepared to some level by maintaining a close eye on preparing and trending topics material that replies to a broad range of scenarios.  Brand who are setup with strong content marketing strategies will rapidly set themselves apart and cut through the noise and “win” within this arena.

2.  Content marketing and native growth will outpace display and search

Brands, agencies and publishers reported that content marketing and native are both important to their organizations and strategies. But are the ad dollars and digital inventory available to back them? The answer is yes as both supply and demand are expected to grow over the next two years.

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While display and search still command most of the ad dollars, 37% of respondents to PulsePoint’s study named content marketing as one of the largest spending buckets.  That gap is only set to narrow, as content marketing and native ads both are both projected to see increased budgets over the next two years. The other format tracking slightly behind is digital video since the formal draws a higher audience engagement which is pivotal for brands with upper funnel campaign objectives.

 

3. Ad Blocking Is Rapidly Expanding, and Costing Publishers Billions of Dollars.

The number of consumers using ad blocking software worldwide has increased 41% year-on-year to 198 million monthly active users according to a report by PageFair and Adobe. (Click to Tweet)

Ad blocking is increasingly a challenge to marketers and it’s estimated that the click-through rate across all ad formats and placements is only 0.06 per cent.  Now users are able to be more discretionary than ever about which content they want and what they don’t.

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Currently ad blocking almost always happens via desktop computers, however ad blocking on mobile could soon become a mainstream phenomenon.

The rate of ad blocking varies country by country. The US has an estimated 45 million monthly active ad block users, up 48% year-on-year which across  Europe, 35% of the internet population (77 million users) used an ad blocker at least once a month.  The report also found that ad block users are usually young and technically savvy and predominantly male.

4. Mobile Emailing Marketing Remains in The Mix

Email is a channel which can’t be ignored however with the rise of wearable technology and mobile marketers must work towards firming up their email marketing strategy.

A study from Moveable Ink found that in the first quarter of 2015, 67% of all U.S. email opens occurred on a mobile device  and 75% of those were smartphones. (Click to Tweet)

The growth in mobile is staggering and the shift is undeniable as tablets and wearables are now being dubbed the “new inbox.” Marketers must ensure their messaging is “mobile friendly,” personalized, and optimized for success.

What trends do you think Marketers should watch into 2016, leave a comment below or send me a tweet.  

Three Social Media Marketing Myths Debunked

Social Media is similar to Pandora’s Box.  It holds powerful tools which can help boost your business to new customers, retain loyal ones, and help to engage online within the digital world, or if can be a ton of wasted resources if not used properly.  Along with anything new comes a lot of misconceptions.  Although you maybe questioning the most efficient ways to maximize social media with your audience, don’t give up! Here are three major myths I come across which I’d like to take a stab at debunking.

Myth #1: I Don’t Have Enough Content to Fill my Social Media Feeds 

Social media outlets are fast paced and constantly changing.  Content gets posted online, flooded, pushed down, and becomes irrelevant quickly and before you know it.  Although this may seem like a wasted effort it reminds us that it’s important to repost the same content in different ways to best represent your brand.  Getting creative and thinking of interesting and exciting ways to share your content while avoiding making it seem too repetitive is important.  People often miss things, forget them, and if it’s evergreen content, then it’s always useful.  Putting a new spin and angle on how you repost it will help it live long and prosper. One of my favorite tools is pablo by buffer or canva, both can help quickly create visual content to accompany your content, and did I mention they’re both FREE.  Remember, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text (click to tweet this) so visual content within social media is a MUST if you want to stand out and drive engagement!

Myth #2: My Social Media Channels Can’t Show Personality

Although your content should be targeted around your industry and demographic to best optimize, don’t be afraid to show personality.  Behind your brand you’ve got REAL people following you and engaging online.  Even if it doesn’t directly relate to your brand, product, or service spreading some humor can help to humanize your brand’s message.  We’ve found quotes, funny gifs, and office photos and interesting news articles helpful at CFA Institute.  Have a little fun, let your hair down, and get creative with your social media posts!

Myth #3: My Demographic Is Older, So Social Media Isn’t Relevant or Worth It

Contrary to what you believe, the older crowd is quite active on social media.  According to comScore Mobile Matrix the average tablet minutes spent on social networks per visitor is up 115% from 2015 in the 55+ age bracket.   According to FastCompany the fastest growing demographic on twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket (click to tweet this).  This demographic has grown 79% since 2012. For Facebook this group has jumped 46%, for Google+ 56%.

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Not broadening your brand to reach an older age group, or ignoring their presence on social media outlets will severely limit your company’s potential for growth.

What do you think of these three myths debunked? Would love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below or send me a tweet, thanks!

Ten Eye Opening (and Tweetable) #Instagram Stats

Data from the Pew Research Center shows that among social media networks, Instagram has surpassed Twitter in popularity among United States Adults.  The research states that 26% of online adults in the U.S. used Instagram in 2014, up 17% from the previous year, and 13% from 2012.  As a comparison 23% of online adults in the U.S. used Twitter in 2014.  The data finds that Facebook remains by far the social media site, however over the past year Instagram has made a splash, and engagement on Instagram is 15 times that of Facebook’s!

PI_2015-01-09_social-media_01One of the most interesting aspects of Instagram is that it’s not a site, but lives only on the mobile app.  Numerous brands have begun to use Instagram as businesses are seeing results from showcasing more visual images.  With over 300 million monthly active users, Instagram executives think the network will eventually hit 1 BILLION monthly active users!

If you’re still not bought into Instagram, here are Ten Eye Opening Stats:

  1. Instagram is the eighth most popular mobile app in the U.S. (comScore)- Tweet This
  2. Instagram is projected to reach 45.8 million U.S. users in 2015 and 50.6 million in 2016 (Statista)- Tweet This
  3. More than 30 billion photos have been shared on Instagram since it was launched in 2010 (Instagram). – Tweet This
  4. An average of 70 million photos are shared through the app each day (Instagram).- Tweet This
  5. 53 percent of Internet-using adults age 18 to 29 are on Instagram (Pew Research Center). That’s up from 37 percent in 2013.- Tweet This
  6. 76 percent of American teenagers use Instagram, making it their favorite social media network (CBS News).- Tweet This
  7. 49 percent of all Instagram users use the app each day (Pew Research Center).- Tweet This
  8. 94 percent of Instagram users are on Facebook (Pew Research Center). Facebook owns Instagram.- Tweet This
  9. 58 percent of Twitter users also use Instagram (Pew Research Center). – Tweet This
  10. 52 percent of Instagram users also use Twitter (Pew Research Center).- Tweet This

In less than five years Instagram has gone from it’s infancy to a social media rock star, and i’m excited to see what the future will hold!

Is your brand on Instagram, would love to know your experience, and how you are succeeding, or the challenges you face, leave a comment below, or tweet me @MarissaPick.

Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Automation (Marketo Blog)

I recently was asked to be a contributor to a post by Marketo discussing the Dos and Don’t of Marketing Automation in their Marketing Automation 101 blog.  The full article is posted below and can be found by clicking on the Marketo image, please let me know what you think of my feedback within the comments section, or by sending me a tweet @marissapick. Enjoy!

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Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a powerful tool with the ability to greatly increase your conversions.  However, in order for marketing automation to be effective, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you should understand, including how it fits into the larger context of your business. Based on information collected from experts in the marketing field, let’s look at the specific do’s and don’ts for marketing automation

“Marketing automation plays a key role in the customer/client acquisition process as it automates lead scoring, routing of qualified leads, nurturing those that are not ready to buy, and greater transparency into prospect/customer behavior on its own. It is important that a CMO and his/her team understand that marketing automation, as with any technology solution, is an enabler to their business strategy vs. a strategy on its own.

-Andrea C. Levine, Chief Outsiders,(@andreaclevine1)

DO FOCUS ON YOUR TARGET

​Unfortunately, marketing automation does not automatically recognize your best target audiences.  As a result, it is important that you are knowledgeable in regards to your personas.  If you are not 100 percent certain who you are targeting, there is a good chance that your efforts will not reverberate with anyone.  Obtaining well defined personas gives you the chance to create more concentrated campaigns through careful segmentation and targeting.  When segmenting and targeting are done correctly, it will lead to increased engagement, as well as more conversions over time

“Do personalize your B2B (business to business) marketing. The last time I looked, buildings and factories don’t process PO’s and write checks. People do. Use marketing automation to build segments to provide the right content, and the right time, to the right people. An IT director for a $50 million financial services company will have different needs and interests than an IT network administrator at a $200 million medical device manufacturer. Share stories with people that matter to them. Don’t talk AT them. Use marketing automation to personalize content based on buying stages, roles, companies, industries, and regions.

-Brian Hansford, Heinz Marketing, (@RemarkMarketing)

DO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CANNOT “SET IT AND FORGET IT”

​While it can be easy to simply set everything up and move on to something else, this is not effective. You will gain the most from marketing automation by frequently revisiting, reevaluating, and adjusting your settings based on their performance. This also applies to social media. It can be very easy to schedule tweets ahead of time that are completely irrelevant when they are finally published. Keep track of what is coming up and readjust messages if needed.

“Do take the time to create your content strategy, and assess your people and the process changes that will be needed prior to investing in marketing automation. Marketing automation is a must-have technology for digital marketing programs, providing the visibility and automation necessary to execute on strategy, and the lack of it can result in failure. Given the functionality that marketing automation makes available, it’s also critically important to determine goals and how you’ll measure them to set up the appropriate lead-scoring scenarios and progression planning that gets contacts to a qualified state that your sales team will appreciate.”

-Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions, (@ardath421)

DO URGE YOUR MARKETING AND SALES TEAMS TO POOL THEIR RESOURCES

​In the past, there has been some tension between these two teams, but marketing automation should reduce that.  Using marketing automation, your marketing team should be able to provide higher quality leads to the sales team.  In addition, it provides integration and analytic features to help the teams work together to identify certain business opportunities to follow.

“It’s critical to come to an agreement with sales on lead definitions and process steps.  Working with sales can provide feedback and data on lead quality and opportunities for future campaigns, which marketing automation can support.”

-Brian Hansford, (@RemarkMarketing)

Don’t Think Marketing Automation Will Create Your Content For You

​While it does not create content for you, it will point you in the right direction as to how to push your content.  Essentially, it acts as a delivery system between your audience and what you already have in place.  Use data analysis to make automation benefit your business.

“Do leverage data and analysis to make automation work for your brand. Review, revisit, measure and adjust to understand the full range of data triggers from your campaigns and get the most out of your automation. Take advantage of the rich behavioral data provided by marketing automation to create more focused, personalized, and successful campaigns.”

Marissa Pick, (@MarissaPick)

DON’T USE MARKETING AUTOMATION TO CREATE SPAM MAIL

​Marketing automation has numerous email capabilities that can potentially be used to spam prospective and existing clients with unnecessary and unwanted emails.  Do not give in to this temptation.  It will only backfire!  Instead use it to your advantage, as well as that of your current and potential clients.  Examples include using marketing automation to create a monthly newsletter or any number of follow-up actions based upon how a lead reacts to an original email.

“Don’t commit email spam by merely automating the recipient’s first name, you must step up your game and deliver more personalized and engaging content. You must ensure emails sent through automation are customized for the individual reader, and leverage the sophistication of your platform. Your clients must feel as though they’re receiving communication from humans, not robots.”

-Marissa Pick, (@MarissaPick)

DON’T ALLOW MARKETING AUTOMATION TO LET YOU BECOME LAZY

​In order for marketing automation to truly work, you have to come up with something to automate.  Simply utilizing the extra time you have to think about other initiatives, such as how to effectively reach clients in a more personalized way.  When content is personalized and tailored to meet a client’s specific needs, they are more likely to convert.  By spending your extra time getting to truly understand your audience, you have the potential for even bigger payoffs.

“Over the past few years, marketing automation has rapidly evolved and has enabled marketers much needed ease in performing daily tasks at work. One of the most important things to remember before embarking with marketing automation is that it’s a technology not a strategy. It’s simply a tool available to help leverage the desired results from a more cohesive and planned strategy. Marketing automation should allow your brand and people to take advantage of the efficiencies gained by focusing times and efforts on other parts of the business, by automating otherwise time-consuming tasks.”

-Marissa Pick, (@MarissaPick)

“Do not ‘set it and forget it.’ The beauty of marketing automation is that it can relieve marketers from manual tasks. This ‘freed up time’ should be redirected into monitoring and refining, to continuously improvement the programs run by your marketing automation platform. Even if you’ve done the research and groundwork to create your content strategy, it’s still a ‘best guess’ until it’s in execution. With continuous improvements, marketing campaign performance can reach heights you might not have thought possible. Don’t settle for good enough when you’ve got the potential for greatness.”

-Ardath Albee


Marketing automation has proven to be very valuable for both marketers and clients.  Businesses will appreciate the increased lead conversion rate, while clients and customers appreciate their improved online experience.  By taking the following tips into account, you can ensure that marketing automation works most effectively for you.