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Week of Nov. 25, 2019


How to build a killer SEO strategy, why Instagram will withstand the removal of the “like” button, and other marketing news.

Eight steps to understanding and implementing an SEO strategy. Aiming to demystify search engine optimization (SEO), Forbes breaks down eight steps that make up a “typical SEO campaign,” explaining the strategies and values of each step. These steps include keyword research and mapping, auditing existing content to create a stronger SEO focus, and how to use SEO to promote new and existing content.

What can you learn from Google’s 2019 algorithm updates? Future-proofing your placement in the SERPs can be a tricky business. This article looks at lessons learned from 2019’s Google algorithm updates to predict what actions your content team should take in 2020 to protect your rankings. Suggestions include keeping the focus on actionable content and striving for backlinks.

Nine email marketing best practices for your 2020 strategy. Despite a constantly changing digital marketing landscape, email remains one of the most surefire ways to connect with customers and move prospects down the funnel. That said, modern email marketing teams must develop email campaigns that are as appealing and informative as other marketing tools that are more heavily consumed in this age of social media and apps. This article runs through best-in-class tips for smart, modern email marketing, including customization and headlines that stand out from the crowd.

With or without the “like” button, Instagram is still the most lucrative platform for branded content. Instagram recently announced plans to hide the “like” count for posts, a decision that drew scrutiny from many celebrities and influencers. To discuss the platform change, Business Insider interviewed the heads of four social media marketing firms, who discussed why Instagram is still king when it comes to monetizing a social media following.

Week of Nov. 18, 2019


Marketers to focus on data analytics in 2020, video is a key component of most marketing strategies, and other marketing news.

Four in five B2B marketers say they’ll focus more on data analytics in 2020. According to a recent report from Dun & Bradstreet and Adweek Branded, 83% of marketers plan to increase their focus on data analytics in 2020. Over 250 B2B marketers participated in the survey, offering valuable insight into how your business compares to industry peers. Check out the full report for actionable data and insights, like how 69% say they’ll be making measurement and analytics an investment priority.

Can augmentation tether some of the risks of fast-paced automation technology adoption? This MarTech article considers the risks associated with a rapidly developing tech industry. As AI and machine learning have begun to mature, implementers started viewing processes in black and white: as either manual, or automated. MarTech argues the reality is somewhere in the middle. Nearly every digital marketing task today should be neither fully manual nor fully automated, and that the key to this balance is augmentation.

94% of marketers list video as a key component of their marketing strategy. In partnership with Heinz Marketing, video platform Vidyard surveyed 218 B2B sales and marketing leaders (all manager-level and above) about their customer engagement strategies. Key survey findings show through-the-roof usage of video in the B2B landscape, as well as indicators that two-thirds of sales and marketing leaders plan to increase their investment in video.

Week of Nov. 11, 2019


What’s on the horizon? A potential Amazon-Oracle merger, holiday email marketing campaigns, and other marketing news.

Is an Amazon-Oracle merger on the horizon? With an eye on potential mergers and acquisitions, Forbes considers the possibility of a merger between powerhouses Amazon and Oracle. Breaking down the sometimes-fraught history between the companies, Forbes concludes that the merger would all but secure the duo’s place at the top of the cloud technology food chain. Critics of the conceptual merger expect that such a consolidation would violate antitrust laws.

Recent survey finds the role of technology in marketing continues to grow. The survey, “Martech: 2020 and Beyond,” ran this summer and is based on more than 750 brands and agencies located in North America, the U.K., Europe, and APAC. Key findings include an estimated year-over-year growth rate of 25.8% for total spending on marketing technology in North America and the U.K., and only 24% of survey respondents already have (and have implemented) the marketing tools they need.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start planning your holiday email marketing campaigns. With holiday spending projected to break $130 billion this season, your business can’t afford to miss out on potential customers. This article runs through the benefits of a holiday email marketing campaign, and offers actionable tips for distinguishing your emails from the rest of the pack.

Week of Nov. 4, 2019


Statistics to improve your Instagram game, how businesses are falling short of marketing automation potential, and other marketing news.

These statistical insights can help your business improve its Instagram game. A recent study by Yotpo found that users spend over 40% more time on Instagram than other social media sites, making it the prime place for your business to reach potential customers. Entrepreneur offers insight into what kind of content performs well with Instagram’s algorithms: carousels, location-based content, and contests and giveaways.

Salesforce bolsters its email marketing features. In an effort to help businesses troubleshoot and deploy email campaigns more efficiently, Salesforce has added several email features to its Marketing Cloud hub. These include enhancements to both an interactive tool resulting from its acquisition of Rebel earlier this year and its Einstein suite. The newly enhanced Einstein suite will leverage AI to offer content selection, copy insights, and messaging insights.

98% of B2B marketers aren’t using marketing automation technology to its full potential. A recent study by Communigator and Smart Insights found that just two percent of B2B marketers use marketing automation to its full potential. Check out the full report and analysis to see how your business stacks up in its use of automated email marketing techniques (including automated initial welcome emails, lead nurturing campaigns, and more).

Week of Oct. 28, 2019


New privacy bill could mean jail time for CEOs, UK companies reduce marketing spend for the first time in seven years, and other marketing news.

Privacy bill could mean jail time for CEOs who lie about user data. Oregon Senator Rob Wyden introduced a bill that could put C-level execs in prison for lying to the government about how they protect consumers’ data. The new bill—dubbed the Mind Your Own Business Act (MYOBA)—is an update to Wyden’s Consumer Data Protection Act, which he proposed last November. The updated bill contains the most comprehensive protections to date for Americans’ private data, stricter even than Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Gen Z seeks more diversity in advertising. A Facebook-commissioned study by Qualtrics found that 71% of Gen Z respondents want to see more diversity in advertising. The study cites clothing retailer ASOS as an example, noting that their youth-focused clothing lines are sustainable, cruelty-free, and gender-fluid. Another study cited in the Adweek piece (conducted by ad agency Barkley) found that Generation Z is estimated to influence $143 billion in spending in the U.S. alone. Check out the article for more insights to help you market to this newest generation of buyers.

U.K. companies cut marketing budgets for the first time in seven years. MarketingWeek reports that U.K. companies cut their marketing budgets during the third quarter of 2019, the first time the country has seen a decrease in seven years. This cut in marketing spend comes amid heightened political and economic uncertainty. Companies also reported concern about low consumer confidence, causing them to hold back on spending (particularly for big-ticket marketing drives).

Week of Oct. 21, 2019


Facebook makes a play for better ads on Messenger, Honda discusses new content strategy, and other marketing news.

Is Facebook Messenger still a viable marketing avenue? A new Facebook Messenger feature that launched this month makes it easier for businesses to speak directly with Facebook users. This rollout strives to course-correct waning interest in advertising through Facebook Messenger, inviting brands to easily and directly engage with consumers. Check out the full article to see if Messenger is the right place for your marketing team to reach prospects and existing customers.

Dunkin’ CMO stepping down. Marketing Dive reports that after two years as CMO of Dunkin’ Brands, Tony Weisman is stepping down. By all accounts, Weisman was a successful CMO for the megabrand. He helped Dunkin’ reintroduce espresso, a menu offering that saw a 40% YOY sales lift in Q2 earnings reported in August. This analysis digs into the often short-lived tenure of CMOs, and what leadership can learn from Weisman’s time at the helm of the Dunkin’ marketing juggernaut.

What Honda’s shift from “attention-grabbing” to “storytelling” should tell marketers. The past year has seen a major shift in Honda’s marketing strategy as they shift away from punchy, attention-grabbing content toward customer-centric storytelling. The new strategy allowed Honda’s marketing team to develop an ecosystem that maps out all possible customer journeys touchpoints and content across its channels. Nick Bennett—digital content and social media section manager at Honda U.K.—said of the shift: “We want to bring those stories to life in a way that the consumers using our products today, and the ones we want to reach tomorrow, can better understand who we are as a brand.” Has your brand considered a similar shift?

How companies are using Pinterest to promote their products. Has your business considered advertising products on Pinterest? With 300 million monthly active users, Pinterest is a thriving social network with big potential ROI for the right company. The social network offers business accounts, along with plenty of resources to help you make the most of your posts. Read the full article for helpful tips and tricks, including best practices for using your image space when promoting on the platform.

Week of Oct. 14, 2019


Instagram unveils dark mode, marketers are creating most video content in-house, and other marketing news.

New survey of inbound marketers finds most businesses create video content in-house. The survey from creative firm Visual Objects indicates that videos⁠—once challenging and expensive to produce⁠—are now mainstream and accessible for businesses of all sizes. The sweeping survey included 501 businesses that use inbound marketing as their primary marketing strategy. Yahoo Finance’s full report highlights important video marketing trends, like how the most common video type created by respondents (nearly 1 in 5 businesses; 19%) is how-to videos.

Survey sees YouTube edge out Netflix as preferred streaming platform among teenagers. Teens reported spending 37% of their daily video consumption on YouTube and 35% on Netflix, according to the survey by Piper Jaffray. For marketers looking to identify the best way to invest precious advertising dollars, this survey offers huge insights into effectively reaching young viewers. The survey’s analysts said that “as teens see their households continue to migrate away from traditional TV services, [they] expect a growing transition of consumer content spend towards online video services.”

Instagram drops Following tab and rolls out long-awaited dark mode for iOS 13 and Android 10. Making a couple highly anticipated changes this week, Instagram users can now opt for the battery-saving dark mode as they scroll. Instagram will also remove its Following tab, citing low use and the fact that the need it was created to serve—helping people discover new accounts to follow and engage with—is being better served by its Explore tab.

Week of Oct. 7, 2019


New LinkedIn tool helps marketers, personalized ads come to television, and other marketing news.

What are tech giants doing with your data? Recent changes to data privacy laws have forced tech companies to be more transparent in how they use and share your personal data. Transparency reports published by companies like Facebook and Google give users a window into what happens to the data these companies harvest from them. Notable data points include Apple topping the list of granting requests for data access at 80.13%, followed by Facebook at 74.34% and Google at 66.27%.

New LinkedIn tool helps marketers with campaign targeting. Adweek reports that LinkedIn has added several tools to help marketers using its platform bolster the effectiveness of their targeted marketing. Specifically, the social network made changes to the campaign forecasting panel in Campaign Manager, enabling marketers to see the makeup of their target audience directly through the dashboard and customize specific professional characteristics (e.g., years of experience, company size).

Personalized ads are coming to your television. Channel 4 and Virgin Media are the latest broadcasters to opt in to targeted commercials. The targeting service—provided through Sky’s AdSmart—offers commercials that can be swapped out and personalized based on location or other personal data, even during live-broadcast, linear TV. This service could be a boon for local businesses, allowing them to focus their ad spend on customers within their targeted geographical area.

Marketing automation integration will impact your 2020 marketing strategy. How will marketing automation affect your team’s marketing strategy in 2020? A recent survey by GetResponse and Ascend2 dove into the state of marketing automation integration at marketing agencies, finding that 92% of agencies are investing more time, resources, and funds into marketing automation integration for the coming year. Check out the full article to learn what this means for your marketing team.

Week of Sept. 30, 2019


Startup businesses are spending on TV ads, California poised to roll out data privacy law, and other marketing news

Startups spend big on TV advertising. According to a new report on ad spending in the United States, start-up brands that once advertised nearly exclusively through digital media are moving into television at break-neck speeds. This trend has big implications both for advertising companies and for young businesses that want to stay competitive in the market.

To the dismay of tech giants, California poised to roll out data privacy law in January. Much like businesses in the EU when GDPR was passed 18 months ago, U.S. businesses are scrambling as the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, is set to go into effect Jan 1. Tech leaders such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and IBM’s Ginni Rometty are trying to leverage their tremendous lobbying power and influence to soften the regulation. As the law stands, if your business interacts with a California resident, you will be subject to these new regulations at the start of the year.

C-level execs tell all about their CMOs. Is your chief marketing officer indispensable? Harvard Business Review surveyed 575 Fortune 500 C-suite executives (principally CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CTOs) and conducted 19 in-depth interviews to ask about the role of their fellow C-suite member, CMOs. The survey showed that CMOs receive their highest performance marks from CEOs. For every metric captured, nearly 50% of CEOs think their CMOs are highly effective.

Week of Sept. 23, 2019


Facebook takes another swing at the tech device industry, Gen Z prefers socially conscious brands, and other marketing news

Facebook hopes to boost sales of its video-calling device, Portal. Looking to kick-start the less-than-stellar sales for its Portal video-calling device, Facebook introduced three new models of the device and made the devices available in more countries. Facebook also added calling functionality via its WhatsApp messaging application. The social media titan has largely fallen flat in its attempts to break into the device market; will the Portal be Facebook’s first successful crossover into a new industry?

The digital marketing trends your team should pay attention to. Does keeping up with trending products and how they shape digital marketing feel like a never-ending, insurmountable battle? AdAge is here to help with a list of four top trends to watch in the marketing industry. These trends include the micro-video, specifically YouTube’s non-skippable, six-second “bumper ads,” and how to combat bot-traffic when calculating the number of human eyes on your ads.

The key to Gen Z? Brands that make the world a better place. MediaPost breaks down the key findings from a survey of Gen-Z consumers on what motivates them to support a brand. In addition to the importance of supporting brands with a humanitarian viewpoint, the survey also signals high levels of interest in the companies behind brands, and their “about us” stories. Gen-Z consumers want to know what companies stand for, beyond a product.

Study finds 81% of respondents use Twitter to connect with events in the world around them. How you advertise on different social media platforms may matter more than you thought. A new study by Publicis Media found that while the majority of Facebook and Instagram users are there to keep up with family, friends, and trend influencers, Twitter users are overwhelmingly on the platform to keep up-to-date with news and events.

Week of Sept. 16, 2019


GetResponse drops report on email marketing trends, social media titans to testify before Senate, and other marketing news

GetResponse releases quarterly update on email marketing trends. For the best insights into what’s trending in email marketing today, GetResponse analyzed four billion emails that were sent from 126 countries across 19 industries. Key insights: Fewer emails mean higher engagement per message, and autoresponders are key for driving engagement, especially with new subscribers and special offers. Check out the full report for more insights.

How well do U.S. consumers tolerate ads? While ad-blocking technology is alive, well, and highly marketable, research shows that consumers are willing to tolerate certain types of ads or ad experiences. A report from eMarketer says that surveyed buyers consider static banner ads (16%), sponsored posts in social media feeds (14%), and sponsored search results (12%) to be the most useful digital ad formats. Overall, however, almost 58% of digital buyers said they didn’t think any digital ads were useful to them.

You can’t afford to make these mistakes in your influencer marketing campaign. The success of your influencer marketing campaign largely depends on making a smart match when choosing your influencer. Three steps can help assure you find the right influencer for your brand: (1) look beyond the number of followers, (2) carefully track impact, and (3) brief and continually guide your influencer around key details of your product or service.

Facebook, Twitter, and other U.S. social media companies to testify about violent online content. On Sept. 18, Google, Facebook, and Twitter will testify before a U.S. Senate panel on efforts by social media firms to remove violent content from online platforms. According to the committee, the hearing “will examine the proliferation of extremism online and explore the effectiveness of industry efforts to remove violent content from online platforms.” In response to the outcry, Facebook will introduce a “one-strike” policy for Facebook Live, a service which lets users broadcast live video.

Week of Sept. 9, 2019


Key takeaways from INBOUND 2019, how brand equity can boost your sales, and other marketing news

Key takeaways from Hubspot’s marketing conference, INBOUND 2019. Last week, 26,000 marketers flooded Boston for the INBOUND marketing conference. News from the conference included Hubspot’s announcement of a new app marketplace and a steady drumbeat from keynote speakers of embracing diversity and promoting inclusivity.

Nine states are investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations. Political leaders from New York are joined by Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia in an investigation of Facebook’s antitrust policies. The bipartisan coalition asks whether Facebook “stifled competition and put users at risk” by increasing the price of advertising, reducing consumer-choice quality, and mishandling personal information.

Is positive brand equity the key to boosting sales? Check out Inc.’s deep dive into the benefits of building positive brand equity, which it defines as the perceived value of a company, product, or service. The article argues that consumers tend to make purchasing decisions based on their perception of a brand, preferring to buy from brands they feel confident in, are familiar with, and consistently get value from.

Week of Sept. 3, 2019


Advertisers under fire over privacy, the state of chatbots, and other marketing news

Advertisers under fire in the fight for data privacy. As we’ve highlighted in many a newsletter, companies that use/mine personal data are under a bit of a crackdown. This week, Google and Apple instituted data privacy steps that are sending ripples across the advertising ecosystem. Some of the ad-targeting techniques that have come under fire include cross-device tracking, location data-targeting, and real-time bidding.

Brick-and-mortar stores are building their reputations on Amazon. Marketing Land reports that 78% of keyword searches on Amazon are non-branded. That’s a huge opportunity for your small business to grow your name recognition and brand identity. Check out the full article for insights on how to attract and keep customers in the Amazon marketing place with techniques such as optimizing for search and fostering authentic product reviews.

Eric Siu and Neil Patel discuss the state of chatbots. Have a few minutes to spend on marketing trends? Check out the podcast Marketing School. In this week’s episode, marketing powerhouses Eric Siu and Neil Patel discuss the pros and cons of chatbots in today’s marketing environment. This four-minute micro-podcast packs a punch and includes Siu and Patel’s thoughts on who is making waves in the chatbot industry.

Week of Aug. 26, 2019


The end of Revlon, a fast-food Twitter feud, and other marketing news

Could this be the end of Revlon? Revlon, once a titan in the cosmetics industry, is exploring the sale of all or some of its business. In the face of lackluster sales and a crushing debt of $3 billion dollars, Forbes asks where the company went wrong, where they had success, where they’ve fallen short, and what it all means in the age of influencer marketing.

Microsoft drops new search behavior and conversion data. Microsoft Advertising estimates that people spend about 33% more on purchases after searching across its own network (the Microsoft Search Network), compared to elsewhere across the web. When searching for a retail-related gift, consumers tend to visit more than one site. Read the full article to learn what other purchase trends Microsoft discovered.

A fast-food feud: Chick-fil-A and Popeyes in a cockfight. No, you’re not imagining it—some of your favorite brands are in the middle of a Twitter feud right now. This back-and-forth is the latest in an ongoing trend of businesses trying to build personality and differentiate themselves on social media. Love it or hate it, the move certainly stirred up a ton of attention around Popeyes’ new chicken sandwich. Check out Business Insider’s full article for the details.

Marketing automation is the key to business efficiency. Does your business leadership love the phrase, “work smarter, not harder”? Many small businesses and entrepreneurs lag behind their corporate counterparts in harnessing the power of automation to work smarter. This article outlines four automation opportunities across sales, marketing, project management, HR, and business analysis that growing companies should evaluate.

Week of Aug. 19, 2019


Instagram experiences a data breach, AI changes the influencer marketing game, and other marketing news

Invasive data scraping didn’t end with Cambridge Analytica, and your Instagram profile could be next. A Business Insider investigation uncovered that, one year after Cambridge Analytica harvested data from 50 million Facebook users, your Instagram data could fall victim to the same privacy violations. Facebook-owned Instagram sent Hyp3r, the consulting firm in question, a sternly worded cease-and-desist letter, but it’s worth noting that the firm is a long-standing official marketing partner of Facebook.

What comes after cookies? Publishers look for new ways to gain user consent. Changes such as Apple’s anti-tracking policy on Safari, which bans the use of third-party cookies, have contributed to an industry-wide feeling of urgency in the hunt for new ways to gather user data. This article by Digiday takes a thoughtful look at what may come next, including first-party cookie solutions and new ways to imagine user logins.

Verizon signals plan to sell Tumblr to WordPress parent company. Verizon has agreed to sell its blogging website Tumblr to Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. Automattic reportedly paid less than $3 million for Tumblr, although the exact sum is undisclosed, and will take on about 200 staffers. If these reports are true, this is a nominal amount compared to Tumblr’s previous purchase price of more than $1 billion.

How does AI change the influencer marketing game? Big brands seek out creative influencers based on qualitative criteria: brand affinity, content quality, and alignment with the brand message and values. This Forbes article reviews how artificial intelligence (AI) can couple influencer marketing with quantitative measurements. “The future belongs to AI,” argues Forbes, “because it enables business systems to operate with granular precision and scalability that simply isn’t possible at a human level.”

Week of Aug. 12, 2019


Most marketers don’t fully understand their ROI, professional women’s sports is the next great influencer frontier, and more marketing news

Fewer than 30% of marketers have a precise understanding of ROI. Digital marketing company GetResponse partnered with global research firm Demand Metric to analyze the current state of the marketing funnel and identify the biggest pain points. The study found fewer than 30% of marketers have a precise understanding of the ROI on their marketing funnel. How does your marketing team compare to the key findings of this study?

Advertising spend in the healthcare marketplace projected to grow nearly 4%. Does your business advertise in the healthcare field? The latest Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecast predicts steady growth over the rest of 2019 and into 2020. Zenith’s global brand president Matt James said, “The future of healthcare services lies in data and bleeding-edge technology, and the same is true for healthcare marketing communication.”

As it struggles to stay in the black, Uber lays off 400 marketing employees. If you’re looking to make a job change in the marketing field, here’s some news to keep in mind: Uber laid off nearly a quarter of its global marketing team this week. The move comes on the heels of a leadership shake-up in June when CEO Dara Khosrowshahi combined the company’s marketing, communications, and policy teams.

Professional women’s sports may finally get the influence it deserves. Looking for the next big social influencer frontier? Riding the tide of the U.S. women’s soccer team’s tremendous success this season, powerhouse female athletes are coming together on Twitter to advance the culture of sports. Check out this Ad Age article for the full scoop on how these trailblazing women are changing the influencer marketing game.

Podcasting: Everyone’s doing it, but are they doing it well? Today, podcasts attract an estimated 90 million listeners per month, which is 32% of the total U.S. population aged 12 and older. This has spurred many businesses to add this medium to their branded content strategy. Check out the full article for tips on cultivating an audience, how to choose a podcast host, and more.

Week of Aug. 5, 2019


AI outperforms copywriters, EU regulators take on Google, and other marketing news

Did AI just outperform a human being in a copywriting trial? Reports have surfaced that JPMorgan Chase has entered into a five-year deal with Persado, an technology company pioneering the use of AI to generate marketing and creative copy. Could this be the beginning of a trend? Advancements in AI could have traditional copywriters on their heels.

Will the latest YouTube algorithm tweak affect your traffic? YouTube once again tweaked its algorithms in early July, this time in an attempt to boost what it deems “quality” children’s content. This has sent droves of traffic to certain producers while burying other channels. Depending on how the software categorizes videos, this could also affect content marketed to children and their parents.

EU regulations temporarily rein in Google. Germany’s data watchdog agency has issued a three-month ban preventing Google from listening to voice recordings of people using its Assistant software in the European Union. What comes of these privacy concern investigations could signal significant legal lines in the sand for other companies using similar data collection techniques.

Marketing automation and analytics company raises $4.6 million for AI-driven marketing campaigns. California-based Pyze, a company previously focused on low-code or no-code web and mobile app platforms, received handsome funding to expand their platform for AI-driven user analytics and campaign management for multiple marketing channels. Venture Beat reports that the money came from Illuminate Ventures, with participation by Benhamou Global Ventures and Correlation Ventures.

Week of July 29, 2019


LinkedIn rolls out a new feature, authenticity is the key to influencer marketing, and other marketing news

LinkedIn’s new feature could help freelancers and small businesses connect with potential clients. This new feature allows businesses to share what services they provide on their LinkedIn profile page, and allows freelancers and small-business owners to show their individual availability, industry expertise and skills, and geographic location. Check out the full article to see if your business qualifies for LinkedIn’s new feature.

Data privacy startups are thriving as GDPR fines ramp up. Venture Beat profiles five data privacy startup companies that offer data security and compliance solutions. If your company does any business with citizens of the European Union, you to need to be sure you are in compliance with these new regulations. Need a refresher on what GDPR is and how it can affect your business? Check out this Capterra article.

Does authenticity make or break influencer marketing? Ever seen a digital influencer review a product and think, “Is this ad copy? Or someone’s real opinion?” Check out the full article for a breakdown of how the most successful brand influencers walk the line between advertising and authenticity.

Week of July 22, 2019


FTC fines Facebook, HubSpot to roll out free email marketing service, and other marketing news

FTC signals it means business as it fines Facebook $5B. Does your marketing mix include Facebook Ads? Until now, Facebook has avoided the lion’s share of government regulation by claiming that they are a tech company and not a media company. But in the wake of this severe FTC fine and with the new California data privacy policies just six months away, Facebook may soon fall in line.

Attention, marketers: YouTube just added additional ways to earn money. This week, YouTube unveiled a handful of new features that will enable publishers to monetize in ways other than ads, including “Super Chat” and “Super Stickers.” Click through for three tips on how your marketing team can make the most of these new features.

HubSpot to introduce a free email marketing service. Looking for a free email marketing service? HubSpot is gearing up to release a free version of its email marketing service, offering users the ability to send up to 2,000 marketing emails per month and manage up to $1,000 in online ads.

Is customer retention among your top marketing priorities? A new study done by The Manifest shows that although it’s more cost-effective than trying to attract new customers, most businesses fail to count customer retention among their top digital marketing goals. Check out the full article for three steps to prioritizing customer retention.

Week of July 15, 2019


In-app eCommerce comes to TikTok, Marriott gets hit with a huge GDPR compliance fine, and other marketing news

GDPR crackdown: Marriott to be fined over $100 million for serious data breach. The international hotel group faces a $123 million fine over a 2018 data breach that saw hackers steal the records of 339 million guests. It’s apparent that GDPR regulators mean business, and this crackdown won’t pass over your business.

Facebook shares plans to develop standalone apps. It looks like Facebook will continue to branch into other sections of the digital marketplace. Facebook reports that their “New Product Experimentation” initiative aims to determine what features people find useful or engaging, which could help inform the company’s larger product strategy going forward.

In-app eCommerce comes to TikTok. Is TikTok the next place your company could place a “shop now” button? Check out the article above to see how this newest social media company plans to enable in-app shopping and commerce.

Scale your SaaS company with an automation strategy. Is your company defining metrics for every stage of the funnel? This Forbes article outlines how automation can help your business define metrics, map the customer journey, and more.

Week of July 8, 2019


Alexa offers free competitive insights, email read-times are on the rise, and other marketing news.

Free competitive insights now available through Amazon’s Alexa. Via Alexa.com, Amazon released a suite of competitive tools for small and midsize businesses. The Alexa Site Overview service, which serves more than three million unique users each month, can now reveal a brand’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to reach its audience. This is a huge opportunity for businesses with limited financial resources to utilize technologies previously available only to businesses that could afford a full analytics team.

Popular marketing platform GetResponse expands its capabilities. This new expansion includes webinar support, eCommerce solutions, a new online payment gateway, and Facebook advertising integrations. These new capabilities are live and running; be sure to check them out and see how your company’s current software compares.

Tried-and-true Facebook strategies begin to lose their edge. Marketers have employed standard traffic arbitrage strategies, buying Facebook ads to acquire traffic that they can then monetize through ads that earn more than the cost of the ads. These strategies worked, until June 2018, when companies such as Ranker and Topix saw a sudden downward trend. Click the link above to see how these companies invested in strategies such as growing organic reach on Facebook to mitigate.

Email read-time is on the rise. This article is full to the brim with useful statistics and findings from the State of Email Engagement, a study by Litmus. The numbers are positive; overall, average email engagement time has gone from 10.4 seconds in 2011 to 13.4 seconds in 2018. Other noteworthy stats from the study include emails tracked worldwide: 61% were read for at least eight seconds, 23% were skimmed, and 15% were just given a glance.

Week of July 1, 2019


Neil Patel wants to revive your dying Facebook traffic, why radio is still the gold standard for advertising, and other marketing news

When it comes to brand endorsements, a radio host is still the golden goose. An audio ad spot could be a great strategic move for your business. Modern radio announcers, podcasters, and YouTubers often transition their conversation between organic and paid content without breaking stride. A key endorsement from a trusted and beloved radio personality or podcaster could mean big dividends for your ad.

Don’t let the walls of your brick-and-mortar business keep you from building a customer email list. Even if you never sell a product online, your brick-and-mortar business can benefit greatly from building an email list. Read on for Campaign Monitor’s two-part formula for building an email list that’s followed by many of the most successful list-builders around.

Web influencer Neil Patel shares his secrets for growing dying Facebook traffic. Is your business struggling to maintain a positive ROI for your social media strategy? Neil Patel can relate, and he’s sharing his strategy for bringing his Facebook traffic numbers back from the dead, including how to strategically use Facebook messenger.

Social commerce is the indisputable market breakout trend for eCommerce in the coming years. Where are your potential customers spending their money? Forbes reports that Generation Z spends two to three times more money shopping on social channels than the average consumer, with Instagram and Snapchat taking the lead, while Generation X prefers shopping on Facebook. Is this the future of eCommerce?

Without voice search optimization, even the best SEO strategy lets potential customers fall through the cracks. If you’re running a local business and you have some sort of retail presence, you need to prioritize voice search optimization. This Inc.com article cites BrightLocal survey data that shows 58% of consumers conducted voice searches in the past year to learn more about a local business.

Week of June 24, 2019


Mailchimp bans anti-vaccination content, five ways to use AI in your marketing, and other marketing news

Your SEO campaign isn’t doing you any good unless you’re measuring its ROI. Marketing is a results-driven field, and SEO is no outlier. Use Smart Insight’s guide to setting up conversion tracking and calculating ROI to make sure your campaign is working for you.

Build a winning B2B marketing campaign with these tips. B2B marketing is a unique challenge that calls for its own unique strategies and solutions. Forbes asked a panel of 12 industry experts to share how you can build business-focused marketing campaigns.

Digital marketing powerhouse Mailchimp moves to ban vaccine misinformation. NBC notes that Mailchimp’s removal of several anti-vaccination activists from its platform is just the latest in a string of similar actions by large tech companies in response to growing public discourse. The company will no longer provide services to newsletters that push anti-vaccination content, citing Terms of Use violations and adherence to guidance from worldwide health organizations. Is this a trend other email marketing software leaders will join in on?

Are you realizing the cross-departmental value of a solid content marketing strategy? As your business develops its content marketing strategy, does sales have a seat at the table? What about HR and customer service? Marketing Insider Group breaks down how each of your departments have a stake in content marketing and how to use that to build a rock-solid content strategy.

AI is for marketers, too. Artificial intelligence is already helping businesses like yours with a ton of different tasks, and it can help your marketing team as well. Check out this list of five ways marketers are wielding AI technologies, and see how your company measures up.

Week of June 17, 2019


Evidence that Zuckerberg was aware of problematic privacy practices, 25 women who defined two decades of digital marketing, and other marketing news

Was Mark Zuckerberg was aware of problematic privacy practices at Facebook? Business Insider reports that internal Facebook emails shared with government regulators show CEO Mark Zuckerberg questioning some of the company’s privacy practices. As data privacy and consumer consent rights continue to grow as an expectation for social media, both consumers and businesses advertising on social media will need to adapt to new privacy expectations.

Which reports should your business run using Amazon Ad Data? Entrepreneur.com posted an excerpt from Timothy P. Seward’s book, “Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising.” This excerpt breaks down the value of four reports available through Amazon Ad Data, including vendor central performance data and attribution examples for a sponsored brands campaign.

This 2019 survey points to increased sales using location data. The survey of 700 U.S. based mobile marketers drawn from a B2B survey panel included 536 consumer brands and 164 agencies. This article analyzes the survey’s questions and collected responses, offering insight on reported use of location for targeting, engagement, and personalization.

Help The Drum honor the women who have influenced digital marketing for the past 25 years. Do you have a female colleague who has helped define digital marketing over the last 25 years? The Drum, Futures Network, and WACL want to hear about her! To mark 25 years since the first banner ad and the birth of the digital marketing industry as we know it, 25 From 25 will honor the achievements of 25 phenomenal women in the industry. You have until Friday, July 5, to enter yourself, a colleague, or peer here.

As companies continue to increase mobile ad spend, Google and Bing drive changes in CTRs and CPCs. If click-through rates continue to decline, why do marketers keep increasing budgets for paid-search ads running on Google and Bing? Check out Marin Software’s Q1 2019 Digital Benchmark Report, which analyzes customer search, mobile, and social performance data. How do your CTRs measure up?

Week of June 10, 2019


Google to sunset text-only ads, a compelling case for email marketing, and other marketing news

In the name of richer formats, Google AdSense poised to sunset text-only ads. Last week, Google sent out a second wave of email alerts to AdSense users, forecasting “upcoming improvements to Google AdSense ad units.” In practice, this means phasing out text-only and display-only ad units to further improve the user experience.

Survey shows omnichannel marketing strategies trending at small businesses. A 2019 Omnisend survey shows that nearly 60% of respondents are looking to integrate an omnichannel strategy in 2019. Omnisend CEO Rytis Lauris reports, “We encourage our growing brands to experiment more with different channels in automation to grow faster and foster customer loyalty.”

Attention, startups: The case for investing in email marketing. Entrepreneur.com lays out the value of investing in email marketing software, arguing that investing at an early stage increases the likelihood that a business will flourish and build a wide customer base.

Could Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) save ad-tech? Apple’s IDFA links all of a user’s applications for advertising purposes only and promotes a more privacy-oriented version of consumer tracking than a vulnerable, cookie-based system. Is this the basis for a post-GDPR unified tracking standard, and will other tech giants such as Android and Windows follow suit?

With the Sizmek acquisition, is Amazon signaling an intent to challenge Google? While Amazon’s ad revenue is marginal compared to its robust eCommerce arm, it is definitely on the rise. The company’s “other” revenue, which comes mostly from advertising, grew 34% in its most recent quarter.

Week of June 3, 2019


AI-created ads are becoming mainstream, Apple is getting serious about making ads more private, and more marketing news

AI-created ads will be accepted by your audience by 2023. And that’s not the only prediction from Juniper Research. Premium ads will cost more due to competition for limited space, and getting data from your customers will be more difficult due to privacy laws. Still, this is a good time to start figuring out what AI can do for your marketing team (and button up your data-collection methods).

Marketing automation is about to get a little sweeter. SugarCRM recently acquired Salesfusion. The marketing automation tool purchase comes just three months after SugarCRM purchased email integration software company Collabspot. Is this a signal that SugarCRM is going to release a marketer’s dream suite? Only time will tell.

The power of Salesforce’s Datorama marketing intelligence platform will be yours. Data-driven marketers, listen up: Salesforce and Datorama are launching a marketplace for apps that can use Datorama’s tech stack. This means AI and marketing intelligence for all (in exchange for some coin.) This new marketing app store will provide a plethora of cross-platform analytics data to marketers who are Datorama customers. Hurrah for more marketing insights tools!

Apple plans to make ads kinda-sorta more private. Here’s the gist: Apple is going to provide data to marketers on how effective their online ads are, but they are longer going to allow cross-site tracking data to be transferred. It’s called “Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution” and is built into Safari. How does it do it? Conversions are matched with stored ad information via pixels. Is this a win-win for user privacy and marketers? You decide.

Marketing has to start (and end) with trust. Stephanie Buscemi from Salesforce says, “90% of consumers will stay loyal to a brand they trust.” What does that mean for marketers? Your brand has to make a positive impact on the world and live the message it presents to customers. It means that it matters how you engage your audience, not just how big your audience is. It also means getting to know your customers face-to-face at events and building a community.

Week of May 28, 2019


The Salesforce armageddon, traditional search is dying, and more marketing news

NAI bans behavioral targeting of users under the age of 16. The Network Advertising Initiative, a self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and digital advertising use, just released its 2020 Code of Conduct. The update raises the minimum age for behavioral targeting of audiences from 13 to 16, among other changes.

We survived the Salesforce armageddon. As everyone with Salesforce knows, May 17 was a day of silence for the platform. As in, they shut off access for everyone so they could handle a scripting error that granted high-level access to pretty much everyone. No worries, Salesforce has resolved the issue. So what’s the big pain? If you didn’t have a Sandbox set-up, you’ll have to go in and manually grant everyone in your organization access again. Bummer.

Mailchimp makes a play to own the marketing space beyond emails. Mailchimp has been an email marketing company since the good old days of “Smallville” (2001). They just decided to expand their position in the marketing game with a CRM platform to help small businesses market like enterprise-size businesses. We knew something was up when they left Shopify, but what does this recent brand strategy change mean for the marketing powerhouse (and current Mailchimp users)?

Google is doubling down on redesigned ads. Discovery ads, Gallery ads, and expanded reach for Showcase Shopping ads were the highlight of this year’s Google Marketing Live conference. Discovery ads will be available to advertisers worldwide later this year. Gallery ads, which prioritize more visually-compelling ad units, will show at the top of mobile results. Showcase Shopping ads will now extend to Google Images, the Discover Feed, and YouTube feeds.

Is search dying? Recent research postulates that we are exiting the era of traditional search engine dominance, and moving towards targeted display ads. And, as video becomes more and more important to marketers, paid search will likely see a hit as well.

Week of May 13, 2019


Why no one is seeing your content, the advantages of a digital community, and more marketing news

Your company’s old guard customer engagement strategy might be in need of a pick-me-up. A thriving digital community is one such way to boost engagement. Studies have found that building a strong digital community encourages customers to spend more and increases their satisfaction with your business. Smart Insight’s killer infographic will walk you through why and how to build a digital community.

Marketing content that goes unseen can feel a bit like yelling into the void. Producing content that doesn’t connect with your customer base can be a frustrating, defeating experience. Target Marketing lists nine reasons your content could be falling short and offers insights on how to get your marketing team’s work in front of more people.

Artificial intelligence may hold the key to understanding customer sentiment. Gartner reports that machine learning, natural language understanding, and natural language processing can help analyze customer sentiment and customer feedback at scale. AI could be a boon to your sales and marketing teams alike.

Facebook outlines changes to how its algorithm rank videos. In a Facebook Newsroom post, project management director David Miller detailed Facebook’s plans “to help talented video creators find their audience and build profitable video businesses on Facebook.” The update includes three factors that impact video ranking: loyalty and intent, video and viewing duration, and originality.

The future of audience targeting must be GDPR-safe. The four steps outlined in this Marketing Land article to execute a GDPR-compliant audience targeting strategy address how the ad tech ecosystem was previously built around the user and the cookie. In the wake of GDPR, this kind of attribution is no longer possible.

Looking for Marketing Automation software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Marketing Automation software solutions.

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