84 Percent of Website Visitors Convert on the First Visit

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Yes!!  The data is available, thanks to https://www.straightnorth.com/  and my “confirmation bias” could not be happier 🙂

No, we do not need to wait until the initial site visitor will become “ready,” site visitors are ready now, and we, marketers, should take advantage of it.  The report 10 Ways to Make Your Lead Generation Website Convert on the First Visit gives recommendations on how to use the data to benefit our companies.

Lead generation websites: If you do not make a great first impression, you will not earn a conversion, and you will only get a second chance 15 percent of the time.

Companies that want a full pipeline of sales leads MUST pull all the stops and make their websites first visit conversion machines.

Another popular confusion is clarified in the report:  only 23 percent of online leads come from mobile devices (data source is 70 percent B2B and 30 percent B2C).

Based on my personal experience in B2B and B2C, the number is even too high for B2B; the 30% of B2C in the sample might have received the most of mobile attention.  Each company should probably evaluate its own opportunity cost of heavy investment in mobile.

Yes, we, B2B marketers, can be in love with our long sales cycle and sophisticated buyers journeys, but we can increase effectiveness of our marketing efforts if we think about first visit more.  And – there is nothing to loose 🙂

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Marketo Pumpkin Carving Contest

pumkinsYes, I happened to be the right audience for Marketo Pumpkin Carving Contest – I love marketing, and even if I have never tried carving a pumpkin, it definitely looked fun 🙂

First, I needed a pumpkin.  I was determined to find a purple or blue (or some other color pumpkin closer to Maketo color, as, of course, I wanted to create something in between Marketo and Halloween – I am a fan of both.  And the idea itself was beyond hilarious!
carving

Hm…  I never carved pumpkins before…  and they happened to be quite hard to touch.  How can it be carved? My guess, some power pumpkin carving equipment exists, but that was a bit too extreme, and my skill level in the area was absent – or somewhere around one big misconception that pumpkins were as malleable as big orange soft cantaloupes.

End of contest for me?  Not so quickly!  😉  It would be as fun to try to carve the cantaloupe and, with a little help of Photoshop, make it properly purple.  This approach may not qualify for the contest rules, but it would be even more entertaining – plus, I can eat the cantaloupe.

monitorOK – cantaloupe and Photoshop became partners in my non-pumpkin carving efforts.  As usually, cantaloupe was delicious and easy to cut, though not as easy to put back together to pretend to be a pumpkin.  I also tried adding an additional Halloween accessory from  a company’s event.

Definitely, my “pumpkin” had to be purple – the contest idea came from Marketo.  The result was not quite what I expected, but the process was entertaining enough to consider the whole exercise worth the effort. It was a fun Friday eventing!  🙂

contest

I was not completely sure about the Halloween accessory, but, why not?  🙂

Tweet this: This is another test of the click to tweet 🙂 http://ctt.ec/e4cq5+

ears

Dashlane and PC Classes Online

I was lucky to be introduced to two wonderful resources, which saved me efforts and time (and probably allowed to avoid typical frustration of modern life 🙂  ).

DashlineDashlane claims to be the best Password Manager – I agree! I have not used any other similar tools, but I don’t think I will ever dare to leave the security of Dashlane.  I did not realize that Dashlane could collect over 3,000 random passwords from all three browsers I use on my home compute…  I thought I used just a few 😉

PCClassesPC Classes Online was my life saver when I started using Mac at work first time in my life.  Ah – I LOVE it!  And, I came home after the first day in total panic as I did not know how to copy-paste…  Thanks to my increadibley helpful coworkers, I was introduced to basics, but I felt I needed more. PC Classes Online had a perfect class introducing Mac to terrified PC users like me 🙂  I watched it more than twice and “clicked along” to learn my new wonderful tool.  The site has many classes helping to learn different tools and devices.  I will be back, definitely, I will be back 😉

From Minnesota to Silicon Valley

travelingAh, 2015 did not start well for me, but if I knew the possibilities it would open, I would enjoy every moment of the process.  The company where I worked for three years reorganized its marketing function in the spring, the reorganization did not make sense to me, so I left the company without a good idea of what I wanted to do next.  I just knew that it would have to be something dramatically different.  And my husband was hoping for a better weather…

Three months later, I am in California, working for Transifex, a small and very dynamic organization, inherently international and wonderfully diverse, in the industry that did not quite exist several years ago.  Yes, it is my “new job honeymoon,” and I love everything, including my notebook with the company logo, but the people, the product, and even the industry is absolutely amazing!

LogoTransifex-hires

Transifex is a localization platform; it solves the problem that I had throughout my career as a marketer: streamlining the translation of practically any web-related materials.  The most remarkable benefit (from my perspective of a person very new to the industry) is “continuous localization” – a system that allows building the localization process into a normal life cycle of any internet-related project – an agile web app development or continuous updates of marketing web sites.  And, in my sorry experience, which is probably similar to the experience of any marketer, the update of marketing sites usually needed before the translation of the first version has even been completed…

A few years into the future, localization platforms will be as ubiquitous as marketing automation platforms or content management now.  In the application development area these platforms will reside somewhere between the programming language and the database.  The future of the industry is very interesting.

One of my favorite companies, Coursera, is Transifex customer.

For me personally, 2015 might be one of the best years of this century!  🙂

palm-tree

While looking for opportunities in the Silicon Valley (this is where most interesting jobs for marketers are!), I was introduced to quite a few innovative companies with interesting business models.  Though I am certain I joined the best organization for my interests, I am delighted to become a customer, or to borrow interesting marketing ideas from some firms to which I was lucky to be exposed.

My general impression from my job search time is remarkable business savvy I was happy to discover.  Coming from large corporations, I was impressed by the clarity and transparency.  I met marketing VPs who could explain the go to market strategy, positioning and differentiation of their business in two sentences, senior marketers who had an excellent grasp of technical aspects of marketing operations, and just very smart and knowledgeable people of all ages and backgrounds.

Some of the companies I encountered are below:

malwareMalwarebytes – the most popular software you need to protect your computer.  I downloaded the free version, and promotion bar that popped up periodically on different sites disappeared!  Ah – I wanted this bar out of my computer for a while…  I think I will be a paying customer when we upgrade our computers.  The software is available for individuals and businesses, and the company’s ultimate objective is to bring humanity into malware-free future, where such services won’t be needed.

Hilarious: the company named conference rooms by the names of spaceships from Star Trek and Star Wars.  I visited “the Enterprise” conference room with a little model of the ship.  As a Star Trek fan, I was thrilled!  I was also left with the instruction that it was OK to play with the model, as long as I put it back, and Vulcan “live long and prosper” hand gesture.

riminiRinimi Street – very interesting business!  Some of the companies where I used to work would save money and struggles if they would become customers 🙂  The company is an independent provider of enterprise software support, such as Oracle, SAP, etc.  The company is happy to support not only the enterprise software itself, but also all custom code that corporations typically add to the system.  This approach allows reducing cost of software maintenance up to 50% and avoid upgrading to the new versions of enterprise software.  Knowing the dynamics of enterprise software and how it is managed by large corporations, the company will probably thrive for at least 20 years after each software package will be discontinued.

EllieEllie Mae – a company that provides all-in-one mortgage management solutions.  A typical b-to-b SaaS company in a very conservative industry…  with a very innovative and creative marketing approach.  The company approached training about new government regulations as “taming” of a scary-looking dinosaur with the name of a play on the regulation’s abbreviation.  The result – is a cute baby dinosaur, available as a soft, squishable toy (I have one too 😉  ).  It rors when squeezed, and reminds that any scary rule can be transformed into an adorable little creature with right type of knowledge.  Customers play with the toy and post amazing pictures on social media.  Wow – and this is a very conservative industry…

homeHomeAway – this is not a Silicon Valley based company, but its business is as interesting, and I think I will be a customer at one point 🙂  HomeAway is based in Austin, TX, and some people who are hiding from snowy winters work there.  HomeAway provides a global marketplace for vacation rentals.  Instead of staying in a hotel, you can rent an apartment of a large house to keep the entire family comfortable, and costs low.  And you can cook if you like… and family members will have comfortable number of TV sets  🙂  The marketplace provides method of promoting rentals for property owners, reserving the vacation accommodations, reading reviews of previous guests, and a very wide choice of options around the world.

I was fortunate to talk with companies providing different kind of software services, capitalizing on telecommunication technology breakthroughs, advancing new technology in physical and virtual world, helping teachers to learn cutting edge techniques, simplifying office management, and connecting companies around the globe to manage their surplus equipment. Above is a small fraction of the companies to which I was exposed, and I am beyond happy with the end result – finding Transifex..

Now I think 2015 knocked on my door and said: “Hey, the world outside of your little corner is interesting, wonderful.  Explore it, you will be pleased!”  I did.  And my husband and I are looking forward to our first California winter 😉

Ted: Margaret Heffernan: Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work

This is one of remarkable Ted talks that I listened more than twice, and tried to share with everybody.  It points out that the current “way” is ineffective, even it is current, most commonly used, and considered necessary.  And it is ineffective…

What makes some groups more productive and more successful than others? Based on an experiment, high achieving groups in the experiment are not groups that have people with highest IQ, or more people with IQ higher than average. The most successful teams had 3 characteristics:

  • High degree of social sensitivity to each other (empathy test)
  • Successful groups gave roughly equal time to each other (no dominant members)
  • Successful groups had move women 😉  (could be result of higher empathy or diversity)

Culture of helpfulness can be the base for the company’s success.  “Helpfulness routinely outperforms individual intelligence.”

Helpfulness is not a technology issue – it is people knowing each other.  to achieve that, some company ban coffee cups at the desks, because they want people to gather at the coffee machines and talk to each other.

bookOne company synchronized coffee breaks so that people can talk to each other at the same time…  profits went up $15,000,000;  employee satisfaction went up 10%.

Margaret Heffernan also wrote the book on the topic: Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes (TED Books), which is available in printed and audible format.  I am looking forward to enjoying the book sometime soon 🙂

Marketing Stack – Definition and a Template

Marketing-Stack-template-quThe interest to “marketing stack” concept is now registering in Google Trends, though not quite extensive to generate much insight from Ubersuggest 🙂   The passion for the topic is also high – as marketers love their technology, and we most likely will develop more attachment to the topic.

Looking through webinars and articles describing different arrangement of marketing technology, I discovered a few general themes:

  1. There are well-defined core components for marketing stacks, though the industry did not create an established “platform,” and the components are somewhat in the flux
  2. Many marketing stacks place the same tool into the stack template more than once, as a specific tool can fit into different  parts of the template; there is a wide variety of “templates” for the marketing stack used by organizations
  3. Before describing their marketing stacks, marketers often start from their teams – the marketing organization that uses the technology to achieve a specific goal – and the goal itself defines emphasis on particular parts of the stack the technology selection

In this case, the definition of the Marketing Stack could be: organization of marketing technology based on business strategy and available human resources.

If it is the case…  what would be a reasonable “template” for the Marketing Stack?  I would love to have a template where any organization can “plug” its existing tools and immediately see if its marketing technology matches business priorities and available resources.  An attempt below tries to connect these objectives.

Marketing Stack Template

Marketing-stack-template

The template above is a guess with a touch of wishful thinking, however, it probably could create general framework to make marketing stack creation thought process a little easier.

Marketing Stack Template is organized by the general stages of the buying cycle.  Some of the tools can be used throughout the buying cycle, but, typically, they have a “home” as a specific stage.  Arranging the tools should visually give an idea if company’s emphasis is in the expected (or unexpected) location.

Ad platforms and research – my guess, this bucket can be used for market research, keyword research, and any advertisement technologies.

Marketing automation – as practically all b-to-b (and probably more and more b-to-c) companies either have or thinking about marketing automation, it is a good separate category.  Marketing automation often lacks staffing – the bottom part of the template could show that at a glance.  Tools used in conjunction with marketing automation could probably reside in the same bucket, including data cleansing tools, etc.  Email analytics tools, such as Litmus, I think, should be in the Analytics bucket.

CRM – CRM could also be a “bucket” for related tools in the area of sales support.  It is possible to add sales training tools, phone routing tools, etc. to the same category.  Hm…  would customer care tools be in a completely different bucket?  Most likely…

Web Experience – this is a wast area that can include CMS, tag management, any testing tools and tools used for online experience, including mobile.  However, product-related apps I would classify as part of company product, rather than marketing efforts to promote the product.

Analytics – everything from BI tools to ubiquitous Google Analytics, to click mapping tools and surveys.

Productivity – this category would include any project management software, and, my guess, Excel, as it is more of a productivity tool rather than an analytics tool, even if this is where most of data analysis is often done (at least in my experience 😉  ).  I would probably place here Tebleau, but many passionate marketers might disagree 🙂

The bottom part of the Marketing Stack Template indicate three more visual points:

  • Ownership (sometimes, in large organizations, a part of stack can lack clear ownership, what duplicates efforts and creates wasteful competition for resources)
  • Administration  – people who are responsible for the tools and have administrative rights
  • Users – people who use the tools in each category

I guess, it would be possible to add the cost of the tools in each bucket to the Marketing Stack Template, but it might give a wrong impression to people without marketing knowledge – as  marketing fundamentals, such as CRM and marketing automation platform, might consume more resources than dozens “nice to have” tools in other parts of the stack.

Thanks to Chief Marketing Technologist Blog and Lattice Engines – Show Me Your Stack! Webinars, we have a few excellent examples of marketing stacks to review.

Livefyre Marketing Stack

Marketing-stack-Livefyre

Clarabridge Marketing Stack

Marketing-stack-Clarabridge

Informatica Marketing Stack

Marketing-stack-Informatica

Influitive Marketing Stack

Marketing-stack-Influitive

Kapost Marketing Stack

Marketing-stack-Kapost

Uberflip Marketing Stack

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Five9 Marketing Stack

Marketing-stack-Five9

CM Insights simply published its marketing stack on their blog 🙂  CB Insights Marketing Stack.

Marketing-stack-CBInsights

Based on these examples of marketing stacks, and my personal experience, I made a few unexpected (for me) observations:

  • Smaller companies could have a more robust marketing stacks.  Ah, I love some of the tools so much!!  And in many large organizations acquiring or connecting a new tool may be an insurmountable task for an enthusiastic marketer.  In many cases, smaller companies also have better staffed marketing departments (as there is no point in purchasing a tool if the company does not have a knowledgeable person to use it).  My guess, smaller companies will develop Marketing Stack Template that will be used in the future.
  • Difference between tools that have been purchased and tools that are actually used.  In many large organizations this difference is rather significant.  For example, a specific package of web analytics is purchased on the corporate level, installed, and managed by IT.  It may not be complete, it may not be quite configured correctly, it may not have been upgraded to the latest version, and marketers may or may not have needed level of access, and definitely do not have needed training (as training is expensive and difficult to obtain).  As a result, regions and divisions add instances of free Google Analytics to do needed work of marketing.  In this case, company is paying for one tool, but using the other.
  • Integration and connection between marketing stack pieces.  I noticed an attempt to highlight the data flow or connection between different parts of the marketing stack.   Maybe, indication is not needed, as generally, almost everything can be connected, and the decision if the connection should be made is a business decision of the company.  An attempt to avoid organizational silos might be all what is needed to assure that desired integration would happen organically.
  • Companies that sell a particular tool, seem to consider this tool as the critical part of their Marketing Stack.  I don’t think it is just promotional tactic (though this approach is also helpful for promotion of the product 😉 ).  My guess, these companies understand their own tool the most and can take true advantage from its functionality.  I guess, it underscores the investment into training and human capital needed to use the tools for the benefit of the business.

The future of the concept of a Marketing Stack is very promising!

A fantastic post with 21 marketing technology stacks is a treasure for marketers thinking on their own stacks. All 21 slides are included below in the presentation from the post – this is a treasure of information!