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Marketers

Email marketing top of the ROI Charts

The 2017 Econsultancy/Adestra email Marketing Industry Census has revealed that email marketing is top of the ROI Charts for the third year in a row.

Based on a survey of over 1,200 marketers undertaken between February and March 2017, 73% of companies along with 76% of agency respondents rated it excellent or good.

Budget allocated, however, was only 15% of total marketing budget, with a feeling that the growing complexity of the digital marketing landscape still left many marketers confused as to how best allocate funds to create a more complete campaign.

Those marketers who are more tech savvy and able to master the data and successes within email marketing are set to gain business advantages over competitors over the next 12 month period.

“The results of this year’s Census show that marketers are struggling to see the bigger picture and stand by their choices,” explained Henry Hyder-Smith, Adestra CEO. “By getting the fundamentals working together – personalisation, automation, integration, optimisation – they can make the most of the technology available, offer their customers the experience they are looking for, and realise the benefits of becoming First-Person Marketers.”

Monica Savut, head of research services at Econsultancy, said: “Email continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels and it’s encouraging to see that marketers are looking beyond standalone campaigns by embracing marketing automation and personalisation. However, this year’s Census shows that marketers need to adopt a more rigorous approach, keeping a sharp focus on both technology and strategy while never losing sight of the customer.

“The rewards are there for the taking, but reaping maximum value is dependent on two key success factors: investment that is proportional to any potential returns and a comprehensive strategy that focuses on continuous measurement, testing and optimisation.”

The full report can be downloaded here:

2017 Email Marketing Industry Census

Marketers and customers still not fully aware of data laws…

According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)’s ‘Whose data is it anyway?’ report – which analysed the responses of 2,500 customers and marketers to gain further knowledge of how personal data is managed – almost one half of marketers (41 per cent) do not understand the laws surrounding use of customer data.

A startling 92 per cent of customer respondents admitted they are not fully aware of how companies are using their personal information; and marketers are commonly misusing this data. 68 per cent openly confessed to protecting their own data as if it was a customer’s due to the widely-known possibility of it being stored or used incorrectly.

View the ‘Whose data is it anyway?’ report here

Measurement budgets ‘critical’ to senior level content marketers…

A new study conducted by the Content Marketing Association (CMA) has determined that measurement continues to be seen as a critical factor as dedicated spend is set to grow over the next 12 months.

Measurement is considered to be ‘very important’ to a content marketing strategy by 73 per cent of senior level marketers; with half of marketers currently spending 6-15 per cent of their content marketing budget on. Almost half of respondents (45 per cent) are planning to increase their measurement budgets within the next year, and 56 per cent have ‘automatically’ offered it as part of their strategy.

In addition, the research indicates a high demand to ‘expand the boundaries’ of content marketing measurement, with 68 per cent claiming marketers should seek to measure emotional engagement.

Managing director at the CMA, Claire Hill, said: “Measurement is central to the content marketing industry and this research proves how critical it is to senior marketers. It is great to see the industry joining together to address the key challenges, growing budgets to stay at the forefront of measurement and ROI.”

The Measuring Effectiveness Report, was conducted with senior level marketers, including the CMA membership of over 40 companies, plus brands such as British Gas, Sainsbury’s Bank and Barclays UK. It is the fourth report in a series consisting:Video Engagement Industry Report, ‘The Role of Social in Content Marketing and Content Marketing and Data Intelligence.

 

Download the full report here

Industry Spotlight, Apple iOS 10: What do brands need to know?

Product marketing manager for Urban Airship Engage, Diana Laboy-Rush looks at the implications for brands following Apple’s recent iOS 10 release , with its support for Rich Notifications, where images, video, audio, GIFs and interactive buttons are embedded directly within push notifications.

For businesses, iOS 10 brings massive changes to Apple’s operating system that place better and richer app engagement front-and-centre. If past adoption rates hold steady, it won’t be long before all of your iPhone app users gain richer experiences that offer deeper insight into what they care about. Here are some key points that businesses should be aware of…

 

Reap before you sow with key improvements

iOS 10 solves existing barriers that will make current engagement efforts more effective. A Raise to Wake feature means TouchID users won’t blow past lockscreen notifications when unlocking their phones. Notifications are immediately visible as users pick up their phones. Notifications also become the default view for the Notification Center, a chronologically-ordered archive that makes messages easier to find later.

 

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a GIF or video could be worth more

Rich Notifications can include images, GIFs, audio, video and interactive buttons embedded directly within push notifications. Grab the attention of your audience with notifications that inspire action. Recent Android data analysis found a 56 per cent higher response rate to notifications with pictures versus those without.

 

Better visibility for richer, actionable notification experiences

With iOS 10, users get visual and written cues that there’s a richer notification experience awaiting them. Lockscreen notifications arrive with rich media thumbnails and an instruction to either “Press for more” or “Slide for more” depending on whether Force Touch is available on the device.

That’s in stark contrast to previous Apple operating systems, which had businesses building these instructions into notification text to help ensure interactive buttons were discovered.

 

Mind your media, or risk ruin with too much of a good thing

Apple provides maximum file sizes for images, audio and video that would be best to undercut dramatically. Rich media will impact consumers’ data plans, ranging from barely noticeable with judicious use of images, to potential reasons to delete an app for sending files that are too large or too frequent. These files will impact your bandwidth costs too. Think about opt-in campaigns where users can get a taste and choose to receive these richer, more immersive and data-heavy experiences.

 

Don’t be a blockhead with Rich Notifications

With brands running to emojis for a quick if quirky engagement hit, it would be easy but wrong to approach Rich Notifications in the same manner. When rich media is tailored to specific users’ interests it adds immersive depth not interpretive color to messaging campaigns.

Remember also that not all users will immediately upgrade to iOS 10, so messaging should be made to work without reference to embedded rich media or sent specifically to the segment of your users that have adopted iOS 10. Some solutions will allow you to provide alternative text if the rich media successfully downloads.”

Marketers not using full annual leave entitlement, research claims…

According to recent research from the specialist professional recruitment consultancy, Robert Walters, almost 25 per cent of UK-based marketers are not using their full annual leave entitlement.

The ‘Career Lifestyle’ survey revealed a substantial 27 per cent admitted to not using their annual leave allowance last year; with the most prevalent reasons cited being that there was ‘too much pressure’ to complete ongoing projects; as well as feeling they were not allowed to take time off work; and a further 10 per cent fearing they would fall behind with their work.

B2B Sales and Marketing manager at Robert Walters, Stuart MacSween, said: “Across a range of industries, reviews of digital marketing strategies in particular have been common, as businesses look to keep pace with changing technology.”

He continued: “As a result, marketing professionals are often under pressure to deliver these projects to tight deadlines as employers look to take advantage of new developments in digital and online platforms for marketing purposes. However, if these projects are not managed effectively it is easy for marketing teams to become overworked, struggling to take their allocation of annual leave. In turn, this may leave staff running the risk of suffering from burnout, lowering productivity and staff morale.”

Surprisingly, just 16 per cent of marketing companies offered some form of compensation to their employees for any extra hours worked, either through the mediums of time off in lieu or overtime pay.

Guest Blog, Trevor Hardy: Why marketers need to recognise consumer trends…

Examining trends is not a way of predicting the future; it’s a way of understanding the direction of forces, attitudes and behaviours. The Future Laboratory has developed a methodology for trend forecasting that combines qualitative, quantitative and ethnographic research; as well as expert interviews and an informed dose of intuition. But you can start the practice of identifying early adopter behaviours. Inspired by William Gibson who said, “The future is already here, it just isn’t very evenly distributed”, you can identify these early signs, behaviours or attitudes that are considered niche today; but will become more mainstream in months and years to come.

Understanding trends is essential. Not to predict what is going to happen or to create certainty – but to build confidence. Confidence that the decisions you take today will result in benefits tomorrow. Trends may have devalued meaning in some boardrooms, but they are essential insights which help with business, brand and marketing planning.

 

Trends are not trending

 

Understanding trends is not about knowing what is hot or trendy. Trends are a weather system; they are way to think about where things are going, where things may be and how things may change. Think of them as an insurance policy for your strategy. A way of exploring and understanding all possible futures to give you greater confidence that you are developing plans for what will be, rather than what is.

 

Trends slow down time

 

For years there has been a growing and clear sense that speed is good; speed should be aspired to. That speed of decision-making, of action or consumption and response signalled modernity, accomplishment and dynamism. We see it in our jobs, with roles changing at a greater pace; we see it in our voracious consumption and rapid disposal of news and of course we see it in our relationships with marriages not only coming to an end more frequently, but more quickly too

Without taking the space and time to consider possible futures, the road ahead is very uncertain; and that uncertainty is frightening. Whether it is Brexit, our pensions or our physical health we have a growing and worrying inability to engage with distant threats. As Ralph L Keeney of North Carolina’s Duke University puts it, ‘America’s top killer isn’t cancer or heart disease or smoking or obesity. It’s our inability to overcome our own short-term behaviour.’

The need for speed is letting us down. By taking time to develop a longer term view of your brand, market or consumer, you will be better prepared to make more informed, meaningful choices, and have a clearer picture of possible futures.

 

Trends are slow strategies

 

In one sense, understanding trends allows you to slow down time: being more prepared and informed about the future will allow people to engage in a slower, more considered planning process. The need for continuous rapid response will fade away as your teams develop more confidence in their future-readiness.

Slow strategies will become increasingly palatable as it appears that ‘fast’ is under attack in other aspects of life: food, fashion, music, sex and travel. From Jake Dyson’s 40-year light bulb and the New Horizons space probe, which took almost a decade of travel before beginning its mission, to Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood, which took 12 years to make; brands and their customers are thinking in terms of years, decades – even centuries.

There is an emerging acceptance that immediate gratification is leading to longer-term regret. A recognition, especially amongst younger generations, that a live-for-today approach may have caused irreparable harm to our bodies, our businesses, our communities and our planet. And these same younger generations may be the ones to embrace a long view so that they do not make the mistakes their parents made; the ones who will think in terms of legacy, not missions; who will consider their actions not over instants but over ages. They may be the ones to set an example to think long and slow.

Trevor is chief executive of The Future Laboratory; a trend forecasting and future strategy firm. His career has spanned management consulting and advertising agencies in Canada, USA and the UK; working with organisations including Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Chanel and MTV.

Wrike for Marketers ‘simplifies and frees’ creatives from technology overload…

The project management application service provider, Wrike, has launched a brand new solution which aims to provide marketers with a ‘core management platform’, as well as added capabilities specifically designed to help define, execute and plan standout campaigns in a multichannel digital world.

Wrike for Marketers claims to support all phases of the marketing lifecycle; as jobs are requested with customisable briefs and ideas and content created with a document editor and the Adobe Creative Cloud Extension that notifies, assigns and brings focus to creative work.

Founder and CEO of Wrike, Andrew Filev, said: “I believe we’ve built the easiest way for marketers and creatives to manage their work from inspiration to delivery. A big pain point for these teams has always been the time and frustration required to transfer information between the various phases of projects. Wrike for Marketers integrates those phases into one continuous stream.”

Find out more about Wrike for Marketers here