• Creating and Maintaining a Healthy, Effective Marketing Platform Ecosystem

    by Claire Concowich | Jul 26, 2018

    Creating and Maintaining a Healthy, Effective Marketing Platform Ecosystem
    Technology has changed the capabilities of the marketing world, drastically enabling sales and marketing teams to work smarter while the technology works harder. Like most growing companies, you probably have the basics covered—including a website, email tool, and a CRM—so now you’re thinking about the next step: adding a marketing automation platform. By adopting this tool, marketing communications become more targeted, cohesive, and support the customer through their journey—and better targeting means stronger results.

    You’re not alone in embracing marketing automation and other marketing technology, and you’re also not alone if you’re running into a relatively steep learning curve when it comes to using it most effectively. In a survey of marketing decision makers by GetResponse and SmartInsights, 55% of respondents indicated that they plan to increase spending for marketing technology, with a staggering 20% planning to increase spending by 10% or more. However, when it comes to using it well, only 5% consider themselves experts.

    Collectively, we’re willing to take the next steps in our journey to martech sophistication, but we’re not realizing the full benefits in our execution. The integration of these tools may have been successful, but it’s not clear whether we’re using them to the best of their ability to deliver the highest ROI.

    A Healthy Marketing Platform Ecosystem—Driven by Your Data Fuel

    One area in which many marketers struggle is with their data.

    Your platform ecosystem is only as strong as its data structure and health. As you introduce new platforms into the ecosystem—such as a marketing automation platform—the most important thing is that they all connect to a central data repository. Keep in mind that your platform ecosystem can scale and grow over time, but it should never grow so fast that it negatively affects your data cleanliness.

    This data repository is critical. It will hold the ever-changing fuel for the network of marketing tools you use, and it’s where you’ll keep and safeguard vital information for leads, prospects, and customers. This is where all analytics associated with a specific user reside, whether you’re using Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua, SharpSpring, a combination of a few, or another platform.

    With each platform introduced to your ecosystem, it becomes an absolute necessity to define how information within the data repository will be recorded, stored, and shared with other systems. It’s equally vital to maintain and update the data stored to ensure that it continues to fuel your ecosystem.

    An Efficient Ecosystem

    An ecosystem’s health is also affected by the efficiency of the platforms you’re using. For example, using a marketing automation tool and all of its features can make collecting consumer data easier and more effective. However, like all technology, marketing platforms are constantly evolving and often contain more bells and whistles than you may be able to use efficiently. So, do all those tools need to be used to solve your business problem?

    In spite of the growing budgets designated for marketing platforms, many companies are not fully utilizing the materials at their disposal to their greatest extent. A full 47% of respondents from the survey mentioned above don’t use their marketing automation platform at all, or are ignoring many of its features. This is not only a waste of their investment in marketing automation, but it also prevents the technology from working to its full potential.

    To ensure that you have an ecosystem working as efficiently as possible:

    • Clearly define the objectives for your marketing platform ecosystem
    • Map the existing systems in place and document areas that are not being utilized and how they connect to the data repository
    • Highlight gaps in your ecosystem and focus on areas of weakness to ensure the entire system delivers on the defined objectives
    • Continually update your knowledge on all the available tools offered through marketing automation platforms

    If you’re not sure how to ensure that your marketing ecosystem is as healthy as it could be, contact the Trellist Digital division. We’ll be happy to help!

  • Three Ways to Connect With a Millennial Customer Base

    by Claire Concowich | May 05, 2017

    Millennials are a growing segment of consumers—making up more than a quarter of the US population—thus forcing marketers to change their game in order to stay ahead. They’ve completely reshaped the marketplace. Check out some of our best tips for keeping up with these 83.1 million consumers:

    1. Their smartphone is everything; information has to be readily accessible via mobile
      The quickest way to lose a Millennial audience is a bad mobile experience—poorly designed apps included. The 86 percent of American Millennials who own a smartphone spend an average of 18 hours on their device each week. Meaning, when they are struck with the notion of researching a product, the phone comes out and they start Googling, checking out social media, or texting trusted resources—friends, family, or that one trend-setter who always seems to be ahead of the curve.

      The key is to convey your message quickly and effectively, otherwise interest will be lost. Clean, responsive touchpoints accessible anywhere, anytime is the crux to locking them in after initial interest.

    2. Hell hath no fury like a Millennial scorned
      Social media and mobile technology have changed the communication landscape: not only are you able to lose a customer as a result of tone-deafness, but that loss now has a domino effect that simply did not exist before. For example, United Airlines stock dropped $1.4 billion in one day after the ‘passenger removal’ video took over social media. Pepsi had to pull its recent television ad, featuring Kendall Jenner giving a police officer a Pepsi.

      Large scale, viral disapproval isn’t the only thing brands need to be wary of. With popular social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, Google, etc., Millennials are actively sharing their feedback and checking these sites for reviews from their peers when making decisions about travel, product purchases, and everything in between. It’s not enough for brands to say they have the best product or the lowest prices, now their customers have to say it for them.

    3. Millennials don’t want to be “sold” to
      Traditional ads are no longer resonating with the millennial audience. Millennials are cautious, educated, savvy, and motivated to learn more. In fact, their appetite to learn more is to your advantage. Engage them in the conversation. It takes effort to build trust, so don’t take it for granted if you have a loyal fan base.

    Once Millennials feel like a partner, they are eager to share and promote products and services of value. Brands such as Netflix, GoPro, Wendy’s, and Pampers have built entire communities using social media. They know the best way to resonate with Millennials is to engage with them—an engaged audience is an invested audience, after all.

    Millennials don’t have all the answers, but they do know how to find them. Making sure your brand/company/service is accessible, trusted and forthcoming is the secret to reaching success in this marketplace. Millennials don’t want to be openly sold to, they want to be informed and educated about their options. By continuously engaging Millennials with innovative and relevant information that adds true value, you gain their respect and their business.

    Sources: Phoenix Business Journal, Pew Research CenterFortune, Business Insider, MarketingCharts

  • 3 Ways Millennials Redefine Marketing

    by Claire Concowich | Jan 27, 2017
    3 Ways millennials shape marketing_Images_012517-01

    Millennials (those born roughly between 1980 and 2000) have become the largest generation of people in the U.S., surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers. They account for about a third of the adult population and just over a third of the U.S. workforce.

    Unlike Boomers or Gen Xers, Millennials are the first truly digital generation. Coming of age in an era of advanced technology and social media affects everything from the way they communicate, to how they consume information, to the way they shop and make purchasing decisions.

    For marketers, understanding the influence that technology and media has on the generation and how that influence impacts the future of marketing is crucial, because Millennials account for an estimated $200 billion annually in direct spending and a projected $1.4 trillion by the year 2020.

    Here are 3 ways that Millennials are redefining marketing:

    3 Ways millennials shape marketing_Images_012517-02

    How do Millennials shop?

    Shopping is broken down into a two-phased approach. In Phase one, it is not uncommon to find prospective buyers browsing selections online well before the intent to purchase kicks in. This researching phase happens in down time, such as watching TV at night, or when taking a break at lunch. It could be said that in lieu of traditional commercials, Millennials consume their marketing through product research.

    3 Ways millennials shape marketing_Images_012517-03

    Where do Millennials buy?
    Phase two of how Millennials shop can be called ‘pulling the trigger.’ When the research is complete, Millennials still want to see the product in the flesh when possible. This could be to try on clothing or to check the physical quality of something. Either way, they wanted the satisfaction of knowing that their money is well spent.

    3 Ways millennials shape marketing_Images_012517-04

    How do Millennials spend their money?

    In the above example, it becomes apparent that Millennials are not going to throw hard-earned money at a product simply because of a catchy ad. This generation is pragmatic, if not stingy, in a way that requires marketers to reach them on quality and practicality over other superfluous attributes. The kicker is that after the Millennial does the research and vets the product in the flesh, they return to the internet to find the best offer from a trusted distributor.

    So what does this mean? It means that to reach this emerging demographic, marketers have to think differently. Millennials expect quality products with information that is easily accessible, along with a link to buy it online later at the best value.

    Trellist’s combination of Marketing and Technology, along with our mix of seasoned Boomers, Xers and Millennials, makes us uniquely qualified to help clients respond to the new rules of marketing being created by Millennials. Find out what we can do for you.

    Sources: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau Reports

Insights posts by: Claire Concowich

Claire Concowich
An innovative Strategic Consultant with direct technology expertise and a unique knowledge of marketing automation and social media management platforms, Claire works with clients in the manufacturing and financial services industries to develop impactful digital marketing and technology programs.