The Enigma of Todays Social Media – Sharetize

I had an interesting meeting last week that a friend of mine in town set up between myself and a new company called Sharetize. I didn’t know what to expect and frankly I didn’t do a ton of research into them before we met, but after a run down from my friend the week before I was really curious to meet the founders.

After my meeting I found them to have the right idea of the direction buyers behave and influence each other so asked their CSO & President, James Faulkner, to send me his thoughts on the direction of social media today, how it’s changing our society and how his new platform addresses those needs.


Here are his comments in relation to my questions above:

As we all know the iterations of the internet are never-ending. This constant evolution creates a a myriad of complexities to understanding how it ticks each and every new week. As a founder of a social network marketing platform, I can tell you that I have heard all the angles, from the top advertisers in the world to the mom and pop brands. What I have come to realize is that the majority are, bless their hearts, lemmings! I respect the responsibility each and every person has, but at the same time as a culture, we have to realize that we hold the power, not the network monoliths.  

In my travels I have run into an interesting cast of characters at ad agencies. I find that some not all, (most have been so helpful, thanks) so desperately try to hold on to the purest social media of yesterday. Which I suppose is valiant but yet strangely cavalier in the same breath. We have seen a tectonic shift in the power of ad distribution where fast thinking and innovation are key. Print is has gone from mainstream to niche, primetime is anytime, and Facebook has turned from a relaxing day in Central Park to Fourth of july at Disneyland. This is no ones fault but our culture… we have done this to ourselves, because we wanted to. Inherently we are all searching for meaning by the experiences that shape us. For the masses these nuances are wrapped up in brand experiences. Even our family activities are attached to who we are as a family, and how we are perceived. This search for identity is were brands have us down. They know what we want before we do. I remember buying my first iPad just because I was an apple freak, thinking “what am I going to do with this thing”, now both my 65 year old parents are face-timing me on a daily basis.

So if we are so dependent on brands and the purpose that serve for our own identity, how do we discover new ones. If primetime is now a commercial-fee Netflix experience and the radio has been replaced by Songza and Vevo, our exposure to the repetitive barrage of brand messaging has disappeared. This was the cornerstone of advertising. Things have clearly changed.

In the past the mega channel conglomerates of radio, TV, and print were in control. Today the every single person is a micro channel and the holds the conch. We are in an awkward place in the evolution of this paradigm, because… Advertisers don’t think the mega channels have any power, the mega channels are freaking out with their new found lack of punch, and the average person does not yet get the fact that their conch is a moneymaker. But this is today… and midnight is approaching. The dawn of tomorrows advertising methods are evolving like a time-laps of the seasons.

My company is in the micro channel business. We provide each and every person with a voice the equal opportunity to curate their own broadcast with brands that they not only like, but who value their voice. This is a good thing… because the public will decide just what messaging it will tolerate. When the culture chooses the advertising its people sees, foul play will be much mush less prevalent. Sure there will always be the sell-out, but that is the case with anything. Sharetize is my company, and we have really thought about our culture in its making.

About Sharetize: The Sharetize system leverages personal relationships to distribute marketing campaigns via social network conversations and connections. By leveraging these personal relationships, Sharetize social network campaigns are far reaching, targeted and effective. The Sharetize system is built by advertisers for advertisers and is designed to engage audiences in an authentic fashion.

This social network marketing system provides advertisers the ability to create robust campaigns which are then effectively presented by real everyday people who share the brands they love with their friends and connections. Sharetize compensates these people for their recommendations and referrals.


So, readers, what do you think this means for the future of affiliate marketing?

Facebook Strategies – How to Get From “Like” to Buy

This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit (#OMSummit). Session presented by Kevin Ryan of Motivity Marketing


facebook tips and optimization

Facebook Methodology

  • Photos and video still reign – and we like it!
  • Use meaningful photos
  • More sharing than commenting
  • links second most common media type. Status is least common
  • Potentially great for brands wanting to leverage influential word of mouth.


Three Essentials

  1. Successful brands are focusing more on a posting quality than quantity.
  2. Photos by far dominate as media type for engagement rates. Also tend to have high rates of sharing
  3. Even large pages are still gaining fans at solid rates.


Facebook “Likes” are the click that keeps giving – one click provides awareness and engagement for a protracted period but direct attribution is difficult.
Determine if a relationship exists between search and social marketing, and if so, explain key traits of that relationship and determine potential campaign relationships.


Findings from Case Study

  • Significant correlations in the content / subject relationship between search and social.
  • Brand terms are some of the highest performing terms in both channels
  • Geographically-specfic terms perform similarly
  • Lifestyle attributes performance similarly across platforms



  • Mindless content stratégies don’t work
  • Test and learn, lobby for testing budgets
  • Social insights map relevant content
  • Google subjects in social that could work in search, performance media (everywhere)
  • Strategic positioning among different social properties
  • Inform copy content for ad creative


Editor’s note: Unfortunately the majority of slides were images and case studies that I couldn’t translate into workable points. I think the idea is just test everything, have your plan mapped out but be flexible, have some budget to try things to find what works, and keep in mind best practices that focus on engagement and interaction more than anything else.

Making Sense of Multi-Channel Madness

This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit. Interview with Keynote John Boris, CMO of Shutterfly.


 John’s Comments:

“Real time intelligence. It’s a lot more complicated and time consuming but so much more rewarding than it’s ever been before.”

“I try to install a sense of personal ownership about our money. I encourage the team to think about new ideas and make decisions about how to spend budget as if it was their own money. That accountability allows them to be more creative and more efficient than not.”

“Innovation is not just the newest thing out there and whatever is trending, it could be a new approach to something old”

“We spend the vast majority of our budgets online. Then we optimize the hell out of each of them. We have KPIs and metrics for everything, understand everything. Every month is different, every customer is different, and we measure all of that.”

“Always understand the worst performing thing you are doing. Then remove that and put that effort or budget into something else that’s performing better.”

“They are starting to invest more offline because it’s differentiating them from their online competitors. They won’t know what the ROI is going to be, but they know it’s going to work.”

“Did we bend the curve on our brand exposure on Google because of our offline efforts? Absolutely it did. And we were acquiring better customers because they had a stronger brand loyalty to our brand.”

“The Average person looks at their phone on average 150 times per day.” – Wow, I’m guilty of this…

“If 30% of your traffic is coming from mobile you should be spending 30% of your R&D budget on mobile”

“There is no good way to show that discovery happens on a lean back device when you’re at home watching TV then going back to purchase on your laptop the next day.”

“We have set aside some money to play and learn more about what we can do with mobile.”

“We look at things right brain, left brain as much as we can. I love looking at brand and analytics. I am realistic enough to know that there are things we are going to be doing that can’t be quantifiable but that I know adds value and is important to our overall marketing mix.”

“True lift – people struggle with it all the time. We struggle with it too! Some of it is just intuitive gut and just test and measure absolutely everything we can and optimize the heck out of each one over and over again.”

“Data is critical to any business and especially online businesses. If I could trade off budget for more analytics I would. It’s essential. We look at importer, CPA, Cost Per New, Return on Ad Spend, LTV, ROI. We are in the process of creating a multi-touch attribution model. Display plus paid search plus affiliate becomes a sale. But how and what does that mean. If you could understand which customers shop once a year or once a month, how do you treat those customers differently from each other.”

“Pictures are a motive. People want to communicate through images. There are about 350 images a day posted on our Facebook. We don’t want people to take more photos. We want people to do more with their photos and share them in meaningful ways.”

“We’ve made great stides in social over the last two years. We have over 2MM fans across our channels. I’m a believer in social media. It’s an incredibly compelling way to engage with your customers with a relevant and meaningful way. You can ‘t just pump out offer after offer after offer. It has to be relevant, timely and thoughtful. When we do that it’s successful. I approach engagement as the first measurement tool with this first and ROI second. Engagement is always first.”

“Social gives you opportunity that is amazing, but you have to treat it with respect or you’re going to loose your friends and followers.”

“We have millions of customers in our database. Not all are active. We’ve been around for over 10 years. We are a very Q4 centric business. So try to sell photo gifts, photo books around babies, birthdays, etc. Offline you are put into a separate bucket because you don’t know if the person is going to see the TV ad or not. We have a very robust CRM team to send a relevant piece to the right person in the right mindset at the right time which sends meaningful messages based on what we know about our costumers whether through direct mail, email or retargeting.”

“We took people’s photos and sent them personal messages with their picture in a new format or in a Christmas card and did the work for them, and it’s becoming an extremely successful strategy for us.”

“Visual merchandising is what we invest a lot of time, energy and investment on. We ask, what is the best way to display this? We test different things. We continually experiment with that. That’s not just for the website either, it’s on banners, display, e-mail, etc. Visual is as responsive as you can get and a picture really does say 1000 words, so this is something we continue to put forth and try to perfect as much as possible. You don’t have to perfect it, you just have to always try to continue to improve.”

“Long tail can mean different things for different folks. Long tail search for us is huge. People are getting smarter and they are using very specific terms to find exactly what they are looking for. But there is the long tail customer as well. In our system they look dormant but they may be travelling and are taking a season off. You have to consider they are still around and a brand advocate even if they are not currently active.”

“Always feed the top of your funnel. But also nurture your existing CRM. From a channel standpoint, it’s more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep the ones we have.”

“I love DM! What if you extended your product catalogue and mailed it to your customer? We are experimenting with all these things and continuing to improve them as we go.”

Other great brands like Shutterfly are Blurb and Picaboo. If you are an affiliate you can check out their affiliate programs on AIM’s Affiliate Program page here.

Conversion Optimization Done Right

This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit (#OMSummit). Session presented by Bryan Olshock of Red Door Interactive.

the conversion funnel - conversion optimization

What is the conversion process? its the optimization of your website across all channels for all pages of your site.

You need three people to do this right:

  1. The Data Scientist (analyst)
  2. The Creative UX
  3. The Persuasive Copy Writer

Have the Right Tools: Trusted Data

  • Omniture
  • Crazy Egg
  • Google Analytics
  • Webtrends
  • ClickTale

Testing Tools

  • Optimizedly
  • Visual Website Optimizer
  • Monetate
  • Google Content Experiments
  • Adobe Test & Target


Steps in The Process

Defining a formal process will aid in executive buy-in as well as continued success


1. Discovery (Ideation, website behaviour, usability testing, competitive analytics, voice of customer)
Look at your full funnel (landing page from search, display, email, social). Look for low CTRs, high bounce rates, exit rate, etc. Then look at your information and selection (offering), then look at the checkout process and cart to completion.


2. Planning (landing pages, funnel optiomation, targeted segments, KPIs, testing methods)
This is where your creative person comes in. Design the tests and plan which will come first and the goals of each test. Apply cialdini’s principles of influence: reciprocity, likability, scarcity, consistency and commitment, authority, and social proof.
Once you have found your areas of weakness you have to prioritize which tests to run first. Often times, he starts at the bottom of the funnel (shopping cart) and works his way backwards because these customers have already indicated they wanted to buy something.
Four test ideas:
  1. Landing page 1 / 2, 3 etc
  2. Home Page Call To Action
  3. Shopping Cart
  4. Copy
Landing pages work well for some customer segments and while being sub-optimal for others. In order to fully optimize a landing page you have to tailor to each segment. Test for mobile vs desktop vs laptop users as well.


3. Execution (Monitor outside variables, consistent messaging monitor variations
Keep in mind outside variables: Monitor for outside influences during your testing and do not test during times of “unusual” situations such as a holiday or something else going on that could screw results.


4. Analysis (Business impact, performance by user segment, document findings, incorporate learning)
Offer something free (free PDF download, free trial, free shipping, buy one get one free, etc.) Use your security seals to instill trust.


Common Pitfalls

  • Sample Bias
  • Inconsistency
  • Running the test until you have “statistical significance”
  • Disregarding test results to go with what looks good
  • Not Segmenting

How To Break Through the Personalization Filter

This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit (#OMSummit) presented by Katherine Watier Ong (@kwatier) of

social media and search break through

The Most Important Transition: Google moved from keyword based results to entities and connections based on results.

Google +’s purpose is not to be a social network. It’s not there to compete against Facebook or twitter. It’s there to identify and help Google understand your connections and entity. Think of it like that, not as a social network, but an opportunity to rank more strongly in search.

Search results are now becoming so smart that Google’s figuring out how all your connections work to feed you only the most relevant content specific to you (and your connections, interests, etc). This works especially well when you are logged into google. This is powered by your Google Data (check your dashboard and update your Google account so your search results are most relevant to your personal interests and connections).

There are 40 personalization factors (check out this link for a full list:


Bing Search 2012

Bing is similar to Google, but has interesting integration features with Facebook and Twitter.  You can ask your friends questions dirtily from search. Bing’s results are powered by your Microsoft data.


Personalization on Facebook

Hop on the Beta Facebook Graph Search to be one of the first to experience the direction of personalization. It will also help you figure out personalized data about other people.


Personalization on Twitter

They are in the game too!. This includes your connections, how strong they are, signals you have, recognition of your gender and show feeds most related to you, etc.


Removing Search Personalization

Think about your underlying assumption…. when you non-perslnzed the search results, are you going to see what your target audience sees?

Ask people to send you a screenshot of the same keyword for fun to see the different personalized results they get in Google. 🙂

But the question is, how do you break through the personalization as a marketer?


Create Personas for your Target Audience

  • Demographics
  • Job Level
  • Pain Points
  • Obejctions to attitude chage
  • Routine for a typical day
  • Level of sophistication with technology
  • Online information sources / social networks


Conversion through Conversation – ask questions and find solutions related to the immediate situation and need of your audience.

Create content for your target audience. That content should focus on their needs, desires, emotional motivators, etc.

  • Use all the social buttons on your site
  • Google + !!
  • Use rel=author and other schema markup to increase CTR, build up the Author Rank and following of your company’s thought leaders.
  • Create a surround sound of social media mentions around your target audience.
  • Create and promote high quality content regularly that matches your audiences’s needs.

Intercept them during a prime moment. 76% of online adults it the US have clicked on links to related stories. “There is no arguing good content is in high demand. Consumers spend more than seven hours per week actively looking for it, viewing up to four articles before they make a buying decision.”

Measure  to see if it’s working. Google searches / mo compared to your analytics traffic by keyword. Social media monitoring to view an increase in volume around your brand name and products. – this helps you figure out what your audience is doing. Easy and extremely useful.


Key Takeaways

  • Know your customer. Use their language.
  • Have them test your message
  • Create search personas and measure against assumptions
  • Provide online content that is quality and shareable
  • Build social communities around your brand – especially

Establishing Your Brand and Maximizing ROI on Pinterest

This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit. Day 2. Session presented by Danny Maloney of PinLeague.

Maximizing ROI in Pinterest


What Can Pinterest Do?

  • Mobilize fan base
  • Attract new customers
  • Analytics and Data


What Pinterest Is (and Isn’t)

  • Fastest to 10 MM monthly users – now 30 MM active monthly users
  • Average 175 repins on comments
  • Its NOT about status updates. It’s about conversation and real time. The average tweet lives to about 20 mins. The average facebook page lives for about 80 minutes. The average post on Pinterest is still being tested, but it’s averaging for over a week.
  • It’s an online Pin-Board = why do people care? They express life events, home projects, shopping, gifting, education, self-identity. This is EXTREMELY relevant and important.
  • Pinterest makes Discovery and Planning social.
  • It’s brand and product inclusive


What’s the difference?

  • Twitter – What Im Doing
  • Facebook – Who I am
  • Pinterest – Who I WANT TO BE (which is an incredibly powerful concept from a marketing perspective)
More referrals per user, more revenue per referral. Twitter & Facebook vs Pinterest – Pinterst wins by 14 times more.  Buyers have a higher average order value on Pinterest than on any other social network because it’s based on aspiration (who a person wants to be vs a need).

Building Your Brand on Pinterest

  • Pinterest can be (and should be) your #1 social referral site.
  • Yes, it can work for B2B and B2G as well, you just have to figure out how it can work for you (graphically) and keep going at it – it will build over time.
  • It’s FANTASTIC for B2C. – Top 1500 Brands are currently on Pinterest. You have to put enough time into it.
  • Early Brand “winners” remerging: Harper’s Bazaar 4MM followers, Better Homes and Gardens 300K followers, Seventeen 175K followers, etc
  • Good news: Pinterest has started to promote early adopters! Bad news: This window of opportunity will close.
  • 80% of focus is currently spent on company profile / boards HOWEVER 80% of buzz and revenue comes from USER Pins.


Maximizing Pinterest ROI

Step 1: Understand your audience profile

Step 2: Design content for the USER (make as list of 5 things they love, 5 things they have a hard time finding, 2 things about you = your first 12 boards)

Cover Photos are CRITITAL! First line of boards COUNTS! If your cover photos are no good, they will move on and not click through.

Step 3: Engage Your Fan Base

  • Integration.
  • Contests and Charity – “Pin It and Win It” – Note – have your contests run for LONGER than a week. Shorter term ones don’t work well.
  • Cross promote – if you have something successful happen on Facebook or Twitter – use your success on one platform to cross promote that on Pinterest if it’s relevant and interesting. Use Jeep as an example. They did something on Facebook that mentioned Pinterest in a contest and got 1000 Pinterest followers in 2 days and growth triples from 35 to 100 / week.


Maximizing Pinterest ROI

  • The Marginal Cost of growth on Pinterest is lower than Facebook. Pinterest is $0.01 – $0.40 per fan on Pinterest and $0.50 – $2.50 per like on Facebook.
  • Energizing your base in the fastest path to critical mass
  • Most companies use a single blast: this is a flawed approach
  • Engage users who haven’t followed your or engaged with you yet
  • Use Pinterest data and analytics to track competitor data

Tip: Text 954 404 8008 with first name and email and get a free Analytics Pinterest account and a cool info-graphic 🙂 Woot!

Tag Management and the 5 Gears of Marketing Velocity

This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit (#OMSummit) – Presented by Erik Bratt , VP Marketing of Tealium

tag management 5 steps best practices

What are tags?

A “Tag” is a javascrip code that allows you to integrate third party serves into your digital platform.

The average enterprise web site has 14 different vendor tags!. Tags are a huge problem:

  • Costly, time-consuming to manage
  • Slows down website performance
  • Slows down marketing efficiency


Tag Proliferation – common types of tags:

  • Web analytics
  • Search marketing
  • Ad serviing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Testing
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Etc
Tag Management allows the marketer to manage a tagging platform without having to go to IT. Check out Tealium Tag Management Platform.


The 5 Gears of Marketing Velocity

1. Increased Marketing Agility 
  • No waiting for IT dev cycles
  • Marketers control their own destiny
  • Launch more revenue – generating campaigns, faster
  • Enhance web presence through information
2. Reduce Costs
  • Save on valuable IT resources
  • JavaScript-trained web developers no longer required
3. Improved Site Performance 
  • Replace many tags with one
  • Employ tag best practices (conditional tag loading, slow tag killing, asynchronous tag loading)
  • As much as 50% increase in page load speed
  • One second delay in page load time = 7% loss in conversions (Aberdeen)
4. Lower Opportunity Costs
  • Tagging is non-strategic
  • IT is one of the most important in-house resources
  • IT has more important things to do than tagging
5. Work with the Best Vendors
  • Pick vendors based on ROI and fit
  • Don’t be locked into any one vendor
  • Use best of breed solutions for all your marketing needs (A/B test vendors)
Bonus One: Actionable Data Source! (The quest for clean actionable data) – DoubleClick, Omniture, Linkshare, ExactTarget, Fetchback, Etc.

A Relationship First Approach to Mobile Marketing

This is a live blog post from #OMSummit, Day Two. Presented by Respnsys.

mobile marketing

5 Stages of Awareness

  1. Normal
  2. Concentration
  3. Selective
  4. Alternating
  5. Divided


Awareness to Action

Attention > Interest > Desire > Action > Experience  > Loyalty
How do you peek interest? It’s driven by relevancy:
  1. Immediacy
  2. Personaliztion
  3. Interpretation (how do you add value)
  4. Authenticity (how do they relate to the brand)
  5. Accessibility
  6. Embodiment (connection)
  7. Patronage (the “good feelings” attached to doing something you ask)
  8. Finability (how well can you be found)
Aligning strategies with customer expectations:
  • Consumers have rapidly embraced digital channels and they have raised their expectations for marketers.
  • Move from campaign focus to customer focus: Know Me! Engage Me! Lead Me!
  • Think about how you can service your customers and speak to them using SMS and various mobile touch points.
  • Biggest ROI comes from RELATIONSHIP marketing (email, mobile, social, web, display, video)
  • 44% of customers surveyed wanted to have promotions sent to them via SMS.
  • Customer look for a variety of content via SMS: discounts and deals, location based offers, in store sales and events, invites to sweepstakes and contents, gift guides and product recommendations.
  • Build a relationship with first before EVER sending an SMS to them. People feel more invaded, insulted and turned off getting a spammy SMS then they do getting spam via email.
How to Help Them: 
  1. Awareness
  2. Interest (relevant offer)
  3. Desire (Location)
  4. Action (Notifications)
  5. Experience (Sweepstakes and customer service communications)
Make sure you get permission before you send anyone an SMS. It’s FAR too personal to muck around with it.


SMS is Most Effective When
1. Communicating time sensitive information quickly
2. Communicating time geographic specific info
3. Communicating VIP “insider” information
Follow FAB as a brand. They are doing their marketing properly. 30% of’s sales come from mobile.
Keep reading – The Attention Economy – The Myth of Multitasking

How to Discover Hundreds of Powerful Content Ideas for Your Business

This is a live blog post from #OMSummit, Day 2, in San Diego. Session presented by Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures.


content is the key to effective marketing

Benefits of a Blog:

  • Gives you a vehicle to post new content
  • Allows for internal linking
  • Keeps the search engines coming back – Have 434% more indexed pages (in example)
  • Have 2X as many back links (in example)
  • Site gets 55% more traffic (in example)
  • You have 79% more twitter followers (in example)


Steps for Solid Content Creation

1. Start with Research (ask and seek the answer to one question: What question do you get asked most often?)
  • Use Google “Discussions” tab to get ideas of discussions going on. Address their main concerns and address them in your content.
  • Use Yahoo, Quora, Twitter and to get more ideas and questions around any topic. Do an “exact match” search of your keywords to get ideas.
  • Use Google suggest to expand your long tail keyword list.
  • Use the exact words of the inquiry posts in your title, specifically for questions no one is answering and you will absolutely get to the top of Google quickly.
  • – use this tool to get ideas by searching for competitors – they will give you ideas (in Top Pages) – the results in this search show you the most popular pages listed by your competitors. Use this to generate new post ideas.
  • Create a content list in a spreadsheet – then spend the time answering these questions. Spreadsheet should include: Title based on research), Content Type (blog post, info graphic, video, etc) and the keywords associated to target in the post.
2. Lay Out a 12 Month Content Calendar using seasons and topics that are relevant, and feeding in content from the research completed above.
  • Put this into your actual Google or Outlook calendar. This should be planned at least 90 days out. This should be visible in the team calendar and to the CEO.
3. Create Great Content!
  • Example: Career Guide to Golf. Build it once and it gets thousands of downloads even years later!

Marketing Alignment with Business Outcomes: Keys to a Solid Dashboard

KPI dashboard analytics metrics dashboardLive blog post from the Online Marketing Summit –  Day 1 #OMSummit. Presented by Laura Patterson, VisionEdge Marketing. Author of Marketing Metrics in Action – Creating a Performance Driven Marketing Organization.

(Editors Note: Sorry about any spacing issues. They will be fixed)


Why Companies Invest in Marketing

  • Acquire more of something faster and less expensively (higher ROI)
  • Need to demonstrate we are getting the job done. Otherwise we might as well put more feet on the street.
  • “The top challenge for marketers remains to better quantify and measure the value of marketing programs in spite of improvements in accountability over previous years” – CMO Council
  • Our job is to create customers
We’re in a pickle…
1. Executive management wants to be able to determine marketing’s true impact
2.As long as marketing is viewed as a cost instead of an investment our budgets will always be on the chopping block
3. Need to arm ourselves with the tools and associated languages necessary to demonstrate we are are generating sustainable, measurable value.


Three Key Shirts We Must Make

  1. Speak the Language of Business
  2. Create clear line of sight between marketing activities and investments with business outcomes.
  3. Select and report relevant metrics.
Marketing Plan says “Here’s what we plan to do and here’s what it will produce.”
Most are in powerpoint. Sometimes word or excel, but usually in powerpoint.
Marketers lack commercial acumen and don’t speak the language of the business, reporting their contributions in terms of “activities” or “outputs”.


Senior Management Vs Marketing

Earnings vs Brand
Revenue vs Impressions, “leads”
Value vs Cost
Customer Value vs Satisfaction, fans, followers
Shareholder Value vs GROs, CMPs, opens, clicks


Why Measure? It’s Hard!

  1. Communicate Impact
  2. Be seen as accountable
  3. Demonstrate financial value
  4. Enable us work smarter
  5. Provide a current picture (market share, product margins, close rate)
  6. Indicate future performance (projected revenue, share of wallet, net advocacy)
  7. Empower marketing – influence decisions, recommend actions, play a strategic role.


CEO feedback on study what they graded their marketing teams

A: Marketing was able to measure and report the contribution  of it’s program to business – only 25% got this grade.
B: Marketing programs made a difference but he contribution to the business goals were not measured
*** A’s have a game plan for performance management:
  • Alignment
  • Accountability
  • Analytics
  • Automation
  • Alliances
  • Assessment
Performance Management – the process of measuring progress toward achieving key outcomes and objectives in order to optimize individual, group or organizational performance.
Today’s marketing requires better data, analytics, forecasting, modelling, etc.


Performance Reporting

  • What are the performance targets (this is one of the most overlooked and ridiculous oversights out there). Set Targets and goals!!
  • Accountability reams reporting
  • Reporting leads us to a dashboard
  • Effective dashboard begin with strategic analysis that includes performance target setting and alignment of the marketing strategy with the business strategy
  • By consolidating KPIs into a dashboard, marketing executives and personnel can track and manage performance, provide information to upper management, etc.
  • Dashboards play a critical role in communicating value, enabling course corrections, and investment allocations.
  • What was the promise to outcome, timeframe and cost and how did you compare?


Start with Alignment

Although there are usually clear objectives set for marketing, the lack of alignment between the business and marketing makes it difficult to measure marketing’s contribution, perpetuating the questions, “is marketing an investment or overhead?” – the Capsicum Report, 2012.
Concept Illustration – Alignment (see VisionEdge Marketing Accelance Blueprint Example)
Map these out for your own organizations.
A Marketing Dashboard Defined:
  • Has all necessary indicators on it to say you’re in trouble or not, or doing well
  • Enables organizations to measure, monitor and manage business activities using both financial and non-financial measures
  • Know how to best allocate future resources
DASHBOARD BOOK by Stephen Few – Worth the read!


Only Three Things Marketers Need to Do:

  1. Find / Secure Profitable Customers (Acquisition) – market share
  2. Keep Customers (Penetration) – lifetime value
  3. Grow the Value of Customers (Monetization) – brand / customer equity


5 Signs you have a good dashboard:

  1. Multidimensional view of data and their interrelationships
  2. Communicates marketing contribution
  3. Creates closer alignment with other parts of the business
  4. Alerts users to values that are significantly above or below expectations
  5. Facilitates action and changed direction (tells you what to do and what to focus on)


Dashboard Building Blocks

  • Metrics and KPIs – figure out what they are (somewhere between 8 – 20 only!)
  • Metric – a numerical measure that represents a piece of business data (ex # of customer conversations / week / conversion rate)
  • KPIs – A Metric that is tied to a target disigned to provide visibility into performance


What Questions Should EVERY Program Ask – for EVERY project?

  1. What business outcome are we trying to impact?
  2. How do you expect this program / activity to contribute (what needle needs to move and how far)
  3. How will we know and measure that this program achieved the objective(s)?
  4. What metrics would you expect to see?
  5. What data will help you understand our current state?
  6. What data and measures will communicate the program’s effectiveness and value?


Three Layers to the Marketing Dashboard

  • Executive Level (Bosses and Owners)
  • Operational Level (Management)
  • Tactical Level (Front Line)


Planning, analytics, measurement, and reporting tool – what’s your blueprint?

  • Tactics – Tactical Level
  • Program – Tactical level / Operational level
  • Objective – Operational Level / Executive Level
  • Outcome – Executive Level


You should be setting:

  • Target: ____
  • Actual: ____
  • Variance: ____
  • Data Source: ____


Three Layers to the Marketing Dashboard

  • Executive Level (Bosses and Owners)
  • Operational Level (Management)
  • Tactical Level (Front Line)


Start with the Dashboard Purpose

  • Who are the dashboard stakeholders
  • How will they use the dashboard
  • What decisions do you want them to be able to make?

Creating a proper dashboard takes about 18 months to do properly


ESSENTIAL METRICS ON AN Executive Dashboard – a minimum of 6 items to report on:

  • customer acquisition and retention #s
  • customer advocacy and vlaue
  • customer equity
  • product innovation and adoption
  • competiive positioning / market value index (rate of growth, share of preference)
  • sales results
Excuses to avoid:
“Tracking isn’t possible”
“Data isn’t clean”
“Data isn’t avaialbe”
“No systems or tools”
Figure out how to overcome these. Execuses should not stop you!


A leader only think about these things:

  1. Multi-touch (attribution)
  2. Multi-Channel (attribution)
  3. Data and analytics
  4. Value and Impact.



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