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vol. 33 • No. 2 • February 2020

The Authority on Data-Driven Engagement & Operations

Applying advanced analytics in a digital world ❱7

❱6 Going from good to great ❱9 Eight key practices marketers should use ❱ 11 Hail personalized content


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Content Marketing Courtesy AMA Toronto

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Vol. 33 | No. 2 | February 2020 EDITOR Brendan Read - brendan@dmn.ca PRESIDENT Steve Lloyd - steve@dmn.ca

The emerging marketing landscape

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Richard Boire Daniel Ku Ed Breault Robert MacLean Hisham Ghostine Adam Mertz Justin Keller Tom Sather

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Going from good to great

How to chat to success Email to chat integration makes businesses more productive

Events

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Applying advanced analytics in a digital world

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Eight key practices marketers should use February 2020

10 marketing predictions for a new decade [infographic]

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What makes for a high-performing email marketer?

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Maximizing social media

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Customer Centricity

The emerging marketing landscape W By Robert MacLean

Robert MacLean is principal, MacLean PR

According to Giovis, these findings reflect a shift in focus from a product-based to an experience-based business approach. The amount of creativity going into rethinking and redesigning customer experiences using technology is redefining brands and product marketing. “Technology is a way to differentiation,” she said. “It’s allowing agencies and enterprises to build unique experiences that enable new and different connections with customers.” 3.Data privacy. The accelerating transformation of our industry has a dark side. In the “crazy, amazing world of media,” Panousis cited data privacy as one of the most important global themes for marketers this year. A new age of data privacy is arriving. Public awareness and unease about how FaceApp and other brands are collecting, using and losing personal information has made privacy a growing consumer demand and a target of regulation. “But increasingly consumers are giving up privacy for value,” said Panousis. What she made clear, however, is that in 2020 brands need to begin to sort their data strategies and that privacy-first approaches to data collecting will be rewarded in the marketplace.

Courtesy AMA Toronto

& Corporate Communications and vice president, Public Relations, AMA Toronto (www.ama-toronto.com).

hat will savvy marketers be doing in 2020? What industry issues are set to dominate this year? To look into the future, the American Marketing Association’s Toronto chapter (AMA Toronto) recently gathered a panel of agency leaders to reflect on emerging trends, challenges and opportunities in Canada. The popular annual event featured five influential thinkers from creative advertising, media, PR, strategy and technology. The lineup included Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, chief creative officer, FCB Toronto, special guest speaker Rosane K. Giovis, partner, digital strategy & iX leader, IBM iX, Alexandra Panousis, president, advertising and media, CEO, Havas Canada, Jack Perone, chief strategy officer, Mass Minority and Krista Webster, president & CEO, Veritas Communications. “The collective vision these agency leaders delivered focused on digital transformation and how to best mix and leverage strategy, technology and creativity,” said event moderator Matt Chong, who is AMA pastpresident and vice president, brand partnerships, Fifth Story.

Guest speaker Rosane K. Giovis and panelists Krista Webster, Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, Alexandra Panousis and Jack Perone spoke on marketing issues and opportunities at the AMA Toronto’s 2020 outlook event.

Looking ahead to the 2020 marketing landscape there were six big takeaways from the discussion. 1.Tech/digital transformation. While the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are creating opportunities for brands, creating emotional connections with real humans needs to be at the centre of everything we do as marketers. How marketers are choosing to use the new technology is the developing issue. “Technology enables,” said Giovis. “But marketers must still deliver on people’s needs and expectations.” 2.Customer experience innovation. New research collected by IBM iX shows over 65% of CEOs and CMOs now believe their competitive edges will come from customer experience innovation. This is supported by the findings that 80% of customers report that the brand experience is as important as the product or service they are looking to purchase. And that 86% of them say they would pay more for a better experience.

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4.Diversity, inclusion and equality. More than showing diverse talent in Canadian TV advertising, the teams that develop marketing for brands must be more diverse and inclusive. While Webster raised the issue that marketers now acknowledge diversity and equality of thought ultimately breeds better creativity and work, she acknowledged that the agency sector is wanting. “Agencies in Canada assume that we are so kind and inclusive as a country that...we just embrace everyone… and we’re doing all the right things,” said Webster. The panel agreed; in most Canadian agencies that’s not the case. Despite the average age of the panelists, ageism in the agency sector is widespread. The “agency sage” is dead. The gender wage gap exists. Diverse talent reflecting the makeup of our urban population is not being attracted to the industry. This scenario led Webster to conclude diversity and inclusion (D&I) benchmarking across the industry is essential if things are to change for the better. And that the most successful agencies of the future will be finding ways to up their D&I. 5.Corporate reputation matters more than ever. Reputation adds value to the worth of a company. And it’s not intangible. Against a backdrop of global protests and news coverage about climate change disaster, “How you behave as a brand is as important as what you stand for,” said Perone. “You will be celebrated for authenticity and pilloried for lip service.” Recognizing performance and behaviour, as well as communication, are critical components of reputation, brands will have to make substantial changes to the Continued on page 12 February 2020


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Digital Marketing

Going from good to great What makes for a high-performing email marketer?

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hen it comes to email marketing, it’s crucial to be able to know when a marketing program has plateaued. But how does a program go from good to great? A recent State of Email Marketing report from Validity and Demand Metric attempted to dig into this further by surveying email marketers. To better understand what high performing email marketing programs are doing differently the report uncovered these notable differences. Setting company initiativealigning goals and objectives A common mistake among email marketers that are reporting below-average performance is that their campaigns have no objectives. Or: they have the wrong objectives that aren’t aligned with their companies’ goals. To combat this, it’s helpful to write down three to five specific business problems. Then, once the issues have been identified, figure out how marketing can help make an impact. For example, if an organization has a specific revenue goal, the email marketer shouldn’t be focused on things like communication with customers or prospects and brand awareness. While these are worthy goals, oftentimes they tend to focus more on open rates than they do on the entire paths to purchase. The State of Email Marketing report found that when email marketers properly tie objectives to revenues, they were much more likely to report aboveaverage performance when compared to those that focused on communicating or had no objectives at all. Focusing on the right tactics According to the survey, email is still one of the most important channels in the marketing mix. Three typical challenges email marketers reported were competition with other brands ❱ DMN.ca

in an inbox, staffing and resource constraints and avoiding the spam folder. To overcome these challenges, more and more companies are utilizing tactics like email personalization, email list management and subject line optimization. When marketers begin to refine their campaigns and make them more targeted, they see better performance. The reasoning these tactics see better performance is simple: in order to be seen, a campaign needs to be delivered to the inbox. And, to stand out, the subject lines should be both personalized and A/B tested to ensure the highest converting subject line is selected. Using the right technology While the tactics above can be done manually, leveraging the right technology helps not only by saving time but also by significantly improving performance. One example to look at is deliverability optimization. Rather than email marketers pre-deploying campaigns to a few personal addresses to flag any potential issues, they could instead use inbox placement technology to do this at scale. This way, they’d be able to send emails across hundreds of mailbox providers and see results within minutes. The report supported this notion, finding that marketers with above-average open rates are 29% more likely to use inbox placement technology to help. Above-average marketing campaigns also tend to use technology to help them monitor results like reputation issues and blacklistings. By automating this type of monitoring and insight gathering, marketers can coursecorrect more quickly and focus on strategy, compared to those that do not leverage this technology. Investing in skills and training, and in whiteboarding The State of Email Marketing report also found that aboveaverage email marketers invest

time and resources to acquire new skills and training. Keeping in mind that email marketing has been around a lot longer than most other digital channels, it’s not surprising there are vast amounts of opportunities to learn new skills and tactics to improve performance. But in order to make sure companies are making the most of these investments, marketers must also make sure they accredit or whitelist their email programs. Email accreditation programs are like white lists. The critical difference is that a third party will verify the practices of a sender beforehand, thereby giving them a stamp of approval that mailbox providers can trust. This allows the email to bypass the pesky spam filters and helps to overcome a significant obstacle for email marketers, which is deliverability. Secondly, it frees up time for marketers by giving them peace of mind that their emails will make it to the inboxes. Understanding customers’ preferences When it comes to understanding customers, email marketers must understand their preferences and habits and how they prefer to consume email. Two important elements to keep in mind are how long subscribers spend reading an email and on what type of device they’re reading the email on (i.e. mobile, desktop, tablet, etc.). Time spent reading an email is a powerful indicator of how engaged a subscriber is while also providing insights into how engaging the content is. Knowing what device a customer is reading an email on is

Courtesy Validity

By Tom Sather

also important in understanding the types of formats email content should be optimized for. This is especially important to keep in mind when pre-testing email creatives before deployment. Knowing and tracking the competition For email campaigns, it’s one thing to track current performance by comparing it to past performances. But this information only means so much if a company is not also tracking its performance against the competition. Yes, it’s nice to beat personal records, but that doesn’t help if the company is still coming in last place compared to top competitors. The reality is only 43% of marketers monitor their competitors, either by signing up for their email programs or using technology from a third party. While marketers today understand that email is the most effective marketing channel, their success hinges on having access to the most accurate and useful data. As email marketing continues to evolve, marketers must use the right mix of tactics and technology to continually improve results. Tom Sather is senior director of marketing,

Validity. February 2020


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Digital Marketing

Applying advanced analytics in a digital world By Richard Boire

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iven my longevity as a data scientist (30 years +), it is not hard to discern that much of my knowledge was acquired in its application towards direct marketing programs. These programs are still relevant today under the auspices of a wellthought out marketing strategy, which would also include the hugely important digital programs. Although many people consider the digital revolution as being completely different than direct marketing, this could be no further from the truth. Amazon vs. traditional direct marketing Let’s look at arguably the technical leader of this digital revolution and see what it does. Amazon sends one-to-one messages to its customers using email or programmatic advertising on the web. In direct marketing, direct mail or outbound calling would have been used to send one-to-one messages to Amazon customers, but they would have been slower in terms of delivery. Through email and web messaging the Amazon customer responds and the company’s many warehouses and trucks are put into action to fulfill the response; Amazon is currently looking at the use of drones as another form of delivery. February 2020

The delivery time is a real competitive advantage of Amazon as the customer has several options, which vary in cost depending on the speed, with some expected package arrivals in the 24 to 48 hour range. In the direct marketing world, the same fulfillment process occurs alongside partnerships with Canada Post and other long-standing shipping companies such as FedEx and UPS. But the fulfillment process historically to responders has been much less timely, although I suspect that this is improving given the Amazon competition. The point of this above Amazon example is to illustrate the fact that Amazon has essentially adopted the direct marketing business model but one on steroids. Let’s think of the other unique features of direct marketing. Direct marketers were the first organizations, outside of credit card risk companies, to leverage advanced analytics and the use of predictive models. Why? Because we had the data and lots of it. In the early 1980s, a team of regression analysts, before we were called data scientists, were building hundreds of models a year in trying to target the right customer at the right time with the right offer. This often took a computer that had to be housed in a room that could seat 50 people. In today’s environment, much

of this work can now be done on a PC or laptop. But with big data, companies like Amazon have exponentially more data than the data environments of traditional direct marketers had in the 1980s. But through servers and advances in data processing i.e. (big data and cloud technology), they too leverage the use of advanced analytics through their use of recommender engines. But how are these different than predictive models? Let’s examine this more closely. Recommender engines vs. predictive models The essence of predictive models is more of a singular focus in that the model’s objective is to predict one given outcome using a variety of characteristics or features that best predict that outcome. Advanced statistics where knowledge pertaining to the use of variance analysis and matrix/ linear algebra are used to generate the best algorithm or equation. For the actual practitioner, much of this technical work is now commoditized into modules or procedures, which are readily available both in commercial as well as open source software. The practitioner does not need to code or program the arcane mathematical equations but does need to understand the output and what it means when it is applied to the given business problem at hand.

But the singular focus of the predictive model, as described above, is used as a tool by itself to target some specific consumer behaviour. With recommender engines, there is not this same singular focus as we are trying to predict the next most likely action or behaviour and not one specific action or behaviour. Accordingly, several statistical tools and options can be employed to create this recommender engine, some of which may be predictive models. Yet much like the process used in building predictive models, the organization needs to understand the previous behaviour of the consumer, which is identical to what data scientists have been doing in the direct marketing environment, except we now are using online data. Here the end objective of trying to predict the next likely outcome (recommender engine), rather than the likelihood of a specific outcome (predictive model), can utilize several different approaches. Let’s look at some of these practices. The different recommender engine approaches One approach utilizes the principles of predictive models to determine, for example, the likely consumer rating of a certain movie given the consumer’s prior features and behaviours. Under this approach, the consumer will have multiple rating scores for different DMN.ca ❰


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Digital Marketing movies as several predictive models are built for each movie or movie genre. The movie with the highest rating score would represent the one that is most highly recommended to the consumer. But this represents just one option in determining the next best course of action. Another course of action, which has been adopted by many eCommerce companies, is to base decisions not on what the customer says (rating) but rather on what the consumer did (clickstream behaviour). It is different from the rating system in that the target variable is based on actual clickstream behaviour rather than on what the consumer says. The analytics approach here is different than building predictive models, but the actual mathematical techniques have been used by practitioners for many years. In this recommender engine approach, item-based or user-based solutions are the end objectives. With item-based solutions, correlation analysis is used extensively to identify items that are highly correlated with each other. In our movie example above, item-based scores are output for movies given how much they correlate with other movies that all users have watched. But the key math here is correlation analysis, which has been used by data science practitioners for many years as it represents our initial statistical tool when conducting advanced analytics. Let’s look at the user-based approach. In it, a cluster-based approach is utilized to statistically group consumers or customers into segments, which again is similar to how practitioners segmented customers into distinct segments for various direct marketing initiatives. In the above example again, a consumer is bucketed into a segment of other Netflix consumers, which would have similar preferences regarding particular movie genres. Using the user-based approach, Netflix would recommend particular movies which pertain to the movie genres that are particular for that user’s cluster segment. There is also a hybrid approach that combines both the item-based ❱ DMN.ca

and user-based approaches. Here an overall score or composite index is used to rank customers. This composite index creates separate index ranks where one rank is based on the user-based approach and another rank is based on the item-based approach, which are then combined into one overall composite ranking index. Assuming ranks go from 1 to 100, with 1 being the highest and 100 the lowest, then an item-based rank of 25 and a user-based rank of 11 would yield a composite rank of 18 for that specific movie or show. [(25+11)/2]. Each movie or show would have this composite score or rank where movies with low ranks as opposed to higher ranks would more likely be recommended to the user.

Note how I use the word appropriate. Data scientists have access to a variety of machine learning techniques with one option being the use of AI or deep learning. The knowledge of the data science practitioner in assessing both the performance of the solution as well as its explainability to business stakeholders will dictate the type of machine learning solution that will be deployed. Operationalizing these solutions In building these advanced analytics digital solutions, one key consideration is how these models will be deployed. Operationalizing these models in a production environment involves extensive

In the digital world, it is all about what to next offer the customer. Using predictive models To date, a variety of these approaches can be used where the key is to do something based on the historical data being captured in the online environment. In the digital world, it is all about what to next offer the customer given their past behaviour or their given path within their customer journey. The ability to use recommender engines is the more common tool for using data within an eCommerce type environment. Within the online environment, the use of traditional predictive models would be used on a more holistic level, such as predicting customer retention or customer migration (predicting those customers that are most likely to migrate to become higher-value type customers). Other predictive models using digital data would be the ability to estimate the credit risk of a customer or if a given transaction is fraudulent. Given today’s advancements in technology, both recommender engines and predictive models would leverage the use of artificial intelligence (AI) if appropriate.

collaboration with individuals known as dev ops engineers. Data scientists would work with these individuals in ensuring that their solutions are being implemented correctly within the digital environment. The solutions are often placed in digital metafile containers. A container might have one or multiple algorithms being scored within this platform to produce multiple solutions for a given consumer. The process in ensuring that implementation and deployment would involve a quality control type approach, which is no different than what practitioners used within the direct marketing environment. But a key difference is that this “production” environment in many cases operates in real-time and not batch, which implies that predictive analytics or machine learning solutions need to be able to use real-time data such as streaming data. Given that these solutions need to be delivered in some cases instantaneously and with extremely large volumes of data to

process, big data technology and its parallel type data processing approach is now a given as opposed to sequential data processing. But one element that can often be overlooked in these solutions is the adoption of an effective measurement framework that tracks and evaluates the performance of these advanced solutions. Digital marketers with direct marketing backgrounds understand this concept completely, which represents one of the pillars to success in any marketing program. The growing need for practitioners The need for advanced analytics in our digital ecosphere is even more paramount than what practitioners observed 20 to 30 years ago. Technology has been the key enabler. But the approaches and techniques that are used to develop solutions in today’s highly charged digital data environment are no different than what was used decades ago. The difference is we have much more data with an expectation to deliver that solution immediately. Even with advancements in technology and automation including AI, which is and will continue to replace jobs, the many consultants’ reports (such as from Gartner) infer that analytics and advanced analytics represent the high growth areas in employment opportunities. Think about it. With data and technology at our fingertips we now can solve many more problems but the need for the human becomes even more critical. The human being who can understand and identify the real critical business issue or problem and align the right data with the right tools is the core need for organizations across business, government and not-for-profit sectors. So, what does this individual look like? This will be the topic of our next column as we explore not only the key traits of this individual but what it takes to develop this type of person both academically and within the corporate sector. Richard Boire is president of Boire Analytics.

He can be reached at boire@boireanalytics.com. February 2020


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Digital Marketing

Eight key practices marketers should use By Hisham Ghostine

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ith a new decade upon us it’s a great time to consider new ways of thinking and exchanging resources. In partnership with the Canadian Marketing Association, Strategy magazine and Vizeum (part of the Dentsu Aegis Network), Ipsos recently released the 2019 Canadian Digital Marketing Pulse Report. In my view there are eight key takeaways from the study that marketers can use to get a head start on 2020. 1. Break email marketing free from its silo. According to the report, 80% of consumers are willing to receive information by email marketing, making it one of the oldest and most widely accepted forms of digital communication. What started as a one-way communication bridge has now become an exchange freeway that, when utilized correctly, can garner sizable influence across the consumer journey. However, the full potential of email marketing has been constrained by housing it in its own silo. We should knock holes in the walls and integrate email marketing within other channels. In doing this we produce the fuel to back future brand decisions while gaining insights on how to unlock more seamless and meaningful consumer experiences through media techniques such as lookalikes and retargeted emails. 2. Connect the dots with digital out-of-home (DOOH) media. With the digitization of OOH media, our industry has stumbled upon a golden opportunity to reap the benefits of an engaging ad space with the power to be dynamic. It’s the easiest traditional channel where hyper-targeted strategies and techniques, such as personalized ads, audience-buying and mobile integration, can play in the same space naturally. February 2020

An excellent example of DOOH is Netflix’s real-time reactive GIF campaign in Paris, France. There, 100 GIFs target segments of audiences in real time depending on real events in news, sports, weather, retail and more. To sum this one up, DOOH is quite literally the perfect strategic petri dish for data-driven creativity to thrive in 2020 and beyond. 3. Make every social transaction count. If the 2010s have showed us anything it’s that social platforms are evolving in favour of one major thing: brand commerce. For marketers, this means bridging the gap between inspiration and transaction to produce higher returns. Marketers should also consider using owned media to expand on the stories being told in paid media. For example, while shoppable ads for home décor provide engaging experiences on Instagram, they might be of higher value and interest to consumers on Pinterest. Implementing a brand commerce strategy into the marketing mix will set brands up for success in the years to come.

2018, the 2019 Pulse report shows that programmatic advertising is maturing and attracting popularity from both agencies and in-house studios. Increasing transparency among programmatic inventory supplies has reassured marketers around the effectiveness of programmatic investments. They are now ready to embrace data-driven audience buys across more channels, including OOH, video, social and TV. Thanks to these changes we can expect to see more advertisers invest in programmatic solutions to take on the challenges of the upcoming years.

6. Innovate to drive connection. If you’ve never opened up TikTok just to see what your face would look like with all their fun filters, I strongly advise you drop everything and try it right now: it is addictive. Today’s generation uses filters to enhance the way they communicate and that’s an obvious enough reason for marketers to be getting brands to shift their attention towards the latest tech. Consumers are more aware of how they can use technology, such as voice activation and augmented Continued on page 12

4. Produce digital-first online video. To win in digital, brands and agencies need to start thinking smarter with online video and use the power of data to get personal with the audience as quickly as possible. It’s not about cutting down from 30 seconds to six; it’s about generating ten different six-second spots for ten different audience buys on unexpected platforms. With more consumers spending time on ad-free spaces like Netflix and Crave it’s important that marketers actively seek new premium partners like CBC Gem and YouTube to reach their targets with online video. 5. Get transparent with programmatic. Despite a dip in popularity from

416-505-5415 Ask for Allison. DMN.ca ❰


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Content Marketing

Reimaginate, not re-create Why create costly new content when you don’t have to? By Ed Breault

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ith more channels than ever before, to engage your audience it’s no surprise that businesses create an incredible amount of new content every year. But content creation is expensive. According to the Content Marketing Institute, if you’re a consumer-oriented marketer, new content takes up about 40% of your budget. For business-to-business (B2B) marketers it is still a staggering 30% of your budgets! When you add in “soft costs” like all the time spent the real costs of content creation go through the roof! These numbers seem unbelievable until you start doing the math and playing out a real scenario. Imagine you’re a sportswear company launching a

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new line of cleats. You’ll need to make different types of content for product images and videos, paid ads, the web site, social, signage for your store displays, retail and reseller marketing collateral…the list goes on. And that’s just for one product launch for one brand in one geography. If you’re a multinational, multi-brand company, the content you need skyrockets. Complicating matters further, most marketing content created today is single-use content, created by content creation experts e.g. your creative services team. But is this the right approach? The oft-cited SiriusDecisions statistic of 65% of content is never used should serve as a warning to marketers of all kinds not to go too crazy in the new content creation game.

You can also see how a company might create a ton of content and not use it again. In fact, I know one retailer recently archived over 20 million other pieces of content they weren’t using! Why the content creation madness? What’s driving this crazy amount of content creation? The simple answer is personalization. The challenge though, and why we get into this crazy cycle of content creation, is that your customers are not comparing your content experience to your nearest direct rival. Instead they are comparing you against the best content experience they’ve ever had! However, the real need of most consumers is not the slickest content. But rather the content that best helps them complete

their buying jobs, which means personalized to them in the moment. No one in your organization is better suited to create that personalized content than the individuals in your marketing department that are closest to the customer. But these people don’t always have advanced design skills. A new strategy: experience building blocks So, how do you balance the need to create engaging content that you can apply to your personalization efforts without wasting a lot of money or burying your organization under a pile of content? The answer is by creating a content strategy centered on Continued on page 12

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Content Marketing

Hail personalized content How considered purchase marketers can benefit

A

By Adam Mertz

s customer expectations for personalization reach an all-time high, the modern digital era is being defined by user experiences and preferences. In a saturated and information-overloaded market, the ability to break through the noise and deliver personalized web experiences at the individual level directly influences the customer relationship: and business growth. The concept of web personalization isn’t new. As consumers, it’s hard to remember the days before Netflix recommended a movie we might like or Amazon promoted similar products to our recent searches. Many business-to-consumer (B2C) companies have followed suit, making sure that related products are highlighted, promoted and easily purchased. Meanwhile, content marketing has become a significant component for marketers with considered purchase sales motions, and with good reason. Brand awareness and credibility are built by offering solution-based, engaging content. Content — whether it be ebooks, blog posts, datasheets, survey reports, infographics, webinars— is shared across multiple channels while ultimately living on the business’s web site(s). Where considered purchase marketers have a huge opportunity, however, is getting the most relevant content in front of the right audiences when they’re on the sites. This personalized component to content marketing is what especially influences the buyer journey and, ultimately, gets prospects to convert to loyal customers. Can B2B catch up to B2C? But this message of personalization has not been adopted by companies across the board. A recent State of Marketing Automation report by Act-On February 2020

with London Research found that business-to-business (B2B) companies are half as likely as their B2C peers to adopt behaviourbased web site personalization. This prompts the simple question: Why is that? The answer lies in how considered purchase marketers allocate their resources. They tend to focus their behaviourbased personalization efforts on paid advertising and what prospects are searching for online to drive traffic to their web sites. However, this behaviour-based personalization too often falls to the wayside when it comes to engaging web site visitors. That’s because for too long the available tools have been too complex, take too many resources to execute and have been too expensive. A sea change is occurring in this web site personalization area, providing a huge opportunity to take content marketing strategies to the next level. While B2B marketers for considered purchase products might not be dishing up quick-buy recommendations, it’s now possible for them to utilize these B2C tactics to promote personalized web content to expedite and nurture the customer journey. The many new tools now available are smarter e.g. artificial intelligence (AI)-based), easier to use and less expensive. But most B2B marketers are still of the mindset that there aren’t enough resources to support personalized web experiences. They have not yet realized they can leverage AI to drive these intelligent individuallevel content recommendations based on buyer behaviours without adding any additional work for their marketing teams. Let’s take a step back and think about how marketing and sales for considered purchases work. Compared to the B2C shopping cart business models, most B2B considered purchase sales cycles are longer and more complicated, involving larger investments that require multiple decision-makers. This creates the need to continually

keep prospects and customers engaged throughout the buying journey. But B2C and B2B sales cycles start the same, however. And both business types make (or should make) relevant, valuable content, whether it be a resourceful ebook or a recommended product, conveniently visible for their web sites’ visitors. Ad retargeting and paid ad personalization is a key tactic often leveraged. But now is the time for every marketer, whether a team of one or 100, to be leveraging personalization technologies and tactics when people are visiting their company’s web site. Optimally leveraging resources So, how can your business use personalized content to win sales from other businesses? Remember, your web site is at the forefront of your business, serving as the central location for audiences to assess how your solution solves their problems. When a prospect lands on your web page, whether they arrive from clicking on a social media post, digital ad, third-party article or any number of other inbound marketing channels, this conversion should be considered a success. You’ve worked hard to create dozens, if not hundreds, of content pieces that would be helpful for them. But simply having referral traffic and content libraries aren’t enough in today’s competitive market; you can’t identify your solution with your audience’s pain points if they can’t find it. And unfortunately, you shouldn’t rely on your prospects and customers to keep searching on their own. According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, 56% of customers expect to find the information they want in less than three clicks. In other words, don’t let that hard work of creating content and generating inbound traffic go to waste. Web content personalization keeps content fresh and relevant at the individual level. And from a marketer’s

perspective, it provides greater opportunity for interested visitors to fill out a form for gated content (e.g. an ebook or report). This allows you to enter them into a nurture campaign or even identify them as a warm lead. Lower bounce rates, higher chance of collecting their information: all with a tailored customer experience for the web visitor. Accelerate inbound marketing results When you provide a unique and customized experience that “listens” to prospects’ behaviours in real-time and points them in the direction they’re showing interest in, you’re guiding them along the sales cycle and developing brand trust. So, the longer someone is exploring your web site, the further along the customer journey they’re going to travel and the more helpful you’ll be in your marketing messaging and sales approach. As they engage, their digital breadcrumbs become a treasure trove of data that can better inform you of their needs and empower you to personalize their web site experience in real time. As companies, whether B2B or B2C, that have considered purchase models seek ways to maximize their resources, enhance the customer experience and develop trust and credibility, implementing personalization that’s as simple as intelligent content recommendations should be a top priority. It’s time for considered purchase marketers to look beyond generating traffic and expand their focus toward finding solutions that enable them to keep visitors on their web sites so they can engage and nurture a relationship with them. It’s time for considered purchase marketers to embrace the new king of modern digital marketing: personalized content. Adam Mertz is formerly vice president,

Marketing and Strategy at Act-On Software.

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Continuations The emerging marketing landscape Continued from page 4

way they run their businesses to align with evolving consumer expectations and sustainability concerns. Brand activism and purpose will therefore increasingly influence marketing strategies in 2020. With no room for empty promises, bold and authentic talk about important issues will attract interest and drive purchase behavior. 6. Creative excellence trumps most things. “2020 will be the year of creativity,” announced CrimiLamanna. “When you unleash creativity across the consumer journey, it’s an economic multiplier for brands and businesses. And there’s never been more proof of that than there is today.” Drawing on 20 years of data, Crimi-Lamanna summarized how creatively awarded campaigns are 11 times more efficient at driving market share growth. The most awarded campaigns are 16 times more likely to drive growth. And 15 years of winners from Cannes reveal the Advertisers of the Year there outperform the S&P 500 by a factor of 3.5. Part of a thought-provoking and often diverging conversation full of pragmatic advice, these six big takeaways from AMA Toronto’s agency panel are red threads that should be running through many marketing plans this year. “The marketing landscape in 2020 looks as demanding as ever,” Chong concluded. “To remain competitive, brands must keep pace with increasing customer and partner expectations, evolve how they plan marketing efforts and better leverage the technology available today.”

Eight key practices marketers should use Continued from page 9

reality filters, to achieve their goals across multiple platforms. It’s become a part of the consumer journey and brands that are quick

to activate in these spaces will win their audiences faster by speaking directly to them on platforms they love. 7. Make the net effect work for you. It’s a subtle truth we hear in the whispers of office corridors all the time: “Did you see the latest campaign for so and so? The ads are everywhere.” Did you catch that? The ads are everywhere. In today’s media environment, the total effect of all channels is incredibly important in understanding how to build audiences, combining reach and frequency, no matter how overused it feels. If anything, “making the net effect work for you” should be everyone’s marketing mantra. 8. Divide and conquer with brands and agencies. Brands and agencies should work together to be transparent about their work processes and ensure that equal participation is visible. As more brands move towards establishing in-house capabilities, it’s important for both sides to understand the types of work that are best handled under each roof. For example, repetitive tasks, such as minor changes to retail ads, are best kept in-house while projects that require certain expertise and thinking, like experiential marketing, are best executed with an agency team who has the resources and capabilities to provide a wider range of solutions. Following these eight key strategies will equip brands and agencies with a pragmatic approach as digital ad spaces continue to expand and innovate in the next decade. As marketers, it’s our job to make sure we implement smart, data-driven strategies to win consumers at every touchpoint. Collaborating our efforts to ensuring consumers are targeted accurately is the best way for brands to see the highest returns on their media investments. Hisham Ghostine is president, Media Brands

– Canada, Dentsu Aegis Network. Dentsu Aegis Network is a member of the Canadian Marketing Association.

Reimaginate, not re-create Continued from page 10

“experience building blocks”. One that allows you to “reimaginate” content, rather than having to always re-create it. The concept behind it is relatively simple; in order to scale content production needs for personalization, marketing will need to break down content into reusable blocks to optimize budgets while delivering a consistent experience. The term “experience building blocks” helps to focus on what’s important to the business, namely creating the best possible customer experience across all channels and devices. An obvious way to enact this strategy is to enable your workers that are closest to the customer with the necessary resources to create personalized content. This requires you to rethink your content, not as the result of a one-off request, but as being the result of a series of content building blocks. Going back to our sportswear example, let’s pick out a couple examples of one-off content that you can actually build with “experience building blocks”. Example 1: Digital ads Most digital ads are comprised of items like a company logo, product text, a 3D image of an athletic shoe and a background image put together by a creator in such a way to help a customer accomplish their buying job. Furthermore, most of these digital ads are made in batches and then forgotten. The key here is that once that digital ad, or whatever format the content takes is created, the finished product AND its smaller pieces are then made available to others to re-use from a centralized content repository, like a digital asset management (DAM) solution. Now, a digital marketer can easily go into the DAM, find the building blocks that are best for their need right now and create another version of the ad simply by replacing the background with one that is audience specific. Or the text could be swapped out that appeals to a different persona.

Now you’re reusing about 80% of the content and reducing the time it takes to make the second ad and so on exponentially. If you track all the individual blocks, you get insights to see how often a text block or image is used to avoid repetition. This has other potential benefits, like being able to quickly swap out expired text, measure how consistent your message is in market or conduct accurate A/B testing. Example 2: Video Without a doubt, video is the fastest growing medium out there. A growing trend in marketing departments is either usergenerated content or to get video footage off the latest smartphones, which is surprisingly good. But when it comes to editing, most marketing departments still send smaller video projects to a team with advanced editing skills. In an organization with an experience building blocks strategy, there is an established base video design. The video team has provided a pre-built project complete with an approved intro and outro, and easily editable text blocks and space for the average marketer to simply drop their video footage from their phone into the project. Now, you’ll see your video efforts grow with your ambition without sacrificing brand consistency, quality or burning out team members. Benefits Over time your organization will build a repository of thousands of different blocks that can be used. New digital technology makes it easy to use artificial intelligence (AI) to label and organize these items so that whoever is searching for an experience block doesn’t even need to look: it’s just shown to them. The overall benefits to your personalization efforts? You will see the cost of new content come down, your organization will be more agile in creating new content and your personalization strategy will finally do what you’ve wanted it to do all along: to provide the most helpful experience to the individual. Ed Breault is chief marketing officer of Aprimo.

To send press announcements, please direct them to Brendan Read, Editor, at brendan@dmn.ca ❱ DMN.ca

February 2020


Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends returns

Courtesy AMA Toronto

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Features

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anada’s Marketing Hall of Legends (CMHOL), which is one of Canada’s most respected and renowned industry awards, is back and rebooted after a two-year hiatus. The CMHOL, run by the Toronto chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA Toronto), a notfor-profit community of volunteer marketers, will be announcing this year’s Legend Award winners March 24. They will then be formally recognized and honoured by AMA Toronto April 29 at a CMHOL dinner event. The awards honours Canadians who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of excellence in the field of marketing. It spotlights the stories, people and brands behind Canada’s greatest marketing successes, recognizes a noteworthy body of work and a lifetime of achievements. CMHOL has inducted 83 Canadian luminaries since its founding in 2004. Winners will be selected by a jury comprised of current

February 2020

Canadian marketing leaders, media, academics and past winners. The 2020 CMHOL Jury Committee, chaired by 2014 Inductee David Kincaid, founder and managing partner, Level5 Strategy, will review and screen the candidates for eligibility. The annual CMHOL event was paused in 2018 to allow AMA Toronto to refresh and expand the property to better serve the marketing community. AMA Toronto is also expanding its recognition of inductees through its Legendary Leadership Event Series in 2020. Each event in the series will explore the stories, achievements, influence and learnings of a different Marketing Legend and engage the marketing community in thoughtful conversation about industry and social trends and innovations. “Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends honours our industry’s most outstanding visionaries, enablers, builders and mentors who’ve had tremendous impact on

Courtesy AMA Toronto

By Brendan Read

the field of marketing throughout their careers,” said Michelle Flynn, president of AMA Toronto. “Through recognizing and celebrating our industry’s most influential leaders, the CMHOL helps our community share knowledge, promote business excellence within the profession, and inspire future marketing legends.” “To be inducted into Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends, a candidate must be shown to have dedicated their career to the pursuit of excellence in the field of marketing and to have

influenced the Canadian or global marketplace through their ideas and contributions,” added Jacob Kessler, co-vice president, Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends. “The Legend Award honours a body of work and a lifetime of achievements in marketing, including contributions that have made our community a better place.” For more information visit Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends (www.amamarketinghalloflegends.ca) and AMA Toronto (www.ama-toronto.com).

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February 2020


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Courtesy Adobe

Features

February 2020

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Features

How to chat to success Email to chat integration makes businesses more productive By Justin Keller

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chat allows for interactions to happen quicker by moving the conversations from the back-and-forth of email to personalized chat windows where the experts can quickly learn about the prospects and the prospects can receive one-on-one attention at their convenience. This convenience factor is another important benefit that chat functionality creates. Potential customers crave the ability to ask questions and provide responses in a timeframe that works best for them, all while remaining in contact with a representative who is ready to answer on the other end. Best practices for live chat There are numerous ways to use a chat/email integration to benefit your business, but a few best practices can help foster the best possible results and long-term relationships. 1. Leave it up to the humans. One of the main benefits that chat functionality offers is a more tailored communication experience for your prospects. To ensure this experience shows through, there must be an actual person who is able to have a real conversation on the other end of the chat window, rather than a scripted chatbot. In fact, Forrester Research found that 44% of online users consider the one-on-one communication experience with a live person as a factor when making online purchases. While utilizing chatbots is appealing for more tedious tasks, anything that goes beyond basic automation must be handled by individuals. This personalization through chat interactions with humans also creates an improved sense of value for prospective buyers. For example, when they have the power to move the conversations from email threads to real-time, one-on-one chat conversations many feel that their concerns are

Courtesy Sigstr

P

rofessionals send anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 emails every single year and spend around 5 hours and 52 minutes each day in email, reports CNBC. If you’re looking at a 100-person company, that’s nearly one to two million emails sent every single year and nearly eight days’ worth of hours in email packed into each day. Email isn’t going anywhere. But many marketers are often left wondering if there’s a better way to move conversations back and forth. Many organizations use various tools, such as Slack or Google Hangouts, to streamline internal conversations. But now marketers have caught on to the versatility of these tools through built-in, customer-facing chat functionalities. This technology allows you to click into an email and be instantly connected with the right person via chat instead of sending emails back and forth. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and best practices associated with converting email to chat and integrating both channels: ❯❯ Faster lead qualification. Lead qualification drops ten times, according to studies, if you wait longer than five minutes to respond to an email. Unfortunately, the average response time for email is 12 hours. Luckily, chat functionality allows marketing and sales to drop the average response time to only two minutes. Improved efficiency is one of the main benefits that a chat/email integration creates. Quicker response times often lead to happier users on the other end of the conversations, which can result in more qualified leads earlier in the generation process; and ❯❯ Improved personalization for each and every prospect. A PwC survey found that eight in 10 respondents prefer interacting with a person. Live

Chatting can accomplish more, and in near real-time, rather than relying on email alone.

heard and their requests are being handled in a timelier manner. 2. Be authentic. Authentic communication through chat builds trust. Unfortunately, a recent HubSpot survey reported that only 3% of respondents consider sales teams to be trustworthy: and speaking to prospects like a robot certainly won’t help build trust. When communicating with a prospect through chat, sales personnel must be trained to read the situations and react with appropriate responses. Does the prospect want to get right down to business and discuss details around the platform? Do they want to make the conversation more personal and start with some small talk? Either way, your team must be prepared to go off-script. 3. Streamline tools for your team. The final best practice for utilizing live chat functionality is to integrate with existing tools to keep processes streamlined for your employees. Companies use an average of 129 applications for various business operations, reports the Wall Street Journal. Rather than dropping another into

the mix, live chat often integrates with the essential platforms employees are already using. For example, if your business utilizes Google Hangouts or Slack, consider integrating live chat so that all conversations are in one place. This will prevent employees from having to toggle back and forth from chat to other windows, therefore building seamlessly into the workflow and optimizing processes. Final thoughts Every business to business (B2B) company must use email to stay alive: let’s face it, this form of communication won’t die off anytime soon. It’s no longer about finding ways to replace email for contact with potential leads, but instead, about optimizing this channel and make it even more effective. Integrating email with chat functionality allows for more efficiency, warmer leads and, of course, an enhanced customer experience. And as account-based marketing evolves, live chat should be built into every marketer’s playbook. Justin Keller is vice president of marketing

at Sigstr. February 2020


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Resource Directory Data Analytics

Events Calendar February February 13 Digital Marketing Summit Toronto, Ont. www.marketingglobalevent.com/digitalmarketing/toronto/ february/# February 19-21 The Gathering Banff, Alta. https://cultgathering.com/?utm_source=online.marketing

March March 10-11 DX3 Canada Toronto, Ont. www.dx3canada.com

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Maximizing social media How a well-defined social plan can transform your business By Daniel Ku

I Daniel Ku is director of marketing at

PostBeyond.

f you’re a brand that is not making the most of social media, you’re quite simply missing a trick. There are over three billion social media users dotted all over the world, according to “Digital trends 2019: Every single stat you need to know about the internet” published in The Next Web. All of which businesses have the opportunity to target and influence. So, when it comes to hitting sales targets and improving brand awareness, it’s critical to ensure that social media is a key part of your company’s marketing strategy. In fact, it’s been long reported by Forbes that 78% of sales teams who use social media as part of their strategy have outperformed competitors. Let’s take a look at how companies can take a page out of some of the most successful brands on social media’s books and implement an effective social strategy to take your company to new heights of growth. Engaging customers Customers put their trust in brands that know their subjects inside out and are leading the way in their industry. HubSpot is a leading inbound marketing and sales solution company. It dedicates time and effort into sharing relevant and beneficial content. Videos that provide users with inside industry knowledge, top tips and new innovative ideas are the foundation of content that HubSpot shares on social media; they keep its followers intrigued, informed and updated on new industry trends. Employee advocacy Having and presenting a strong and engaged workplace and a positive culture is critical both for recruiting and retaining staff and for attracting customers. So why not show off your culture and draw attention to your business values on social media? HubSpot takes pride in its staff. It promotes their successes on their social platforms, which shows the company’s potential customers that it values its employees’ work and time. Another business that is using social media to boost the morale of staff is Salesforce. It has found success in sharing employees’ success stories as a simple way of engaging with prospective hires as well as showing clients why this company is the best in the industry. Providing an insight into your work culture is a tactical way to ensure your brand credibility is reaching your customers. Showing your employees’ success will engage with customers on social media on a different

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level, other than just promoting products and sales. And as most consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other platforms of advertising, so employee advocacy should be at the forefront of your business. Who is better to ask about a company about its products and its culture than someone you know who works there? Build your social community Your followers are your own community. Not only are they there to interact with your brand, but they want to see what you as a brand have to say. Use this to your advantage and create content that will build longlasting relationships with them. Top sports brand Nike is undoubtedly at the forefront of the social media world. From thoughtprovoking campaigns to working with charities and using their voice to promote narratives, it has truly become a natural at interacting with its customers. The iconic #justdoit tagline is known worldwide, and if you don’t own any Nike products, you most certainly will know someone who does. #Justdoit is plastered all over the company’s marketing campaigns and helps build their brand both online and offline. With the use of this tagline Nike has been able to build a strong community. Nike excels in social media as it has successfully paved a community for each audience on different platforms, such as golfers and tennis players. Nike Skateboarding and Nike Golf on Facebook provide Nike customers with platforms to discuss topics they love while always keeping Nike in mind. Topnotch social customer service Customer service on social media is what will set you apart from your competitors. Not only do you have the opportunity to prove to your customers that you’re genuinely helpful and care for their customer experience, but you have the opportunity to really curate a tone of voice and promote your brand. Innocent Smoothies undoubtedly stands out as one of the cleverest yet witty brands on social media timelines. The company also provides valuable information and respond to customer questions efficiently while continuously maintaining their humorous and topical Tweets. With over two thirds of consumers using social media to find resolutions and answers for their questions and issues with a brand (according to Social Media Today) it’s imperative — now more than ever — that every brand has an active social media handle. February 2020


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