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Showing posts from November 2, 2016
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MarTech Landscape: What is a Customer Data Platform?

Virtually every marketing vendor brags about providing “a 360-degree view of the customer,” “a single source of truth” about the customer, or some equivalent.But, according to technology analyst David Raab, that assumes you have unified, integrated storage of all your customer data. And, he says, most tools don’t, which is why he initiated in 2013 the idea of a Customer Data Platform (CDP).In this article, part of our MarTech Landscape Series, we look at this newly named marketing component.Raab told me he had noticed various marketing systems were disconnected from each other, in that they offered incomplete data or did not organize it effectively for marketing purposes. CDP advocates cite an Experian study (The 2016 Digital Marketer) that said technical issues were the biggest obstacle toward creating a unified customer view, instead of such factors as lack of data or lack of interest.This week, Raab Associates and a group of 11 CDP vendors launched the Customer Data Platform Instit…

Google creates its own antitrust woes with poor communication over search listings

Did Google deliberately try to reduce the rankings of ProtonMail, a tiny rival to Google’s own Gmail service. Almost certainly not. Even Proton doesn’t seem to believe that. But the case highlights how Google’s problems with publisher, business and webmaster communication can hurt it as it faces challenges on antitrust grounds.What happened with ProtonProton Technologies is a Swiss-based company offering a secure, encrypted email service called ProtonMail.  It might be an attractive alternative for those who worry a service like Gmail isn’t private enough, either from government requests or Google’s own ad-uses.Last November, Proton noticed that they were seeing a drop in daily sign-ups for ProtonMail. Wondering why, the company started looking into its rankings on Google and determined there was a problem. In particular, ProtonMail wasn’t showing in the top results for “secure email” or “encrypted email,” as it assumed was the case in the past.Proton then suffered a problem that’s no…

8 ways SEO has changed in the past 10 years

Few marketing channels have evolved as quickly or as dramatically as search engine optimization (SEO). In its infancy, SEO was the shady practice of stuffing keywords, tweaking back-end code and spamming links until you started ranking well for the keywords you wanted. Thankfully, Google stamped out those practices pretty quickly, and its search algorithm has never really stopped evolving.Much of Google’s foundation was in place by the mid-2000s, but how has its algorithm — and as a result, our approach to SEO — changed in the past 10 years?1. The rise of contentFirst, there’s the rise of content marketing as part of a successful SEO strategy. Google has steadily refined what it considers to be “good” content over the years, but it was the Panda update in 2011 that served as the death blow to spammy content and keyword stuffing.After Panda, it was virtually impossible to get away with any gimmicky content-based tactics, such as favoring a high quantity of content while forgoing qualit…

Searching for and winning the marketing moments that matter

Digital dominates modern life. From smartwatches to home-monitoring systems, we find ourselves turning to the internet and digital connections with increasing frequency. Companies increasingly rely on chatbots when dealing with customers, and a growing number of professionals turn to digital assistants to help them remain organized.These connections change how we as consumers communicate with each other and how we make purchases, and they even influence our opinions and decision-making.The impact of this disruption on the customer journeyJust as digital is having a dramatic impact on consumer behavior, it also influences how brands today communicate with prospects, and what they need to do to attract their attention and drive revenue.The customer journey has been seriously disrupted as digital communication has taken center stage. No longer can brands trust customers to move seamlessly from one stage to the next in a linear and quantifiable path.Now customers regularly use a variety o…

Content-specific chat prompts: Unlocking the power of conversation

Often, live chat is viewed as a customer service tool — or, even worse, a pesky sales pop-up. In my opinion, though, while live chat can be used for both of those purposes, it can also be used for so much more.Think about it: people love to buy from companies and people that they feel connected to. That’s why content is such a great marketing tool. It helps people get to know your business, build positive associations with your company and, hopefully, become a loyal customer.But what if there was a way to squeeze even more leads and sales out of your content?After all, content is all about communicating and connecting with people, so what would happen if you could take that to the next level and use your content to start an actual conversation with members of your audience?Luckily, there’s a way to do just that: content-specific chat prompts.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

SMX East 2016: Satisfying The Need For Speed

At the recent SMX East conference in New York, I sat in on a session presented by Fili Wiese, titled, “The Need for Speed.” Wiese is a former member of Google’s search quality team who also worked as a clickspam engineer.In this session, he presented a lot of great technical data, as well as information on ways to improve site performance.One of the articles Wiese referenced was “Page Load Times vs. Conversion Rates,” and the data contained in that article is truly compelling:If that isn’t motivation enough, Google has said that they plan to make page speed a direct ranking factor on mobile devices. You may ask how big a factor it might become, but I do think that speed matters a lot to mobile users, so there is reason to believe that this is a ranking factor that will have some weight to it.Bigger than content quality and links? Don’t be silly. But still, it’s a signal that could have some impact.The great majority of sites have many potential opportunities to dramatically speed thin…

Microsoft Teams Aims to Take on Slack with Office 365 Suite Integration

Microsoft has now launched its latest productivity app that aims to take on Slack, aptly named, Microsoft Teams. Incidentally, Slack posted a full-page ad in the New York Times to welcome Microsoft Teams as their direct competitor.Microsoft Teams is placed as yet another utility app in their Office 365 suite. In short, it’s an app that aims to improve communication among team members, whilst providing full access to Microsoft’s other popular apps like Office and Skype. Precisely speaking, this is exactly where Microsoft tries to gain an edge over Slack. It not only helps business users communicate but also do stuffs like sharing files, photos, meeting plans and even make video calls.Microsoft Teams apparently looks a lot similar to Slack with that familiar sidebar showing meeting, files, chat and activity notifications. It comes with a feature that even allows you to drop meetings, notes, and project boards directly onto the chat. Yet another interesting feature is the threaded persis…

The Complete Guide To Starting An E-Commerce Site

Few days back Megha shared an exclusive guide on launching your first online store. Today, I’m extending the series by sharing this complete guide for launching an E-commerce store.There’s a ton of work that goes into setting up an E-commerce shop, but it’s worth the effort.Offering your products online means they can reach anyone with an internet connection. It also means that more people will be able to discover you, maybe from a Google search, or from social media.Whether you’re selling physical goods (t-shirts, posters) or digital goods (e-books, illustrations), an e-commerce site will help you find your customers.Thanks to WordPress, building an e-commerce site is easy. With the right tools, your online shop can launch in just a few days — or even a few hours.WordPress has provided two major e-commerce platforms for creating shops online:WooCommerceWP eCommerceIn addition to these two, hundreds of plugins have been created to add extra functionality to each of these platforms.It …

Study finds e-retailers are making it more difficult to unsubscribe from emails

According to a study released today by the Online Trust Alliance, fewer online retailers are including “clear and conspicuous” unsubscribe links in their email marketing compared to last year.After analyzing email marketing unsubscribe practices of the top 200 e-commerce sites based on revenue (per Internet Retailer Magazine), the OTA found 81 percent of online retailers were using “clear and conspicuous” unsub links in emails – compared to 97 percent in 2015.The OTA says for unsubscribe links to be “clear and conspicuous,” an email must include opt-out copy, and that it must not be buried within the last paragraphs of an email that usual contain legal language.From the OTA’s 2016 Email Marketing and Unsubscribe Audit:The opt-out should be visible from the last sentience of the body of the email, minimizing vertical space betwenn the end of the body copy and the link and a different color than surround text to help identify it as a link. The user should not be forced to download imag…

5 ways to use personalized video in your next marketing campaign

Personalized video is the happy, and very effective, marriage of two of today’s hottest marketing trends: personalization and video.We’re personalizing everything these days. From shoes to cars, businesses have discovered that the more something feels uniquely yours, the more likely you are to buy it.The personalization trend in B2B marketing and sales is different from the consumer side; buying software isn’t the same as customizing your Chuck Taylors. But the same principles of connecting with the customer apply, and when done right, they are just as effective.Same deal with video. Video has been proven over and over to dramatically improve marketing’s effectiveness. Pick a marketing KPI, and I’ll bet you video makes it better. Open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, lead generation — the use of more visual and engaging content boosts them all.It’s no surprise, then, that personalized video delivers the benefits of both tactics, plus some. We see more and more businesses …

7 Google Analytics reports that demystify your B2B audience

In my previous article, I discussed ways to measure and analyze website traffic, engagement and conversions. In this piece, I share seven of my favorite Google Analytics reports that help B2B marketers further analyze and understand website visitors.1. Geographical reportIf you target certain regions or are running advertising campaigns in particular markets, the Geographical (Geo) report will help you analyze how users from these areas behave on your website. B2B marketers can use this data to determine advertising effectiveness and identify needed improvements (specific to each region), as well as compare audiences and segment users for retargeting campaigns. You can even set up your own segments to separate traffic from desired locations and analyze it further.2. Demographics and Interests reportThe Demographics and Interests report also will provide insightful data that can help you better understand website visitors and their behaviors based on attributes like age, gender, affini…

How to deal with attribution fraud

While ad fraud has become part of every marketer’s vocabulary, attribution fraud – the practice of gaming outdated attribution models to justify self-serving means – has been mostly ignored up until now.As marketers and media owners shift dollars into digital channels, however, serving ads outside of an attribution model’s measurable capabilities in order to achieve financial benefit has quietly been ramping up in response. Attribution fraud is fast becoming the ad industry’s next big quality headache.Attribution fraud includes everything from retargeting users about to convert to knowingly cookie-bombing users with non-viewable ads. And the costs of attribution fraud are not just the valuable advertising dollars wasted on ineffective media.Attribution fraud leads marketers down a rabbit hole of fundamentally misunderstanding their customers’ behavior. It leads advertisers to misinterpret how various channels, devices and tactics lead to consumer actions.But all hope is not lost. With…

Guide to Google ranking factors – Part 9: outbound links

Last week we published the eighth instalment of our complete guide to Google ranking factors.It concentrated on internal links, as well as the best way to use anchor text and hub page or category optimisation.This week, outbound links!1) An outbound link is a ‘vote of confidence’ to the site you’re linking to, and you will be passing along some of your own site’s ranking power. However try to avoid using anchor text such as ‘here’ as this is worthless to you and the site you’re linking to.2) Sticking to the website name is a safe bet when choosing anchor text, especially if it’s ‘example company conducted a study’. That way usability and transparency is improved or maintained because visitors will know exactly what to expect when they click through.3) When linking to other sites, try to avoid terms that describe what they do, especially if it’s something they’re trying to rank for. As an example, if you link to a particular SEO agency with the phrase ‘leading SEO experts’. This can be…

On a global basis mobile internet usage surpassed the desktop in October

According to new data from StatCounter, mobile devices have, for the first time, overtaken the desktop as access points for the internet on a global basis. The company said that in October smartphones and tablets were responsible for 51.3 percent of internet usage worldwide vs. 48.7 percent for the desktop.Usage rates in individual countries differ, however. For example, the data reflect that in the UK desktop internet usage was 55.6 percent and mobile devices accounted for 44.4 percent. In the US, the desktop drove 58 percent of internet usage in October, while smartphones and tablets were responsible for 42 percent.According to a forecast from Zenith, mobile devices will drive 75 percent of global internet usage next year. The agency said that figure will grow to nearly 80 percent by 2018. In addition, mobile advertising will overtake desktop advertising globally next year, according to the forecast. By 2018, 60 percent of internet advertising will be mobile says Zenith.The company …

This Camera Band for Apple Watch Lets You Click Photos or Shoot Videos

Apple Watch indeed comes with a large variety of official watch bands, but none of them are as functional as this. This new watch band dubbed the CMRA boasts of two camera units that are integrated into the band itself, thereby enabling you to click images and capture video footage.Developed in collaboration with Ari Roisman, the founder of video messaging startup Glide and Shawn Greening, an engineer who was responsible for working on Apple Watch, the all new band takes the experience of the smart watch to a whole new level. The $200 CMRA watchband features a set of 8MP and 2MP camera modules located on a silicon strap. Basically, the 2MP unit located just beside the watch case is intended for clicking selfies and conducting video calls. On the other hand, the 8MP unit is placed on the side and helps to capture the surrounding.The main motive behind making this band is rather simple. It just lets the smartwatch do more. You can now open up the camera and switch between them with just…

Milagrow’s New Autonomous Robotic Lawn Mower Range Starts at Rs 69,990

Moving lawn has been pretty much the same the last decade or so and Milagrow, India’s robotic company has decided to change this. Tired of coaxing your family member to mow the loan? Well, the Milagrow’s autonomous lawn mower might be a help. The autonomous lawn mover comes equipped with a total of 13 sensors which aims at providing a higher degree of freedom and the ability to operate without any human intervention. The array of sensors also includes a sensor that detects when the robot is lifted from the ground. The roll over sensor stops the blades and cuts off the power if the device is tilted at an angle greater than 30-degree. Torque sensors are designed to supply equal torque to all the wheels thus ensuring that the wheels wont destroy your lawn.But what if it rains, fret not Milagrow has also included a rain sensor that will direct the robot to go back to its base point in case of rains. Milagrow claims that the lawn movers can mow a maximum of 0.64 acres in a single day and u…

Worldwide mobile internet use surpasses desktop for the first time ever

It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for.All us mobile-first proponents have been sat patiently rubbing our hands and saying “you’ll see, just you wait and see!” to anyone within hearing distance – but now we have the proof. Mobile internet use is now more popular than desktop the whole world over.To be honest, it was an easy prediction to make. Earlier in the year Google stated that mobile searches had already surpassed desktop in 10 countries including the US and Japan. And mobile ad spend has been dominate over desktop since March. So the following research shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.StatCounter Global Stats has found that mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3% of internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7% by desktop.Although don’t get to excited, as there is a huge difference from country to country, with the US and UK still lagging behind other territories.In the UK, desktop users account 55.6% of the online population, compared to 44.4% on mobile device.…

Xiaomi Mi PM 2.5 Detector Helps Track Real Time Air Quality on Mi Air Purifier 2

After announcing the Mi Air Purifier Pro yesterday, Xiaomi has launched yet another new smart home product in China. It’s a portable cuboidal shaped air quality monitor that Lei Jun led firm is referring to as the Xiaomi Mi PM 2.5 detector.Xiaomi has apparently been teasing this product on Weibo for quite some time and hence it’s overwhelming to see it finally being unveiled. Essentially this may be termed as the best companion gadget for the Mi Air Purifier 2. Unlike, the Mi Air Purifier Pro, the last gen Air Purifier 2 from Xiaomi doesn’t come with an integrated display. Thus you would need to check the real-time air quality via the Mi Smart Home app on your smartphone. This Xiaomi Mi PM 2.5 detector, however, saves you from that hassle.The Xiaomi Mi PM 2.5 detector is a fairly compact device measuring at 62 x 62 x 37mm and weighs just about 100g. Upfront it features a small OLED panel which displays real-time metrics including quality of air, battery life and network strength. The …