Wise Words on Content Marketing

I love content marketing. So imagine my schoolgirl giddiness when I had the chance to attend the one and only Content Marketing World this week in Cleveland. With so much excellent content about, well, content, I chose to focus this post on some interesting nuggets of wisdom from Jay Baer from the Tuesday morning opening session:

Consumers are hyper-connected: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Consumers have access to all information at all times. They’re also hyper-researching everything they do. In fact customers usually consult around 10 pieces of information before making a purchase decision. So how do you stand out? The trick is to provide enough content in varied formats so they can find you and feel confident when choosing to do business with you.

Provide information for everything: Be useful to your prospects, Baer suggests. He even goes so far as to suggest answering every possible question beforehand so that once your customers arrive, all they have to do is focus on having a great time. Something else to keep in mind: If you think you’re providing enough information to your customers, you’re probably not. More is better.

No one like being hassled: No one likes filling out those “contact us” forms. Why? Even if they have an interest in a company, they just don’t want to be hassled by a salesperson. In the B2B space, roughly 70% of prospects make a buying decision before even talking to a salesperson. Customers are secretly shopping you all the time. If they have to call you to figure out why they should buy from you, you’re doing it wrong.

It’s not about selling: It’s about teaching. No one cares about your products and services. Seriously. What they do care about is how you can help them. Solve as many problems as you possibly can in a customer’s life – not just the problems they have with your product. How do you find out what they need? Use your data.

Fun Facts on Big Data 2013

Patti RennerWith the explosion of information being gathered and used, it’s time to take a fresh look at even more fun facts on Big Data. Enjoy!
4.4 million – The number of jobs that Big Data demand will reach by 2015 (Gartner Research).
42% – Percentage of marketers surveyed in early 2013 who have or who plan to invest in big data technology this year.

500% – Percentage of increase in the number of big data questions industry analysts fielded in Q1 2013 vs. Q1 2012.

45 million – number of online shoppers’ clickstream data that Walmart analyzes each month. “As a result, it was able to provide each individual customer with choices that would be attractive to them, increasing the number of online shoppers completing transactions by between 10% and 15%.” (Gartner, 2013)

$2 billion – Estimated number of dollars Visa identifies as potential fraud to address before the money is lost, thanks to its “analytic engine” that powers their advanced use of data. (Wall Street Journal, March 2013)

1,826 petabytes (or 1,826,000 terabytes) – Amount of data and information the internet carries each day.

80% – percentage of all US email addresses stored and used for marketing by a single provider.

3.6 million megabytes annually – the estimated amount of data that will be produced by a typical office worker in 2015 (includes downloaded movies, word files, emails, etc.)

200 million – the number of photos being shared by Snapchat every day. (Welcome the new app, SnapSave, that captures Snapchat messages without the sender knowing.)

7 – Number of vendor companies featured in the recent Forrester Wave report on Data Management Platforms. Get your copy now.

Do Not Track Update – September 2013

Casey BartoIn my last Do Not Track post, I mentioned the resignation of Jonathan Mayer from the Track Protection Working Group. Mayer’s resignation comes after years of a standstill at the W3C.
The end of August saw yet another key resignation from the group – that of Peter Swire. Swire, the co-chair of the group resigned to take a position with President Obama’s intelligence review panel. Sounding less frustrated than Mayer in his resignation email, Swire wrote:

“Since last November, I have tried to work diligently with you to meet the goals of the working group,” Swire wrote. “W3C has been a unique forum for bringing together the diverse perspectives on how commercial actors collect and use personal information on the Internet for advertising and other purposes. We have clarified the key issues, and I hope all stakeholders will continue your efforts to create a resolution that works well for individual users and a better Internet generally.”

What this means for the future of the W3C is uncertain, according to AdWeek. However, FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez has said she’s still hopeful the group can come to some kind of agreement.

In other Do Not Track news, it seems California has grown impatient waiting for some kind Do Not Track mandate and has gone ahead and passed its own law. At the end of last month the California Senate passed an amendment to “California Online Privacy Protection Act that will require commercial websites and services that collect personal data to disclose how they respond to Do Not Track signals from Web browsers,” according to AdWeek.

The new bill doesn’t prohibit tracking, but instead gives websites 30 days to spell out their privacy practices if they haven’t already done so. Those that haven’t spelled out their privacy practices will also receive a warning, but there’s no mention on what would happen if a website failed to disclose privacy practices after 30 days.

5 Basic Cookie Questions Answered

1. What exactly is a Cookie? Tracking or browser cookies offer true convenience to the online experience. Cookies provide a way to capture a consumer’s behaviors and preferences to provide a better or more relevant experience the next time they interact with the brand. They are tiny encrypted text files used by websites to detect and tailor experiences for visitors. For instance, if you visit an online retailer and place an item in your shopping cart, then abandon that purchase only to return to the site later, cookies can be used to identify you and remember the contents of your shopping cart. Or if you have a site you visit often and have registered for specific content or access, cookies help remember your login information so you don’t have to go through tedious steps each time you visit. There are primarily two types of cookies used by online marketers – 1st party and 3rd party.

2. What’s the difference between 1st and 3rd party cookies? The difference between the two depends on who sets the cookie. 1st party cookies are placed on your computer (or device) by the websites themselves or the host domain. In other words, if you were to visit abc.com, a cookie would be placed by abc.com that would identify you as a visitor. Consider it tool for a direct relationship between you (or your device) and the sites you visit. However, 3rd party cookies are placed by the site visited on behalf of another domain or brand. It’s the 3rd party cookies that tend to get the negative attention.

3. Can you give an example of each? With 1st party cookies, your next visit to a favorite site can be more relevant. If you were on music site and searched for acoustic guitars, on your next visit instead of being shown images of drums and amplifiers, you’ll be served up valuable content about guitars instead. Those 1st party cookies help to enhance the brand-consumer experience. On the other hand, 3rd party cookies tend to be a looser connection. For instance, if you visit abc.com and see an ad for blue shoes and later visit a different site and see the same ad for blue shoes, that’s an example of 3rd party cookies at work. Or you visit a weight-loss site, then later are targeted with weight-loss products not directly associated with the primary site you visited, this is also 3rd party cookies in action. But 3rd party isn’t all bad; at the same time, they also can limit the number of times that ad is shown and in what sequence you see specific content, so these can also somewhat benefit the online experience, but not as directly as a 1st party approach.

4. What about Privacy? Over the last year or so, 3rd-party cookies have drawn the ire of consumers who fear what kind of personal information 3rd party advertisers are collecting about them in order to track them online. As a result, more and more consumers are blocking/deleting third party cookies, making it difficult for marketers to have a complete view of each customer. 1st party cookies, however, are based on a direct versus assumed relationship so they don’t come with all the privacy baggage that have many consumers on edge these days. Not only that, but because you’re not depending on 3rd party ad networks, you’re able to use advanced audience targeting across a wide variety of devices, including mobile.

5. What’s the future of Cookies? You’ve likely seen the litany of articles and chatter about the impending death of 3rd-party cookies. It makes for a good headline. But until there’s a good solution to replace them, their death may not be so imminent. They’re not necessarily going away any time soon. However, we do see marketers with an increasing appreciation for operating primarily in the 1st party, which solves for a lot of challenges that soon will be facing marketers. More on this in a coming post.

5 Interesting Reads for This Week

Casey Barto1. Marketers, do you know your DMPs? In this article from Adage Kate Kaye takes a look at the findings from Forrester’s recent Wave Report on data management platforms.
2. Another Blow to the Do Not Track Working Group: On the heels of Jonathan Mayer’s resignation from the Do Not Track Working Group comes the resignation of Peter Swire, the co-chair of the group. Swire will be serving on President Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology. AdExchanger has more on his resignation.

3. Customers are more likely to share their personal data when…: They’re giving their information to doctors. This according to an article from MarketingProfs. Overall, consumers say they understand the value of sharing their data, but still feel data mining is invasive. According to the survey, “three-quarters of consumers worldwide say retailers currently miss the mark in targeting them with ads on mobile apps, and 72% do not feel that online promotions or emails they receive resonate with their personal interests and needs.”

4. Do Gmail’s new promotions tab ads violate CAN-SPAM laws? Return Path asks that very question, noting that the ads are unsolicited by consumers and there’s no way to unsubscribe from them. (Though users can opt-out of the targeted ads.)

5. And in non-industry news: You’ve likely heard of cats and dogs that visit hospitals to bring joy to ailing patients, but what about llamas? Meet Marisco and NH Flight of the Eagle, 2 llamas making patients feel better in Washington state.

Knotice Catches a Wave

To celebrate our recent inclusion in Forrester’s first ever Wave Report on data management platforms (DMPs), we threw a ‘Catch a Wave’ themed beach party. Here’s a look at some of the fun:

party1

Thanks to Sarah for designing our awesome beach themed cake.

Thanks to Sarah for designing our awesome beach themed cake.

party3

party4

party5 party6

5 Things to Know about Knotice 5

When people see the latest release of our platform, Knotice 5, what they see is literally a different way they can engage prospects and customers, and a better way they themselves can work. Knotice 5 offers a whole new approach for facilitating and measuring the real-time orchestration of personalized interactions across channels and device, while allowing marketing leadership to increase the velocity and agility of their organization. This new version builds on the profile fidelity and richness that Knotice has always delivered with its Universal Profile Management system, but adds incredible speed and smile-inducing simplicity into the mix. For marketers, this means an increase in efficiency of daily workflow and getting better campaigns to market faster.

Here are five things you need to know about it:

1. Get counts and insights from across channels fast – really fast. No more waiting hours or days for your data team to get to your requests. Now you can view insights in real time whenever you like. Knotice 5 pulls together key data resources and consolidates it all within a single, robust profile-based environment, built for speed. It helps make your Big Data “smaller” or more agile and management, so you can actually use it.

2. Close the loop on life-cycle management with a truly complete view of your customers. The phrase “complete view of the customer” seems to be thrown around a lot when it comes to marketing technology, but here’s a secret: unless your solution is capturing both known and anonymous customer data, you won’t have the details you need to do really powerful stuff. Knotice’s proprietary Universal Profile Management System within Knotice 5 does just that by collecting both known and anonymous customer data and attributing it to the appropriate customer profile when a defined action takes place. Now you not only know Jim’s last purchase, but you also know that he visited your site four times in the last month, clicked on one of your display ads, and opened 2 of your emails on his tablet.

3. Know Your Audience Reach by Channel. If you have, for example, 60,000 profiles in your “Dog Lovers” audience, Knotice 5 offers a window into your numbers. In about a minute from your iPad during meetings, the platform lets you see that you can reach 30,029 of those via email, 14,320 via direct mail, and 1,478 via SMS and 16,781 via display. Not only do you get the channel reach for specific audiences, channel overlap is also available. Having the channel overlap at your fingertips gives you unparalleled insights for multichannel campaign planning. In other words, you have what you need to get stronger campaigns to market faster.

4. Operate in the 1st-party, with 3rd-party data capabilities, too. There’s been much talk over the demise of 3rd-party data and its privacy implications. Because Knotice 5 has a 1st-party orientation, you’re able to use advanced audience targeting across a wide variety of devices, including iOS. It’s worth mentioning that of the seven DMPs evaluated in Forrester’s recent Wave report, Knotice leads the pack when it comes to a 1st-party approach.

5. It’s slick. See for yourself in this short video.

See for Yourself: Knotice 5 Demo

Knotice Featured in DMP Wave Report

We’re excited to announce that Knotice was named a strong performer among data management platform (DMP) providers in Forrester Research Inc.’s, most recent Wave Report. The evaluation of Knotice by Forrester Research was conducted on the most recent release of the company’s DMP, Knotice 5.

Featured in the “The Forrester Wave™: Data Management Platforms, Q3 2013” (August 2013), the research firm highlights the company’s first-party domain orientation. The report goes on to say, “(Knotice’s) Universal Profile Management technology, released in 2008, with its explicit focus on the linking of anonymous and known profiles, has increasingly made it an attractive choice for audience management, primarily for small and midsize businesses.”

Knotice5

“It generally seems that midsize companies are able to do what’s right first. Our midmarket focus is actually driven by adoption issues,” said Brian Deagan, Knotice CEO and President.
“Within large companies you simply have a lot of silos – display is being handled by a media agency, search and social are different internal or external teams, the email team is under direct response, site personalization is under eCommerce. On top of that, you have the data warehouse, business intelligence and analytics folks, which are three separate teams at least. It makes it tough to get all of the right people in a room to make a proactive, thoughtful decision that touches on all these functions across the organization,” said Deagan.

“That said, we’re obviously thrilled to see a top national retailer sign up. But in comparison, they have a small, innovative, and agile team, which makes all the difference when you look at evaluating a data management platform like Knotice 5,” said Deagan. “Other DMPs actually got their start in the display silo and, in many respects, continue to perpetuate the silo model.”

The most recent release of the company’s DMP, Knotice 5, builds on the profile fidelity and richness that Knotice has always delivered with its Universal Profile Management system, but adds incredible speed and smile-inducing simplicity into the mix. For marketers, this means an increase in efficiency of daily workflow and getting better campaigns to market faster.

“When people see Knotice 5, what they see is not just the next release of our platform but literally a different way they can engage prospects and customers, and a different way they themselves can work,” said Deagan. “Knotice 5 offers a whole new approach for facilitating and measuring the real-time orchestration of personalized interactions across channels and device, while allowing them to increase the velocity and agility of their marketing organization.”

He adds, “Knotice may not change the world, but if we can make the world better for marketers and our employees, we’ll be happy.”

Considerations for Selecting a DMP

As Forrester Research prepares to release its first-ever WAVE™ report on Data Management Platforms (DMP), here are a few concepts to help put things into perspective for those new to the idea of using a DMP.

When considering the need for a DMP solution, realize that everything consumers do is an action. These actions can be recorded as data to be used to enhance the brand relationship. The actions of those customers you know (like email subscribers) and those you can’t yet identify (like site visits from a tablet) should be automatically gathered into a single data environment where the information can be congealed with other information from all your internal data stores.

This means your POS system data, marketing data, loyalty programs, customer service records, onsite activity, abandoned cart activity, display ad clicks, etc. all can be used to build in-depth data profiles for each consumer (both known and anonymous) within your entire audience.

Also keep in mind that those anonymous data can and should be autolinked to the proper known profile once an identifying event takes place like they open an email from you on their tablet, for example. Imagine the shift in quality and relevance having this information can do for your marketing! The end-to-end customer lifecycle management to orchestrate genuine, quality experiences across your campaign channels and touch points requires this type of cohesive, data-centric approach. That’s what makes the idea of a DMP solution so appealing.

Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting a DMP

It’s important to consider a platform’s roots, and how they can support your future needs. For instance, many of DMPs rely heavily on 3rd party data within their data streams – even as third-party tracking faces serious challenges in regards to privacy issues, tracking across iOS devices, FireFox and more. This may be because they were originally designed as ad-serving platforms that require a 3rd party approach for retargeting. (What makes Knotice different is simple: We designed around our Universal Profile Management to deliver consistency and relevance across marketing channels.) So, outside of technologies such as device fingerprinting and wireless address recognition, we believe a better alternative for now is the use of 1st party data.

What’s the difference with 1st party data?

First-party is the data collected by the brand itself – it’s your direct relationship with your customer/prospects. Because it’s based on a direct versus assumed relationship, it doesn’t come with all the privacy baggage that have many consumers on edge these days. And because you’re not depending on 3rd party ad networks, you’re able to use advanced audience targeting across a wide variety of devices, including mobile. It’s a cleaner, more effective option in most cases.

It’s interesting to note that while the Knotice platform can take in and make use of 3rd party data, our clients recognize and prefer the value of maintaining that first-party relationship with their customers.

Other points when considering a DMP:

The Need for Data Scientist or a Dedicated Team – Or Not: The people you put in place depend on the size of your organization and the amount of data you’re dealing with. If you’re dealing with a lot of data or are interested in doing things like predictive modeling, then you’ll most likely need to work with someone who has that specialized skill set. Regardless of your organization’s size, however, you will need to build a team within your organization and that means starting to tear down the internal silos that may be hindering your access to data that should be unified. Work together to centralize your data, give team members authority over one channel and be sure you have cross-company involvement.

Getting Started with a DMP Depends on How Fast You Prefer to Move: When you make the decision to go with a DMP, don’t think it’s going to be months of data integration headaches. There are DMPs out there, like Knotice, that can have you up and running in as little as six weeks. It’s all about the speed with which your DMP of choice can ingest and normalize all your incoming data, and how quickly your team prefers to move forward to make it happen. If you’re really in a hurry, be sure to have everything you need ready and in place (which should be communicated to you by your DMP provider) before you start the process. Data is king, but communication is key.

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