Responsive Design & Marketing in a Multi-Screen World

    Posted by Tracy Lewis on Apr 16, 2013 7:17:00 AM

    People consume online content via three screens: desktop, mobile phone and tablet. Given the proliferation of each, marketers should build their programs to accommodate all three. Consider the statistics: 

    That said, consumers interact with each device differently, and screen dimensions play a large role in preferred content, layout and presentation. So, how can marketers ensure that their content is in the proper format—regardless of how it’s being accessed?

    Responsive.DesignGoogle recommends responsive design, in which the site detects the device and size of screen, and then automatically sizes the content to fit. For a quick overview, check out What the Heck is Responsive Design? by John Polacek (@johnpolacek), or these examples of responsive design in action from the Disney Store, Boston Globe and more.

    Another option, although less preferred, is to have a separate mobile website with its own URLs.  In the words of my PR 20/20 colleagues in Do I Need a Mobile Website, “if you aren’t debating whether to launch a mobile version of your website, you might want to start.” They recommend assessing your site analytics and overall user experience to make a case.

    But, What’s Next?

    As Pete Cashmore (@mashable) detailed in the Mashable Variety Show at SXSW, the number of screens people use to access information is only going to increase. Screens are going to get smaller, larger, on our bodies, etc. A few examples he shared include: 

    While many of these technologies are just in the prototype phases, the implications they could have on how people consume information and interact with content are profound. As we’ve seen with smartphones and tablets, this trickles down into how marketers do their jobs.

    For me, innovations like these reaffirm my belief that technology and marketing are only going to become more intertwined. It’s up to us to stay abreast of the trends, evaluate implications on marketing strategy and adapt. 

    What strategies are you using to succeed in the era of multiple screens? What tech innovations have you seen that that could disrupt how people communicate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

    About the Author: Tracy Lewis is an inbound marketing consultant with PR 20/20, a certified Gold HubSpot partner and inbound marketing agency that combines content, public relations, social media and search marketing into integrated campaigns. She is also the community manager for Marketing Agency Insider, the hub for agency news, information and resources.

    Image Source: IntelFreePress

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    Topics: iPad, Mobile Websites, web design, PR 20/20

    Gartner: 9% Rise In Digital Marketing Spend Expected in 2013

    Posted by Tracy Lewis on Mar 21, 2013 12:02:00 PM

    MoneyEarlier this month, Gartner released its 2013 U.S. Digital Marketing Spend Survey results, based on responses from 253 marketers at U.S.-based companies.

    On average, companies spent 10.4% of their annual 2012 revenue on marketing; 2.5% of this went specifically to digital marketing. In addition, digital marketing spend is expected to increase 9% this year.

    With these increases in budgets comes a greater demand for more accountability, service integration and technical know-how among marketing teams. 

    More Budget = More Responsibility

    While larger budgets bring opportunity, they also bring responsibility. According to the report, “[increased funding] puts more pressure on marketers to deliver and prove a return on investments.” And, yet, only 9% of respondents cited analytics—one of the best ways to prove ROI—as critical to their success.

    We agree with Gartner that a lack of focus on analytics is a severe oversight. It is those marketing teams that are able to turn data into intelligence, and intelligence into action that will be the most successful. These teams are better able to tie activities to bottom-line metrics that matter, which lets them report more accurately to executives, gain greater support ongoing and adjust campaigns based on performance.

    The End of Marketing Silos

    At 20% of companies, digital and traditional marketing techniques have merged so much that budgets are no longer allocated separately. Gartner expects that other companies will follow suit, as they realize that marketing programs can no longer run in silos.

    For example, today, it’s common to see traditional TV ads with a social component, billboards driving viewers to a dedicated landing page on the company’s website, and online content spurring PR campaigns. With the lines blurring, it will become harder to earmark budgets specifically to digital or traditional strategies moving forward.

    Technical Chops Required

    In addition to the rise of digital marketing budgets (stemming from changes in consumer purchasing behaviors), 67% of marketers have budgets to acquire marketing software licenses and infrastructure.

    This has created a need for chief marketing technologists, individuals with an understanding of both marketing and technology, in order to oversee and execute strategic programs. Today, 70% of companies have someone serving in a marketing/technology role.

    That said: we envision the need for tech-savvy professionals to only grow, as new technologies crop up that continue to change the way consumers purchase products, and consequently how marketers do their jobs. For more on this topic, download PR 20/20’s free ebook, The Evolution of the Prototype Marketer, the Hybrids are Coming.

    What’s Your Marketing Budget?

    How does your marketing budget compare to Gartner’s averages? Do you plan to shift more funding to digital? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

    For additional insights from the report, visit the Gartner website.

    About the Author: Tracy Lewis is an inbound marketing consultant with PR 20/20, a certified Gold HubSpot partner and inbound marketing agency that combines content, public relations, social media and search marketing into integrated campaigns. She is also the community manager for Marketing Agency Insider, the hub for agency news, information and resources.

    Image Credit: 401(K) 2013

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    Topics: internet marketing, PR 20/20

    6 Competencies of the New Prototype Marketer

    Posted by Tracy Lewis on Feb 26, 2013 7:15:00 AM

    DNAThe future of marketing belongs to the hybrids.

    The role of the CMO has expanded beyond brand, creative and advertising to include digital programs, analytics and marketing technology decisions, among other emerging disciplines.

    As a result, marketing professionals are tasked with developing new skills—primarily in the areas of tech and data analysis—in order to successfully execute strategic, integrated campaigns that drive leads and loyalty. 

    But, next-gen, hybrid marketers are a rare breed with agencies, corporations and tech companies all after the same employees.

    How can you prepare yourself for the future and stand out in the marketing talent crowd? Below are six key competencies of the tech-savvy marketing professional.

    1. Data Analysis

    Marketers have access to an insurmountable amount of data. Hidden within it lies consumer intelligence and market research, insight into the performance of campaigns, and actionable next steps. Yet, “on average, marketers depend on data for just 11% of all customer-related decisions.” Metrics-driven, analytical marketers are needed to bring order to the noise and meaningful data to the forefront.

    2. Content Marketing

    Content is the crux of inbound marketing, fueling email, social updates, PR outreach and search optimization. But as outlined in the 7 Key Elements of Great Business Content, “there are many talented writers and content services available, but few that possess the wide range of capabilities needed [for] … effective business copywriting.”

    Excellent copywriters create content that is strategic, brand-centric, buyer-persona focused, optimized, technically sound, creative and results driven.

    3. Social Media

    Consumers discuss brands, seek recommendations, ask for advice and share experiences on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn everyday—providing powerful opportunities for organizations to interact.

    Marketers who understand how to navigate social channels and create integrated strategies are key to an organization’s social business success.

    4. Email Marketing

    Marketing automation technologies, like HubSpot, have changed the game when it comes to email marketing. Messages can now be personalized based on consumers’ behaviors and preferences.

    However, with technology changing so quickly, many marketers lack the technical prowess to execute advanced campaigns, leaving those with the skills in high demand.

    5. Mobile

    The proliferation of smart phones and tablets has created an always-on society, that expects anytime, anywhere access. As usage increases, we’ll likely see the day when mobile users are more prevalent than desktop users. (That’s already the case for Facebook.)

    Marketers who aren’t considering the implications of mobile on marketing and customer service are at a severe disadvantage to those that are. 

    6. Development and Programming

    Basic coding and programming skills help marketers understand what is and isn’t possible when it comes to technology. This helps you guide strategy, ask the important questions and think outside the box.

    As explained in Every Marketer Should be Technical: “To be successful nowadays, you need have both a breadth and depth of skills. You have to know what to ask for and how it's done. Without both of these capabilities, you're prone to be less efficient than a colleague or competitor who does.”

    The Evolution of the Prototype Marketer 

    For a deeper look into required competencies for marketers, including what’s driving the transformation and resources to evolve, download PR 20/20's free ebook, Evolution of the Prototype Marketer: The Hybrids are Coming.

    What skills do you think are critical for modern marketers? Share them in the comments.

    About the Author: Tracy Lewis is an inbound marketing consultant with PR 20/20, a certified Gold HubSpot partner and inbound marketing agency that combines content, public relations, social media and search marketing into integrated campaigns.

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    Topics: PR 20/20, marketing talent

    Landing Page Case Study: Measurement & Lead Nurturing Lessons

    Posted by Tracy Lewis on Jan 14, 2013 7:39:00 AM

    In June 2012, PR 20/20 released the ebook, The B2B Marketer's Guide to Going Inbound, as a resource for marketers to generate and nurture high-quality leads through the use of technology, and inbound strategy and tactics.

    The ebook was promoted within a blog post with calls to action to download by filling out a form on a separate landing page. To date, the ebook has been downloaded 262 times by marketers and agency professionals alike, driving significant leads to PR 20/20 and its sister site, Marketing Agency Insider.

    Below we outline strategies employed and lessons learned during campaign execution.

    Call-to-Action Tracking

    Within the blog post, there were two calls to action prompting readers to download the ebook. The first was a text link that appeared above an image of the ebook cover. The second was a call-to-action button positioned at the end of the post.

    CTA screenshot

    We set up both links as separate events within HubSpot Enterprise so that we could better understand conversion rates and visitor behaviors.

    Of the two, the text link was clicked 73.9% of the time, whereas the button was only clicked 26.2%. Our belief is that the text link was more popular because it appeared higher in the post, not necessarily because it was a text link. However, additional tests would need to be run to test that hypothesis.

    A/B Test of Landing Page Copy

    On the ebook landing page, we ran an a/b test that looked at the impact of copy length on conversion rates. In version one of the page, we included short bullets, outlining the ebook’s table of contents. In version two, we provided much more detail in those bullets. See the screenshots below to compare.

    Landing Page Sample

    Landing Page SampleAs you’ll see, in both pages, copy length was the only variable that changed. Other factors, such as headline, image and form remained consistent.

    After running the test for several months, we found that there was not a statistically significant difference in the two variations. Version one converted at 65.8%, whereas version two converted at 70.9%.

    We have plans to run additional tests on this page in the future. In fact, we’re currently experimenting with HubSpot’s smart fields within the landing page form. Smart fields pre-populate information previously gathered from a user, eliminating unnecessary form fields, to make repeat conversions easy.

    Targeted, Automated Lead Nurturing

    In addition to optimizing CTAs and landing pages for conversion, it’s also important to think about the process that will occur after a lead submits a form.

    Since our ebook was a thought leadership piece, in which people may not necessarily constitute a sales-ready lead for PR 20/20, we connected the form with an automated lead nurturing campaign

    In the form, we asked if the person’s company provided marketing services to clients.

    Form FieldFrom here, we set up smart lists that automatically tag contacts as either a “company” or “agency” within our HubSpot portal. Audiences then receive tailored emails based on their status.

    For example, companies get a set of three emails that offer additional resources, and then prompt the person to contact PR 20/20 for marketing support. Agencies, on the other hand, get one email that introduces them to Marketing Agency Insider, an educational site for agencies developed by PR 20/20.

    By segmenting audiences in this way, and tailoring the message accordingly, we’ve seen strong email click through rates, and very few unsubscribes.

    Key Takeaways

    When working with calls to action and landing pages, the key is to have the systems in place that enable you to not only track performance, but also to make adjustments based on historical data. Keep in mind that in many cases, testing and optimization is an iterative strategy that can take time to execute properly. However, small updates collectively can drive a large impact.

    Finally, we’ve found that the more targeted you can make the experience, the better. Technology, like smart lists, fields and CTAs, makes personalization easier than ever before.

    Share your call to action and landing page experiences, best practices and lessons learned in the comments section below.

    About the Author: Tracy Lewis is a consultant at PR 20/20, a certified Gold HubSpot partner and inbound marketing agency that combines content, public relations, social media and search marketing into integrated campaigns. She is also the community manager for Marketing Agency Insider.

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    Topics: landing pages, lead nurturing, lead follow up, marketing analytics, PR 20/20

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