Articles by Kyle Lacy

Email Marketing is Not Dead

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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For those of you living under a rock, our friends at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud released their annual State of Marketing report in January where they surveyed thousands of marketers (5,000 to be exact). All the questions asked dealt with uncovering top marketing priorities for this year, and the report includes a large section on email marketing, which — in case you were wondering — is still very much relevant.

For the majority of marketers, email remains an integral touchpoint along the customer journey — 73% agree that email marketing is core to their business. In fact, comparing this year’s survey to last year’s, the importance of email actually rose — 60% of marketers said that email is a critical enabler of products and services in 2015 compared to 42% of marketers in 2014.

There are many factors contributing to the increase in acknowledgement and success in email. The increase in the quality of content production and the continued optimization of marketing automation could be two big ones. However, I believe it’s the increased popularity of smartphones that ultimately points to the overwhelming increase in the value of email marketing. The smartphone offers consumers a constant inbox in the consumer/customer’s pocket. We used to be connected at home and at work. Now we are connected everywhere.

What can we learn from over 5,000 global marketers? For starters, email is not dead. The continued investment in email marketing continues to be an extremely important contributor to the success of any marketing campaign.

Kyle Lacy
Head of Marketing Strategy at OpenView
@kyleplacy

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6 Secrets to a Successful Content Marketing Team – What I’ve Learned

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

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In October 2012, Jeff Rohrs and I started the content marketing team at the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud with two people, a research series and a small blog. Under Jeff’s leadership over the course of the next year, we spent time investing heavily in content creation, working with the extremely talented interactive team on blog design, and transitioning into a global content publisher. We have since been added to the digital marketing team under Daniel Incandela and have grown exponentially under his leadership. We’ve been lucky because the majority of ideas have worked and our people are the best at what they do.

Here’s our hit list for 2012-2014:

•We now publish unique content on blogs in six countries.
•Our research series spans multiple countries and languages.
•We will hit 1,000,000 visits on the US blog in 2014 (up over 70% yoy).
•Video is published for six countries (four languages) on our YouTube site. We manage relationships in each geo with subscriber counts growing 300% over the past year.
•We have over 80 unique authors on the blog network.
•Smart CTAs that deliver specific deliverables to readers based on content tagging and geography.
•200% increase in lead growth from the blog over the past year.
•Influencing and contributing directly to millions of dollars in business for the company.

I honestly don’t know if there are any secrets to the success over the past year. I have definitely made plenty mistakes and my only redeeming factor is that I have a team that is more intelligent than I ever will be and a company that is comprised of the smartest people in the industry. Here’s the team – Bo Dietrick, Tom Corey, Heike Young, Tony Mulinaro, Drew Beechler, Jen Ribble, Chad White, Andrea Smith, Julie Easton, and Devon McGinnis.

So how did (do) we do it ?

1.Understand and speak to industry trends. We spend hours upon hours reading and analyzing content that deals directly with industry trends. From snapchat to Amazon Cart, we are constantly developing content around technology shifts that may effect the marketer of tomorrow. It also keeps us informed and helps with our professional careers.

2.People are paramount. Like I said above, people are everything. I have definitely made plenty of mistakes and without a patient and extremely intelligent team we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today. Hire the right people and invest constantly.

3.The translation process is extremely important to any global success. One thing we learned early on was the right translation partner is extremely important to scaling content globally. Errors within the translation process will screw up any timeline and will be extremely tiresome for any team to deal with… especially with non-english speaking locations.

4.Content should be personalized. The personalization of content is a trend that we have been moving toward ever since the inception of the team in 2012. Right now, we personalize CTAs based on what an individual is reading on the blog and their location. In the near future, we will be using Predictive Intelligence to personalize much more than just the CTA content on each individual page. As content marketers, we should use data to deliver a more personalized experience to any reader.

5.Analytics should be worshipped. We could always be better at this but the digital team at ExactTarget Marketing Cloud spends constant hours analyzing and testing content on all web properties. I believe that the success of our content is mostly due to our ability to analyze data and create great content. They go hand in hand.

6.Spend money on your content. My good friend Jay Baer puts it best, “Your marketing should be so good… people would pay for it.” Create content that drives consumption to the point where people would be willing to pay for it. Is your content that good? If it is, you should be spending money advertising your content. It should be read and shared… most of the time you need to market your marketing.

Ultimately, a great content marketing team is focused on delivering the best content for their customers and readers. If the content is not helping the individual move forward in life… you better move other because someone is about to take your place.

Kyle lacy
ExactTarget, a Salesforce.com company
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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7 Habits of Highly Successful Digital Marketers

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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There are a myriad of self-help books out there talking about the seven habits of highly effective people/teens/dogs. So I have jumped on the bandwagon and have created a 7-step guide to marketing effectiveness. Now I don’t promise miracles, but I’ve noticed that the most successful marketers have got into these seven great habits.

So I’m pretty sure if you develop them too, you will see an improvement in your email marketing and lead generation results.

Step 1 – Always make a plan

This may sound like telling you to suck eggs. But you’d be amazed how many B2B marketers don’t make any plans but just send out email campaigns with no real goals or targeting. Imagine!

So as well as working to the overall marketing strategy and plan for the year, each activity you do should have its own plan, goals and measurements in place. According to the Oxford College of Marketing the benefits of marketing planning are plentiful. You will:

Help identify sources of competitive advantage
Force an organised approach
Ensure consistent relationships
Inform and gain commitment
Get resources and support

What you can measure, you can improve – without targets, how do you know if you’ve been successful? But take heed of the advice in this article by awesome b2b marketing agency Earnest and don’t be tempted to exaggerate the success rates you think you can achieve.

Step 2 – Get the data right

This is perhaps the most important step of all, once you’ve got your plan in place. There are two key elements to data: your contact database and the data you get from your activities.

Marketing data – For any of the following five steps, to deliver the kind of results you want you need to start with clean, segmented and current lists. You obviously have your in-house lists of customers and prospects but for some campaigns buying in a list of the segment you want to target can deliver better marketing ROI. Make sure you use the right list provider though. You will need up-to-date, targeted and Data Protection Act-compliant details that can help your email marketing and lead generation activities deliver more value.

Activity data – Just in case you hadn’t heard already, we are living in the ‘Big Data’ world. As the world has moved online, the amount of data being created is terrifyingly large. For example, in one internet minute:

204 million emails are sent
30 hours of video are uploaded
100,000 new tweets are tweeted

So it’s important to understand how to separate the wheat from the chaff when analysing data.

Step 3 – Use the right words
read full article »

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Is Your Personal Brand a Great Story? It Should Be.

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

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There have been plenty of conferences I have attended that shout from the rooftops about being successful. They talk about the world as if it were a malleable piece of clay. Other ideas include building a better story in your life. Who wouldn’t want to attend a conference about bettering your life? I’m not talking about the “live your best life now” or a smiling Tony Robbins raining his praises and neural linguistic fueled smile down upon his followers. I’m talking about a bare bones build out of how to live your life and tell an unforgettable story.

We are all living in a script filled world… do you want the best script or one that is tossed?

Every piece of marketing is a story. Everything you do is followed by a story line. There are inciting incidents in life that bring on success or failure. The same applies to marketing. Are you telling the true story of your brand?

In writing, an inciting incident is the moment a script kicks a story into motion. It occurs after the setup of the characters/plot and everything that follows should be a result of that incident. It’s where a story really begins. In movies, there is usually one inciting incident that changes the landscape of the storyline so drastically that you have to watch for the end result.The same idea applies to your life. However, you will have multiple inciting incidents (both good and bad) that will help build your story over the course of your life.

I can now pinpoint different “inciting incidents” that have formed my opinion of life. Can you think of different inciting incidences that have formed the future of the top companies in the world? I can think of a few.

Your story is the only thing that is actually yours in life. You have the ability to tell your story in any way you see it. Do you want the main character of your story to be healthy? Do you want them to be successful and live a fulfilled life? Or do you want to live a tragedy.

The same storyline applies to your business or job. Are you doing everything in your power to write a successful story for your employees? Are you building a place where people feel fulfilled? Are you creating a brand that moves people to engage, give, and buy?

There is beauty behind the concept of rewriting your story. We are all on this path towards an ending. What type of conflicts, successes, mountain and valleys are you going to take to reach the climax of your life?

Are you striving to write a better story?

I wouldn’t be surprised…. that by writing a better story for yourself…. everything else will fall into line.

kyle lacy
ExactTarget
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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