Elaine Fogel


And “They” Said Email Marketing Was Dead

Computer keyboard conceptFor all those naysayer marketing experts who predicted the demise of e-mail marketing, all I can say is: Ha! You’re wrong!

In Gigaom Research’s new study entitled, “Workhorses and Dark Horses - Digital Tactics for Customer Acquisition,” we learn that email is consistently used across the entire marketing funnel.

Email marketing is the digital workhorse, deemed the most effective (relative to other digital tactics) for building awareness, acquisition, retention, and conversion. In fact, 56% of respondents identified email as being the most effective at retention, several points ahead of the second-most-effective tactic.”

The study demonstrates that 86% of survey respondents use it regularly, making it the most widely used digital marketing tactic, ahead of social media marketing (72%) and SEO (70%). Does this surprise you?

Yet, guess which two digital marketing channels are receiving the most budget allocations?  Continue reading

Study Says Small-Medium Businesses Seeing Higher Twitter ROI

A recent study by BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor says that small-medium businesses (SMBs) perceived their Twitter ROI as “excellent” (10-19 times spend; 18.8%) or “extraordinary” (20+ times spend; 12.3%), up from 25% of advertisers in last year’s survey and 17.1% in 2011. But, there’s something missing here.

It’s important to know whether these results represent B2C (business to consumer), B2B (business to business) companies, or a mix of both? Personally, the results would have more value if they showed B2B and B2C separately. Other studies I’ve read seem to indicate that B2C companies are benefiting more from social media marketing than B2B.

The study also shows that SMB usage of Twitter for advertising and promotion has been steadily increasing over the past few years. In fact, 24.3% of SMBs used Twitter for advertising and promotion this year, compared with 22% in 2012 and 16.1% in 2011.

Other findings: Continue reading

Are We Losing the Human Touch in Marketing?

Take a look at recent consumer studies and you’ll see that “more and more people are connecting to the Internet - and for longer amounts of time.” Time spent online has increased 21% from 2011 to 2012.

The time we spent on social media in 2011 averaged 59.5B minutes compared with 121.1B minutes in 2012. It has greatly affected how we turn to companies for customer service. Now, 47% of social media users prefer social care (customer service via social media) over the traditional toll-free phone call.

In the B2B (business-to-business) world, a recent social media study demonstrates that using social media is producing more leads. Yet, what many of these studies fail to uncover is how qualified these leads are or how many result in sales?

In the nonprofit sector, studies have documented which social networks organizations are using, how much their networks are growing, and which networks donors prefer for giving. What I have yet to see is the actual ROI of social media fundraising.

Now, I’m not deriding social media or using the Internet. Heck, I am as attached as the next person. What I am questioning, however, is how much are marketers integrating human contact with digital marketing tactics?

We’ve discussed the integration of traditional and digital media channels in cross-channel marketing, but what of the human touch? What do we call that? Are we losing it?

How many B2B salespeople have closed a deal without a personal meeting, phone call, or video chat? How many fundraisers have signed a major gifts donor without a personal meeting? My guess is that the bigger the fish, the more human touch is required.

What has been YOUR experience? How much do you integrate digital marketing with human touch marketing?

The Elusive ROI in New Marketing Platforms

We’re using them, but we can’t quantify them - those marketing channels we have embraced with exuberance, time, and money. It seems to be an recurring theme in many marketing surveys and studies these days. And, here’s another one.

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) released results of its 2012 Digital and Social Media Survey.

“While more than 70% of marketers are using new media platforms, 62% are increasingly concerned with the inability to prove ROI across these channels.”

Use of online video (e.g., YouTube) increased from 64% last year to 80% in 2012, and since 2007, overall usage of social media and mobile marketing has grown significantly, with 90% and 74% of marketers using them, respectively.”

But, there’s still a nagging concern about determining the return on investment for these channels and how to balance traditional and digital marketing tactics. The president/CEO of the ANA, Bob Liodice, said it well:  “Platforms offering the most tangible ROI will be favored by marketers moving forward. It is imperative for the industry to standardize measurement practices for digital, social and mobile markets.”

Should we have standardized methods for calculating the ROI on our marketing efforts? Currently, there’s a plethora of companies with their own proprietary methodologies. What do you think?

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