2019: The year of stop, start, continue.

New Year’s resolutions – let’s be honest – hardly ever work. Research suggests that they are achieved by just 8% of people. New Year’s resolutions are usually over-ambitious and, by their very nature, are unlikely to be achieved instantly.

In reality, change and progress are usually a result of small steps and time. To help your professional year get off to the best possible start, we’ve rounded up our favorite new features from 2018, organized them by hot topic, and listed how you can put them to good use in a ‘stop, start, and continue’ format.

 

Good data-driven marketing is customer-centric

To be data-driven or customer-driven? The truth is, they should go hand in hand.

2018 saw us take an innovative approach to data that lets us scale our platform in ways we could never have hoped to before. This means we can process data and return segmentation queries at scale and speed. Leveraging vast amounts of (customer) data couldn’t be easier.

  • Stop sending communications that are off-brand. Transactional messages triggered by customer actions are often hard-coded and as a result, unrecognisable and damaging to the brand reputation you’ve worked so hard to achieve. This doesn’t have to be the case. Our first release of 2018 (18one) empowered you to take control of your operational messaging – Magento users can design transactional campaigns in EasyEditor, for example.
  • Start running your ecommerce and marketing platform better together, and on autopilot. Whichever ecommerce platform you’re on – we offer a range of triggers which let you respond to customer activity with relevant, timely messages. The very latest addition to our toolbox is our Shopify Flow integration. Based on actions (maybe your customer has requested a refund or just placed their second order) you can add them to a marketing program or update their contact record.
  • Continue syncing your business systems. Two thirds of companies believe siloed data prevents them from making the most effective use of their marketing (Econsultancy). We couldn’t agree more. Without bias, we are committed to maintaining and improving our core integrations across CRM and ecommerce landscapes.

 

Engagement is the word

Another addition is our integration with our newly acquired CPaaS team. Using their API technology, we have extended our reach. Today, you can build intelligent marketing programs featuring SMS, Facebook Messenger, Push Notifications, and more. In 2019 we are committed to bringing even more engagement channels into the fold.

  • Stop thinking of marketing programs in channel-specific terms. Most marketers are already aware of the value of an email campaign. It gets interesting when you create cross-channel programs which allow you to be in multiple places at once.  Customer journeys are increasingly fragmented, so having this flexibility is super-important.
  • Start experimenting with new channels. We launched Google Ads and Facebook Audience connectors in 18three. With these, you can automate a program to funnel contacts (based on data or actions) to audiences. In doing so, you’re dynamically improving the quality of your audience and very directly impacting ad relevancy across the Google Ad network, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Continue building programs to your heart’s content. Besides the visible improvements to our program builder, we also continuously make changes under the hood. Program builder today is faster, smarter, and more powerful than ever before.

 

Doing right by your customers is good for your business

We launched a comprehensive suite of functionality to help you manage consent obligations effectively. It’s so simple to use, but underneath we had to build smart new ways of working with our existing data to ensure everything works smoothly.

  • Stop fretting about consent. With ConsentInsight you have an informed view of a contact’s consent and can even segment and target by it. As a responsible data processor, we have state-of-the-art security data centers in place to ensure the data you need to store is available, encrypted, and secure.
  • Start capturing marketing preferences. Our recently launched marketing preference feature lets you build preference centers in minutes. Once you know what your subscribers like, you can send them relevant content across campaigns, programs, and more.
  • Continue to monitor customer engagement. The popularity of your marketing preferences is tracked in account reports so you know what topics and products should be central to your content marketing strategy.

 

Buzzword alert!

  • Stop waiting by the AI side-lines. It’s here. AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) may have joined the realm of over-used buzzwords, but that doesn’t mean we should stop believing in their power. 2018 was the year we officially brought AI to our users. Now that we’re armed with a dedicated data science team, we can promise there is a lot more to come in 2019.
  • Start simple. Even though product recommendations are smart bottom-line boosters, they’re not hard to use. If you’re already syncing your product and order data with us – you can get started with bestseller and trending recommendations right away. Ready for something more advanced? Choose from one of our machine-learning models.
  • Continue investing time in your data. We’re particularly proud of our data enrichment feature which will help you achieve this. Data enrichment is a simple toggle in your accounts. When activated, our AI can read images, meta data, and more. The output of any AI tactic can only be as good as the data you put in.

 

Feel like you missed a memo last year?

Here are some quick tips to keep you up to speed in 2019:

  • Continue to read our newsletter – if you haven’t already signed up, you can do so here.
  • Start keeping an eye on our public roadmap: the first place we talk about upcoming features. You can follow your favorites and will be notified when they are released.
  • Stop by our extensive Knowledge Base, where you can access hundreds of articles that will help you get the most out of Engagement Cloud.

 

The post 2019: The year of stop, start, continue. appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 days ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Karina Hollekim to speak at dotdigital Summit 2019

SummitLet’s delve into this year’s second speaker for the dotdigital Summit 2019.

About Karina:

Karina Hollekim, in her own words, is not an extraordinary girl, but she’s done extraordinary things. She is a female pioneer and was the first women in the world to perform a skibase.

Her last jump – November 2006 in Switzerland – was “super-safe”. A routine skydive, from a plane, over water, with friends.

It almost killed her.

Karina’s near-fatal skydiving accident turned her life upside down: she was left in a wheelchair with the cruel prediction that she’d never be able to walk again. She endured 20 surgeries and had to relearn how to walk. But with an inspirational lust for life, Karina has returned to skiing and is living every day to the fullest.

Karina believes there is a drive in us all to follow our dreams and entertain the kid that still lives within us. In her inspirational talk, she describes a life of no regrets and always taking action. Her story is one of finding passion, choosing the life you want, and then never giving up on that dream. Karina’s ability to push the boundaries, stay focused, and have the power to re-mobilize through hardship, will leave you motivated to leave the fear behind and pursue the life you want.

Our time on earth is limited, so you better start making it happen.

Karina believes that fear shouldn’t be getting in your way of this.

Her autobiography, ‘The Wonderful Feeling of Fear’, is internationally published and her speech is part of the exclusive TedX talks.

Join us on the 20th March to hear this electrifying talk, which will leave you inspired to achieve as much as you can in your working and personal life. Register for dotdigital Summit 2019 here.

The post Karina Hollekim to speak at dotdigital Summit 2019 appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 4 days ago from blog.dotmailer.com

The winners from dotmailer Hack Week 2018

How we hack

Our Hack Weeks are about three things: pushing the boundaries of what marketing and customer engagement technology can be; learning new things; and having fun.

In 2018, our Hack ‘Week’ was four days long. That’s four days for planning, designing, engineering, and demonstrating. It encompassed 16 teams – widely formed of people who don’t typically work together. Here are the hacks that stood out the most.

Best Hack

The Best Hack award, as voted for live by the audience, went to ‘The Continuum of Automation’. The team was formed of software engineers James Marais, Luke van Blerk, and Terry Muyambo from our Cape Town office, and designer Sani Chan based in London.

They asked the questions: What happens when automation goes wrong? How could we give insight into what automations did in the past?

Their answer was a history button that served up every version of an automation program, with a graphical representation of what it looked like at the time. What’s more, they offered a fully interactive preview for each version. They showed how you could see the historical configuration of every node from the past.

Program testing can be challenging, especially when programs grow in size and complexity. This hack captured the imagination of an audience that had done their fair share of program debugging.

Founder’s Award

Our founder and original CTO, Simon Bird, is a frequent member of the Hack Week audience, so this year we gave him his own award. He judged based on innovation, the approach of solving a real-world problem, and potential customer impact.

Winning the Founder’s Award was ‘Contact Personas’. The winning team was formed of data scientist Sam Crawley and software engineers Grant Lodge and Joseph Appleyard.

The team built a way of ‘contact clustering’ – automatically separating contacts into groups based on what content they’re opening, what they’re buying, how often they’re ordering, and so on.

They did this by ranking every contact based on the percentile they were in for each metric being recorded (‘percentile ranking’). Those contacts were then clustered using vectors based on the percentile ranks. If I’ve lost you at this point, then no need to worry. Essentially, they used the data we hold on contacts to add them into common groups.

The team did this so that marketers could have a different way of looking at their contacts – not just who they are, but what type of customer they are: splurgers, regulars, special-offer hunters, and so on, and then target them with specific, relevant messaging.

My favorites

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that our users rarely work alone. Marketing teams are, well, teams. We had two entries this year tackle the subject of collaboration, both of which deserve a special mention.

‘Signal R’ll The Things’, featuring Darran Jugdoyal, Dawn Swan, Jesus Sanchez, and Dave Russell, looked at collaboration in our Program Builder, and used Signal R to allow real-time updating of the program canvas. They showed a nifty demo (check out the GIF to the right) of two users logged into the same dotmailer account, showing how each user could see what the other was doing with the canvas.

Team RKID (formed of Manchester-based software engineers Andrei Constantin and Tom Westwood) also put Signal R to use, but in EasyEditor. They crafted a way for more than one person to edit an email campaign simultaneously – and to see who else was viewing it. Special shout out to this team as both engineers have only been with us for a few months, and they’re already hacking the phenomenally complicated (under the bonnet!) EasyEditor. Impressive stuff.

You can be a dotmailer hacker, too

If you think you have what it takes to be a world-class customer engagement software engineer, designer, data scientist, UX designer, product manager, or pretty much any other product role, then check out our open positions. We look forward to seeing you at the dotmailer Hack Week 2019…

The post The winners from dotmailer Hack Week 2018 appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 5 days ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Speaker announcement for dotdigital Summit 2019

Let’s delve into this year’s first speaker for the dotdigital Summit 2019.

About Tim

Tim is a senior columnist for the Financial Times. His long-running column, ‘The Undercover Economist’, reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. He also writes op-eds, interviews, and long feature articles for the daily newspaper. He’s an evangelist for the power of economics and has spoken at TED, PopTech, and Sydney Opera House.

He is author of ‘Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy’, ‘Messy’, and the million-selling ‘The Undercover Economist’. As well as a senior columnist at the Financial Times, Tim is the presenter of Radio 4’s ‘More or Less’ and the iTunes-topping series, ‘Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy’.

 

 

The keynote

During Tim’s presentation he will be investigating how certain kinds of complexities and obstacles can actually improve our performance. He will be covering the topics of cognitive psychology, complexity science, social psychology, and, of course, throwing ‘Rock n Roll’ into the mix for good measure.

Can disruption, mess, and crazy moves actually help solve some of our most complex problems? Tim examines this and talks about how we shouldn’t be scared of complexity, as it can in fact make us more creative! Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t helping you!

Don’t miss out!

Join us on the 20th March 2019: don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear a great speaker with exceptional insight into the complexities of everyday experiences, and how we can thrive in them!

Register for the Summit here.

The post Speaker announcement for dotdigital Summit 2019 appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 6 days ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Six secret content creation tips for savvy content marketers

‘Content is king’ is a common phrase that is circulated within the industries of digital and content marketing. What seemed to be visionary theory in the early 2010s has become widely accepted; in recent years it’s become law. Marketers cannot deny the impact high quality content marketing has on branding, customer engagement, conversion rates, and sales. Therefore, it is crucial to make your content marketing strategy a priority. The rewards are abundant for those who do, according to these stats gathered by digital thought leader Neil Patel:

 

  • Year-over-year growth for unique site traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketing leaders than followers.
  • Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates approximately three times as many leads.
  • Conversion rates are around six times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters.

 

The numbers show that content marketing really is king. However, to benefit from the power of content marketing, marketers have to implement a fool-proof content curation strategy to go along with it. Unique, compelling content hooks your prospects and pulls them deeper into your funnel. If you are still developing your content marketing strategy—or are not seeing the return on investment that you would like—check out these top tips for excellent content curation.

 

What is Content Curation?

The first step to sharing excellent content is truly understanding the meaning behind content curation. According to the social media scheduling site, Hootsuite, content curation is “adding your voice and value to a handpicked collection of content.”

Through content curation, you select material you deem to be relevant and engaging enough to share with your audience. Think about it as if you are responsible for picking all new pieces for an art museum. You select art that will not only engage your visitors, but that also reflects your museum’s mission, brand, and the overall voice of your organization. You are your company or brand’s curator. The art you pick is content. Now, let’s see how to incorporate this idea into your current digital marketing strategy.

 

Know Your Audience

Before you start selecting any material to share on your chosen social media platform, you first need to know who your audience is and what they are looking for. You want to position your brand in a way where your constituents know they can find value in what you say. The only way to do this is to get to know them. What are they saying regarding your current industry, your business, or your brand? Who do they follow on social media? What are they liking and sharing the most? Knowing this information will allow you to select content that engages them.

 

Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Have you ever wondered how competitors or thought leaders that you admire always seem to find and share amazing stuff that gets shared over and over again? They are keeping their ear close to the ground regarding the most pertinent information in your industry. Start visiting the places they visit to find out the latest and most helpful information. Find some of the best blogs in your industry and sign up for their RSS feeds and newsletters. Keep an eye on sites like Google News to get a feel for recent happenings in your topic area. Perhaps add a task in your daily project and task manager so nothing slips through the cracks. Apps like Scoop.it, Feedly, and even BuzzSumo, are also excellent for finding great candidate material.

 

Always Associate This Material with Your Brand

In some way, you should make a point to connect curated content with your brand. While you are sharing content that is not originally yours, it should still relate to what you do in some way. For example, if you happen to sell environmentally friendly apparel, and you share an article that describes ways to decrease your carbon footprint, relate it to how your company is doing this.

Simply sharing with “We couldn’t agree more!” isn’t going to help advance your cause. By adding context and perspective to what you share, you not only add value for your audience, you’re making your brand more relevant as well.

 

Always Tag Authors and Contributors

It’s not just proper attribution. Tagging authors of content you have selected for curation also widens your reach. If it’s someone you’re particularly interested in connecting with, send them an email letting them know about the article and how much you appreciate their work.  It can be a great way to kickstart a relationship.

Often, authors are excited when others share their material and will likely share it with their audiences as well. So, you’re not only reaching your own constituents, but you are now reaching theirs. If you become fond of an author’s work and regularly share their content, you might be able to create a situation where they also routinely share your material with their audience. So, always make a point to find the social media handle of any individual’s work you share. They will likely appreciate the gesture and return the favor.

 

Involve Your Audience

Invite your audience to create content that you can share. User-generated content is consistently growing in popularity, and it makes total sense. One of the best ways to engage your audience is by sharing great content from someone they know or can relate to. Invite your audience to share photos of themselves using your product or service, or even invite them to contribute their own insights or opinions about the industry in which you work. This method is a great way to expand your content pool, while also strengthening customer loyalty.

 

Final Thoughts

There is no single magic bullet for creating a stellar content curation strategy. It takes time, practice, and patience. Get to know who you are talking to, find content from thought leaders in your field that relates to them, and share these materials as frequently as you can. Always tie everything you post back to what you do. Before you know it, you will begin to be seen as an authority in your field. Customers will know they can come to your platform to receive value-added information. If you want to set your brand apart on social media, excellent content curation is one of the best ways to start.

 

Chanell Alexander is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. She has over seven years of experience in the nonprofit field, and enjoys blending innovative technology solutions with communications. When she is not writing, Chanell enjoys traveling, contributing to video game blogs, and embracing her inner foodie. See what else Chanell has been up to on her LinkedIn profile and Twitter page.

 

The post Six secret content creation tips for savvy content marketers appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 week ago from blog.dotmailer.com

My predictions for marketing in 2019

As I sit in the office trying to muster my last ounce of motivation before breaking up for Christmas, I think to myself: what’s marketing going to look like in a year’s time? For marketers like myself it’s a difficult question to answer, simply because our intelligence-driven world is changing at lightening speed. Brands are finding it harder to differentiate themselves and gain trust from consumers, who similarly are trying to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change.

For those of you who’d like some light reading and no-nonsense content, here are my predictions for what’s to come.

1. Understanding customers should be top on the agenda

Consumers have so many channels to chose from nowadays so, as marketers, you’ve got to get the channel right. Brands are now more empowered than ever to track customer behavior and decipher that Customer X would prefer an SMS, while Customer Y, who hates receiving text messages, would much prefer email.

In 2019, remember that communication preferences matter. Did you know that some analysts foresee around 50% of searches to be made via voice search by 2020? Predictions like this one may seem outlandish, but the kids of today are growing up with the expectation that they’ll be able to contact whoever they like, however they like.

2. AI is poised to smarten up your marketing

To some, Artificial Intelligence sounds a bit like a horror movie. If I weren’t a marketer, my first thoughts of AI might have conjured images of 1984 or fanatical robots on the rampage. The latter aren’t too dissimilar to Elon Musk’s recent predictions that AI might kill us all. Jokes aside, AI is going to empower brands to do much more in less time, and with half the effort. Machine learning is causing quite the stir, enabling marketers to deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences across a multitude of channels like web, mobile, and in store. A great example are relevant product recommendations in email and landing pages.

3. Customers want relevant content, not irrelevant ads

Tell, don’t sell. That’s my mantra. If you’re like me, then you’ll respect brands more if they offer up some inspirational content that actually makes you think, rather than mind-numbing, generic ads that have nothing to do with you. Don’t get me wrong, ads can be exceptionally targeted if brands understand their customers and pay attention to data. However, rich editorial content is proving to be a worthy cause for investment, as customers continue to differentiate brands more on experience, rather than product and price.

4. Automation will enhance your brand authenticity

If you’re not already automating your marketing communications in 2018, you’re falling seriously behind. Intelligent messages will put your brand in a good light because customers appreciate (and are even impressed by) them. They’ll think your brand more authentic and reputable than competitors, and will think of you when they come to purchase next.

To nail your automation in 2019, you’ll have to have to be able to recall and act on important data quickly. If I’m browsing some flights to New York because I’m thinking about going with my boyfriend, and later receive a triggered email prompting me to book before prices sky-rocket, the likelihood is that I will.

5. AR and VR will transform the shopping experience

Customers have long complained about shopping. Inattentive store assistants, dimly-lit dressing rooms, and inaccurate product information have all contributed to many disheartened experiences. For retailers, it’s always been a challenge to control every irritating factor, but not for much longer.

As consumers ride the mobile wave, retailers are dipping their toes in digital signage, which is set to take off among luxury brands. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are on course to revolutionize the shopping experience, arming retailers with the tech they need to provide seamless shopping experiences that are both informative and entertaining.

With AR, customers will be able to view themselves donning their new attire in store via a digital projection. VR goes even further; ever wanted to see what your new bathing costume would look like on a speed boat? No, me neither. But it sounds pretty cool!

Goldman Sachs predicts that the market for AR and VR in retail will reach $1.6 billion by 2025, so watch this space!

 

If these predictions have inspired you to spice up your marketing, please contact your account manager or watch a quick demo.

That’s a wrap. I’m checking out now – see you all in 2019!

 

 

The post My predictions for marketing in 2019 appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotmailer.com

5 reasons to come to the dotdigital Summit

At the 2019 dotdigital Summit we’re uncovering the key to working smarter, not harder. You’re already working hard. We know that for a fact. We can see it in the amazing marketing we witness on every channel, every day. But we’ve got the hot-tips to help achieve more, without doing more.

We’ll be hosting our third annual summit at the Tobacco Docks on Wednesday 20 March, where we’ll be joined by an exciting line-up of industry-leaders giving talks and leading workshops.

If that isn’t enough to get you excited, check out these 5 cracking reasons to join us!

1) Try something new

At dotdigital we’re all about inspiring you guys to be the best you can be. Take a day to get out of the office see what you can learn. Open your mind up to new possibilities and opportunities during thought-provoking key-note addresses. Get hands-on help at our informative and insightful workshops. Wherever you go, whatever you choose we can guarantee you’ll come out excited and invigorated about something you never expected.

2) Glimpse into the future

We, just like you, always have one eye on the future of marketing. But we don’t just want to talk about what’s coming, we want to show you why and how you can use it. You’ll be surprised to find it’s easier and faster to implement than you think.

3) It’s all about you

For the 2019 Summit, we’ve added a brand-new theme, and it’s all about you. Four of our break-away sessions will be dedicated to your personal development. From courageous conversations to finding the perfect healthy work-life balance. You’ll leave the dotdigtial Summit empowered in more ways than one.

4) Make meaningful connections

Join 1,500 other digital marketing professionals from all walks of life, in a vast array of industries. Meet marketers and market leaders as they converge at the Summit in London. Whether you’re making new friends or talking shop, dotdigital is here to help you make meaningful connections. Networking has never been so fun, and we’ll give you plenty to talk about.

5) Fun times

At dotdigital, we’re firm believers that all work and no play is no way to live! No one wants to be stuck in a room, listening to someone drone on about something you already know. That’s why our speakers come from all backgrounds and industries and have something provocative to say. But, most importantly, we know how to put on a show!

Beat the rush and get your tickets now!

Get your pre-launch Earlybird tickets today.

Earlybird rate is £250+VAT, tickets are normally £400+VAT.

Your ticket will allow you to pre-register for sessions, confirming your spots before everyone else, it also include food and drink throughout the day provided by awesome street food vendors, free prize giveaways, and a drinks reception.

The post 5 reasons to come to the dotdigital Summit appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotmailer.com