B2B Local Search Marketing: A Guide to Hidden Opportunity

Posted by MiriamEllis

Is a local business you’re marketing missing out on a host of B2B opportunities? Do B2B brands even qualify for local SEO?

If I say “B2B” and you think “tech,” then you’re having the same problem I was finding reliable information about local search marketing for business-to-business models. While it’s true that SaaS companies like Moz, MailChimp, and Hootsuite are businesses which vend to other businesses, their transactions are primarily digital. These may be the types of companies that make best-of B2B lists, but today let’s explore another realm in which a physical business you promote is eligible to be marketed both locally and as a B2B.

Let’s determine your eligibility, find your B2B opportunities, identify tips specific to your business model, analyze an outreach email, explore your content with a checklist, and find an advantage for you in today’s article.

Seeing how Google sees you

First to determine whether Google would view your brand as a local business, answer these two questions:

  1. Does the business I’m marketing have a physical location that’s accessible to the public? This can’t be a PO Box or virtual office. It must be a real-world address.
  2. Does the business I’m marketing interact face-to-face with its customers?

If you answered “yes” to both questions, continue, because you’ve just met Google’s local business guidelines.

Seeing your B2B opportunity

Next, determine if there’s a component of your business that already serves or could be created to serve other businesses.

Not totally sure? Let’s look at Google’s categories.

Out of the 2,395 Google My Business Categories listed here, there are at least 1,270 categories applicable to B2B companies. These include companies that are by nature B2B (wholesalers, suppliers) and companies that are B2C but could have a B2B offering (restaurants, event sites). In other words, more than half of Google’s categories signal to B2B-friendly companies that local marketing is an opportunity.

Let’s look at some major groups of categories and see how they could be fine-tuned to serve executive needs instead of only consumer needs:

Food establishments (restaurants, cafes, food trucks, caterers, etc.) can create relationships with nearby employers by offering business lunch specials, delivery, corporate catering, banquet rooms, and related B2B services. This can work especially well for restaurants located in large business districts, but almost any food-related business could create a corporate offering that incentivizes loyalty.

Major attractions (museums, amusements, cultural centers, sports centers, etc.) can create corporate packages for local employers seeking fun group activities. Brands looking to reduce implicit bias may be especially interested in interacting with cultural groups and events.

Professional services (realty, financial, printing, consulting, tech, etc.) can be geared towards corporate needs as well as individuals. A realtor can sell commercial properties. A printer can create business signage. A computer repair shop can service offices.

Personal services (counseling, wellness, fitness, skill training, etc.) can become corporate services when employers bring in outside experts to improve company morale, education, or well-being.

Home services (carpet cleaning, landscaping, plumbing, contracting, security, etc.) can become commercial services when offered to other businesses. Office buildings need design, remodeling, and construction and many have lounges, kitchens, restrooms, and grounds that need janitorial and upkeep services. Many retailers need these services, too.

Entertainers (comedians, musicians, DJs, performance troupes, etc.) can move beyond private events to corporate ones with special package offerings. Many brands have days where children, family members, and even pets are welcomed to the workplace, and special activities are planned.

Retailers (clothing, gifts, equipment, furniture, etc.) can find numerous ways to supply businesses with gear, swag, electronics, furnishings, gift baskets, uniforms, and other necessities. For example, a kitchen store could vend breakfast china to a B&B, or an electronics store could offer special pricing for a purchase of new computers for an office.

Transportation and travel services (auto sales and maintenance, auto rentals, travel agencies, tour guides, charging stations, etc.) can create special packages for businesses. A car dealer could sell a fleet of vehicles to a food delivery service, or a garage could offer special pricing for maintaining food trucks. A travel agency could manage business trips.

As you can see, the possibilities are substantial, and this is all apart from businesses that are classic B2B models, like manufacturers, suppliers, and wholesalers who also have physical premises and meet face-to-face with their clients. See if you’ve been missing out on a lucrative opportunity by examining the following spreadsheet of every Google My Business Category I could find that is either straight-up B2B or could create a B2B offering:

See local B2B categories

The business I’m marketing qualifies. What’s next?

See which of these two groups you belong to: either a B2B company that hasn’t been doing local SEO, or a local business that hasn’t created a B2B offering yet. Then follow the set of foundational tips specific to your scenario.

If you’re marketing a B2B company that hasn’t been doing local SEO:

  1. Know that the goal of local SEO is to make you as visible as possible online to any neighbor searching for what you offer so that you can win as many transactions as possible.
  2. Read the Guidelines for Representing your business on Google to be 100% sure your business qualifies and to familiarize yourself with Google’s rules. Google is the dominant player in local search.
  3. Make sure your complete, accurate name, address, and phone number is included in the footer of your website and on the Contact Us page. If you have multiple locations, create a unique page on your website for each location, complete with its full contact information and useful text for website visitors. Make each of these pages as unique and persuasive as possible.
  4. Be sure the content on your website thoroughly describes your goods and services, and makes compelling offers about the value of choosing you.
  5. Make sure your website is friendly to mobile users. If you’re not sure, test it using Google’s free mobile-friendly test.
  6. Create a Google My Business profile for your business if you don’t already have one so that you can work towards ranking well in Google’s local results. If you do have a profile, be sure it is claimed, accurate, guideline-compliant and fully filled out. This cheat sheet guide explains all of the common components that can show up in your Google Business Profile when people search for your company by name.
  7. Do a free check of the health of your other major local business listings on Moz Check Listing. Correct errors and duplicate listings manually, or to save time and enable ongoing monitoring, purchase Moz Local so that it can do the work for you. Accurate local business listings support good local rankings and prevent customers from being misdirected and inconvenience.
  8. Ask for, monitor, and respond to all of your Google reviews to improve customer satisfaction and build a strong, lucrative reputation. Read the guidelines of any other platform (like Yelp or TripAdvisor) to know what is allowed in terms of review management.
  9. Build real-world relationships within the community you serve and explore them for opportunities to earn relevant links to your website. Strong, sensible links can help you increase both your organic and local search engine rankings. Join local business organizations and become a community advocate.
  10. Be as accessible as possible via social media, sharing with your community online in the places they typically socialize. Emphasize communication rather than selling in this environment.

If you’re marketing a local business that hasn’t created a B2B offering yet:

  1. Research your neighborhood and your community to determine what kinds of businesses are present around you. If you’re not sure, reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce or a local business association like AMIBA to see if they have data they can share with you. Doing searches like “Human Resources Event Seattle” or “People Ops Event Seattle” can bring up results like this one naming some key companies and staffers.
  2. Document your research. Create a spreadsheet with a column for why you feel a specific business might be a good fit for your service, and another column for their contact information.See if you can turn up direct contact info for the HR or People Ops team. Phone the business, if necessary, to acquire this information.
  3. Now, based on what you’ve learned, brainstorm an offering that might be appealing to this audience. Remember, you’re trying to entice other business owners and their staff with something that’s special for them and meets their needs..
  4. Next, write out your offering in as few words at possible, including all salient points (who you are, what you offer, why it solves a problem the business is likely to have, available proof of problem-solving, price range, a nice request to discuss further, and your complete contact info). Keep it short to respect how busy recipients are.
  5. Depending on your resources, plan outreach in manageable batches and keep track of outcomes.
  6. Be sure all of your online local SEO is representing you well, with the understanding that anyone seriously considering your offer is likely to check you out on the web. Be sure you’ve created a page on the site for your B2B offer. Be sure your website is navigable, optimized and persuasive, with clear contact information, and that your local business listings are accurate and thorough — hopefully with an abundance of good reviews to which you’ve gratefully responded.
  7. Now, begin outreach. In many cases this will be via email, using the text you’ve created, but if you’ve determined that an in-person visit is a better approach, invest a little in having your offer printed nicely so that you can give it to the staff at the place of business. Make the best impression you possibly can as a salesperson for your product.
  8. Give a reasonable amount of time for the business to review and decide on your offer. If you don’t hear back, follow up once. Ideally, you’re hoping for a reply with a request for more info. If you hear nothing in response to your follow-up, move on, as silence from the business is a signal of disinterest. Make note of the dates you outreached and try again after some time goes by, as things may have changed at the business by then. Do, however, avoid aggressive outreach as your business will appear to be spamming potential clients instead of helping them.

As indicated, these are foundational steps for both groups — the beginnings of your strategy rather than the ultimate lengths you may need to go to for your efforts to fully pay off. The amount of work you need to do depends largely on the level of your local competition.

B2B tips from Moz’s own Team Happy

Moz’s People Ops team is called Team Happy, and these wonderful folks handle everything from event and travel planning, to gift giving, to making sure people’s parking needs are met. Team Happy is responsible for creating an exceptional, fun, generous environment that functions smoothly for all Mozzers and visitors.

I asked Team Happy Manager of Operations, Ashlie Daulton, to share some tips for crafting successful B2B outreach when approaching a business like Moz. Ashlie explains:

  • We get lots of inquiry emails. Do some research into our company, help us see what we can benefit from, and how we can fit it in. We don’t accept every offer, but we try to stay open to exploring whether it’s a good fit for the office.
  • The more information we can get up front, the better! We are super busy in our day-to-day and we can get a lot of spam sometimes, so it can be hard to take vague email outreach seriously and not chalk it up to more spam. Be real, be direct in your outreach. Keeping it more person-to-person and less “sales pitchy” is usually key.
  • If we can get most of the information we need first, research the website/offers, and communicate our questions through emails until we feel a call is a good next step, that usually makes a good impression.

Finally, Ashlie let me know that her team comes to decisions thoughtfully, as will the People Ops folks at any reputable company. If your B2B outreach doesn’t meet with acceptance from a particular company, it would be a waste of your time and theirs to keep contacting them.

However, as mentioned above, a refusal one year doesn’t mean there couldn’t be opportunity at a later date if the company’s needs or your offer change to be a better fit. You may need to go through some refinements over the years, based on the feedback you receive and analyze, until you’ve got an offer that’s truly irresistible.

A sample B2B outreach email

La práctica hace al maestro.”
– Proverb

Practice makes perfect. Let’s do an exercise together in which we imagine ourselves running an awesome Oaxacan restaurant in Seattle that wants to grow the B2B side of our business. Let’s hypothesize that we’ve decided Moz would be a perfect client, and we’ve spent some time on the web learning about them. We’ve looked at their website, their blog, and have read some third-party news about the company.

We found an email address for Team Happy and we’ve crafted our outreach email. What follows is that email + Ashlie’s honest, summarized feedback to me (detailed below) about how our fictitious outreach would strike her team:

Good morning, Team Happy!

When was the last time Moz’s hardworking staff was treated to tacos made from grandmother’s own authentic recipe? I’m your neighbor Jose Morales, co-owner with my abuela of Tacos Morales, just down the street from you. Our Oaxacan-style Mexican food is:

– Locally sourced and prepared with love in our zero-waste kitchen
– 100% organic (better for Mozzers’ brains and happiness!) with traditional, vegan, and gluten-free options
– $6–$9 per plate

We know you have to feed tons of techies sometimes, and we can effortlessly cater meals of up to 500 Mozzers. The folks at another neighboring company, Zillow, say this about our beautiful food:

“The best handmade tortillas we’ve ever had. Just the right portions to feel full, but not bogged down for the afternoon’s workload. Perfect for corporate lunches and magically scrumptious!”

May I bring over a complimentary taco basket for a few of your teammates to try? Check out our menu here and please let me know if there would be a good day for you to sample the very best of Taco Morales. Thank you for your kind consideration and I hope I get the chance to personally make Team Happy even happier!

Your neighbors,
Jose y Lupita Morales
Tacos Morales
www.tacosmorales.com
222 2nd Street, Seattle – (206) 111-1111

Why this email works:

  • We’re an inclusive office, so the various dietary options catch our eye. Knowing price helps us decide if it’s a good fit for our budget.
  • The reference to tech feels personalized — they know our team and who we work with.
  • It’s great to know they can handle some larger events!
  • It instills trust to see a quote from a nearby, familiar company.
  • Samples are a nice way to get to know the product/service and how it feels to work with the B2B company.
  • The menu link, website link, and contact info ensure that we can do our own exploring to help us make a decision.

As the above outreach illustrates, Team Happy was most impressed by the elements of our sample email that provided key information about variety, price and capacity, useful links and contact data, trust signals in the form of a review from a well-known client, and a one-on-one personalized message.

Your business is unique, and the precise tone of your email will match both your company culture and the sensibilities of your potential clients. Regardless of industry, studying the above communication will give you some cues for creating your own from the viewpoint of speaking personally to another business with their needs in mind. Why not practice writing an email of your own today, then run it past an unbiased acquaintance to ask if it would persuade them to reply?

A checklist to guide your website content

Your site content speaks for you when a potential client wants to research you further before communicating one-on-one. Why invest both budget and heart in what you publish? Because 94% of B2B buyers reportedly conduct online investigation before purchasing a business solution. Unfortunately, the same study indicates that only 37% of these buyers are satisfied with the level of information provided by suppliers’ websites. Do you see a disconnect here?

Let’s look at the key landing pages of your website today and see how many of these boxes you can check off:

My content tells potential clients…

☑ What my business name, addresses, phone numbers, fax number, email addresses, driving directions, mapped locations, social and review profiles are

☑ What my products and services are and why they meet clients’ needs

☑ The complete details of my special offers for B2B clients, including my capacity for fulfillment

☑ What my pricing is like, so that I’m getting leads from qualified clients without wasting anyone’s time

☑ What my USP is — what makes my selling proposition unique and a better choice than my local competitors

☑ What my role is as a beneficial member of the local business community and the human community, including my professional relationships, philanthropy, sustainable practices, accreditations, awards, and other points of pride

☑ What others say about my company, including reviews and testimonials

☑ What my clients’ rights and guarantees are

☑ What value I place on my clients, via the quality, usefulness, and usability of my website and its content

If you found your content lacking any of these checklist elements, budget to build them. If writing is not your strong suit and your company isn’t large enough to have an in-house content team, hire help. A really good copywriter will partner up to tell the story of your business while also accurately portraying its unique voice. Expect to be deeply interviewed so that a rich narrative can emerge.

In sum, you want your website to be doing the talking for you 24 hours a day so that every question a potential B2B client has can be confidently answered, prompting the next step of personal outreach.

How to find your B2B advantage

Earlier, we spoke of the research you’ll do to analyze the business community you could be serving with your B2B offerings, and we covered how to be sure you’ve got the local digital marketing basics in place to showcase what you do on the web. Depending on your market, you could find that investment in either direction could represent an opportunity many of your competitors have overlooked.

For an even greater advantage, though, let’s look directly at your competitors. You can research them by:

  1. Visiting their websites to understand their services, products, pricing, hours, capacity, USP, etc.
  2. Visiting their physical premises, making inquiries by phone, or (if possible) making a purchase of their products/services to see how you like them and if there’s anything that could be done better
  3. Reading their negative reviews to see what their customers complain about
  4. Looking them up on social media, again to see what customers say and how the brand handles complaints
  5. Reading both positive and negative media coverage of the brand

Do you see any gaps? If you can dare to be different and fill them, you will have identified an important advantage. Perhaps you’ll be the only:

  • Commercial cleaning company in town that specializes in servicing the pet-friendly hospitality market
  • Restaurant offering a particular type of cuisine at scale
  • Major attraction with appealing discounts for large groups
  • Commercial printer open late at night for rush jobs
  • Yoga instructor specializing in reducing work-related stress/injuries

And if your city is large and highly competitive and there aren’t glaring gaps in available services, try to find a gap in service quality. Maybe there are several computer repair shops, but yours is the only one that works weekends. Maybe there are a multitude of travel agents, but your eco-tourism packages for corporations have won major awards. Maybe yours is just one of 400+ Chinese restaurants in San Francisco, but the only one to throw in a free bag of MeeMee’s sesame and almond cookies (a fortune cookie differentiator!) with every office delivery, giving a little uplift to hardworking staff.

Find your differentiator, put it in writing, put it to the fore of your sales process. And engineer it into consumer-centric language, so that hard candy buttons with chocolate inside them become the USP that “melts in your mouth, not in your hands,” solving a discovered pain point or need.

B2B marketing boils down to service

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

– Charles Dickens

We’re all in business to serve. We’re all helpers. At Moz, we make SEO easier for digital and local companies. At your brand, _________?

However you fill in that blank, you’re in the business of service. Whether you’re marketing a B2B that’s awakening to the need to invest in local SEO or a B2C on the verge of debuting your new business-to-business offering, your project boils down to the simple question,

“How can I help?”

Looking thoughtfully into your brand’s untapped capacities to serve your community, coupled with an authentic desire to help, is the best groundwork you can lay at the starting point for satisfaction at the finish line.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from tracking.feedpress.it

New name, same amazing service: welcome to dotdigital

Since the big reveal of our new name at the dotties, there’s been an uncontainable buzz around the company. Never one to back down from a challenge, we’ve been excitedly waiting for the new chapter in our story.

Waking up on 16 January, our teams around the world donned their new dotdigital hoodies, ready to spread the word about our new identity.

From client-facing teams, such as Onboarding or Account Management, to those behind-the-scenes, we were hard to miss.

dotdigital Cheltenham office
Cheltenham office
dotdigital Poland team
dotdigital team in Poland
dotdigital Croydon office
Croydon office
dotdigital Melbourne office
Melbourne dotdigital team
dotdigital Manchester team
Manchester office
dotdigital team in Cape Town
dotdigital team in Cape Town
dotdigital office in Minsk
dotdigital team in Minsk

So much more than just a name, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the amazing work of our dotfamily.

As we grow and evolve, we’ll continue to dedicate ourselves to empowering marketers – giving you all the tools you need to connect and engage with your customers.

Our rebrand is just the beginning.

We’ve got our sights set on a bright and exciting future, and we want you along for the ride.

LB office dotdigital
dotdigital team at London HQ

Discover the story behind the brand or find out more about what we do on our new website.

The post New name, same amazing service: welcome to dotdigital appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

The story behind the dotdigital rebrand

Our vision

We embarked on our mission to rebrand when we realized the dotmailer name no longer encompassed everything we do. We started by looking at the limitations and shortcomings of the current branding and found a consistent problem: our name inhibited our customers from discovering our diverse range of features and channels.

This was our challenge. We needed a new brand that was streamlined and futureproof.

We wanted to make it easier for people to know exactly what we do, while carrying over the recognition that our brand had built across the MarTech industry. Finally, we wanted to create something that was in keeping with our culture, but also reflected our vision for the future.

We wanted our new logo to show the amazing and powerful ways our customers are using Engagement Cloud.

– Phil Draper, CMO at dotmailer

Brainstorming

Sitting down with teams across the business, we brainstormed ways the new brand could evolve to reflect the advanced tactics customers were employing using our platform. Time and again, we saw our customers were being driven by the need to genuinely connect and engage with their audiences. In the constantly shifting world of marketing, long-lasting relationships are the key to success.

Logo designs

Platform evolution: time our name caught up

In our efforts to pre-empt customers’ needs, we’d expanded far beyond the capabilities of a simple email provider. From our beginnings in 2002, we’ve added channels, features, and integrations to our platform, year on year, until becoming a customer engagement platform with powerful omnichannel capabilities.

16 years of continuous development has led to our platform containing all the tools you need for faster, smarter marketing. Engagement Cloud connects systems and data, empowering you to create long-lasting relationships with customers.

Engagement Cloud – Product history from dotdigital on Vimeo.

Logo solutions

Phil Draper, CMO at dotdigtial, led the charge to execute our vision:

“The dotmailer logo, the target, represented a single outcome – one email sent to the one customer. That’s no longer what our customers are doing. They’re automating, segmenting, and personalizing across email, mobile, ads, and SMS. They’re connecting with their ecommerce platforms, CRM, and offline systems in physical stores. With this rich data, they’re engaging with customers in a deeper and more meaningful way.

“Maintaining the circular motif of dotmailer, as well as the pink and green synonymous with the brand, we added the bold blue of Comapi to create something recognizable, but new. Our three roundels represent our three solution areas: connect, empower, and communicate.

“To reflect the dynamism of our customers, we introduced graduated colors to represent the speed and agility of our platform as we continue to evolve. But, the multi-faceted logo also represents the movement of each solution area, working in conjunction with the others; the speed with which brands can grow with us; and, the never-ending possibilities that Engagement Cloud presents.

“By including this element of movement, we’re also demonstrating our commitment to innovation. Never content with resting on our laurels, we’re always striving towards our next platform evolution.”

Brand guide

New brand. Brighter future

Swag 2
Winston swag

As dotdigital, we continue to recognize our rich history of individuality. Removing the emphasis on ‘mail’ in our name, we’re set for a brighter and exciting future.

The dotmailer platform has been reborn as Engagement Cloud. As we grew, so did you. You’re no longer using our platform to simply measure your outputs. Instead, you’re focusing on your outcomes. It’s no longer about the number of new subscriptions and emails sent, but rather about the quality of every engagement.

And we’ve got everything you need to make it happen.

The post The story behind the dotdigital rebrand appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotdigital.com

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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month ago from blog.dotmailer.com