Why people are essential to B2B marketing success

If you are sci-fi film buff, Charlton Heston’s desperate plea, “Soylent Green is people!” from the classic movie (it’s dark, overwrought and partially in fun) is something today’s marketers should note. Your return on investment is dependent on people because people are essential to the modern B2B marketing strategy that actually drives real ROI. If you believe, with respect to your marketing performance, that the people on your teams are essentially interchangeable, then maybe your performance status quo will do. On the other hand, if you suspect, as I do, that people remain key to disproportionate success, then your management probably needs to put people higher on its list of priorities. Given the complexity and comprehensiveness of modern B2B approaches like account-based marketing, I believe that people-focus could be the single most powerful differentiator between those who struggle and those who repeatedly succeed. Click Read More below for additional detail.
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PwC sees two-pronged AI disruption in retail (chainstoreage.com)

Retailers of all types and sizes are responding to the impact of AI, but not in the same way. Chain Store Age recently spoke with Steve Barr, consumer markets leader at professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), about how AI is reshaping the retail landscape. Barr cited some statistics from a recent study PwC did on retail CEO attitudes toward AI that demonstrate widespread industry interest. Study results indicate 62% of retail CEOs feel AI will have a wider impact on the world than the Internet revolution, and almost 80% agree AI will significantly change the way they do business. According to Barr, AI is already causing transformation across the retail enterprise, but some retailers are further ahead in the innovation curve than others. Click Read More below for additional detail.
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AI Moving Into Customer Service

Many service organizations already use AI and even more plan to use it in the future. The growth of AI use over the next 18 months is projected at 143%, according to a new study. The third annual “State of Service” study comprised a survey of 3,500 customer service agents and decision makers in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe conducted by Salesforce Research. While about a quarter (24%) of service organizations already use AI, more than a third (34%) plan to within 18 months. There are reasons behind the move to AI. Most (70%) customer service agents believe automating routine tasks would allow them to focus on higher-value work, according to the study. Customer service agents use AI in a number of ways, including gathering basic information (81%), to automate the handling of routine customer issues (75%), case classification and routing (74%), providing management with operations insights (71%) and pre-fill fields in the agent console (71%). Click Read More below for additional detail.
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How Marketers Can Justify Print Expenditures In A Digital Era

We’re in a world where the pressure to justify marketing spend seems to grow all the time. A hundred years ago, it was okay for John Wanamaker to say: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” But that era is well and truly over. In the new world of digital, anything that shows demonstrable ROI has a tendency to win people over. This in part explains why print has suffered as a marketing medium. Marketers look at digital with its real-time statistics and their heads are turned. They are able to see likes, clicks, shares, visits, comments, download -- the list goes on. While some of these may be viewed as vanity metrics, they do show a level of impact that can be discussed by CMOs and directors. Most marketers do seem to believe in print, at least anecdotally, but a lack of evidence of its success has somewhat hampered its usage. Click Read More below for additional detail.
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Significant Rise In Digital Ad Fraud In Q4 2018

Digital advertising fraud rose significantly in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the data intelligence and fraud prevention firm Pixalate. The company’s fourth-quarter 2018 Ad Fraud Update found the U.S. had an average fraud rate of 21%, up from 17% in the third quarter. The company determines the rate of ad fraud by examining invalid traffic across 80 million domains and 1.5 million apps. The rise in ad fraud may have been attributable to scammers looking to take advantage of higher holiday budgets. While fraud as a whole was on the rise, there were significant differences between different platforms and companies, depending on the precautionary measures taken. Click Read More below for additional detail.
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Focusing on the Ultra-Rich, Luxe Interiors + Design Brings Marketers Back to Print

Challenges facing the print advertising economy have generally not spared shelter magazines. Across the category, page counts are falling, sales and edit teams are consolidating and investment is being diverted toward more promising digital and experiential offerings. But emphasizing a hybrid, regionally focused yet nationally reaching, controlled-circulation approach, meant to allow advertisers to target specific segments of super-affluent (and purchase-inclined) readers, Sandow’s Luxe Interiors + Design believes it has found a solution to convince both endemic and non-endemic marketers to continue investing in print. “Other magazines are putting their emphasis on digital, which is fine, but we’re approaching it from a different angle,” says group publisher and chief revenue officer Katie Brockman, who joined Luxe in 2017 after 14 years at Hearst’s Veranda. “We’re saying that in order to speak to this luxury audience, you have to deliver a luxury product. So we continue to put resources behind it, from the quality of the paper to the content to the range of photography.” Click Read More below for additional detail.
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