Specialized Services: Email Marketing Agencies are Crushing It

MQ15_coverOver the past several weeks, we at TRG have been deep in the weeds researching our soon to be published 2018 Email Agency Buyer’s Guide, and this year’s participants include some of the absolute best and brightest in the space. Agencies in the guide this year include BrightWave, DEG, Inbox Marketer, Trendline Interactive, and Yes Marketing.

Our process includes detailed questionaries completed by each agency, ninety-minute demos during which agencies present their best work, and reference calls with a handful of clients which yield valuable customer satisfaction data. We are still working to synthesize and analyze the data, but what we’ve seen to date has been extremely impressive.

This year we invited agencies to show us their best stuff while maintaining a focus on three primary themes: strategy, data, and analysis/measurement. Like the competitors currently battling it out on the field for the pennant, these agencies have been going deep. The research will highlight how these agencies are driving home runs for their clients in the form of serious business value and positive customer experiences.

The research will be available for our Research Subscribers and direct purchase. Vendor profiles will be in the next issue of The Marketer Quarterly.

Kicking Off Dreamforce

df18-during-headerDreamforce kicked off in earnest yesterday, grinding traffic south of market down to a crawl, and ushering in a series of exciting announcements about Salesforce products and services.

At the top of the list was news about Salesforce Customer 360 which “comprises a set of powerful platform services that will enhance data management across Salesforce apps and provide instant access to consistent, reconciled customer data.” This sounds very much like functionality being offered by many of the Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) we reviewed in our recent CDP Buyer’s Guide, and I am very much looking forward to learning more.

Also on tap yesterday was big news about a new strategic partnership between Salesforce and Apple, with plans to redesign Salesforce mobile apps to more fully embrace iOS and plans for new tools that will allow Salesforce developers to build their own native apps with a new Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS.

Today is all about Einstein, with the Einstein AI keynote, and a series of in-depth conversations focused on Artificial Intelligence. Addressing topics like “How AI Has Changed the Future of Work,” “How AI Will Drive Business Transformation,” and featuring an “AI Dreamtalk with will.i.am,” audiences today will hear a lot about how Einstein can help them drive business objectives.

If you couldn’t make it to SF this week for the conference, you can tune in to much of the content via live broadcast here, and I’ll be following up with another post after the conference that highlights the best stuff.

 

What to Make of Adobe’s $4.75 Billion Acquisition of Marketo

What to Make of Adobe’s $4.75 Billion Acquisition of Marketo

My first thought is the value. This is a lot of cash to jump into another cloud that is crowded by B2B marketing solutions. But then I think that many of them have yet to integrate such a solution across the marketer and advertiser experience (I am talking to you Oracle).

Below I enumerate why this deal makes sense from my market analyst point of view. To be clear, I am not, nor does The Relevancy Group (TRG) provide a financial analyst perspective. That is, we are not offering investment advice.

1) Adobe is a winner, they have a process to satisfy clients. In our most recent ESP Buyer’s Guide – Enterprise edition they received client satisfaction awards in deliverability support, technical services, and omnichannel marketing. Customers we spoke with had high praise for the Adobe technical teams and remarked that “implementation has been a ten out of ten,” and that they “anticipate [our] needs ahead of time.” Marketo clients you are going to be fine. The company that has a cloud called “experience” respects, embraces this client-oriented culture. The experience will likely be an upgrade for you.

2) Adobe does acquisition and integration better than most. Earlier this year they jumped into the commerce cloud with the $1.7 billion purchase of Magneto in May. This commerce platform is ripe for the Adobe Sensei framework and every element of the Adobe Experience Cloud. Integration is coming. I can’t say what I saw, but I can say it was impressive.

3) It is not about B2B and B2C but is about what B2B is Missing. If you have read my book, seen me speak or just overall – I see everyone as a client and we all have journeys, events, experiences and things that could trigger us. Some like Eloqua and Responsys did an awful job of competing internally as to who had the best automation. I realize there is a true B2B element, I am talking about Account Based Marketing, but this is just a way to say that we are all as an industry moving to individualization. As people, we don’t have different buying or online expectations as a consumer or a business operator. We have the same respect for relevant experiences. Adobe’s win here will be if they can utilize the best aspect of that platform – but the real value upside is to sell all those 5K plus Marketo B2B clients all the other elements in Document, Creative and Experience Clouds. I believe Adobe can do this better, certainly in comparison to Oracle.

4) For the Buyer, This Completes the Adobe Cloud Picture. Adobe can now tick the front office, traditional CRM off the capabilities that they used to rely on partners. They have always done well in Financial Services and industries where capabilities that define Marketo are necessary, but they did so through a tapestry of partners. This will combat vendors such as Oracle when they pitch and throw in their email capabilities (formerly Responsys) for free to sway a deal. Adobe’s more robust offering will have new implications for their partners, some of which that go to market with a blended bag of partners. It will be most interesting on how this is received in their partner and agency channels.

Congratulations to Adobe and Marketo, as stated we believe that this is an upgrade that will benefit Marketo and Adobe clients alike.

Until next time,
David

McDonald’s Rewards Student Pranksters

 

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McDonald’s will feature two University of Houston students in upcoming ads, after their fake ad campaign went viral.

Filipino-American students Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toledo felt that McDonald’s ads hanging in their local Pearland, TX location weren’t diverse enough, so they made their own. The two purchased a McDonald’s uniform at a thrift store, photographed themselves in the uniform, and made a poster.

With the help of friends, the kids snuck the poster into the location and hung it up on a blank wall. They then photographed themselves in front of the fake ad and it went viral. “I noticed there was a blank wall at mcdonald’s so i decided to make this fake poster of me and my friend. It’s now been 51 days since i hung it up,” Maravilla tweeted on September 2nd.

The media production student’s tweet went wild and caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres who hosted the students on her show this week. DeGeneres surprised Maravilla and Toledo, giving them each a $25,000 check from McDonald’s and revealed that the brand plans to use them in future ads.

McDonald’s took down the poster, but plans to add more diverse posters to the store soon. The company tweeted, “You guys earned this dream.”

Marketers can learn a lot of lessons from these kids. First of all, remember to include diversity in your messaging so that all customers feel welcome when patronizing your businesses. Secondly, in the era of social media, consumers can change the conversation around your brand. In this case, the change had a sense of humor and the brand was able to capitalize on the prank. But 51 days is a long time for a DIY message to be live without a company being aware.

And who is hiring these kids? Their creativity, sense of risk and ability to point out an ad’s flaws are core skills to being a great marketer.

A Day in the Life of the CMO – Shinesty

A Day in the Life of the CMO – Shinesty

MQ Issue 18Since we launched The Marketer Quarterly in 2014, ‘A Day in the Life of the CMO’ has been the reader’s favorite.  MQ Issue 18 is no different and features an interview with Shinesty’s CMO Jens Nicolaysen. I met Jens at the 2018 EIQ event where he presented some of the humourous irreverant email and branding that Shinesty is known for.

Below my colleuage and Editor of MQ, Dianna Dilworth interviews Jens.

Shinesty CMO Jens Nicolaysen does his best work early in the morning so he’s usually at
his desk by 7 AM. This gives him a couple of uninterrupted work hours before the day gets crazy and the meetings start backing up.

Like most CMOs, no day is typical for Nicolaysen. His main objective is to grow the brand through different channels, and increase scale. This requires him to support his teams across channels and identify what is and isn’t working and evolve accordingly. The marketing team’s job is to think of funny and engaging ways to talk about their products and coming up with the best ways to put these messages in front of people.
Sometimes that’s social, paid search, email or a blog post. The company has been growing sales and its product collection since launching in 2014.

“As we continue to scale, we look at what’s working really well for us in a given channel with a given content strategy; finding what the next thing will be,” says Nicolaysen. “It’s all about finding the right person to lead the right channel, and championing those people.”

Read the rest in MQ Issue 18

Benchmarking Email Marketing Performance

Benchmarking Email Marketing Performance

by David Daniels

BenchmarkRecently we published our annual email marketing benchmark guide. We surveyed over 400 marketing executives across key industries including Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail/eCommerce, Tech/High-Tech and Travel/Hospitality.

The research answers these key questions:

  •  How does email revenue correlate with email marketing spend?
  • How are the email marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) performing by industry
  • Beyond operational metrics, which success measures should marketers focus on?

Email Marketing Budgets and Revenue Contribution Are Highly Correlated Across Industries
Email senders across industries that allocate more budget to email marketing have higher email marketing revenue. Senders in Financial Services and Travel/Hospitality that dedicate approximately 38 percent of their marketing budget to email drive approximately 22- 25 percent of their company’s overall revenue. Senders in Manufacturing and Retail/E-commerce are dedicating a quarter of their budget to email marketing and report email revenues that account for 16-17percent of their total revenue. Overall participants report email marketing budget allocation of almost 32 percent and an email revenue contribution of 19 percent, which is nearly identical to the Tech/High-Tech industry.

Purchase a copy of the report, or get with a subscription to our Research Subscriber Series.

Benchmarking Email Marketing Acquisition

Benchmarking Email Marketing Acquisition

By David Daniels

Email subscriber churn continues to remain a top challenge for email Email Marketingmarketers. Driving list growth to gain new addresses and backfill lost subscribers is a necessary priority for marketers. Email marketers’ list growth goals for 2018 is 9.8 percent, down from 11 percent in 2017, and keeping with the 2016 goal of 10 percent.

Email Marketing Acquisition – 2018 Benchmark Report was published in July 2018. The Relevancy Group Benchmark reports review trend analysis of a specific marketing category or tactic. In this instance, email marketing acquisition. These annual reports are part of the TRG’s Research Subscription Service and serve as an excellent resource to benchmark your individual results against the industry.

The research answers these key questions:
• What are email marketer list growth expectations?
• Which email acquisition tactics are marketers investing in?
• Which tactics are necessary to address challenges and ensure audience growth?

Report Excerpt: Email marketing agencies including BrightWave, Inbox Marketer, Merkle, and Trendline have demonstrated the strategy to ensure that acquisition tactics are executed with quality growth in mind. Acquisition is not a trivial task and marketers must work with agencies and should seek acquisition specialists such as CertainSource and Publisher’s Clearing House Media.

The Research: 6 pages, 4 Charts, 1,137 words. Purchase or Subscribe. Part of our Research Subscriber Series.