The Relevancy Group Sells Assets of its RFP Consulting Business to Marketing Democracy

For Immediate Release                                Contact: Tina Mosetis 516-458-2090 / [email protected]

The Relevancy Group Sells Assets of its RFP Consulting Business to Marketing Democracy

Boston, MA, December 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Relevancy Group, a leading Research and Advisory firm announced today it has entered into an agreement to sell the assets of its RFP (Request For Proposal) Consulting business to Marketing Democracy, LLC, a firm lead by former Relevancy Group VP of Consulting, Chris Marriott.

The deal allows The Relevancy Group to focus on its growing Research and Advisory Services, including expanded coverage areas for Social, Identity Management and Relevancy Ring Buyer’s Guides. The Relevancy Group will continue to advise buyers of technology through its research and advisory services but will no longer be managing RFPs. The RFP process, from discovery through vendor selection, will be managed by Marketing Democracy via their quantifiable scorecard driven process. In the all-cash deal, Marketing Democracy acquires all of the assets and staff that formerly made up The Relevancy Group consulting practice. Marketing Democracy manages RFPs for some of the world’s largest brands.

“Chris and I are very pleased with the way this deal enables both businesses to continue to grow. Over the past few months, we have found it necessary to accommodate growth requiring focus on very different needs of our respective clients. This is a win-win for us, and for the industry in general,” said David Daniels CEO and Founder of The Relevancy Group.

“This deal allows Marketing Democracy to fund our expansion in 2016. I am thrilled to build on the legacy methodology that I developed with David at The Relevancy Group and helping marketers find the best technology partners for their programs and budgets. 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for us,” said Chris Marriott, President and Founder of Marketing Democracy.

The two separate businesses will operate independently of each other. The deal is expected to close on December 31, 2015.

About The Relevancy Group, LLC | www.relevancygroup.com

Founded in 2010, The Relevancy Group (TRG) provides market research, survey design and advisory services. Working with leading brands, vendors, startups and associations, TRG acts as an educator and trusted advisor, optimizing omnichannel connected marketing strategies and tactics. TRG publishes research on email, social, mobile, display, data management, digital marketing, Identity Management, wearables, and the Internet of Things. TRG publishes The Marketer Quarterly, the free digital magazine for marketers by marketers. http://www.marketerquarterly.com/subscribe

 

About Marketing Democracy, LLC |http://www.marketing-democracy.com

Founded in 2016, the Marketing Democracy, LLC provides email marketers with a range of consulting services around vendor selection (RFPs), vendor migration, and email marketing optimization.  Clients include Fortune 500 companies in the retail, publishing, insurance and travel & hospitality industries.  Representing 18-20 billion emails out to bid every year, the Marketing Democracy has unparalleled insight into the pricing models and services quality of the leading enterprise email and multichannel service providers.

Hacking is Terrorism

If you know me, you know security it is a passion of mine. I have been happy to give back as a Strategic Advisor to the OTA (Online Trust Alliance).  I believe that without security, the whole notion of the trust of the Internet and online commerce implodes.

We should hold media and the press to a standard not to discuss the stolen good from a cyber attack.  Protect the victims of the attack, it is akin to media in the 1980’s with the blue dot over a victims face. Why should this crime be different?  Media is fanning the fire of this cyber attack against Sony, and it is truly now a war. Why? Because just a few hours ago the US government stated with high certainty that these attacks were state sponsored and that North Korea was behind them (source WSJ).

Turn a Negative into a Positive – My Solution for Sony and This Movie

the interviewThe best answer for Sony amid these proven North Korean Terrorist acts is to release The Interview on demand/streaming for $10 on 12/25. It will turn a negative into a positive, also test the audience for new releases for streaming in home. It would take 5 million viewers to make their money back, but I believe it would be huge, as big as their predicted $60 million dollar open. Stand up to terror/cyber attacks!

We must stand up against state sponsored attacks. Every business needs to be ready, in fact The Online Trust Alliance has been working on this for years.

From prevention to reaction resources. There are many wonderful reports and collaboration moments that provide effectiveness.   It will improve your market presence and when following OTA best practices your ability to be spoofed will be diminished.

I believe in this organization, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be a Strategic Advisor to the Online Trust Alliance.

Please, if you have an online business, ensure it is secure, follow the well defined best practices.

I am happy to discuss this over a digital magazine, such as The Marketer Quarterly

Until next time,  all the best,

David

Get A Free Copy of The Relevancy Ring – ESP Buyers Guide 2014

TRR-Report CoverLooking for a new ESP (Email Service Provider) or want to get the latest most complete  research on the email marketing industry? Courtesy of Yesmail Interactive, you can now  download the complete “The Relevancy Ring – ESP Buyers Guide -2014” for free with  registration.   Get your copy here.

The Buyer’s Guide evaluates ESPs in the enterprise and mid-market sectors, highlighting  customer satisfaction across these fourteen companies. Each ESP is given a placement in  “The Relevancy Ring” based on quantifiable panel data drawn from studied performance in  the email inbox, a survey of nearly 400 email marketers as well as a broad vendor questionnaire and demos of multiple use case scenarios. 

The report leverages thousands of data points and provides not only an assessment of  vendors but also one of the most comprehensive analysis on the state of the email marketing  industry.  

 The report covers the following areas

  • Email Marketing Technology Deployment Types
  • ESP Services Utilization

  • Marketer’s Satisfaction Levels with ESPs

  • Current and Planned Email Marketing Tactics

  • Challenges and a View into Organizational Structures

  • Email Revenue Attribution

  • 2014 Marketer Priorities

  • The Top Criteria and Features that Marketers Use When Selecting ESPs in the Mid-Market and in the Enterprise

  • An Overview of ESP Contract Length

  • The Relevancy Ring Customer Satisfaction Awards, as Voted Upon by Their Customers in Over a Dozen Categories

  • An Evaluation of 14 ESPs in the Mid-Market and Enterprise Markets as well as Analysis on Each Company

  • And Much More … The report is 45 pages and over 12,000 words and 32 charts.  It is comprehensive!

An excerpt of the report can also be found in Issue 1-14 of  The Marketing Quarterly

Join Chris Marriott at the Email Insider Summit

Join Chris Marriott at the Email Insider Summit
April 23 – 26, 2014 Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, FL

On Friday, April 25th, Chris will be moderating a panel entitled “Getting Attribution Right”, where he and his panel will discuss the role attribution plays in how marketing dollars are allocated; how relying on last click interactions does not give brands the full picture of everything that came before the last click; and how brands can improve their attribution models to make sure email is given proper credit for the role it plays.  Chris will be joined in this discussion by:

  • Florence Ho, Senior Director, International Marketing & Loyalty, Wyndham Worldwide
  • Nancy Shaver, Consulting Principal, Experian Marketing Services
  • Kara Trivunovic, VP of Strategic Services, BlueHornet

Later that same day, Chris will also be leading a roundtable discussion on the subject of Email RFPs with conference attendees.  He will be sharing learnings from the work The Relevancy Group does managing the RFP process for leading F500 brands.  Participants in the discussion will be able to share their own experiences and gain insights from one another and Chris regarding best practices for conducting an RFP.

All Marketers Are Created Equal

Regardless if you are a B2C (Business to Consumer) or B2B (Business to Business) marketer we hold these truths to be self evident.

Any capable Enterprise or Mid-Market vendor should allow you  _the Marketer_ to integrate to systems in a sophisticated manner with work-flow and every need that addresses the B2C and B2B business need across messaging channels (Email, Mobile, Apps, Display and yes Print as needed).  It is 2014, and marketers not only require these operational constructs regardless of audience, but also the measurement to understand the attribution of their marketing spend across channels.

While our team at The Relevancy Group sits with clients seeking new ESP (Email Service Provider) omnichannel (err that would be cross-channel, multi, omni?) solutions to discover, optimize and remove challenges.   Last year The Relevancy Group represnted 18 billion email marketing messages out to bid.  Want to do an RFP, talk to us.

When we published The Relevancy Ring – ESP Buyer’s Guide, 2014 we found that unfortunately for some vendors they are still projecting all about us and them, versus just speaking about the the merits of their own business. Read the free excerpt of The Relevancy Ring – ESP Buyers Guide with the free subscription to The Marketer Quarterly.  Understand the ESP contenders and leaders, while all were invited in a solid methodology of innovation and invitation – see who is missing. Every vendor paid the same nominal fee to cover data and survey cost – this unlike my previous employer, our approach underscores that for inclusion all pay the same regardless of the grand relationship.   We and I always have been objective, did I mentioned I walked out of my previous green screen employer (I’ll save that for the next book),  but read the report – it is the most comprehensive research and combined along with Chris Marriott and Nick Einstein we scored different aspects and didn’t know the combined score until we did that.

Some vendors think they do not need outside objective validation, and many are not in touch with their clients.  There are some believe that B2C marketing is so special that their company can keep a separate company to solely address B2B marketing.   That notion is so curious, in that in so many businesses that I have worked for as well as our current market clients, well this fake wall of a separation of “church and state” seems well – so foreign and reminds me of my 1980’s and that “tear down the wall” quote.

So unless you are Roger Waters – you should never invest in a Wall.  And yes for the music folks out there Waters sang and performed in Berlin after _that_ wall came down, for the record with heroes such as Levon Helm and other Band members.

It simply surprises me, the arrogance of some vendors that do not realize that there is a common ground of production, of targeting, the dynamic content tools, the workflow that necessary, the scale and delivery – between B2C and B2B – really you want to make these silos larger by different solutions and brands?  Shameful.  WOW – you vendor want me to choose which role I play? I am talking to B2B, tomorrow I am talking to B2c, well that might be a nuances, production reality, but really if you separate and make me select two platforms to do this, well then … it isn’t going to work out well in the end.  So vendors, don’t ask clients to select a side of the wall.  Think back anytime there is a wall or silo between applications and tasks – EVERYDAY VENDORS if that is your dream, I ask you to just think Berlin.  Think East and West, Think B2B, B2C, thing of operational empowerment.  Then Think ALL MARKETERS ARE CREATED EQUAL

Regardless of your role, it is about your BRANDS client experience and we don’t take off our behavior when we shift from work (business) to consumer and as a marketer.   So if you believe that, well then why wouldn’t you need the same tools and if you had to purchase them from two separate companies, well that is just silly.

Integrate and do it eloquently without the promise of tomorrow, but what is actually available today. REST JSON just saying.

Interested in hearing more – well subscribe to this free digital magazine The Marketer Quarterly that will provide insight on how B2B/B2C CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) from the Red Cross deal with and include such separation – hint: see every subscriber regardless of business type attribute as one!  Your brand will be better for it!

Don’t settle for legacy and #failed innovation – be equal  – Learn more with free research, content and discovery at The Marketer Quarterly

All the best,

David

The Relevancy Group Expands With New Products

I am thrilled to announce the launch of a new research and publishing product to further educate and collaborate with the digital marketing community.  These offerings expand The Relevancy Group with talented tenured experts and new deliverables to assist marketers to overcome challenges and realize new opportunities.

Announcing The Marketer Quarterly, LLCThe Marketer Quarterly is a digital magazine that will publish each quarter beginning in The Marketer Quarterly - Mock-up January 2014.  The publication will be accessible on a desktop, mobile web browser and on all popular tablets through forthcoming apps for Apple iOS, Android and Amazon.  This ad sponsored digital magazine aims to guide marketers through our connected society.  With the  highest quality content, this publication will feature research and tactics and most importantly  topics about managing the life of the CMO, organizational strategies and the notion of  empowerment. Learn more about the content here. This all would not be possible without this stellar team.

Leading the editorial voice and wrangling the production operations is long-time industry  journalist, writer and editor Dianna Dilworth.  Covering marketing for more than a  decade, I am delighted to have Dianna in the role of Editor for this publication. Cover content subject to change.

Tenured marketing sales expert Jason Simon, will be leading the sales and customer relationships.

Learn more about The Marketer Quarterly team.

While this magazine will live as its own entity, The Marketer Quarterly will feature research and writing from The Relevancy Group including contributors such as Chris Marriott.

Announcing The Relevancy Ring, a Buyer’s Guide to Vendor Solutions – This new research will be featured prominently in the inaugural issue of The Marketer Quarterly.  This research will focus on ESPs in two distinct categories – Enterprise and Mid-Market. Below is an excerpt about the research:

The Relevancy Ring is a research methodology to evaluate and compare vendors to their competitors.   Developed by The Relevancy Group’s CEO David Daniels, who was part of the team that developed JupiterResearch’s buyers guide “The Constellation.” While at Forrester Research, David was a contributor to their vendor evaluation tool “The Wave.” With over a decade of experience in market research and vendor evaluation, David thought it was time to re-invent the buyer’s guide by focusing more on the experience of the vendor’s customers. The first edition of The Relevancy Ring will cover ESPs (Email Marketing Service Providers).

To learn more about participating in The Relevancy Ring Buyer’s Guide please contact [email protected] or contact (267) 397-8044

For more information about editorial content of The Marketer Quarterly please contact [email protected]

I and the combined growing team look forward to bringing objective vendor evaluations and a new way to discover and interact with the entire digital marketing community.

As always, I am David Daniels and please feel free to message me directly or speak with one or more of my very capable team members.

Looking forward to delivering these innovations in market research and publishing to help the marketing executive realize their goals across channels.

All the best,

David Daniels

Tips to Guiding Email Marketing Vendor Selection

Tips to Guiding Email Marketing Vendor Selection

Selecting a Vendor

One of the things that we do at my firm is help our clients write requests for  proposals (RFPs) and manage the email marketing vendor selection process. While all  vendor selection processes  are specific to the client’s specific needs, there are a few  major categories that we find  consistent. This is particularly true for marketers who  are embracing the Connected  Marketing Framework, managing not just email, but  also mobile, social, and the channels adjacent to digital marketing.

Given the overwhelming need to powerfully integrate email marketing into a broad  array of channels and datasets, marketers should emphasize the value delivered  from these integrations by taking the following into consideration when selecting a vendor.

Email Marketers Must Calibrate Vendor Selection Criteria to Reflect Emerging Market Certainties

Considering the evolution of the current market and the expectations for its continued change, marketers must adapt their email marketing vendor selection by mapping it to these three major categories.

  1. Channels served. Encompassing the entire digital marketing continuum that is necessary to empower the customer lifecycle of acquisition, engagement, retention, and advocacy.
    • Email. The ability to schedule, throttle, and manage outbound email marketing and inbound reply handling. This includes segmentation, testing, dynamic content, triggered messaging, transactional message support, deliverability tools, and custom reporting.
    • Social. The ability to extend email’s reach to social networks, launch and manage social marketing campaigns, and measure and analyze subscribers’ social behavior.
    • Mobile. The ability to leverage SMS messaging as an email opt-in point and manage outbound campaigns through mobile messaging, as well as enlisting design remedies to ensure that email and landing pages render appropriately on small screens.
    • Websites. The ability to deploy and measure microsites, landing pages, and blogging functionality, as well as optimize these pages for search engine marketing placement. Functionality should be present for retargeting of page content or display ads that tie to email offer content and/or subscriber click behavior.
    • Search. The ability to leverage the relationship between paid search (SEM) and email marketing in terms of enabling efficient list building and relevancy. Also, the ability for email recipients to share content in emails to the web that is automatically optimized for natural search.
  2. Functionality.
    • Usability. While ease of use is placed firmly in the eye of the beholder, marketers must judge usability by the solution’s ability to easily reuse, store, and organize mailings, campaigns, data, and content. Such an emphasis on reuse and overall usability will create much-needed efficiency for the marketer. Also, pay careful attention to the vendor’s use of scripting and the specific scripting language.
    • Subscriber integration and management. The ability to manage not just subscriber data for email, but also additional marketing channels so that marketers can understand and manage the interrelation of a subscriber’s channel preference across the entire customer lifecycle. A differentiation in this attribute is the integration of relational data into email databases to allow the marketer to utilize a broad dataset for segmentation and targeting.
    • Content. Often a missing piece of functionality within email marketing applications, the need to augment legacy content management systems will grow as marketers embrace a variety of digital channels. The ability for the vendor to store, manage, and organize a host of content attributes and formats, including video, are functions where there is a great lack of parity within the marketplace.
    • Smart integration. The ability for a vendor to intelligently integrate to common external solutions, such as how popular sales force automation tools and databases must extend beyond a robust application-programmable interface and manifest into tight integrations with critical applications.
    • Analytics. The ability to measure and analyze not only email marketing performance, but all relevant digital marketing channels including website measurement. The keys to improving the marketer’s relevance among her subscribers will be found within this piece of functionality.
    • Redundancy. For most marketers, email marketing represents a huge mission-critical revenue source. Marketers must evaluate vendors based on their ability to provide redundant operations in the event of a crisis. This includes the service-level expectations when downtime occurs as well as maintenance windows and how such planned maintenance impacts mailing schedules as well as email messages that have already been deployed.
  3. Services.
    • Strategic. The common thread of email marketing over the last decade was that each year brought new challenges and the perpetual bar of sophistication will continue to be raised. The importance of a comprehensive methodology of strategic best practices advice and services will continue to grow in importance. Marketers must use the vendor’s capabilities in this regard as a wedge to separate vendors in the selection process even when functionality differences cannot be easily discerned.
    • Tactical. As important as strategic advice is, it is imperative that prospective vendors can provide the tactical services to lend a hand with the production and management aspects across the digital marketing spectrum.
    • Support. The relationship that marketers have with their vendors is tempered by the quality of the vendor’s support services. While the cost of message deployment can be commoditized, marketers must recognize the premium associated with satisfying support services. Beyond functionality, we consistently find that the vendor’s inability to delight their clients is the single biggest issue that drives marketers to switch vendors.

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