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Predictive Marketing: The Next Must-Have Technology for CMOs

December 9, 2016
man playing chessYou can use predictive analytics to identify promising prospects, build hyper-targeted segments and personalize outreach at scale. PHOTO: Michal Jarmoluk

The more data-driven marketing becomes, the easier it is for CMOs to attribute closed deals directly to their marketing programs.

But with so much information available they encounter a new challenge: knowing which tactics and strategies to prioritize when each bad decision can cost thousands in missed opportunities.

Predictive analytics is surging in popularity among marketing leaders. It combines several components of artificial intelligence (AI) to predict which prospects are most likely to become customers.

This technology eliminates a great deal of manual and redundant work from marketing and sales analytics, letting reps spend more time on high-value outreach and lowering chances that a calculation error will cost the company important deals.

You can use predictive analytics to identify your most promising prospects, build hyper-targeted segments, and personalize outreach at scaleoften resulting in significantly increasedconversion rates on inbound and outbound campaigns.

But not all predictive technology is equal. As more companies adopt it for marketing, the competitive edge shifts from whether youre using it to how.

What Predictive and AI Can Do for Your Marketing Team

Predictive analytics lets you take large sets of data and mine them for actionable insights using specific types of AI. These models are created by data scientists and software that use machine learning algorithms to produce the most accurate predictions as possible to aid businesses in their decision-making.

Top uses of predictive analytics for marketing include:

Defining your ideal customer profile and identifying prospects that match Providing a common framework for decision-making between sales and marketing Creating personalized content, offers, and campaigns for high-value customer segments Increasing conversion rates, closed deals, and deal size

Deciding to use predictive analytics is the first step, but effectiveness varies from vendor to vendor. Be prepared to do some comparison shopping before you find the best fit.

Choosingthe Right Marketing Technology

Once you are sold on the idea of predictive for sales and marketing, you still need to navigate the market and pick the best option for your organization. These tips will help you make the right choice:

1. Look for Integrations With Popular Marketing Apps

Predictive marketing tools find relationships between the behavior and traits of your customers and those of your prospects. But simply layering more and more new tech onto your existing marketing stack isnt economical or scalable.

The real value lies in finding a predictive platform with open architecture one that integrates with your applications for things like CRM, marketing automation, or business intelligence (BI) and uses them to make accurate and actionable predictions.

Reliable first-party data on wins and losses is especially important for the success of predictive models. To understand which leads will convert to customers in the future, predictive tools have to pull data from a system of record like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Insightly, Marketoor HubSpot and identify the characteristics and behavior of prospects that closed.

An open architecture also means you dont have to disrupt current workflows adding more complexity to daily activity. Your marketing team can see predictive insights like lead or account scores and compare them to campaign conversions, right in the tools they are accustomed to using.

2. Demand Transparency on How Predictions Are Made

You will only feel comfortable trusting predictive software to replace manual workflows if you understand how the insights were formed. The vendor you choose should clearly explain how they built their predictive models and why they chose to include some signals while excluding others.

A predictive platform needs a diverse mix of first- and third- party data sources to build models that everyone can trust. This helps create alignment among other teams, especially sales.

When sales buys in to predictive analytics, both teams can adapt their behavior around the new insights and launch cohesive, high-conversion campaigns. Be wary of any models heavily dependent on one or two external sourcesif access is cut off to any of them, predictions are rendered useless.

3. Choose a Vendor That Understands Your Use Case

The real differentiation among competing predictive analytics platforms is in how well they address customers most important use cases. As you decide on a predictive vendor, evaluate their experience deploying solutions for various company sizes, workflows, and industries.

Regardless of your companys size, examining each vendors customer community will show you if its solution is right for you.

Ask yourself a few key questions about any predictive platform you are considering:

Who makes up its core user base? Do those customers look like you? Are they using the platform in a way that is relevant to your business?

Make sure the software can produce results at scale, adjusting models and adding customization as you grow.

When CMOs invest in predictive technology they arent just planning for the next quarter or year. Theyre setting a direction for the future, building a go-to-market strategy around predictive analytics to drive revenue for years to come. In a truly data-driven approach like this, the success of your business is directly bound to the technology you adopt.

Crumby named leasing and marketing director for The Landings - The Southern

September 25, 2016
Brittany Crumby, a native of Herrin, has been appointed as the leasing and marketing director for The Landings at Reed Station Crossing in Carbondale, a senior living community opening April 2017.

Crumby will be the main contact for any living or marketing inquiries for The Landings.



Crumby recently returned home from Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked for The Greater Nashville Apartment Association, a Non-Profit Trade Association.

Crumby has had several published works including Now Thats Smart Marketing and has given numerous presentations including Positively, Positive Thinking.



She moved back to the region to be closer with her family, who still reside in Herrin.

The Landings is a 92-unit, three-story assisted living and memory care community. It offers many desirable amenities and will help to encourage active lifestyles for its residents.

Using SEO Principles for Amazon, eBay, & Google Shopping - Business 2 Community

June 23, 2016
It is amazing how powerful SEO can be, but it is not just for Google. It can be used for a variety of search engines with much less complicated algorithms. Using SEO principles can dramatically help you optimize for different search engines outside of Google and achieve higher revenues.

Below are the main SEO principles you can implement today on a variety of platforms such as:

Amazon (Organic & Seller Center)

Google Shopping

Bing Shopping

ebay (Organic & Merchant Center)

Other Marketplaces

Using Keyword Rich Titles

1

First, having the keywords on your products is paramount. Having them in the right place is how you optimize your products for additional revenue. Here is the basic practice everyone uses:

[Brand Name] or [Brand Name] + [Some Modifiers]

This could look like:

Target Bohrs Wall Paint or Target Bohrs Wall Paint in Blue Low Prices

What is the issue with this? No one searches for Target Bohrs Wall Paint! Simple, right? You want the best keywords mostly on the left hand side because search engines will mostly count these words ahead of others. This is a good example:

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Blue Wall Paint in Small, Medium, and Large Bohrs Brand at Target

This is a much more effective SEO title. Here is a great template to work with when optimizing for these titles:

[Insert Keyword Phrase Here] + [Insert Modifiers] + [Insert either a CTA or Brand Names]

Of course, it is debatable what to use, because you might need to focus on your brand names for the particular marketplaces, in which case you would switch your keyword phrase with your brand name. Either are good to use and depend on your focus.

On a side note, one of the benefits of Amazon and eBay is that they show up in Google search as well.

If you optimize your title tags for Google search data, you also are optimizing your product listings for Google organic search traffic!

Keyword Rich Product Descriptions

Similar to the keyword rich product titles, you can also optimize the descriptions by having the best keywords in the first sentence. Having them mostly on the left-hand side is ideal.

You can also create bullet points to cover more modifiers. Your products will be searched by many long tailed searches, so having a bigger spider web is ideal. Here is an example. Say you sell Alienware M15x Computers. You know there are a lot of specifications to this product. Therefore, you want to include every specification possible in the title and description. Here is the best optimization for this particular product:

Alienware M17x i7 Processor 1,000 GB 8GB RAM Nividia GForce Card Free Shipping

The first section is the main keyword phrase someone is searching: Alienware M17x. The second section are the modifiers when someone searches for i7 Processor Alienware m17x, and the third section includes the modifiers to help people click on my listing over those of my competitors. It all works together to show up for more searches, and get more clicks and more sales.

Using Keyword Research Data

3

Google is the largest search engine in the world. It understands search queries better than anyone. Why would you not use their data to better understand what people are searching for?

You can use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to uncover what people are searching for and apply those keyword phrases to your products. This way you are optimizing your products for what people search for on the internet marketplace.

Is Google search behavior the same on Amazon and eBay? Not exactly, but in most cases it would be very similar, which is why using Google search data is good for all marketplaces.

Keyword Stuffing

Amazon, eBay, and other marketplace search engines are not very advanced algorithms. They use keywords, reviews, and popularity through purchases to decide placements. However, by the time this article is published, I am sure it will all change.

With that being said, you can now insert more keywords than what you could do on Google, but remember to keep it readable and create the best content possible. Do not stuff for the sake of stuffing, but the same rules that apply to Google do not apply to the other marketplaces. Marketplaces have not been known to apply penalties for over optimization.

Here are some examples of where you can add more keywords to your products:

Amazon keywords: You can insert many different varieties of phrases here.eBay descriptions: You can put bullet points below your main description, and match phrases with your keywords.Amazon product descriptions: This is a good place to get good keyword phrases at the beginning of your description.Titles: This is ideal for any marketplace. You can also put modifiers on the end of the titles, like our Alienware example above, where it lists out the different part names.

Backlinking to Amazon & eBay Products

If you want to be ultra-creative in Google search, you can also optimize your Amazon and eBay product listings for different keywords, and then build links to them. This way they show higher in Google search for targeted keyword phrases and can help you achieve more sales.

Conclusion

Right now, the main factors for the marketplaces search engines, and even Google Shopping, are keywords, reviews, and purchases. Having strong SEO knowledge of keywords can really help make an impact on the keywords front and increase your revenue. This may change down the road, but, as of right now, strong keyword content is still king.

Digital publishing sector increases share of magazine readership, advertising dollars - IPWatchdog.com

April 17, 2016
digital-media-newsOne of the poorly kept secrets of the publishing world is that digital and Internet platforms are increasingly being sought by readers, often to the detriment of the paper product. Between August 2012 and February 2013, digital publishing apps saw an average growth in their readership of 200 percent according to a state of mobile tech report released by computer software company Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE). Online statistics portal Statista report statistics showing that 88 percent of North American newspapers were distributing content on mobile devices by 2010.

Its not just readers that are heading to the digital realm, but advertising dollars are also helping to buoy the nascent digital magazine sector. Forecasts reported by professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) indicate that digital advertising expenditures should rise from $2.4 billion in 2012 up to $3.8 billion in 2017, when they will account for one-quarter of all advertising spending. Although its been the case that people dont seem to like paying for digital content they can get for free, PwC forecasts that purchases of digitally published content should rise from $275 million in 2012 up to $1.4 billion in 2017.

Much has been made in journalism circles about the eventual death of print media, despite the fact that more than half of Americas newspaper readership still read print news as of February 2014, but not many are looking at the sector of digital media popping up to replace print. On the Internet, the line between magazine and blog is pretty blurry. Online publication platforms are free and readily available, which of course leads to the potential for less studious voices to be heard, but it doesnt necessarily follow that a blog couldnt be every bit as reputable as a major daily newspaper given the proper circumstances.

The digital news media sector is also starting to contribute some jobs to replace those that have been lost in print. Employment levels at American print newsrooms declined by 6.4 percent in 2012, but a 2014 State of the News Media report out from the Pew Research Center found that the largest thirty digital-only newspapers account for 3,000 jobs with global coverage rising as an area of investment for these publications. Digital magazines like Buzzfeed and Mashable employ dozens on their news staff and Vice was operating 35 overseas news bureaus as of 2014.

And yet all is not rosy for the digital magazine sector and some companies, including major names in tech, have had issues making the formula work for them. Sunnyvale, CA-based Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), a company which might itself be acquired this year, announced in February that it would be shuttering its digital magazine divisions, including Yahoo Food, Yahoo Parenting and Yahoo Health; Yahoo!s news, sports, finance and lifestyles content areas will remain intact.

Free platforms for accessing digital magazines, and digital versions of print publications, are proving to be at least somewhat valuable for readers and magazines alike. One of these is Issuu, which offers a free platform for digital magazine access along with multiple annual subscription levels offering more customizable readers and no advertisements. As of October 2014, the company claimed that it had 80 million regular readers spending a total of 1 billion minutes per month perusing the content uploaded to the digital magazine stand. Not looking to give readers a completely free ride, Issuu has recently added a pay button to digital pages which works as a clickable link for sending readers to online stores to increase the e-commerce potential of the platform. Of course, magazines publishing to the Issuu platform arent exactly aided and abetted by the companys recent decision to shut down its targeted distributions campaign service, which allowed publications to create advertising campaigns targeting a specific audience.

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Another digital magazine company offering a marketplace for publications is Zinio, which boasts access to more than 5,500 magazines through its online service. A marketplace offering access to magazines published around the world, Zinio recently inked a deal with German full-service magazine distribution provider DPV Deutscher Pressevertrieb which brings 650 publications from German-speaking markets to the Zinio platform. The digital magazine marketplace is also increasing access to its services at public libraries through a partnership with library app developer Boopsie to offer magazines through Boopsies remote library service. Zinio also announced a collaboration last September with aircraft connectivity provider Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENT) to add Zinios magazine lineup to in-flight entertainment systems developed by Global Eagle.

Marketing itself as the largest digital newsstand is Magzter, a New York City-based digital magazine marketplace offering access to over 7,700 magazines available from more than 3,000 publishers. Last October, Magzter announced that it was actually reducing the price for its all-you-can-read subscription service Magzter GOLD by two dollars down to $7.99, after the subscriber base grew by 200 percent every month since its January 2015 launch. A recent update to its digital service this January features a new type of browser design which lets users browse by articles and not just by publication. In India, Magzter is implementing a carrier billing technique which enables consumers to pay for digital magazine content more easily through charges added to their mobile bill.

Many of these digital publishing marketplaces only require that content be submitted in PDF format and perhaps the most robust software tools for this purpose are available through the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), marketed by San Jose, CA-based computer software company Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE). Updates to Adobes DPS last July enabled digital content publishers to create immersive apps without having to write code in order to access consumers through app stores and not just platforms like Issuu. At this years Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Adobe announced the integration of asset management and analytics tools with DPS to build better mobile experiences for consumers.

Those who dont have the resources to invest in a high-end digital publishing product like Adobe DPS can find more cost-effective alternatives, such as the publishing tools developed by Belgium-based Twixl. The cheapest publishing subscription through Twixl still costs 750 Euros ($858 USD), but offers users the ability to preview their digital content apps before publishing and publish multi-issue apps to a variety of app stores. Another option is Mag+, a digital publishing software developer with offices in New York City and Sweden. Late last year, Mag+ announced the launch of a mobile app solution named Semble which allows users to develop apps without needing a license for the desktop publishing program InDesign, another Adobe product. Also in 2015, Mag+ established a web export function for its software which allows users to publish content to the Internet for browser-based reading along with the app-based platform.

Increasingly, publications with large readerships are coming to the understanding that the digital publishing realm is their future. In early April, Australian magazine publisher Pacific Magazines announced that it would be shuttering print operations for the celebrity tabloid magazine FAMOUS to switch to a new FAMOUSLive all-digital platform after the magazines social media reach increased by 260 percent in two years to reach 6.3 million online readers daily. Mens lifestyle magazine Playboy also recently announced a digital distribution partnership with Magzter to market a redesigned digital version of the publication.

Excellence in the world of digital magazines is recognized each year by the Digital Magazine Awards (DMAs), which will be awarded in July of this year. Last years winner of the overall category was the tech trend publication WIRED. The best new magazine launch was awarded to mens fitness lifestyle magazine Alpha Man while the best digital magazine website award went to renowned commentary and critical magazine The New Yorker. 2015s publisher/manager of the year was Jrgen Paul, managing editor of German architecture publication BauNetz.

Steve Brachmann

Steve Brachmann is a writer located in Buffalo, New York. He has worked professionally as a freelancer for more than seven years. He has become a regular contributor to IPWatchdog.com, writing about technology, innovation and is the primary author of the Companies We Follow series. His work has been published by The Buffalo News, The Hamburg Sun, USAToday.com, Chron.com, Motley Fool and OpenLettersMonthly.com. Steve also provides website copy and documents for various business clients.

Rankings Matter - How To Get Your Pages To The Top

November 30, 2015
seo dallas

Optimizing your web site for the major search engines is more vital than ever with the steadily increasing competition for visitors on the internet. Make sure that you know how to do this by using the techniques in this article. If you do, you will soon see your website traffic to increase.

When building your site using SEO techniques, pay attention to your site's theme. This boosts the rating of every page on your site if all of the pages on your site are related to a similar theme. To make your site appear to be on a theme, use similar keywords and synonyms on all the pages.

If you are going to spend money at all in your SEO efforts, a wise buy would be to open a PPC account. A pay-per-click campaign with Google or any other competitor will help you get your site ranked highly in a hurry. There's nothing these big companies behind search engines love more than money, so it's a "shortcut" for the people who can afford it.

When it comes to gaining higher positions in search engine rankings, you have to focus on relevancy. You can only raise your position if the search engines notice that your site is valuable to to visitors. Just solely relying on SEO will not help your ranking, you need to provide great content that will aid your viewers too.

You have to fully commit yourself in Dallas to search engine optimization in order to succeed. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing so tactics that were successful 6 months ago may be redundant today. SEO requires you to create a long-term plan, regularly educate yourself about new changes and make appropriate adjustments to your methods.

After choosing your keyword phrase, purchase a domain name that includes your keyword. It will increase the likelihood of click-throughs, and it will give readers an instant idea as to what your site is about. This is key to rankings and is part of the reason you should always choose slightly less popular keyword phrases so that you are more likely to still find open domain names.

Starting a blog is a great way to optimize a website's search engine performance. The structured, frequently-updated content of a blog is treated favorably by search engines, which drives up a website's position on the search engine results page. Committing to a high-quality blog will also draw a website into communication with its industry and visitors peers.

Older blogs and websites will automatically gain higher places on a search engine's ranking list. The older the blog or site, the higher it will be. The more likely it is to have an already established customer set, search engines take age into consideration because the older a site is.

If your product is information, Spelling and grammar really do count, especially. Have someone proof-read your entire site to avoid embarrassing errors. They can result in unintended meanings and confusion over exactly what you are selling and what the terms and guarantees are, even though not only do mistakes make your work look less professional.

With the massive flood of internet marketers over recent years, search engines are now becoming more selective than ever. If you flood your content with links or even if you post a link that doesn't blend with the context of the content, the search engine may refuse to pull it up. You could even be punished as a result.

Give your customers points toward free products. Be generous with the points, so it is easy for them to visualize cashing them in after a few orders. Available only to those redeeming points, so customers feel special because they have access to those products, the points could be toward products or information. Another option is to throw in a freebie of some sort, with every order.

Keep your website current with new material. Search engines favor websites that are constantly updating and producing new content for their viewers. Try to do it more than that if you can, although make it a point to publish something new on your website at least three times per week.

To get an immediate increase in search engine traffic pay attention to the news. Most search engine algorithms will place your link at the top if you cover a soon to be searched for topic before other sites do. To get the latest scoops you can follow people relevant to your site's topic on Twitter.

For every market and searcher demographic, there are certain "negative" keywords that will deter an internet user from clicking on your link from a list of search results. Use your marketing consumer and resources insights to establish which keywords are consideredoffensive and irrelevant. Alternatively, otherwise undesirable to your target market.



Try to get your page link on a .edu or .gov site for better search engine optimization. Because these sites are top-level domains and are considered to be very reliable and credible, people who see your link on a .edu or .gov will think you are legitimate and credible as well.

By making comments on blogs that relate to your business, you can get many more links that lead to your site. If your contribution is substantial, Blog writers will allow you to leave your link on their page. Do not post your link on irrelevant blogs, or it will clog the value of their site, giving you a bad reputation. Other webmasters will appreciate any input you may have and will be happy to read your comments and allow you to post your link on their page if you are very knowledgeable about your topic.

If the search engine can get around your site in a natural manner, while a site map is a great tool in SEO, it's better. If the spider needs to rely on your site map, that means your navigation is going to be too difficult for any user to use, too.

In order to find the best results for what you are looking for when using a search engine, it is important to not use too many words. The more words that you type into the search bar, the more specific that search has become and will hide many valuable options from you.

Millions of people may be getting into business via the internet, but most of them will end up failing when it's all said and done. It's important that you never allow your efforts to become lax. Focus on and use the tips from this article in order to make sure that your website is always as strong as it can be.



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