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Monthly Archives: September 2016

4 Comment Moderation Tools for Bloggers

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Are you struggling to manage the comments on your blog? Looking for a tool to help? The right tool can make managing comments easier and faster, allowing you to focus on creating great content that sparks conversation. In this article, you’ll discover four tools to help you moderate blog comments more effectively. #1: Disqus Disqus [...]

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Digital Marketing Spotlight: Josh Mueller, SVP Global Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet

Josh Mueller Interview

Josh Mueller Interview

Meeting and getting to know smart digital marketers is easily one of my favorite things about working in the marketing industry. I first meet Josh Mueller when he was at Director of Digital Marketing at Dell and I was presenting an integrated approach to search, social and content marketing. There was a palpable enthusiasm in the air for inbound marketing and it was exciting to see that kind of reception from a large company.

Fast forward to today and Josh is Senior Vice President Global Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet. He is definitely one of those people you want on your digital marketing team or more specifically, leading your team. He always seems to be two steps ahead, is results-focused and a genuinely nice human being.

In this interview, Josh talks about everything from career advice for fast-tracking digital marketing executives to the impressive digital marketing initiatives he's led at Dun & Bradstreet. He also talks about lessons learned, prioritizing for 2017 and examples of B2B brands doing it right.

Your career from MBA Intern at Dell to SVP at a major B2B brand in under 10 years is truly impressive. What best prepared you for that journey and what advice do you have for talented, aspiring marketing executives with eyes on a similar prize?

Looking back, I’m not sure if I was ever fully prepared, but my journey thus far certainly would not have been possible without focusing on a couple of fundamental things from the beginning.

Invest heavily in building, nurturing and leveraging real relationships. Success is impossible in a vacuum.

First, invest heavily in building, nurturing and leveraging real relationships. Success is impossible in a vacuum. The people you surround yourself with will have a significant impact on the trajectory of your career. You’ll know you’re doing this well when you realize you’re consistently willing to put more into a relationship than what you ask for in return.

Second, never take a break from learning. I read as much as possible and do so on a daily basis. If you can become a little more knowledgeable every single day, you’ll build a huge competitive advantage over time. This simple but powerful habit not only equips you to become a world-class expert within your discipline, but also allows you to see big picture trends, apply your expertise across disciplines, and prepare for the future.

I was really impressed with the Dun & Bradstreet website redesign earlier this year and what went into the real-time personalization experience. Can you share some context for the project and your expectations for such an ambitious undertaking?

This was so much fun and continues to pay dividends. What started as a traditional redesign project quickly transformed into a complete re-imagination of our brand’s digital experience. We wanted to ensure that the site truly represented the overall transformation of Dun & Bradstreet that has been progressing since our CEO, Bob Carrigan, joined the company in 2013.

To accomplish this, we needed to expand our primary online focus on SMB customers to include enterprise customers across five new lines of business, our partners and our worldwide network. From a KPI perspective, we initially wanted to maintain parity at launch and then improve from there. Fortunately, metrics were up from the very first week and continue to climb. (More information can be found here.)

Now that the new website has gone through some iterations, what have been some of your key lessons and best practices? What is on the roadmap for dnb.com going into 2017 when it comes to personalization?

It’s very typical with a major redesign to initially experience drops in your primary KPIs and that risk was even greater when we set out to completely transform our digital experience. Despite taking a data-driven approach and performing a lot of user testing, we were completely prepared to experience this drop. We formed cross-functional teams to meet daily to review the latest metrics, form hypotheses and quickly deploy tests targeted at getting everything back to parity and beyond. Fortunately, we never experienced this dip. Our metrics were up from the very first day. Because we had prepared ahead of time, we still followed the same approach, but instead of getting back to parity we were able to increase conversion rates to all-time highs.

Personalization is such a powerful customer experience and conversion optimization tool.

Personalization is such a powerful customer experience and conversion optimization tool. Most ecommerce companies have fully adopted it, but very few B2Bs focused on demand generation are doing it well. Currently, we’re personalizing dnb.com based on company size and persona. Late this year and in 2017, we plan to expand this by personalizing for specific strategic accounts as well as extending and coordinating personalization across other offline and online touchpoints.

What do the lessons you've learned tell you about how other B2B companies should be thinking in terms of digital strategy in 2017? What are some key areas to focus on and things to avoid?

Too many companies still treat their digital strategy as something separate from their overall marketing strategy. I believe Marc Mathieu from Unilever was one of the first to talk about moving away from the mindset of digital marketing as a standalone function to concentrate instead on increasing marketing effectiveness in a digital world. Making this shift is absolutely critical, but it doesn’t mean organizations should move away from hiring and training digital specialists with deep expertise. Those skills are more important than ever.

We’ve succeeded in modernizing our marketing mindset by formalizing cross-functional teams around each of our personas.

At Dun & Bradstreet, we’ve succeeded in modernizing our marketing mindset by formalizing cross-functional teams around each of our personas. Each team has experts across all the core functions such as messaging, content marketing, site strategy, outbound demand gen, SEO, communications, social media, events, etc. Organizationally, this expertise is aligned by function, but the cross-functional team operates as one on behalf of the customer with shared KPIs. This model ensures that digital strategy is always a core component of everything we do.

Today's marketers are faced with a cornucopia of options and challenges from continued emphasis on data and martech to creative opportunities with more visual and interactive content, working with influencers and investing in deeper content. What advice do you have for other senior marketing execs on prioritizing marketing tactics?

It can become overwhelming when the cornucopia of options become the focus without first implementing a framework to properly manage everything. This starts by getting back to the basics – using quality data and analytics to determine which customers or accounts to pursue, which personas to target within these accounts, and which solutions best fulfill their needs. Once these basic building blocks are in place, it’s easy to map out the customer journeys within that universe and set clear KPIs for each stage. The ultimate goal may be conversion and revenue, but the KPIs in the early stages are just as critical and allow marketers to track the progression of individuals and accounts throughout the journey.

KPIs in the early stages are just as critical (as conversion and revenue).

Using this framework as a reference, it becomes easy to see where an organization is having success and where change is needed. Will new marketing technology or a creative strategy overhaul have a bigger impact? The answer comes more easily when you can clearly see which KPI you’re trying to impact with the decision. This guides prioritization, not only for senior executives setting overall strategy and making resource decisions, but also for the teams executing the tactics.

Few marketing departments can execute well on all things they have planned. How do you balance hiring more marketing staff vs. using outside vendors and agencies? What trends do you see in terms of outsourcing vs. insourcing marketing talent?

Capacity is almost always our biggest challenge. The model I prefer – and one that I continue to see gaining traction – is to insource expertise across critical functions without making teams too large. Once you achieve this, you can leverage partnerships with agencies that bring an outside-in approach and act as an extension of your team over time. This hybrid model allows you to maintain a steady state across critical functions while maintaining the ability to dial up or dial down capacity based on current priorities.

As we get closer to 4th quarter and planning for the coming year, what are some of your top digital marketing priorities for 2017?

Our first priority is all about scale. We’ve built an amazing foundation that has enabled us to hit critical KPIs much faster than we anticipated. Now we are very focused on continuing to bend the curve and pushing the limits on how far we can take things.

Our first priority is all about scale.

The second is to continue drinking our own champagne and pushing the envelope in modern B2B marketing. I’m fortunate to work for the company that maintains the world’s largest commercial database that we continue to leverage for new use cases. We often get our hands on the latest and greatest marketing solutions before they’re widely available, which gives us a first mover advantage in predictive targeting, personalization approaches and sales acceleration techniques. Great marketing is always fun. Doing things for the first time can be even more fun.

What B2B brands' marketing do you admire most? Any examples?

Dell is definitely on the list, and I’m excited to see how its marketing team leverages the EMC acquisition. It’s amazing, looking at the amount of marketing talent that has worked at Dell at some point over the last decade, and how many individuals have gone on to become senior marketing executives or CMOs at other big brands. I certainly stay closely connected and follow those brands as well.

There are so many other great B2B brands to admire across industries for different reasons. A few that come to mind immediately are Adobe, LinkedIn, Salesforce, GE, Workday, Cisco, American Express and Accenture.

Now let’s play a little social network word association. After each platform, share the first thing or short reaction that comes to mind.

  • Facebook – changing the open web
  • Vine – initially interesting
  • LinkedIn – making all the right moves
  • Periscope – first mover advantage wasn’t enough
  • Twitter – one of the best, but time to evolve
  • Google+ – will its failures lead to success?
  • Snapchat – raising the bar on growth
  • YouTube – well positioned
  • Instagram – so simple yet so brilliant
  • Flickr – will it survive?

Thanks Josh!

Josh Mueller is Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Dun & Bradstreet where he has global responsibility for demand generation, digital, operations, marketing technology, creative and content. His organization is pivotal to Dun & Bradstreet’s transformation to a modern company with a focus on providing an amazing customer experience and scaling demand generation.

Prior to Dun & Bradstreet, Josh served as Director of Marketing for Dell, where he led B2B digital marketing teams responsible for demand generation, search, social media and content marketing.

Josh holds an MBA from The University of Texas and a BBA from Texas A&M University.

You can find Josh on the social web at:
LinkedIn: in/joshmueller
Twitter: @jmueller03

The post Digital Marketing Spotlight: Josh Mueller, SVP Global Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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4 Ways to Reach Business Prospects With Facebook Ads

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Do you want more leads from Facebook? Are you wondering if Facebook ads can reach your audience? Facebook’s expanded targeting features let you serve your ads to a narrowly defined audience of prospects. In this article, you’ll discover four ways to reach business prospects with Facebook ads. #1: Reach Facebook Group Members If you run [...]

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Twitter Opens Pre-Roll Video Ads and Video Revenue Sharing: This Week in Social Media

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Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Twitter Expands and Improves Creator Revenue Program for Video: Twitter now offers individual creators of all sizes “the [...]

This post Twitter Opens Pre-Roll Video Ads and Video Revenue Sharing: This Week in Social Media first appeared on .
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#SproutChat Recap: Effectively Using Video on Social

In today’s digital landscape, video content is a must for any brand. Unlike other forms of social content, video can be extremely intimidating. However, with some ingenuity and Read more...

This post #SproutChat Recap: Effectively Using Video on Social originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Online Marketing News: Millennials on Social, Digital Lead Generation & Email Secret Sauce

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Survey: 41% of Millennials Use Facebook Every Day (Infographic)
A recent study showed that millennials spent the majority of their 'online time' on smartphones. The same study showed that Facebook was the most popular social network among millennials and non-millennials, followed by YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. SocialTimes

The Most Effective Digital Lead Generation Channels (Report)
A new report found that 45% of business people surveyed thought that content marketing and email marketing were the most effective online tactics used for lead generation. Following behind at a close second was social media marketing (39%) and SEO/landing page optimization (38%). MarketingProfs

Are Weekends The Secret Ingredient For Email Marketing?
According to a recent report, emails sent on Saturdays generate a 60% higher than average conversion rate, with Sunday driving the second highest conversion rate of 40% above average. Emails sent on Thursdays received the highest level of engagement. Of course, these stats should be taken into account with other factors, like industry and seasonal trends or events. MediaPost

Facebook now officially showcases vertical videos in mobile news feeds
After realizing in testing that users watch vertical videos longer and with the sound on when using mobile when presented vertically in the News Feed, Facebook is taking vertical video support out of the testing phase and rolling it out platform wide. This is in contrast to their traditional treatment, where they crop the video into a square format and the user has to click into it to view the full image. Marketing Land

Twitter to Open Pre-Roll Video Ad Program to Influencers
Twitter is opening its pre-roll video ad program to influential Twitter users -- allowing them to capitalize on their social efforts. According to AdAge: "The ads play before the videos that people share on the platform, and they come with a skip button, much like the one on YouTube." AdAge

58% OF FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM USERS ARE ANNOYED BY BRANDS THAT POST TOO MANY PROMOTIONS.

Here's What We Learned Analyzing 30 CMOs on LinkedIn
Direct Marketing News recently conducted a study of 30 CMO LinkedIn profiles and found some interesting results. Only 10% of the CMOs studied majored in marketing for their undergraduate degree, with 20% actually majoring in engineering. About half of CMOs had a graduate degree. Another noteworthy find is that their colleagues endorse them on LinkedIn most commonly for strategy/marketing strategy, start-ups, and product marketing. Direct Marketing News

Social media marketing spend has surged over the years, but falls short of estimates
ClickZ reports the CMO Survey, conducted by Deloitte and the American Marketing Association found: "Marketers’ spending on social media has tripled in the past seven years but falls way short of where marketers expected it to be when they peered into their crystal balls in 2009." ClickZ

Google updates local reviews schema guidelines
Google has updated their local business reviews guidelines in terms of when you can and when you can't use schema markup on reviews. Guidelines include that reviews must allow for both negative and positive sentiment, snippets can't be written or provided by the business, and duplicate reviews are not allowed, among others. Search Engine Land

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

I'll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Write a quick note in the comments or tweet to @toprank!

The post Online Marketing News: Millennials on Social, Digital Lead Generation & Email Secret Sauce appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Facebook Split Testing: How to Make Your Ads Better

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Do you run Facebook ads? Have you tried split testing? To explore different ways to split test your Facebook ads so you can refine your ad campaigns, I interview Andrea Vahl. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy [...]

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From Blog to Book: The Simple Strategy Smart Authors are Using in 2016

Don’t try to deny it; you’d love to write a book. In fact, you’ve been dreaming about it so much you can visualize it. Seeing your name on the front cover of a published book. Revelling in the fame, fortune, and fulfilment that comes from being a successful author. But then, you dismiss it. “What(...)

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Is Your Influencer Marketing Program Not Effective? Here’s Why

At some point or another, we’re all guilty of falling into one fad or another. A fad is something that quickly blows up but is often short lived because people quickly realize that the quality simply isn’t there. Many brands are in danger of allowing their influencer marketing programs to quickly become a passing fad. [...]

The post Is Your Influencer Marketing Program Not Effective? Here’s Why appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Use Twitter Conversational Ads and Instant Unlock Cards

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Wondering how Twitter’s conversational ads and instant unlock cards work? Want examples of brands using them well? Twitter’s conversational ads and instant unlock cards encourage your audience not only to engage with your ads, but also to share them with their own followers. In this article, you’ll discover how to use Twitter conversational ads and [...]

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