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Thanks to many new and innovative tools for marketers, this Thanksgiving gave marketing professionals an attitude of gratitude. From strategic data to customer interaction, improved tools and smarter business applications made communications easier to navigate in an increasingly complicated marketplace.
We wanted to find out which tools in the tool box were getting the most love this Thanksgiving, so we asked some marketing pros what stood out and made a difference for them this year. In other words, what were they most thankful for?
“A Treasure Chest of Simplified Ways to Communicate with Consumers”
– Philip Saifer, President, Vertical Marketing Network
A strategic and big picture leader of a top 100 integrated marketing agency, Vertical Marketing Network, Phil seemed like a great place to start with the question at hand. “As a marketer with both extensive client-side and agency-side experience, I found myself bored with the lack of new choices to reach and communicate with target consumers through the late 1990s and into the current millennium. But with the power of social media, I felt that my creative juices were again unleashed.” So when asked to cite examples, Phil mentioned a few. “Look at the 24/7 involvement in social media sites from Facebook to Pinterest to Twitter. With the social media publishing tools, marketers are able to schedule out text and image posts without having to be constantly in front of their computers and still ensure that engagement stays high. And on top of that, the ability to target consumers with relevant communications through Facebook Ads, or use hashtags to create specific chatter on Twitter, it’s a great time to be a professional marketer again!”
– Jerry Simmons, Marketing Manager for Metcal Brand at OK International
As a Marketing Manager for a deep B-to-B brand, selling electronic tooling products to a very specific kind of electronics engineer, Jerry’s marketing strategies have become inextricably linked to sales. He remembers the days of buying general print advertising and hoping for the best. But things have changed. “Marketers need to be accountable for everything we spend. If you want to get more funds to do more, you have to document the success of what you’re doing now,” Simmons said.
Those marketing activities have focused on targeted trade shows and online newsletter advertising and he’s grateful that both activities can be easily tracked by Salesforce.com’s Marketing Cloud CRM platform. Metcal’s sales team uses the tool on their iPads or mobile apps as they come across opportunities for sales every day, whether they came from trade shows or online leads. “I most appreciate Salesforce.com because it’s not only an organizational tool, but a way to know exactly how our marketing dollars and sales come together.”
– Mark Weinfeld, Strategic Planning Director, DGWB Advertising
As the strategic leader at OC ad agency, DGWB, Mark’s daily life involves looking at the “big picture” for his clients in several industries including technology, fast food, healthcare and hospitality. So when asked what tool he’s most thankful for this year, it’s no surprise that his answer had to do with an overarching business philosophy he counsels clients to adopt – shared values.
What does shared values mean? Basically, when a business runs itself in a way that demonstrates it values to the greater society at large, it naturally attracts customers who share those same values. This philosophy is the antithesis of Big Data, which uses a scientific approach to analyze consumer values. Weinfeld says he’s grateful that this simple strategy is giving brands a much-needed point of difference. “The idea of shared values melds a business and the consumer it serves into a truly meaningful relationship. When a brand’s values make consumer’s lives better, they respond in kind.”
– Mark Pananciolman, Acura Digital Marketing, American Honda Motor
In Mark’s position at Honda as the Acura Digital Marketing Manager, launching campaigns that involve several cross-departmental managers and agency relationships is his biggest challenge. But this year, he says that challenge has been made less daunting by the cooperation of three distinctly different agencies coming together for several projects, including one of Acura’s biggest product launches. The 2014 Acura MDX campaign “Made for Mankind” was the maiden launch for Acura’s new ad agency, Mullen. And with the ambitious target of an “enlightened, high tech consumer like Mark Zuckerberg,” the digital campaign had to come together flawlessly.
Mullen worked together with Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM) for digital and Media Vest on the project and Mark was more than pleased with the team effort. “I’m grateful that in a year of many changes, our internal social media, digital and traditional marketing teams, along with our agency partners have pulled together to execute some terrific campaigns. The communication and coordinated efforts give me every reason to be optimistic heading into 2014,”
“Two Slick Event Apps”
– Sue Selby, Director of Channel Marketing, Sage North America
At Sage North America, marketing accounting and business software to over 3 million small and medium businesses means either creating or participating in a slew of conferences, symposiums and trade shows to bring them together. Channel Marketing maven, Sue Selby, says these live moments are prime opportunities to turn loose ties with customers into strong ones and every minute of face-time counts. This year, she discovered two tools to help in that effort.
“I just got back from some events in the Caribbean and these new tools made our conference fantastic. EventBrite registration app allowed us to check folks in electronically onsite, then showed us in real time which of our pre-registered customers actually showed up.” Her other discovery was a smartphone app by Qrious that scanned the QR coded name badges to capture data quick. “The beauty of this app was that we had answers for our executives on the spot! The Qrious app listed all of Sage’s events, and when you clicked on the event we were attending, you could scan attendee badges via a bar code for that event for leads, questions, and follow-up. Times have changed from pen and paper check listing. I was in awe!”
What marketing tools are you thankful for this year? We are thankful for you, our readers, and wish you each a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.