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Good morning, Marketers, and what in-person keynote most surprised you?
With Adobe Summit (virtual) coming up April 27-29, I just took a look at the speaker roster. Serena Williams would seem to be top of the bill, followed by Dan Levy of “Schitt’s Creek” fame. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, stands out this year more than he usually would. And there’s the analyst Ray Wang, who I seemed to run into at every other conference back in real-world days.
This had me thinking about the best keynotes and firesides I saw pre-2020. My two favorite vendor speakers have been Adam Blitzer of Salesforce and Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot, either of whom could switch to a career in comedy. The most quietly impressive? Former SAP CEO Bill McDermott. Celebrities? Magic Johnson is an astonishing speaker.
But the one which really sticks in my mind is Tommy Caldwell. He’s a rock climber, and he was billed as an inspirational speaker (he wasn’t talking about marketing). The stories from the climbs were nerve-wracking enough, but when he described being taken hostage in Kyrgyzstan — and how he escaped — the whole room was holding its breath.
Adopt a “Definition of Done”
“Are we done with the work? Are we really done? What else needs to happen? Who else needs to approve it?”
If you’re hearing a lot of this type of talk from your agile marketing team, it may be time to consider adopting a formal Definition of Done (DoD), a practice that comes directly from the Scrum framework.
In agile marketing, work is broken down into bite-size pieces or stories, and DoD applies to each and every one of them, not just at the end of a project or campaign. The goal in agile is for the team to quickly move committed work to done, and in Scrum, each story must be done within the sprint time box.
DoD is a living, breathing document created by the team and for the team, not by a manager or single team member. This is because everyone on the team needs to understand and feel like the DoD is reasonable and achievable.
Ironically, the team’s DoD is never really done! The team should review it quarterly to see if they can improve how they are working to keep that balance of speed and quality in check.
To get started, find a time where all team members can be available. If you have a Scrum Master on your team, that person should facilitate a working session. Begin with thinking about what has to happen to be done with all types of work and what can easily be attainable by the team for every story.
SEO Platforms evolve to meet marketers’ needs as SERPs and ranking factors change
Search Engine Optimization remains the stalwart mainstay of digital marketing, with search driving around 50% of website traffic on average, according to an analysis of SimilarWeb data by Growth Badger. The average top blog, the company found, “gets 66.47% of its traffic from search, of which 99.77% is organic and only 0.23% is paid.”
But the practice of SEO has become more complex and it involves more considerations than SEOs enjoyed in the “ten blue links” era. Today, SEO includes everything from content marketing and distribution to user experience, and even the core job of gathering and interpreting search intelligence has become more challenging as the search engines continually change their display of results and port them over to other media like voice assistants.
This doesn’t mean that the well-established SEO best practices should be cast aside, however. Keyword research, page-level analysis, backlink tracking and acquisition, and rank tracking are still of critical importance, even as the environment continues to change.
Business execs craving social data, The Harris Poll finds
A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll, and commissioned by social media listening platform Sprout Social, gives an idea of the extent to which social media is cementing its place at the center of marketing strategies and consumer engagement. Marketers realize the stakes by how high they rank social media and data within their priorities, and the data on consumer behavior and attitude shows why. Here are some of the most significant data points from the survey:
- 85% of executives report that social data will be a primary source of business intelligence for their company moving forward;
- 91% of executives anticipate their company’s social media marketing budget will increase over the next three years, and the majority expect it will increase by more than 50%;
- 78% of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand and 77% will choose a brand over a competitor after a positive experience with a brand on social media;
- Social media is the #1 preferred way for consumers to learn about brands — even ahead of TV, email and print advertising;
- The majority of Americans (54%) increased their use of social media over the past year, with Gen Z (65%) and Millennials (63%) driving the greatest surge in usage and
- 62% of consumers believe businesses that don’t have a strong social presence will not succeed in the long run, yet fewer than half of executives describe their current social media strategy as “very effective.”
Why we care. This isn’t just about competitive posturing and building awareness on social media platforms (or putting out public relations-related fires). Instead, to leverage the increase in consumers’ time and attention on social, brands will have to use social listening and other tools to build predictive models, especially for new customers not included in the brand’s first-party data stores. The most important stat on consumer behavior from this survey is that consumers find social media presence as the number one source of information about a brand, and a top indicator of brand success. How does this factor affect a brand’s search strategy?
Alternative identifiers to replace third-party cookies
Here’s a story that has been developing week by week, and we happen to know there are some further events just around the corner. If you haven’t been following along, here’s a chance to catch up.
Why we care. This is a story of critical importance to digital marketing. With Google Chrome becoming the last major browser to deprecate third-party cookies, addressability is at risk on the open internet. Will advertisers and publishers have enough confidence in alternative, first-party-based identifiers, or will the walled gardens — and with FLoC, Chrome will become another walled garden — carry the day?
Experian expands partnership with InfoSum
Global information services company Experian announces an expanded relationship with InfoSum, a leading platform for customer data collaboration. Last month, InfoSum also began a partnership with adtech platform Amobee, lending identity verification to cross-screen campaigns. With the new relationship, marketers can access Experian audience data on U.S. consumers through InfoSum, and also leverage insights to deliver relevant messaging across channels.
Experian’s President of Marketing Services and Data Quality, Genevieve Juillard, spells out the value to marketers in the recent announcement: “As third-party cookies become unavailable, marketers are searching for alternatives to identify customers across devices and learn more about their interests and behaviors.”
Through this partnership, marketers leverage InfoSum’s decentralized identity infrastructure to collaborate across first-party data sources and then can use the layer of insights stemming from Experian’s data on demographic and lifestyle information.
Why we care. Privacy is the name of the game, and this is another example of how privacy-compliant entities are forging a path into the post-cookie future. Tech solutions like this one help marketers continue to engage their audiences in omnichannel campaigns, in an ecosystem that includes many screens and many devices with no standardized identification.
Quote of the day
“The channels you exploit today and the needs of your customers will change dynamically tomorrow.” Cyril Coste, founder and CDO, Digital and Growth
About The Author
Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.
He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.
Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.