Marketing Pros Can’t Hide Behind Their Desks Anymore

or, What One Marketer Pondered at the IBM Unica MIS 2011 Conference

Slalom Marketing Solutions Architect Michele Grant

Michele Grant is a Marketing Solutions Architect with Slaloms Atlanta office. She is passionate about creating integrated, multi-channel marketing strategies that take advantage of the latest in marketing automation and resource management technologies.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
- Peter Drucker

We want what we want, when we want it, where we want it. This is the reality of today’s customer. The empowered customer.

But most of the time, we don’t get it, do we? We always have some critique of our customer experience, we always want something a little more, a little different.

As marketers we struggle to understand how to address these needs, even as we, in our customer guise, get it. We’re bound by fences on every side: limits in time, technology, resources, a focus on the tactical rather than the strategic, common misunderstandings over purpose and vision, and an inability to translate between what was, what is, and what is to come.

Sitting in the first general session at the IBM Unica MIS 2011 Conference, I was struck by how much the conference themes seemed to shine a light on these issues. Words like customer-centricity, smarter commerce, and social business bring into focus a need for a change in how we as marketers do what we do. The customer has the advantage over the marketer through Read more of this post

Those DAM CMS, MRM, and other asset management acronyms

…or: “Hey Marketer, save yourself some headaches with an asset management tool”

Slalom Marketing Solutions Architect Michele Grant

Michele Grant is a Marketing Solutions Architect with Slaloms Atlanta office. She is passionate about creating integrated, multi-channel marketing strategies that take advantage of the latest in marketing automation and resource management technologies.

We start with a common problem, one that everyone in marketing has encountered, whether you’re an interactive marketer, brand manager, VP of Marketing, social media intern, or creative director: someone’s upset about collateral.

Maybe it’s an in-store piece with inconsistent product messaging. Maybe it’s an email with an incorrect discount percentage. Or field sales using brochures from two years ago (because they like them better). Or packaging that’s gone off the reservation in terms of adhering to brand standards. Whatever it is, guaranteed someone is upset about it. As well they should be! This marketing and branding stuff is serious business!

So what do you do? You probably have some tools that you use, like branding and style guides, agency onboarding kits, some type of asset repository, and maybe even product or program approved copy decks. And you most likely have some processes. You know who needs to see what, who has approval power, how to kick off a new request for collateral, etc. But you’re still having issues; important people aren’t reviewing messaging before it’s in market, copy, images, colors are inconsistent, deadlines are being pushed and you’re drowning in endless rounds of revisions.

When faced with these challenges, the ensuing discussions invariably bring up the following terms: Digital Read more of this post

Social Media and The End of Everything

Slalom Marketing Solutions Architect Michele Grant

Michele Grant is a Marketing Solutions Architect with Slalom's Atlanta office. She is passionate about creating integrated, multi-channel marketing strategies that take advantage of the latest in marketing automation and resource management technologies.

Email is dead. Direct mail is dead. Texting is dead. TV is dead. Everything but Social Media (and Google) is dead.

That’s the message we’ve been hearing, right? Now that Social Media is an integral part of our lives…and in some cases, the total sum of certain peoples’ lives…nothing else matters.

The argument that Social Media trumps everything, that Social Media eliminates all other channels, all other players, is complete crap.

Take SMS or texting as an example. In December of 2006, ZDNet prognosticated that by 2010, 2.3 trillion text messages per year would be sent worldwide[1].  According to the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), 6.1 trillion text messages were sent in 2010[2]. That’s more than double the 2006 ZDNet prediction. And if that stat isn’t enough to prove that Social Media hasn’t killed texting, try this one: At the close of the 2010 Japan versus Denmark World Cup soccer game, Twitter users were posting 3,283 tweets per second[3]. During that same second, there were approximately 200,000 text messages being sent. Obviously, texting isn’t dead, but holding its own rather well.

And what about that old standby, television advertising? 2011 Super Bowl ad sales, considered one of the biggest indicators of ad spending for the year, were Read more of this post

Finding the Right Contact Frequency for Your Email Program

Slalom Marketing Solutions Architect Michele Grant

Michele Grant is a Marketing Solutions Architect with Slalom's Atlanta office. She is passionate about creating integrated, multi-channel marketing strategies that take advantage of the latest in marketing automation and resource management technologies.

You’re doing your quarterly email review presentation, and inevitably, someone asks, “So, don’t you think we’re mailing too much?”, or, “You said we didn’t have room in the email calendar for my mailing, but I see we didn’t send any email on the third Tuesday of the month; why didn’t you send my email then?”

Contact frequency. It’s a complex issue, and everyone has an opinion. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to a contact frequency policy. Every business is different, with different consumers and different goals, but there is one guiding principle that can help you determine what your contact frequency policy should look like.

Balance.

Balance the goals and objectives of your business, your email program, and even the individual email message, with the needs, desires, and expectations of your recipients.

And don’t limit yourself by creating a global, master, one-policy-to-rule-them-all approach. What’s to say that your contact frequency won’t legitimately vary by program or type of message? Doesn’t most of this messaging–user action triggered, behaviorally targeted, automated messaging–live outside of the current thinking about Read more of this post

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