WordPress Plugins for Marketers

February 22, 2011

A recent question on the Marketing Over Coffee LinkedIn group about WordPress plugins generated a really great list of tools marketing professionals should consider when running a personal or company blog. To make it easier for everyone I’ve compiled the suggestions from the group into an easy-to-read list (sorted alphabetically). An Excel file is available at the end of the post with all this info.

WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins for Marketers (click to zoom)

Note: Only WordPress.org (the free, host-it-yourself version of WordPress) allows for plugins.

The list is not all inclusive and depending on the focus of your blog you may have to search for that specific plugin elsewhere, but it seems there is an agreement that at minimum you need some kind of SEO and Analytics plugin, and if your blog has enough traffic, a cache plugin is justified. For corporate blogs using a backup plugin is probably a good investment as well and the editorial calendar plugin is a great help for planning content especially coordinating among different team members.

Click to download the WordPress Plugins for Marketers in Excel (XLS) format.

Is there a plugin you simply “must have” or recommend that I have not listed? Let us know!

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Marketing Automation Catching On Fire

February 16, 2011

According to the recent report by Marketing Sherpa, “CMO Perspectives on B2B Marketing Automation” (offered for FREE by Marketo until March 1st), “the majority of CMOs have either implemented, are in the process of implementation, or are at least considering implementation of marketing automation software“.

34%: Our marketing automation software is partially implemented

19%: Our marketing automation software is fully implemented

17%: We have not began implementation but plan to

30%: We have not began implementation and don’t plan to

This is probably good news for the vendors, which are competing in an increasingly crowded market. Some have even suggested that marketing automation market is floundering, but it is such a new market and offering that is innevitable to have doubts, especially with these many vendors in the space. With time, a shake out is likely (in fact, the recent acquisition of Unica and Aprimo may point to consolidation) and the evolution of solutions will ensure marketing automation has a place in most marketing organizations, much like CRM is now standard for sales departments.

A Marketing Automation Timeline

So let’s take a look at the marketing automation companies in play today (mostly US based in this case) and when they were founded. Interesting to note that the majority of the players only came to existence not even 5 years ago. This nascent industry still has lots of growth to do.

Timeline of Marketing Automation Vendors

You may spot some companies that were not considered to be “marketing automation” players just a year or so ago. That points to the evolving nature of the market, and the key functions of lead nurturing, scoring, and automated triggers becoming part of email marketing and other marketing solutions. Marketing Automation Software Guide published a B2B Marketing Automation market map that shows a few other players I ignored for the timeline above, like SAP and Oracle because although they do have marketing automation capabilities it is not their core business (and I don’t agree with tagging Salesforce.com as a marketing automation solution).

Investment in Marketing Automation

Another interesting factor to consider in the marketing automation industry and why it seems to be catching on fire is the money that is flowing towards some of the key players. Just a few marketing automation companies have already raised over $170 million dollars combined. Whether they will all be around a couple years from now is still to be seen, but it does make for a highly competitive environment. With cash to burn, these companies are focusing on growing the customer base first, with hopes that revenue will follow.

Total invested in Marketing Automation vendors

The marketing automation infographic above (click to enlarge) shows the top players in the MA space that have raised over $1 million dollars. Also interesting to note that if you break down the fundraising of each of the above vendors into a timeline (like I did below), most of the investment has been made in the past couple years.

Marketing automation funding timeline

You may have to click to enlarge the funding timeline infographic above.

Note: I used publicly available data and wasn’t able to find Eloqua’s Series A, so I deducted based on valuation of their second round.

The Marketing Automation Market

The Marketing Automation market is at an interesting stage. Companies are fighting for customers, trying to educate the market, and we may be seeing the beginnings of consolidation. Based on the investment figures above it seems is catching on fire, but at the same time there’s fierce rivalry and still a lot of room to improve… what will happen? I don’t know but it promises to be really interesting!

What do you think ?

P.S. Let me know if I missed any MA company in the graphics above or if I got incorrect data. I’d be happy to fix the infographics for benefit of everyone.


The Science of Email Marketing

February 10, 2011

I just attended “The Science of Email Marketing” online webinar, hosted by HubSpot and presented by social media scientist Dan Zarrella.

Slides should be available for download soon here.

Key takeaways:

  1. Businesses are consumers (the boundaries between B2C and B2B are blurred when it comes to reading email)
  2. Try sending emails on weekends
  3. Send very early in the morning
  4. Optimize for mobile
  5. Use lots of links
  6. Include reference information in your emails
  7. Serialize and label your emails
  8. Give your subscribers special access
  9. Send email from someone they’ve heard of
  10. Don’t be afraid to send too much email
  11. Your newest subscribers are your best
  12. Make them want to get your emails
  13. Ask people to follow you

The presentation was based on data collected via focus groups and from MailChimp’s email database of over 9.5 billion emails sent.

I like Dan’s presentation for its brevity and focus on key action items based on solid data. What I wish he had shared is how the data from focus groups and MailChimp is broken down. How many B2B vs. B2C companies, industries, and even job titles. It’s easy to say that B2B and B2C email patterns are similar, but without seeing the data underlying that assumption I’m very skeptic. Also, MailChimp is now known to be used by large corporations (they focus on SMB market) therefore the data may not take into account larger organizations.

As with all analysis and reports out there, you have to take all of the recommendations with a grain of salt. Test them, see if they work, then be the judge. No one knows your industry and customers better than you.


Making the Most of Your Webinars

February 7, 2011

A recent report from On24, “Webcast Benchmarks and Best Practices for Lead Generation“,  has some interesting numbers when it comes to how webinars are being used and their effectiveness at lead generation. Take for instance the following:

  • The average webcasts captures 441 registrants
  • Attendee participation is usually 50-60% of registrations
  • 15-30% of registrants are sales-qualified opportunities

The numbers above should be enough for you to go back to your own metrics and see how you compare. Sure, depending on your industry the numbers might be skewed but at least you have a benchmark and something to show (or not!) senior management when your results are being questioned.

The report goes a bit further and also tells us that 52% of all registrations occur within 10 days before a scheduled webinar and 15% registering on the day of the webcast. In my experience this is accurate, and sometimes during the day (or the day before) of the event tends to bring an increasing number of new registrations. We are all procrastinators it seems when it comes to registering for online events.

What’s the ROI of webcasting?

According to the survey webcasts have a $22.60 cost per registrant for those with an average of 441 registrants and $39 per participant if the average is 256 participants. I personally think these numbers are high, but it depends heavily on the webinar platform you’re using. On24 is not the lowest priced one on the market (Adobe Connect, WebEx, and GoToWebinar all charge less for webinars), but this should be easy enough for you to calculate for your specific situation. Oh, but note that the cost involves “audience generation programs, to produce and promote a webcast”, so you have to add your email marketing costs (again, different platforms will charge differently) and any additional method you typically use to get people to register and attend.

I encourage you to download the FREE report from On24 and check out some additional nuggets that can help you evaluation your own webcasting program.


Upcoming Marketing Conferences

February 3, 2011

It’s February already and you keep thinking “what the heck happened to January”? You’re note alone. A few good events have come and gone, like the Digital Marketing Forum, MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Summit, and the Email Evolution Conference and I completely missed them.

Sure, budget is short and you can’t attend every single event, but is good to know what’s coming up so that you can prepare yourself and pick the ones you should go. Also, the earlier you register usually the better deal you can get. So here you go, this is the list of marketing events and marketing conferences coming up (US only) for the first half of 2011. Check them out, pick a couple and start planning!

Upcoming marketing conferences

==February==

Online Marketing Summit
February 7-11
San Diego, CA
Link: http://www.onlinemarketingsummit.com/

Social Media Strategies Summit
February 8-10San Francisco, CA
Link: http://socialmediastrategiessummit.com/

Frost & Sullivan Marketing World
February 8-11
New Orleans, LA
Link: http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/summits-details.pag?eventid=200426011

Social Media Camp
February 9New York, NY
Link: http://socialmediacampny.com/

Social Media Masters
February 11San Diego, CA
Link: http://socialmediamasters.com/

Content Marketing Strategies Conference
February 16-17
Berkeley, CA
Link: http://contentmarketingstrategies-mashable.eventbrite.com/

Social Fresh Tampa
February 21-22
Tampa, FL
Link: http://socialfresh.com/tampa/

DMA Mobile Marketing Day
February 22
New York, NY
Link: http://www.the-dma.org/councilevents/mobileday/

==March==

Marketing Research Executive Forum
March 6-8
Atlanta, GA
Link: http://www.marketingpower.com/Calendar/Pages/default.aspx

Search Marketing Expo
March 8-10
San Jose, CA
Link: http://searchmarketingexpo.com/

Conversion Conference
March 14-15
San Francisco, CA
Link: http://conversionconference.com/west/home.html

Search Engine Strategies
March 21-15
New York, NY
Link: http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/newyork/

==April==

Forrester Marketing Forum
April 5-6
San Francisco, CA
Link: http://www.forrester.com/events/eventdetail/0,9179,2511,00.html

AdTech
April 11-13
San Francisco, CA
Link: http://www.ad-tech.com/sf/adtech_san_francisco.aspx

The Power of eMarketing Conference
April 19-20
San Francisco, CA
Link: http://www.emarketingassociation.com/2011/SF/index.html

Mobile Marketing Strategies Summit
April 26-28San Francisco, CA
Link: http://mobilemarketingstrategiessummit.com/

==May==

Marketing Innovation Summit
May 2-5
Boston, MA
Link: http://www.mis2011.com/Boston/Home

Sirius Decisions Summit
May 4-6
Scottsdale, AZ
Link: http://www.siriusdecisions.com/live/home/document.php?dA=ConfAnnSummit2011

Event Marketing Summit
May 16-18
Chicago, IL
Link: http://emsummit.eventmarketer.com/

==June==

International BMA Conference
June 1-3
Chicago, IL
Link: http://www.marketing.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=5288

MarketingProfs B2B Forum
June 13-15
Boston, MA
Link: TBD

==

And the following are some of the marketing conferences I’ll keep watch and decide as we get closer.

MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit Boston
09/26-27
Boston, MA

MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit SF
10/24-25
San Francisco, CA

Dreamforce 2011
August 30-Sept 2
San Francisco, CA

BlogWorld Expo
October 14-16
Las Vegas, NV

Conferences abound, but they are a great way to learn new things, network, and more importantly get out of the office and focus for a couple days.

P.S.: I’ll be presenting at the upcoming The Power of eMarketing Conference, so if you plan on going to that one let me know so we can meetup.

Did I forget a conference? Let me know and I’ll update the list.


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