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What Marketers Can Learn About Customer Experience From Santa Claus

Augie Ray | December 08, 2016

Santa Claus, in the lexicon of marketers, has an extraordinarily strong brand. The Santa® brand we know today evolved over a century ago thanks to Clemente Clark Moore's poem, Thomas Nast's illustrations, and The New York Sun's famous editorial to Virginia, and it…

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The Content Supply Chain is the Rate Limiter to Digital Marketing Maturity

Jake Sorofman | December 08, 2016

All the energy and investment you commit to automating digital experiences at scale may be for naught if you’ve failed to pay adequate attention to the content supply chain. Why? Because the content supply chain is the rate limiter to digital…

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A Marketer’s TL;DR on Bayes Theorem

Martin Kihn | December 02, 2016

Here is Bayes Theorem itself, in neon: Last time, we dawdled on its greatness and made outrageous claims about Thomas Bayes, 18th century cleric, founding ad tech. Today, we move along. We need to explain what this Bayes Theorem is to…

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What’s the Value in a Prediction?

Mike McGuire | December 02, 2016

Precision in predicting the future -- of anything -- is just not something we humans do particularly well. But we keep trying to perfect it because we hate uncertainty.  (Ask Nate Silver.) This is particularly true at this moment in time…

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Harnessing the Power of Regret

Andrew Frank | December 02, 2016

Join me at the intersection of computer science, economics, and psychology to consider the multilayered concept of regret. It’s a term that highlights the murky boundary between logic and emotion, drawing the interest of marketers and strategists of all stripes who…

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Six Reasons Why Your Positioning and Messaging Probably Isn’t Working

Jake Sorofman | November 29, 2016

I spend a fair amount of time talking to companies about positioning and messaging, which appears to be an endemic challenge for pretty much everyone. This is particularly true for technology vendors, who face the headwinds of the tyranny of words…

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Our Augmented Marketing Reality

Noah Elkin | November 18, 2016

If you've played augmented reality games like Pokémon Go, you've caught a glimpse of the future of commerce. Hint: It's all about immersive experiences.

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Understanding the Modern CMO: A Conversation at The Churchill Club

Jake Sorofman | November 18, 2016

On Wednesday night, I had the chance to moderate a panel discussion at The Churchill Club in Silicon Valley on the future of marketing. Here, I sat down with Karen Walker, CMO of Cisco; Liza Landsman, chief customer officer of Jet.com;…

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The Life-changing Magic of De-cluttering (Your Dashboard)

Christi Eubanks | November 18, 2016

If marketers have one problem it is that we have too much data. The more data we collect about consumers and about our marketing performance, the harder it becomes to tell a cohesive story about what’s going right or wrong, the harder it…

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To Succeed with Data, Become a Skeptic

Lizzy Foo Kune | November 17, 2016

I have a little confession to make: I’m a pariah of my demographic. I love tangible, physical copies of newspapers. We get the New York Times delivered every morning, and it’s guaranteed to arrive prior to 6:30 A.M. This is brilliant…

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What Trump's Looming Customer Experience Challenge Can Teach Marketers

Augie Ray | November 16, 2016

Following Donald Trump's election victory, we have seen the inevitable flood of blog posts suggesting the lessons marketers must learn from his success. While such a newsworthy event provides easy fodder for this sort of speculation, I remain unconvinced there…

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Your Brand Needs a Customer Experience Transformation Before A Digital Transformation

Augie Ray | November 13, 2016

There is no doubt that brands have to adjust to an increasingly digital, mobile and automated world. But for all the focus on "digital transformation" in recent years, many brands still miss the mark, investing in technology and strategies that see…

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There's No Good Marketing Without Good Content Marketing

Noah Elkin | November 10, 2016

All marketing isn't content marketing, but try to envision any successful marketing program that doesn't rely on content. That simple fact puts content marketing in the proverbial catbird seat at the marketing table.

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Content Is Vital, But It Isn't King

Augie Ray | November 07, 2016

Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, he must have signed the "Content is King" Act of 2009 which required the use of this phrase at every marketing conference and on every agency blog. I have not been able to find a record…

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Nailing Your First 100 Days as a Marketing Leader

Chris Ross | November 04, 2016

2006 was a tough time to be a CMO, research by search firm Spencer Stuart reported average time in a CMO position was a ridiculously short 23.2 months. Things have improved since then, despite their newest research showing a slight drop…

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What Is This 'Holy Grail' of Marketing, Anyway?

Martin Kihn | November 01, 2016

"You would think that the digital advertising industry has found religion given all the talk about the legendary 'holy grail' these days." So said AdExchanger back in 2009, and seven years later things haven't changed. We still talk like a bunch…

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Use Dashboards to Move Beyond Messy Data

Lizzy Foo Kune | October 31, 2016

Call me crazy, but every time I hear the phrase, “data wrangling,” I envision a structured table on horseback, complete with a hat and some spurs, throwing around a lasso as it attempts to tie down bits of messy data. (I'll…

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Privacy, Media, and Advertising: A Tough Act to Follow

Andrew Frank | October 31, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016 was so densely packed with news that some of it may have gone unnoticed. On this day the FCC adopted new rules for how ISPs collect and share information, a move that was hailed by privacy advocates…

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Email: The Once and Future Marketing Channel

Noah Elkin | October 26, 2016

Picture a world without email. Your job as a marketer just got infinitely harder. Now relax — it's only a dream.

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The 18th Century Cleric Who Invented Ad Tech

Martin Kihn | October 25, 2016

Brian O'Kelley had a problem. The 25 year-old Princeton grad was parked at a Silicon Alley startup called Right Media, run by two refugees from DoubleClick. This was when digital advertising was young, when people clicked on ads, when dot-coms were…

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CMO Spending is on the Rise (Again!)

Jake Sorofman | October 25, 2016

Every year, Gartner for Marketing Leaders follows the money, reporting on how marketing leaders allocate and prioritize their spending—and, by extension, how they telegraph what really matters. Gartner just published its 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey (subscription required). The first reaction to…

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Mobile Drives Google to Split the Search Index

Mike McGuire | October 21, 2016

The Google Index. You know, the crown jewel of google. The very thing Google uses to represent the information housed in the World Wide Web, connecting consumers to whatever they seek. It’s one of those "black boxes" of the Internet that…

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2016 Holiday Ecommerce Tactics Build on 2015 Successes

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp | October 21, 2016

With the holidays fast approaching, there is no shortage of last minute ecommerce advice to be had. Realistically, if you haven’t planned for it by now, you’re down to last minute, last ditch efforts. And if you are not a retailer,…

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Enable Considered Purchases Through Digital Commerce

Jennifer Polk | October 14, 2016

Whether you sell consumer goods or industrial equipment, digital commerce is forever changing the way your customers plan, prepare and purchase products and services. But companies that sell considered purchases often think their products and services are too complex. Here's why and how you should enable digital commerce for considered purchases.

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On Loyalty Management: Who Is Loyal To Whom?

Adam Sarner | October 13, 2016

I got a letter from my auto insurance company the other day. I opened and read it. It said: "Thank you for being a loyal customer"!  It was a nice card, a bit out of the blue, but a nice acknowledgment…

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Cross-Device Identity: A Data Scientist Speaks

Martin Kihn | October 13, 2016

Trying to determine a person's digital "identity" over time across devices is the mission of the moment. Every ad tech and mar tech platform, as well as data providers and aspirant start-ups, confuse prospects and customers alike with multi-syllabic descriptions of…

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Marketing Lessons from an Italian Unicorn

Chris Ross | October 13, 2016

Filippo Brunelleschi is one of the world’s most influential people that you’ve probably never heard of. His work had nothing short of a profound influence on Renaissance figures like Alberti, Masaccio, Donatello, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Names that may…

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How to Find Your Inner Data Geek

Noah Elkin | October 11, 2016

Like it or not, we live in a data-driven age. With the continued advance of digital business, data will only gain greater prominence. So it's up to all of us to find our inner data geek.

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Driving Data-Driven Insights Into Every Marketing Decision (or How I Came To Love Analytics As an ENFP)

Simon Yates | October 06, 2016

I took my Myers-Briggs test again recently. I first took the test during orientation at my first real job after college almost 25 years ago (gulp!). It told me that I was an extroverted (E), intuitive (N), Feeling (F), and Perceiving…

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Is Your Brand Too Self Involved?

Jake Sorofman | October 06, 2016

When you start with what's at stake for your customer, you earn the right to their attention. But, as marketers, in the service of our daily efforts—under deadline pressure and urgency to move the needle—it's remarkably easy to lose sight of…

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Should You Do Attribution or Mix Modeling, or Both?

Martin Kihn | October 06, 2016

Attribution and marketing mix modeling solutions measure the impact of marketing and media efforts, and suggest ways to improve that impact. Increasingly, marketing leaders use both methods — either in parallel or unified within the same platform — to expand the…

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Simplicity in Reporting: Why Your Marketing Data is Only a Supporting Actor

Lizzy Foo Kune | October 03, 2016

I had a really smart boss at my first marketing gig. As the leader of a nascent digital agency, he was driven, intelligent, and could win over a room in such a way that Don Draper would be envious. My job,…

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It’s About to Get Personal (and Other Shop.org marketing takeaways)

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp | September 30, 2016

Overwhelming. That’s the only word I can use to describe the sheer number of personalization vendors present at Shop.org this week in Dallas. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to attend many sessions – so my impressions are shaped primarily by many meetings…

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Marketing Agency vs. In-house Team: So Many Choices, So Little Time

Anna Maria Virzi | September 30, 2016

"Insourcing and outsourcing decisions are more frequent, more strategic and more complex," reads a Gartner research report, "Understand the elements for agile and effective decision making and strategy refresh." That assessment, which dates back to a decade ago, refers to IT…

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The Tyranny of Orchestration

Noah Elkin | September 29, 2016

Orchestration is the hallmark of multichannel campaign management. Anytime multichannel marketing expands its boundaries, as with the Internet of Things, for example, the number and variety of marketing touchpoints increase, making orchestration more complex but also that much more essential.

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Is Accurate Attribution Even Possible?

Martin Kihn | September 29, 2016

A few years ago, a pair of researchers from Google and Microsoft named Randall Lewis and Justin Rao circulated a depressing paper called "On The Near Impossibility Of Measuring The Returns To Advertising." It reappeared last December in a prestigious journal with "Near…

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Moby Dick Marketing

Chris Ross | September 22, 2016

Herman Melville could have used a more aggressive editor. While Moby Dick, his epic 135 chapter, 600+ page american classic is an icon of modern literature, there are likely more than a few readers who believe he could have reduced the…

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The Internet of Things (IoT) - Should Marketers Care?

Charles Golvin | September 22, 2016

I presented a session titled “How the IoT Will Fit Into Your Marketing Strategy” (playback free but registration required) this past May at Gartner’s Digital Marketing Conference in San Diego (hey, why not join us in San Diego next year?). As…

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Yes, CMOs Will Likely Spend More on Technology than CIOs by 2017

Jake Sorofman | September 20, 2016

By 2017, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs. This now-famous prediction was made several years ago by my former Gartner colleague Laura McLellan. At the time, it was polarizing, to say the least. Depending on who you asked, it…

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How Cross-Device Identity Matching Works (part 2)

Martin Kihn | September 20, 2016

Cross-device identity matching is the way marketers try to map devices and browsers to the same consumer to improve personalization and measurement. in our super-popular Part 1, we got half-way across the bridge by describing one common way this is done.…

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Customer Experience: Marketing's Pull to Balance Its Push

Augie Ray | September 19, 2016

The key to building a healthy brand is to balance marketing's push with its pull. Push strategies drive immediate financial benefit by pressing messages, offers, and products at customers. Customer experience pull strategies build satisfaction, loyalty and word of mouth that…

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Ten Commandments for Social Command Centers

Christi Eubanks | September 16, 2016

Nearly a decade into existence and social marketing is fledgling when it comes to proving business value. Marketers insist that social is important at every stage of the customer journey, particularly during the awareness, conversion and advocacy stages, but rank social…

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Four Patterns and Anti-Patterns of Effective Gartner Briefings

Jake Sorofman | September 15, 2016

Vendor briefings are part of what it means to be a Gartner analyst. They’re an important input into the constellation of data we collect to form insights about vendor and provider categories and ecosystems. We value the time and preparation vendors…

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Four Ways Marketers Can Stop Damaging Their Profession

Augie Ray | September 15, 2016

Marketing has a marketing problem. In 2012, an Adobe study found that advertising/marketing was one of the least valuable professions to society--just 13% of survey respondents ranked it as valuable. In 2015, a 4As study found that only 4% of Americans think…

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Content Marketing World Recap: Accelerating Towards the Slope of Enlightenment

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp | September 14, 2016

A Star Wars theme permeated this year’s Content Marketing World in Cleveland – featuring Mark Hamill and many Yoda quotes for inspiration. That seems appropriate given the sense I got that content marketers are accelerating their journey through the trough of…

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Great Customer Experience Leaders Look Beyond Customer Voice

Jake Sorofman | September 09, 2016

As a strategy, customer experience runs the risk of devolving into the sort of absurdist platitudes that you might expect to find on a cat poster. Put the customer first. Learn to listen. Empathize. All worthy virtues, to be sure, but…

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The Flipside Of Testing And Optimization

Ewan Mcintyre | September 08, 2016

For a man that spends his life talking about digital, I have a pretty deep love for analogue. My house (and garage) are full of long-since outmoded formats - I reverted back to hard copy books a while back, and whilst…

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Use Subscription Models to Keep Customers Coming Back

Jennifer Polk | September 06, 2016

A subscription service isn’t a new concept. This model dates back at least as far as newspaper subscriptions that brought the weekly paper to your doorstep. Recently, a whole new fray of subscription revenue services has sprung up, giving customers the…

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Avoid the Uncanny Valley When Automating Customer Experience Interactions

Augie Ray | September 01, 2016

I wrote some months ago that marketers trying to improve their brands' customer experience can make the mistake of attempting to manufacture emotion rather than evoke it. Emotion is vitally important to build strong customer relationships, but the secret is…

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The Birth of Programmatic Advertising: An Oral History

Martin Kihn | September 01, 2016

No one person invented programmatic advertising, of course. But someone who was among those present at pivotal moments was Joe Zawadzki. The CEO and co-founder of MediaMath, Zawadzki cuts a floppy-haired, colorfully-lensed figure in the ad tech space. A Tesla-piloting Upper West…

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