May 18th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

Although brands may be tempted to inject attitude into their social media posts, customers prefer that they stick to more conventional customer engagement efforts, according to a study from Sprout Social. Only a third of customers found snarky brand personas appealing, while 88 percent and 67 percent respectively reported being annoyed when brands make fun of followers or competitors. Furthermore, seven in 10 consumers found it annoying when brands took part in political conversations, and just 36 percent said that being humorous would make them more likely to buy from a brand.

The report also identified a number of social media behaviors that attract consumers. Overall, consumers like to see a variety of formats for social content, with 83 percent saying that videos are appealing and 60 percent saying the same for GIFs. Additionally, brands with younger audiences have more leeway when it comes to showing personality on Instagram: the study found that millennials want to see brand personality on Instagram 75 percent in comparison to other age groups.

“With all the praise and media attention given to daring social brands, it can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon,” Scott Brandt, CMO of Sprout Social, said in a statement. “However, developing a brand personality needs to be a thoughtful and tailored process that starts with truly understanding who your audience is and what they’re looking for. When a majority of your consumers would rather see you be helpful than funny, craft your content accordingly. ”

May 11th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

75 percent of marketers are concerned about a lack of data transparency in programmatic advertising, according to a survey conducted by research firm Industry Index on behalf of Metamarkets. Additionally, 41 percent of respondents reported that they would not significantly increase their programmatic budgets until data transparency is improved.

The study yielded a number of other insights regarding marketers’ demands for increased transparency in the programmatic space. 32 percent of marketers cited “a lack of transparency” as the largest factor inhibiting the future growth and scale of programmatic marketing, while 16 percent said that they distrust at least 30 percent of their data. Additionally, 74 percent said that they would increase their spend in programmatic advertising by at least 11 percent if they had access to more transparent data. Furthermore, 73 percent agreed or strongly agreed that a unified set of transparency standards would motivate them to shift their budgets toward more transparent vendors.

“These results show that marketers realize greater transparency drives better performance, and they’re willing to back up that belief with their checkbooks,” Mike Driscoll, CEO at Metamarkets, said in a statement.  “This reinforces a trend that our clients, some of the world’s largest media marketplaces, have witnessed: greater transparency leads to higher marketing spend.”

May 8th, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that customers will make a concerted effort to show their appreciation this Mother’s Day. In its 14th annual survey, conducted by Proper Insights & Analytics, the organization found that total spending on the holiday is expected to reach a record-setting $23.6 billion, up $2.5 billion from last year.

“With spring in full bloom, many Americans are looking forward to splurging on their mothers this Mother’s Day,” Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the NRF, said in a statement. “Retailers will be ready with a wide range of gift options and a variety of promotions for their customers.”

85 percent of the 7,406 consumers surveyed said they would celebrate the holiday, and each individual shopper will shell out $189.39, compared to $172.22 in 2016.

Of the billions spent, the survey found that $5 billion will go to jewelry, $4.2 billion to special outings to restaurants, $2.6 billion to flowers, $2.5 billion to gift cards, $2.1 to clothing, $2 billion to consumer electronics, and $1.9 billion to personal services.

And, according to the findings, customers will still head to physical stores to get their gifts. 35% of buyers said they would go to to department stores, while 31 percent will go to specialty stores for flowers, jewelry, and electronics. 2 percent said they would go to a local small business. However, 30 percent will shop online, which is up 3 percentage points from last year.


May 4th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

“Power words” can help mobile marketers improve app engagement, according to a report from mobile marketing platform Leanplum. Because of the space constraints of mobile push notifications, marketers need to make every word count. More than 2.6 billion push notifications were analyzed for the report, which identifies words that are highly effective at generating greater mobile engagement.

The report groups these words into four key themes. The first group represents urgency, as time-sensitive notifications can deepen a user’s urge to interact with an app. Words associated with this group include “alert,” “breaking,” “critical,” “deadline,” and “reminder.” The second group represents exclusivity, as users tend to appreciate rewards for unique offers. This group includes words such as “accepted,” “eligible,” “invitation,” “member,” and “spotlight.” The third group is emotive, as words that spark feelings can pique a user’s interest. Words associated with this group include “believe,” “dream,” “indulge,” “memories,” and “surprise.” Finally, the fourth group represents value, as discounts and savings can bring shoppers back. This group includes words such as “bargains,” “buy,” “cash,” “deals,” and “offers.”

“We are making it easier for marketers to move past the generic blast approach and to treat each user as an individual,” Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder and CEO at Leanplum, said in a statement. “This research illustrates which specific words resonate with app users on an emotional level, a requirement for creating meaningful connections. Including these words in your push notification campaigns can lead to more engagement, retention, and revenue.”

May 1st, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

Research from Clari, a provider of predictive sales technologies, indicates that salespeople are failing to close deals at alarming rates. In a February survey of roughly 300 sales professionals, the company found that half of all reps in 50% of the organizations polled failed to meet their quotas last year; 42% of respondents said that rep productivity is their biggest hurdle.

According to Craig Rosenberg, chief analyst at research and advisory firm TOPO, the two problems are closely related: “The consequence of reps not dedicating time to the right opportunities is a crisis in sales achievement, evidenced by the fact that so many sales organizations fail to meet the 70 percent quota mark — the benchmark of an effective sales organization,” Rosenberg said in a statement.  

The greatest challenges for these companies, Clari  holds, are “broken” opportunity-to-close (OTC) processes–the part that spans from the time the lead is identified to the moment when they sign a contract.

The research shows that managers are having trouble assessing the status of their pipelines. 70% or those surveyed they had to look outside of their CRM systems to get a better understanding of their deal status. A result is that that many deals are slipping–80% of respondents said that more than 10 percent of committed deals fell outside of quarter.

Inaccurate forecasting is also a major issue. Only 7% of respondents called their forecasting process “very efficient,” and an overwhelming 93% of executives report being unable to forecast revenue within 5 percent, even in the two weeks preceding the end of the quarter.

“Forecasting is more than a mathematical exercise,” Dana Therrien, research director of sales operations strategies at SiriusDecisions, said in a statement. “Sales people need tools that will facilitate a smooth process while providing the necessary analytics. Working smarter means relying on predictive intelligence to identify those opportunities with a statistically proven higher probability to close which will ultimately drive higher accuracy into their forecasting process.” 


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