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5 Signs You’re Living in the DAM Stone Age

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11 B2B Content Ideas to Fuel your Marketing (with Examples)

You’d laugh out loud if a colleague asked for a floppy disk with the latest creative files.

You might even chuckle if they requested a USB storage device.

But what if they asked for a link to the Google Drive or Dropbox folder?

Those living in the DAM Stone Age might not skip a beat, but enlightened marketers (who know a better way) would likely shake their heads in disappointment.

Digital asset management (DAM) is an evolving solution to help teams store, organize, and share content (images, PDFs, illustrations, articles, video files, and audio clips) in a single centralized location.

Basic solutions (like Google or Dropbox) let you stow content in folders and share it via links, but that’s just a tiny step up from storing your work in a file cabinet and giving your teammate the key. However, that’s how most organizations currently store their digital assets.

DAM platforms are a game-changer for businesses, but close to half of organizations haven’t tapped into the full power of DAM yet despite 55% of digital asset managers citing “organizing digital assets” as a top challenge.

Let us help.

Below, we’ll break down 5 different signs you’re living in the DAM Stone Age. If you recognize any of these issues (even a single one), there’s a good chance you need to ditch your current storage solution and upgrade to a modern-day integrated DAM platform.

Signs You Needed DAM Yesterday

1. The question “Can you send me the latest X?” gives you nightmares.

Stopping your work to find and share a file kills productivity. The American Psychological Association says that even a brief mental distraction (caused by shifting between tasks) can waste up to 40% of someone’s creative time.

Imagine how much that’d cost if you attached a 40% value sign to your team’s work. And that doesn’t even take into account the time you’re spending scouring your folders for the right file. 

Scattered storage locations, varied asset-sharing methods, inconsistent naming and saving conventions, and lack of advanced search functionality can all lead to this massive time suck. Fortunately, a DAM solution solves it pretty quickly.

DAM platforms provide you with a single source of truth with all the most up-to-date assets across teams, markets, and/or LOBs. Anyone with the right credentials can browse, download, and use what they need without distracting you or your team.

Plus, with the right system in place, it’ll be just as easy to find what they need as it is for you, empowering everyone involved to self-serve.

Pro-Tip 

Choose a DAM with support for a wide variety of file types, and simple ‘drag-and-drop’ and ‘multi-selection’ tools that allow users to add and categorize up to 200 assets in bulk, simultaneously improving organization while saving time. Use Labels (e.g. file names, format type, and other descriptive categories) and nested Folders to group similar content and accelerate content discovery when searching and filtering across single or shared global/local instances.

2. You’d rather buy or produce new content than repurpose existing assets.

Have you ever opened a content repository to find tons of duplicate assets and seemingly illogical naming conventions? That’s what happens when your living organization system turns into an over-bloated archive.

Tracking down the right person to answer your questions or help you find an asset can sometimes take longer than creating a brand-new piece of content. If you’d rather spend hours buying or producing a new piece of content rather than chasing down an existing asset, your asset management system needs an upgrade.

A DAM solution has advanced search functions and centralized asset archives that make it quick and easy to find what you need—saving you time and money.

Pro-Tip 

Choose a DAM powered by AI & OCR (Optical Character Recognition) search. Machine-learning algorithms automatically apply tags to uploaded images, making it easy to filter, discover and ultimately reuse assets within the Library. Cutting-edge DAM platforms even enable duplicate asset recognition, an AI-powered feature that scans your assets to discover if any duplicates exist (and this goes beyond just the file name).

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3. Your current DAM solution is totally isolated from your other MarTech systems.

You have enough usernames and passwords to manage already, right?

Even LastPass can’t prevent you from having to use multiple logins to access your assets, content management system (CMS), and creative software.

Archaic digital storage systems don’t play well with other applications. There are little-to-no integrations, and if an integration does exist, it’s far from out-of-the-box. This leads to many disconnected systems and time-wasting (and mistake-ridden) copy/paste processes.

Integrated DAM systems do much more than organize your assets—they empower you to use your assets without leaving the application. Whether you’re adding an illustration to a blog post, changing a logo on your website, publishing a video to YouTube, or adding a hero image to your email, a DAM solution lets you do it all from a single tab—not 17.

You want a DAM platform that’ll integrate with all your favorite applications, like Adobe Creative Cloud, WordPress, Highspot, Office 365, Marketo, Salesforce, and more. If it doesn’t, you’ll be back to creating complicated IFTTT (If This Then That) recipes to piece together your puzzle of applications.

Pro-Tip

Choose a DAM that enables bi-directional synchronization of assets and metadata with other systems of your choice. This is made possible by pre-built connectors that allow you to access DAM assets in real-time within tools that you use daily. Maximize utilization and improve productivity by downloading, editing, or initiating a new task/workflow directly from the Library.

5 Signs Youre Living in the DAM Stone

4. You are never entirely sure who has access to your assets.

Digital security has never been more important. If you don’t know who can (and can’t) access your assets, security will always be compromised.

Some assets aren’t ready for the public’s eyes and others require signed NDAs for viewing. Any publicly-traded company knows the sensitivity of digital assets. The right document in the wrong hands (even accidentally) can lead to illegal insider trading—and that’s just the beginning of civil and criminal fines and charges.

On a more toned-down note (although still important), imagine your content team accessing and using a new brand design that hasn’t been reviewed and approved yet. Access to digital assets should be limited and controlled for the sake of all involved.

DAM systems’ governance lets you define user permissions and rights, ensuring the wrong people don’t stumble upon assets. These platforms also perform regular security checks and data backups. You can even see who viewed and downloaded an asset, when they accessed it, and how they used it—ensuring assets get used timely and appropriately. 

Pro-Tip 

Choose a DAM that enables you to monitor the use of content across all teams, lines of business, and markets. By tracking the lineage and history of marketing assets, you can see a clear picture of who is repurposing what content and when. Additionally, look for functionality to designate an expiration date for individual assets using a simple “date picker”. Consequently, you can filter for assets that are about to expire and/or receive email and in-app notifications so you can take the appropriate action.

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5. You struggle with brand consistency.

Do you have multiple logos from the past few years floating around the digital world? Have you seen inconsistent product descriptions or taglines used across your website?

Sounds like you have a problem with brand consistency.

While these might sound like minor nuisances and easy fixes, they can take a real toll on your company’s brand reputation. However, getting everyone on the same page isn’t quite as simple as sending a @here Slack message or all-company email—getting 100% message consumption is nearly impossible. 

Instead of communicating every brand change with your entire company, a DAM system lets you update your accessible brand assets (logos, fonts, colors, b-roll, etc.) in a centralized location, so everyone gets the update. Archive the old branding options and voilà—your teams should only have access to the most up-to-date assets now.

Because DAM platforms let you edit and publish straight from the application (see sign #3), you don’t have to worry about people downloading and using outdated assets onto their hard drives that could damage your brand reputation.

Pro-Tip

Choose a DAM that lets you upload and maintain multiple versions with history to see all previous iterations of an uploaded asset for cross-market sharing, translation, and localization. Curate a collection of assets to share and distribute (internally or externally) through a public link, and/or embed your Collection as an iFrame in the places your stakeholders need to access content (e.g. SFDC, partner portal, intranet, etc.).

5 Signs Youre Living in the DAM Stone

Conclusion

Do you recognize any of the signs resonating with your or your company? Don’t worry—you’re not alone. While DAM isn’t necessarily a new tool, it still lacks global adoption.

Fortunately, replacing your primitive storage systems with a DAM solution isn’t as daunting as it sounds—and the sooner you make the change, the easier the transition will be. 

Give Welcome a try. We provide a state-of-the-art DAM system that’s comprehensive, flexible, and downright powerful. It also includes content marketing, project management, calendaring, creative services, performance analytics, and more.

 

5 Signs Youre Living in the DAM Stone Age


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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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