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How to decide if you need an enterprise email marketing platform

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Email marketing benchmark report shows personalized subject lines under-perform

Deciding whether your company needs an enterprise-level email marketing platform calls for the same evaluative steps involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self-assessment of your organization’s business needs and resources, staffing, management support, and financial resources.

Use the following questions as a guideline to determine the answers.

  1. Do we have the right human resources in place? Employing people to implement and use all the features available in an email marketing platform is a prerequisite to success. This includes design and content creation as well as data analysis and strategy. Typically, email providers accommodate multiple levels of expertise when it comes to building email templates, so you’ll want to ensure your staffing matches the functionality available in a platform. Utilizing the toolsets available within these platforms can help make your marketing staff more efficient and effective.
  2. Does our customer data reside in disconnected silos throughout the organization? Organizational silos between departments such as sales, marketing, procurement or customer support increase the risk that your customer’s experience with the brand is not as targeted or consistent as it should be. An enterprise email marketing platform may help connect these disparate systems to provide a more insightful view of customers.
  3. Do we have customer knowledge gaps that could be filled with trusted second- and third-party data? First-party data, which includes an email address, is the foundation of your brand’s relationship with customers, and becoming more important as third-party data sources like cookies and mobile IDs are phased out by Google and Apple. A unified database that can be appended with data about demographics, locations, financial and other anonymized second- and third-party data can allow you to fill gaps in customer insights. As data collection and matching techniques improve, along with access to cooperative data sources, creating a 360-degree view of customers may make sense.
  4. Are we in compliance with CCPA, GDPR and other data privacy regulations? Consumer data breaches and evidence of misuse continue to make news headlines. As a result, data privacy regulations are on the upswing. Are your organization’s data governance practices in compliance with the EU’s GDPR or the CCPA? Data-driven marketing is a competitive edge in today’s environment but can also escalate the risk of damaging your brand and incurring legal consequences. Many email marketing platforms can ensure compliance with the growing list of regulations and create greater customer trust in your brand.
  5. Do we have C-level buy-in? Since email is such a commonly used medium, those not directly involved may not be aware of the complications involved in large-scale mailing and how a dedicated platform can help businesses meet those challenges. It is critical to educate C-level executives and demonstrate the value of a new email marketing platform by running pilot test projects and agreeing to a definition of success in advance.
  6. Can we invest in staff training? To ensure you’re achieving the greatest possible benefits of a new platform, it is vital to provide ongoing training to technical, design, content and marketing teams and reinforce it on a regular basis. Some tool companies include or offer training for an additional fee, so be sure to ask about this.
  7. To what extent do we need to share data and reports with non-email marketing staff? Some tool providers focus significant resources on unifying data across the enterprise, so teams like customer service and product development can also benefit from a holistic view of the customer. If you plan to take advantage of these capabilities, make sure the integrations, interfaces and reports also meet the needs of stakeholders in other organizational roles.
  8. Have we established KPIs and put a system in place for tracking, measuring, and reporting results? It’s important to know up front what you want your email marketing to achieve. Are you seeking to turn newsletter subscribers into customers, or more frequent customers? Perhaps you’re looking to build brand affinity and nurture recipients through a more long-term purchase cycle. Having specific goals will help you decide if you’re ready to put an enterprise platform to good use, as well as help you decide which tool will best meet your organizational needs.
  9. Do we have realistic expectations? Adopting a new email platform, especially if it differs significantly from the system you’ve been using, can take some time to deliver results. There are likely cultural shifts and workflow processes that will need to be implemented and refined. Setting realistic timelines and goals will help build support at all levels of the enterprise.

Read next: What is email marketing and how are platforms helping brands succeed?


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Everything you need to know about email marketing deliverability that your customers want and that inboxes won’t block. Get MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table.

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About The Author

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Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime

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Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on MarTech.org and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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