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Static ROI metrics, meet dynamic marketing situation

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Static ROI metrics, meet dynamic marketing situation

This is the second part of a two-part article. The first part, “Return on investment is missing in action,” can be found here.

Life would be a lot simpler if marketing were a machine. Your marketing budget would produce an expected return on investment, given a fixed input. In real life, calculating ROI on your marketing spend is impossible. Markets are non-linear in nature.

“Markets are subject to the butterfly effect.” wrote Kathleen Schaub, marketing strategist, in her paper “Marketing Is Not a Vending Machine.”

“[The] non-linearity… of complex systems means continual surprises. Small changes, especially early, can have profound effects later. For example, a single tweet in 2021 could initiate a huge deal that closes in 2023. Alternatively, large actions may have little or no effect, as when sales decrease despite a large ad buy. Markets are semi-predictable and therefore can be modeled, but only within the bounds of probability and time.” she wrote.

Schaub, along with Mark Stouse, chairman of Proof Analytics, have been busy tearing down the assumptions surrounding the marketing spend, and rebuilding an alternative method of perceiving its value. Predictability and control are out. Perception and reaction are in.

“This is a huge cultural shift for marketers,” Stouse said. “We’re talking about a profession that has prized orchestration very, very highly. Orchestration is just another word for control. What we are talking about here is learning, being able to see variations over time in the marketplace and shift accordingly.”

You are not the mission control of all that goes on in your marketing, Schaub added, executives have trouble grasping this. “Marketing can influence, nudge and intervene, but cannot control this. And neither does sales.”

Marketing is a complex system, Schaub continued. “You have to differentiate on an individual basis, what is happening with a particular buyer, a particular account, and what is happening at the macro level, where you are talking about how to connect your revenue.” she said. “You will never have the data to predict individual accounts.”

These individual accounts are not additive, like machine parts. “They each have their own, weird journey, some of which follow the trend line perfectly, but many go coloring way outside the lines.” Schaub said.

Connecting the Edge and the Core

There has to be some connection between the people “at the front” (the “Edge”), who have direct, immediate experience with the current market, and the executives higher up (the “Core”) who have the analytics to give them the broad view, but have no clue as to what is happening at the ground level.

General Stanley McCrystal, in his book “Team of Teams”, outlined a similar problem in Iraq, where he had to oversee a joint Special Forces/Intelligence effort to track down al-Qaida terrorists in 2004. Hierarchy, bureaucracy, and information siloes hobbled the effort at first. The solution was to network all information and decentralize decision making, thus turning a large, cumbersome organization into a nimble giant that could act quickly.

The business equivalent of this would be a multi-disciplinary team, consisting of marketing, (event expertise, campaign expertise, content, analytics) and sales. They would work collaboratively, using first-hand information, then tapping a transparent pipeline of data coming from the analytics side, Schaub explained. “The Edge and the Core are having a dialogue as close to real time as they can.”

The obstacle is not technology, but human. “We don’t have people in the right places,” Schaub said. “We haven’t trained people to ask the right questions. We haven’t trained people how to automate.” The notion that marketing can be orchestrated is an idea people have to be weaned off of, she said.

The Edge has to confirm with ground truth the analytics it is receiving from the Core, Stouse pointed out. In a way, this is risk mitigation. Analytics will look at the market with a “projection point of view”, but there will be a time lag. The Edge may have to make a detour around circumstances, thus altering the arrival at the stated goal.

Beating or missing “the number” is not the right question here, Schaub said. “The annual plans for marketing are out of date the minute they are delivered.” Planning is useful for setting goals, but making marketing adhere to a plan made months ago “probably does not make sense,” she said. “Marketing plans never survive the first contact with the customer.”

Read next: How to measure content marketing ROI and ROE


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You can’t ever think about ROI the same way again

So what can marketers do? Changing how you analyze and apply data requires a change of thinking. This is not as crazy as reinventing the wheel as it spins, but it is challenging.

It comes down to “asking the right question, voicing your hypothesis, that creates the model. It also dictates a punch list of the data sets that are required to arm that model, roughly two-thirds of which will be external factors that you don’t control, one-third of which is what you are currently doing,” Stouse said.

The idea that one omnibus model explains all does not work. “It’s a collection of many models, some of which are linked, some of which are not, some of which are standardized and applied to many different markets,” to yield a meta-view, he said.

As the marketer goes down this path, they will learn the “things I don’t know I don’t know”, Stouse continued. “More things will become visible to you as you process these analytics and you will add new factors into the model going forward.” The old and revised models can be run concurrently to understand the variances. You will need at least one data analyst to operate this, Stouse added.

“The analytics will inform you about which things you should really pay attention to, and which things have less value.” Schaub said. “You will know where the big waves are.” An empowered, but accountable, agile team at the Edge will be able to make adjustments on the fly as it reacts to changes in the market. The goal is to spend marketing dollars wisely, not to meet some random plan you set up a year ago, Schaub said. The team is empowered on how and when to make their numbers. 

The agile team does not have to start as a large project. “[S]tart small and complete.” Schub said. The agile team, or “customer value squad”, can sit at the Edge where they are “touching the customer”, coordinating the skills of sales, marketing and product, Schaub said. It may take months, maybe even a year, to get that team to work right. Short-term desire for quarterly results will not work here, but may have to run concurrently while the agile team is being established, free from that metric.

You will also have to create a network for the agile team to tap. “Start opening up channels between groups,” Schaub said. Put in Slack, so people could inform each other. Change here will not be linear. “It will go slow, slow, slow, slow, and then it will take off.” She explained. “Not because of what you are doing, but because what the groups is doing. The group makes that emerge.”

“Start at these small scales. Let it become successful. Build the connections. And it will expand.” Schaub said.

In the end, the mission to change the way people think about marketing requires some illumination to see new concepts clearly. “Once the lights go on, you can’t ever think in the old way again,” Schaub said. “It’s my mission to turn the lights on for people.”


About The Author

William Terdoslavich is a freelance writer with a long background covering information technology. Prior to writing for Martech, he also covered digital marketing for DMN.

A seasoned generalist, William covered employment in the IT industry for Insights.Dice.com, big data for Information Week, and software-as-a-service for SaaSintheEnterprise.com. He also worked as a features editor for Mobile Computing and Communication, as well as feature section editor for CRN, where he had to deal with 20 to 30 different tech topics over the course of an editorial year.

Ironically, it is the human factor that draws William into writing about technology. No matter how much people try to organize and control information, it never quite works out the way they want to.


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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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Salesforce rolls out new edition of Marketing Cloud for small businesses

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Salesforce summer 2023 release: The business executive's guide

Today Salesforce announced Marketing Cloud Growth, an edition of Marketing Cloud designed specifically for small businesses.

With help from AI, this edition makes it easy for marketers to segment audiences, create and execute email campaigns from text to image, optimize campaign performance and create unified customer profiles. It also has a prompt builder that can store and manage known reliable prompts for organizations.

Dig deeper: 70% of SMB marketers willing to pay more for tools with AI or automation

Salesforce developed the new edition by looking at the most common use cases for which small businesses frequenty don’t have the people or resources. This includes things like personalizing campaigns and advanced testing.

The company is also letting small businesses (those with fewer than 200 employees) that have Sales or Service Enterprise Edition “get started with Data Cloud at no cost.” Marketing Cloud Growth will initially be available in the U.S. and Canada and is expected to roll out to Europe, the Middle East and Asia by the end of the year.

Why we care. First of all, small businesses need all the help they can get. This creates an opportunity to start using AI within a centralized marketing workflow rather than importing content from independent generative AI tools. Perhaps it’s also a sign of Salesforce moving to compete with platforms (can we say HubSpot?) that more overtly court SMB clients.

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Launched in 2005, YouTube now stands as the second largest search engine after Google.

Almost 2.7 billion people use YouTube worldwide every month and 87.7% of those users access it on their mobile phones.

Owing to the large number of video content available on the platform, you want to ensure that yours stands out.

To make it happen, you need to master effective content creation tips, use fantastic lighting, and invest in powerful video editing software.

There are tons of editing tools on the market that promise amazing results. 

To help you cut through the noise, I’ve curated a list of the 4 best YouTube video editing software.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s something for you. Keep reading.

1. Movavi Video Editor

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Top on the list is the Movavi Video Editor, one of the best YouTube video editing software for beginners.

It enables you to create compelling videos using advanced tools like audio correction, motion tracking, and chroma key without requiring any technical knowledge.

Additionally, you’ll find several ready-made YouTube intro videos and a large library of background music and audio clips.

Although the user interface is easy to navigate, Movavi still provides video tutorials to make you feel confident while editing.

Movavi runs on Windows (versions 7 to 11) and Mac OS X (10.15 or higher).

Key Features

  • AI background remover: Replaces backgrounds without a green screen
  • AI motion tracker: Sticks effects and images on moving objects
  • Precise frame cuts: Makes cuts with precision and attention-grabbing montages in one click
  • Color correction: Boosts colors so viewers can stay glued to your YouTube channel
  • Overlay effect: Offers 13 blending modes to create professional-looking videos
  • 4k resolution: Saves videos in ultra-high quality form
  • YouTube Integration: Saves you time by sharing videos directly to YouTube

Pricing

Movavi offers a generous free plan and three paid plans with different sets of features. Here are the prices for various plans it offers:

  • Free
  • Video Editor: $49.95/year
  • Video Editor + Effect Packs: $155.95/year
  • Video Suite + Effect Packs: $94.95/year
1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginner/Intermediate

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

If you’re looking for the best YouTube video editing software that can transform a basic clip into a ready-to-upload video, Adobe Premiere Pro is your best bet. 

It integrates with all the apps in Adobe Creative Cloud to help you streamline your workflow.

Adobe Premiere Pro boasts an extensive range of features, from color correction tools and visual effects to collaboration tools for teams. 

Also, you can optimize the export settings to preserve the quality of your YouTube videos when you share them online. 

Although Premiere Pro is popular among professional video editors, follow the video steps for beginners provided on the platform to learn how to use it. All you need is a powerful computer and willingness to study the available tutorials.

The app is compatible with Windows (10 or later) and macOS Monterey (version 12 or later).

Key Features

  • Text-based editing: Removes pauses with ease
  • Project templates: Retains assets, colors, and branding across multiple projects
  • Speech-to-text conversion: Automatically creates captions and transcripts in over 18 languages
  • Auto reframe: Automatically detects and adjusts aspect ratios to easily upload videos to YouTube
  • Adobe stock library: Offers access to stock video footage, photos, and over 75,000 audio tracks and remix the length to fit your video

Pricing

Adobe Premier Pro offers two paid plans. Here are the details:

  • Premiere Pro: $29.99/month
  • Creative Cloud All Apps: $59.99/month
1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate/Advanced

3. Shotcut

1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Available on Linux, Windows, and macOS, Shotcut is a comprehensive YouTube video editing software solution. 

It supports various video and audio files, including AVI, WAV, and MP4.

The video editing software is great for complex projects as it allows you to combine several audio, image, and video files into one video. 

Also, editing on the platform doesn’t follow a chronological order; you can make changes at any point.

Shotcut may not be the best editing tool for new content creators because of the learning curve. 

However, the platform has a video editing guide, including a community of Shotcut users who are willing to assist you.

Key Features

  • Native timeline editing: Supports all video and audio formats, including 4k and 8k resolutions
  • Cross-platform editing: Gives you the option to start a project on macOS and switch to Windows without hassles
  • Video effects: Offers built-in effects like auto-rotate, white balancing, timeline fader, and 360° video filters, without installing any plugins
  • Display and monitoring: Ability to preview videos in low resolution to improve the speed of real-time effects
  • Keyframing: Option to define the start and finish points of effects along the video timeline such as transition, sound, and brightness or contrast

Pricing

 Shotcut is completely free to use as it’s an open-source software solution

Usability

It has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate

4. Lightworks

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If you’re looking to create the best videos in a short time, Lightworks is the way to go. 

It’s the best YouTube video editing software for beginners who are willing to learn video editing as they grow their YouTube channels.

Similar to Shotcut, the platform is loaded with all the tools you need to go from a beginner to a pro.

You can edit, color correct, add titles, and more using the drag-and-drop interface. 

Also, it’s compatible with YouTube video format and resolution for ease of uploading content.

All versions of Lightworks can work on Windows (8 and later), macOS (10.14 and later), and Linux.

Key Features

  • Universal timeline: Accommodates video footage of any quality, size, or frame rate
  • Flawless audio editing: Offers various audio effects and the option to sync with video for an immersive experience
  • Visual effects: Offers a simplified suite of over 700 customizable motion graphics and titles for easy to advanced editing
  • Easy export and share: Allows you to share videos on YouTube directly from the platform

Pricing

Here are the pricing plans offered by Lightworks.

  • Free
  • Create: $9.99/month
  • Pro: $23.99/month
1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced

Pro Tip: According to Attrock guide, the best video maker can offer training resources for non-technical users. This is particularly designed for video marketers who have no high skills in video creation and editing.

Choosing the Best YouTube Video Editing Software

Getting the best YouTube video editing software shouldn’t cost a fortune. 

Platforms like Shotcut and Lightworks offer free tools for both beginners and expert editors.

However, if your YouTube channel is already monetized and you’re willing to spend money on a super-advanced tool, Premiere Pro will be ideal.

Lastly, if you’re ready to level up your video editing game, try Movavi today. You’ll save money while accessing advanced editing features.


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