The proliferation of digital channels and devices has made it more difficult for B2B marketers to accurately target prospects with the right messages, on the right devices, at the right times. Prospects are managing more of the buying process themselves, creating decision short lists by researching brand websites and social channels without ever speaking to a sales rep. To be effective, B2B marketers must be creative, targeted and aligned with sales goals; they must also have greater visibility into buyer attributes and behaviors.
Faced with these challenging market dynamics and increasing ROI pressure, B2B marketers at companies of all sizes can gain these benefits from a marketing automation platform:
- Increased marketing efficiency. Automating time-consuming, manual tasks around content creation, management and personalization; campaign scheduling and execution; data hygiene; communication with sales; and lead nurturing saves time and improves productivity.
- Enhanced ability to generate more and better qualified leads. Marketing automation can combine multiple criteria, including demographic, firmographic and behavioral data with a lead scoring system to generate and identify sales-qualified leads.
- A multichannel view of prospect behavior. Today’s marketing automation platforms are integrating multiple channels and devices including social media and mobile — to create more comprehensive prospect profiles and holistic views of prospect behavior.
- Better alignment of sales and marketing goals. Marketing automation software can help align sales and marketing efforts to ensure that sales reps are working with sales-ready leads. By working cooperatively to set scoring parameters and define qualified leads, sales and marketing become one team.
- Improved lead conversion and ROI. Numerous studies have found that using a marketing automation system can increase conversions. Forrester found that B2B marketers implementing marketing automation experience a 10% increase in their sales-pipeline contribution.
If you’re considering a marketing automation platform, this report can help you decide if you need one. “B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for marketing automation platforms and the considerations involved in implementing this software into your business.
Included in this 48-page report are profiles of 14 leading marketing automation vendors, pricing charts, capabilities comparisons and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.
Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download your copy.
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What you need to know from Google Marketing Live
Here’s everything marketers and advertisers need to know from yesterday’s Google Marketing Live 2022.
Performance Max upgrades. Google is helping more advertisers try their most automated campaign type, Performance Max. These enhancements include:
- In-store goals
- Burst campaigns for seasonal foot traffic
- ‘Experiment tools’ to help test potential lift
- More insights
- Support for Search 360 and the Google Ads app
- Optimization score recommendations
- Read more: 6 updates coming to Google Performance Max campaigns
Shorts are limited to one minute in length and advertisers may want to tighten up and hone in creative, given the timeframe. This will be rolling out now to advertisers globally, so make sure to measure results and annotate accordingly.
Swipable shopping ads in search. A big, bold new ad display pairs organic shopping results with shopping ads for a highly visual shopping experience. This is for apparel brands only and will be available through Search and Performance Max campaigns.
Product feeds for a shoppable YouTube experience. Later this year, advertisers will have the ability to connect product feeds to campaigns to create shoppable video ads on YouTube Shorts. Google said they have been experimenting with ads in YouTube Shorts since last year and are now slowing rolling out to advertisers across the globe.
Google said this is a “key step on our road to developing a long-term Shorts monetization solution for our creators, which we’ll share more about soon.” Beyond that, no additional context on this interesting marriage of the feed and Shorts was provided.
Coming soon to search results: 3D models of products. According to Google, “Augmented reality (AR) on cameras gets us close, and shoppers are ready for it. More than 90% of Americans currently use, or would consider using, AR for shopping.”
Merchants will “soon” have the ability to have 3D models of their products appear directly within the search engine results pages. No additional details on the program have been released.
Insights page updates. The Insights page is getting a major overhaul, with a focus on attribution and first-party data.
A new attribution section will show advertisers a better view of what drove conversions within accounts.
This will also recommend a better attribution model if Google detects it can provide a better view on conversions.
The last new insight is the support of first-party data. The insights page will help advertisers view which customer lists are driving performance for campaigns – with privacy at the forefront.
According to Google, new budget insights may help to identify opportunities to optimize ad spends. This feature will show how spend is pacing against performance.
The implementation and rollout will be interesting to observe, but much like Google’s recommendations, this should only be one piece of the decision-making puzzle.
Loyalty program ads integration. Advertisers using Performance Max along with a product feed will be able to drive more loyalty sign-ups across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps, Google announced.
While this sounds interesting on paper, there will be a lot to unpack in the execution of this program. Advertisers with shopping feeds generally look to drive revenue from ads, not sign-ups.
The details are fuzzy at this point, but Google said more updates are coming in the second half of 2022. This is slated for the U.S. only.
Video ads in Discover
A big addition for video advertisers is the announcement of video ads showing directly in Discover. This is a great fit as Discover currently features many videos in the feed currently.
Discover ads work well with bold, eye catching images currently and video should be no different.
Google Audiences for Connected TVs. Advertisers will soon be able to use connected TV campaigns to target viewers across YouTube and “most” other connected TV apps. This exciting new development will bring affinity, in-market, and demographic audience segments to connected TVs.
The affinity audiences are available in a global beta. The in-marketing and demographic audiences will be in beta for global advertisers at the end of Q2.
Checkout on Merchant. Google will be streamlining checkouts for customers that “have decided what they want.”
With this implementation customers won’t need to go through so many screens/pages in order to checkout and will instead be sent directly to the existing buy-flow from the merchant – directly from the product listing. According to Google, Merchants will “own the customer” as the transaction happens directly in their flow.
While an interesting concept, this direct purchase may see a decline in AOV (average order value) as users won’t browse the site and will instead click the product listing and directly purchase. This is currently a closed pilot and Google is working to expand and move towards general availability in the coming months.
Asset Library availability for all advertisers
A nice new feature announced will help advertisers leverage current ads and assets outside of Google. According to Google it will be a “one-stop-shop” for asset collaboration and storage for images and video content.
These assets can be accessed once imported from Discovery, App and Performance Max campaigns with plans for YouTube and shopping “coming soon.”
YouTube video creation in 60 seconds
No video ads? No problem. From within the Asset Library, Google announced that advertisers can create a video ad and publish to YouTube in as little as 60 seconds. This can be done with as few as 5 images, logos and text assets with the outcome being “an effective ad”.
Advertisers that have seen the auto-generated Performance Max campaigns haven’t been overly pleased with videos that have been created, so make sure to proof the output if you use this feature.
Enhanced Conversions for additional channels
A new Enhanced Conversions for Leads is a privacy safe connection between leads and funnel progression by way of offline conversion imports. A new Lead Funnel report will be coming to Google Ads later in the year to help visualize lead progression.
A beta of Enhanced Conversions for website conversions will be opening for Search Ads 360 and if you use 3rd parties to manage campaigns like Tealium, Segment, mParticle and Adobe may already feature Enhanced Conversions.
Why we care. Some of the items released (e.g., Checkout on Merchant and swipeable shopping ads) may have a major impact on advertisers, while other features (like the Performance Max experiment tools and Shorts expansion) may not.
Like every year, with many of the new features the devil will be in the details but the additional insights, and targeting should shake out to be an upgrade for advertisers across the globe.
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