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We at AAXIS thought this was a great post by the team over at Target Marketing. To close out the year, the Target Marketing editorial staff reviewed all the content from the magazine, Today @ Target Marketing e-newsletter and blogs in 2013, hunting for some of the best marketing ideas and tips from their top experts to share with you.

1. “We are performing analytics to gain an understanding of what our business customers want, trying to get a 360-degree view of their activity. Then we have a thoughtful approach on how we create push content in emails and also our Web content. We want them to match how the customers think about who we are and how we can help them.”
Dan Marks,
 CMO, First Tennessee Bank
“Taking Care of Business” 

2. Simply put, B-to-B marketers need a mix of push and pull. Limiting your strategy to pull alone will reduce your market, and limit your ability to identify all the prospective buyers who might need your solution to their problems.
Ruth Stevens,
 eMarketing Strategy
“Push vs. Pull Marketing: In B-to-B, You Need Both” 
April 5

3. Establishing your company as a knowledgeable authority in your field is Job One for a B-to-B website. … This is a classic content marketing play; whereby, you provide libraries of case studies, research reports, presentations, archived webinars, blog posts, how-to videos and all manner of information intended to help visitors learn, and to present yourself as their trusted partner in that task.
Ruth Stevens,
 eMarketing Strategy
“5 Essentials for Every B-to-B Website” 
June 6

Content Marketing
4. The best, most effective content marketers are updating how they execute it. They’re designing it [content] for sales. They’re structuring blogs, videos and such to produce leads, not friends, followers, shares or engagement. They also are giving valuable advice away online, in exchange for leads. Ultimately, they’re creating confidence in prospects in ways that give “results in advance.”
Jeff Molander,
 Molander & Associates
“Stop Measuring Content Marketing” 
June 7

5. Unless you understand what a chart or graph means, don’t use it until you do. It is extremely embarrassing to cut and paste a diagram out of a client’s PowerPoint into your copy and then, when the client asks you why you used it, to have to answer “I don’t know.” You should understand each visual so well you can write a clear descriptive caption for it—and then do so.
Bob Bly,
 freelance copywriter and consultant
“Technical Know-How” 

6. Nowadays, there are serious adult-level articles, books and TED talks encouraging us to play. Experts … all want us to set up play dates. They want us to take play seriously. They remind us how important it is to unplug and unwind. … To give our multifunctioning, always-on brains a rest. These experts nudge us a step further and call play a necessity. A must do for long-term vitality, for peak performance. Samuel Johnson believed, “All intellectual improvement arises from leisure.”
Andrea Syverson,
 IER Partners
“Two Summer Must Dos: Play and Play On!” 
Aug. 9

7. Odd numbers are more believable than even numbers. In a recent fundraising appeal from my alma mater, Kansas State University, it included charts and graphs that showed alumni donations in the last 10 years have increased 45 percent as tuition rose 138 percent and state support for this state university declined 26.3 percent. Notice that instead of rounding off to 26 percent, the university used a decimal with an uneven number for specificity and added credibility.
Pat Friesen,
 direct response copywriter and creative strategist
“Writing by the Numbers” 

8. There are so many proofreaders, grammarians or other online expert sources available (not to mention a nifty little tool in Microsoft Word called “Spelling & Grammar”) that there is simply no excuse for any company to be executing marketing materials that are anything less than perfect.
Carolyn Goodman,
 Goodman Marketing Partners
“If Content Is King, Grammar Is Queen” 
Jan. 25

9. Nothing’s funny about direct marketing. But direct marketing certainly helps funny. And funny helps direct marketing. Things are more likely to be clicked when they’re funny.
Steve Hofstetter,
“5-Minute Interview With Comedian Steve Hofstetter” 

10. The sooner intervention begins with an at-risk customer, the easier and less expensive it is to fix the problem; so, it is clear that the best plan is to have a system for identifying these customers.
Michael Lowenstein
, PhD, CMC, Beyond Philosophy
“‘At-Risk’ Customers: Do You Have a System for Identifying, Stabilizing Them?” 
Sept. 23

11. Before signing off on any marketing scheme, put yourself inside your prospective customer’s head. Think how he thinks. Feel what she feels. Become your own customer! As your customer, you’ll know exactly how you want to be treated every step of the way and can set up your systems accordingly.
Denny Hatch,
 direct marketing consultant and author
“The Challenge of a Huge Bargain and Complex Fulfillment” 
May 17

12. The most interesting thing about data’s role, relative to investment into social media, is most of the data evolves from clickthroughs for each social media site and how the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are important to your brand compare between the various sites. Social media sites are still primarily awareness and acquisition tools—where traffic is driven to them, as well as through them to other links. When working on figuring out your data’s role in social media, be sure to assign your own objectives to the various KPIs.
Geoff Wolf,
 J. Schmid & Associates
“Social by the Numbers” 

13. Ask the right questions. When it comes to analyzing social data, one of the most effective approaches is “investigative analytics”—the ability to ask a series of quickly changing, iterative questions to figure out why something did or did not happen, or how to optimize a particular outcome. Instead of asking questions like “How do people feel about my brand?” investigative analytics ups the ante, to: “How do I increase sales among my highest-profit customers?”
Don DeLoach,
“5 Tips to Improve Analytics and Boost ROI With Social Data” 
July 18

14. In a perfect world, you would have a data strategy before collecting or acquiring data, but we know that never happens. However, looking at the data you have, you can begin to develop an understanding of how it is used, what other data you need to drive your marketing, the ROI of current assets and cost/benefit of acquiring more data. You can begin to build a data strategy as you understand the financial implications of the data you have.
Gwenn Freeman,
 KBM Group
“The Evolution of Data Governance in Marketing”

15. Utilizing a centralized team to oversee data operations ultimately reduces the risk and exposure caused by violations of corporate policies, governmental regulations and industry best practices. Contact preferences are able to be maintained and shared across all corporate business units on every channel.
Vince Pickett,
“5 Reasons for ‘Why Now?'” 
May 29

Direct Mail
16. The role of direct mail has changed. It has shifted from driving direct orders to setting the hook that drives prospects to an online forum where offers can be refined, more data can be gathered and the call to action finalized. You may have seen the term O-to-O (Offline-to-Online) to describe the relationship. In fact, the more accurate description is O-to-O-to-O-where the life cycle of the customer engagement can start in either galaxy, online or offline, be directed to the alternate, and then pulled back to the original touchpoint.
Pat McGrew,
“The Future of Mail Is Here” 

17. No matter how much multichannel/integrated marketing will be a constant theme and reality, expect direct mail to continue to be featured as the “tree” of a campaign from which all the other branches extend. Why? Well, as you probably can guess, it’s still the big money maker, and if a company’s integrative marketing cards are played right, it’ll continue to be the major driver of revenue along with email, social media, mobile and telemarketing.
Ethan Boldt,
 Who’s Mailing What! Archive
“Top 50 Mailers” 

18. From an accounting perspective, it is difficult to estimate the per-unit sale costs when there are thousands of different fees for different types of cards. Therefore, it’s important for e-commerce companies to meet with their accounting teams before accepting a new payment method.
Joe Schnaufer, 
“Turn Plastic Money Real” 

19. As online pay-per-action models continue to develop and attribution becomes more sophisticated, direct’s share should continue to grow.
Yoram Wurmser,
 PhD, eMarketer
“Brand vs. Direct: Who’s Winning?” 

20. Just because email marketing is absurdly cheap, that’s no excuse for shabby treatment of your customers. We are not blips of electricity on your database. We are breathing, living, loving and belching human beings who will spend money with you if you are nice to us.
Denny Hatch,
 direct marketing consultant and author
“E-commerce Marketing Slobs” 
May 7

21. Monitoring inbox delivery and immediately reacting to any issues is mission-critical, because everything else rests on you getting this one right.
G.B. Heidarsson,
“Taking Email’s Measure” 

22. The best day to send an email is the day that the recipient is most likely to act. This is not the answer people want to hear. They want a day of the week, not a response that generates more questions than answers … If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it! Since it is and they don’t, doing it well gives your company a competitive edge.
Debra Ellis,
 Wilson & Ellis Consulting
“What Is the Best Day to Send Emails?” 
May 13

23. Engagement is not a new term in the email marketing world, but its meaning has expanded since the days when it referred to opens and clicks. Email engagement now incorporates how subscribers interact with email at the inbox level.
Julia Peavy, 
Return Path
“Are You Loved? Check Your TINS.” 
Aug. 21

24. It’s okay to shrink your list size. Email activity is the key metric now. All addresses that do not take action (open or click an email) after six to nine months should be removed from your list. However, you should have been engaging them well before this time period, in an attempt to get them active. After six months of not opening, do you really think someone finally will?
Brett Schenker, Salsa Labs

“How to Prepare for Yahoo’s Release of Inactive Email Accounts” 
July 11

25. To get 25 percent to 40 percent results—the kind of results you read about in many case studies—success means targeting carefully selected leads using high-incentive offers and sending custom messages tied to recent behavior, as well as psychographic data that appeals to that lead’s special interests, work role, etc.
Wrich Printz,
 L2 Inc.
“The Trigger Email Bill of Rights” 

Green Marketing
26. Once you can convince folks that being fearless will pay off … it starts to change things.
Keanon Swan,
“Sprint Saves Green”

27. So what online tactic encourages Web 2.0 principles, as well as helps with search engine results page rank, visibility and list-building efforts? Targeted online prospecting polls, also known as “acquisition” or “lead generation” polls.
Wendy Montes de Oca,
 Precision Marketing and Media
“List-building 2.0: 7 Tips for Using ‘Power’ Polls for Prospecting” 
April 8

Marketing Automation
28. Personalized messages based on real-time behaviors can be quite impactful. Using the real-time site monitor data, savvy marketers are setting up automatic messages to go out while a visitor is exploring a certain area of content. Even if the visitor receives it minutes after leaving the site, it does help the brand to stick in their mind.
Kevin Gao, 
“8 Advanced Email Personalization Tips” 
June 17

29. If you’re an online seller of goods and services, you have a wealth of customer insight at your fingertips. Make sure you’re leveraging it—in an intelligent way—and you’ll be sure to keep customers and fans coming back for more.
Carolyn Goodman,
 Goodman Marketing Partners
“Here’s a Recommendation, You Cheap Bastard” 
Aug. 9

30. Because SMS is immediate, you need to make sure your messaging accounts for that and offers real value based on that immediacy. SMS is meant to be used like email or even push notifications. If you’re promoting an event that’s on Saturday, the SMS message better not go out the Monday before. It will be forgotten.
Greg Hickman,
“5 Tips to Create SMS Messages That Convert” 
July 15

Mobile Email
31. When actually creating the visual design of the mobile email … Link to “add to address book.” Always ask customers to add the brand sending the email to their address books, which decreases the chance of landing in their spam folders in the future.
Fernando Espejel,
“Send Smart” 

32. More than 40 percent of emails are read on a mobile device; therefore, you need to rethink font sizes. Headlines should be a font size of 22 and body copy should have a minimum font size of 13 to ensure certain browsers will not resize your copy. Any call-to-action buttons should be 29 x 44 pixels with 10-pixel padding.
Reggie Brady, 
Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions
“The Power of the Inbox” 

Online Marketing
33. When I talk about hippos, I’m not talking about the kind you’d see on an African safari. I’m talking about the HiPPOs who live in your company. They’re blessed with the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion, which is often based on conjecture and so-called “experience.” If you’ve ever found yourself having to deal with crazy HiPPO ideas, you need to be testing so you can diplomatically reply to HiPPO requests with, “I have an idea, too. Why don’t we test them?”
Oli Gardner, 
“Is Your Online Marketing an F?” 

34. Intellectually, I understand why retargeting is so valuable. Statistics show that 95 percent of users leave a site without making a transaction, and the ones retargeted are 70 percent more likely to complete a purchase. So it makes perfect sense to retarget. However, the default setting for most retargeting platforms is 30 to 90 days. So if you’re planning to include retargeting in your marketing mix, think carefully about cookie duration and ad fatigue.
Carolyn Goodman,
 Goodman Marketing Partners
“Help! I’m Being Stalked by a Bathtub!” 
May 3

35. We can see a direct link between the growing intrusiveness of online adverts and people’s desire to find ways to block them … It is actually in Web owners’ and advertisers’ interest to develop advertising that does not drive people to take blocking measures.
Till Faida, 
Adblock Plus
“Web Woes” 

36. When it comes to direct mail, you need to treat the mailbox like the toughest piece of real estate to occupy. The four keys to success include understanding your data, the size and dimension of your mail, the content inside the envelope and testing.
Rocky Abbett,
 NOVA Marketing Services
“Is Bigger Better?” 

37. You’re looking at customers when you’re looking at keywords.
David Sprinkle,
 Acronym Media
“Get a CKO So Your SEO Isn’t TKO” 

38. To fully understand and balance the contribution of SEO and PPC to your marketing success, you must develop solid attribution models that consider all the channels involved in your online marketing.
Amanda G. Watlington, 
PhD, Searching for Profit
“Walking Google’s Highwire” 

39. Don’t neglect the growing role of social media in search, particularly visually oriented social sites like Pinterest. If yours is an e-commerce site, visibly watermark your images so you can expose your brand on those visual social media.
Amanda G. Watlington,
 PhD, Searching for Profit
“Walking Google’s Highwire” 

Social Media
40. Using social media to advertise and “get the word out” about your business is a sure-fire losing strategy. Let me explain. Yes, you need to have a message. This part is obvious. Yet, broadcasting on social platforms in hopes of getting attention and engagement that converts to leads is a losing strategy. Instead, focus on solving customers’ problems in ways you can easily connect to what you’re selling.
Jeff Molander, 
Molander & Associates
“Social Hindrances to Progress” 

41. The best thing you can do is focus on creating relevant, engaging experiences one-on-one in social media, and creating experiences outside of the social network that have a social component. Create a relevant, useful experience that learns about the customer, then apply what you learn to engaging the customer in the future.
Leslie Schultz, 
The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks
“Are You a Social CRM Native?” 

42. You may be familiar with the AIDA formula (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) used by direct mail copywriters to sell and move readers to action. It can apply over time in a series of videos, too. Get the viewer’s attention, create desire, and build trust and confidence. Motivate the viewer to take action as the story or message unfolds, the viewer is ultimately prompted to take action and buy, or in the case of fundraising, make a donation.
Gary Hennerberg,
 Hennerberg Group,
“The Direct Mail Formula for Great Online Video Series” 
Feb. 13

Web Design
43. In a nutshell: You should create a responsive website if building an entirely new site or doing a major redesign. A key factor in a responsive site is that a user’s experience on a small screen should be as elegant as it is on a large one. Because a site’s navigation and content are an important factor in the user’s experience, they must work well across all devices. … There are a number of other factors besides navigation and content that need to be taken into account, as well: including technology limitations, visual design and layout, and project management and staffing.
James Go, 
“Highly Responsive” 

Rence Winetrout

Rence Winetrout

Chief Digital Officer at AAXIS
Rence Winetrout brings nearly 20 years of experience leading Multi-Channel Commerce, Marketing, and e-Business initiatives for premium, global consumer brands in a wide variety of industries, including luxury goods, apparel, footwear, accessories, sporting goods, consumer electronics, and digital goods. Rence is the CMO and SVP of Commerce Strategy for AAXIS Commerce.
Rence Winetrout

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