To respond or not to respond is always the question. Some marketing automation platforms have taken the position that they will not respond to RFPs during the sales process because it is not the best use of their time. However, I believe that RFPs can be highly informative and useful during the procurement process as long as they are written with intention. As RFP season begins to wrap up, I took stock in the different RFPs that crossed my desk. I reviewed countless RFPs this quarter, some good, some bad, some 125 pages long and I realized that many brands have no idea how to write an RFP for a marketing automation platform, so a generic procurement RFP template is wordsmithed to reflect marketing automation language. Below are some surefire tips to make sure that a salesperson does not fall asleep reading your RFP.
A few weeks ago I launched my latest Community, OnlyFounders.com. They say entrepreneurs want to change the world. That is a debatable statement. But one thing is clear, in my 20 years of being an entrepreneur the things that I have done that have literally changed the world all involved the communities I was involved with. Facilitating communication is one of the most powerful things you can do in your career as a digital marketer. So in honor of my 4th (most likely my last) community building effort, I thought I’d share what Ive learned over the last 20 years of the importance of community, the impact it can have, what makes a good community, and how to build one that engages and inspires people around the world. And perhaps even more importantly, how it changes you as not only a digital marketer, but as a human being.
As the tech industry takes a step forward in actively recruiting more female talent, it often takes two steps back when we hear about Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins or Susan Fowler’s blog post about her very strange year at UBER. While they sympathize and often empathize with these all too common tech stories, women in email marketing often find themselves caught in the middle of this discussion because they straddle the line between marketing and IT. They need to be both technical and creative to effectively do their jobs, and that becomes even more daunting if they have executive management who have little knowledge about their role or who aren’t as supportive as they could be.
Anyone who has been in the email marketing industry for any length of time has had this experience: that sinking feeling when you realize that something has gone wrong. Very wrong. Email can be one of the more complicated marketing channels strictly from a technical sense and when your program does something unexpected, or catastrophic, how do you recover?
Being an email marketer is a wonderful career choice. Email marketers are usually key drivers of a company’s revenue and – even more importantly - marginal profit. Being part of a team that continually captures the sentiment and actions of the consumer is a fun space to occupy. Plus, there are enough new technologies in play that make email marketing invigorating.
Talk of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, and not only in Silicon Valley. It’s impossible to avoid news stories of how AI will change entire industries (and potentially leave many of us unemployed in the process).
The most visible of these industries is transportation, where you can already see self-driving cars being tested (at least in California) and brands like Tesla have already included some self-driving functionality in their production models.
There is also talk in marketing circles about how AI is already impacting our efforts. For the most part, however, we’ve found this to be wishful thinking. Don’t get us wrong—AI will indeed come to marketing and will have a big impact. But today’s hype is mostly that, as very few marketers are set up to take advantage of AI. We are, unfortunately, still in a world where consumers feel they get too much email and marketers feel like few, if any, of their messages are read.
Consumer digital consumption has changed a ton over recent years. While consumers are Snapchatting on iPhones and shopping on iPads while watching connected TVs, the email experience hasn’t changed a lot, outside of location. Looking through rose colored glasses tells us the ROI is still significant, and a mainstay for virtually every marketer that has a digital presence, which has led to a consistent, but not that impressive industry growth over the last decade. The bad news is, it’s not grown proportionate to other advertising channels as a percentage of total marketing spend.
The Big Lebowski
Google recently announced that they will be supporting media queries within their Gmail platform which is great news for the email community. I was ecstatic when I heard the news and I can only imagine the cheers (and tears) of joy when other email developers around the world were notified as well. Although this update has not been released just yet, Google has hinted that it will be in place by the end of 2016.
It is that time of year again. The week before the Labor Day weekend when Email Marketers are away on vacation, clinging to their last grasp of summer, and all my blog writers are laying on the beach sipping My Ties. So every year, it is my turn to take the blogger reins and talk about my thoughts and dreams about where Only Influencers is headed next year.
The simple email announcement came across my desk. All kinds of thoughts raced through my head and I considered all aspects of it in a matter of seconds. Do it! Don’t do it. Ack! Reach out and try. Move beyond your cube walls. This is an example of what you’ve been looking to do. What happens if peers and current leadership find out? What will it bring? What will it hurt? You’re not good enough. You are good enough. What will you say? You’ll figure it out somehow. And, in a split second I made a gut-decision and said yes to being one of the first contributors to the OI blog.
How many times have you faced a technical challenge only to solve it by following someone’s tutorial? I’m sure many of us have done it. I know I have.
That’s all well and good when you’re trying to figure out how to do something personal. But how do you know if the instructions are right? I’ll tell you a secret, not all of them are correct and others are mostly correct but have some suggestions that can cause problems.
Understanding technology means not having to blindly follow technical recommendations without really understanding everything you’re doing. You can actively decide what you’re doing and make the most appropriate decisions for your marketing and your business.
Recently, L Brands – parent of Victoria’s Secret and home to the famous (and some would say infamous) Victoria’s Secret catalog – announced a strategic change “evolving how the business connects with customers through more focus on loyalty programs and brand-building engagement rather than traditional catalogues and offers.”
It’s not news that, in most industries, females are paid less than men. But surely, in email marketing, where there is a higher proportion of women than in many other industries, this isn’t the case, right?
Sadly, it is the case, according to Only Influencers’ 2016 Salary Guide. And this needs to be addressed.
Are you making what you should? Download the 2016 Only Influencers Email Marketing Salary Guide.
January 2016 marks the beginning of Only Influencers' 6th year! We are hoping to make it our best year yet, and I'm excited by many of the new initiatives we have planned. For this first post of 2016, I want to share with you my plans for the future and also ask for your help to make OI even more responsive to your needs as an Email Marketing Professional.