Specializing in Marketing Services for the Learning and HR Solutions industries

Archive for December 2011

Social Media, Mobility Worth More Than Money for Young Workers

By Tony Kontzer on 2011-11-01, from CIOInsight.com

http://www.cioinsight.com/c/a/IT-Management/Social-Media-Mobility-Worth-More-Than-Money-for-Young-Workers-830921/

Talk about perceived value: In the eyes of some college students and young professionals, access to Facebook and Twitter via the mobile devices of their choice is now a bigger workplace priority than money. That’s the big eye-opener gleaned from the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report. The study paints a picture of a new generation of information workers that has lofty expectations of mobility and social media access on the job, and is even willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for that flexibility. The survey, conducted for Cisco by market research firm InsightExpress, polled 2,800 college students and young professionals in their early 20s — 100 of each group in 14 countries. The findings should provide IT executives with much to think about as you contend with growing pressures to support a wide array of devices and ensure anytime, anywhere network access for a user population that is growing increasingly dependent on social media to remain simultaneously connected to work, home and friends. Here’s a look at some of the study’s most telling numbers (percentages reflect the portion of all respondents, unless otherwise specified):

Priorities
• 40% of college students polled and 45% of young professionals polled say they would accept a lower-paying offer that meets their priorities over a higher-paying offer that doesn’t.
• 33% prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility and mobility over salary.
• 56% of college students polled say they would either pass on a job offer from a company that prohibits social media use, or accept the job and then skirt company policy.
• 64% of college students polled say they plan to ask prospective employers about social media policies during job interviews, and 24% say the answer will help determine whether they accept an offer.
• 41% of young workers polled say their employers promoted their flexible device policies and social networking policies in their recruitment efforts.
• 31% of young workers polled believe their comfort level with devices and social media was a factor in their hiring.
• 25% of young workers polled say the absence of remote network access would influence their decisions on whether to accept job offers.
• 77% of young workers polled say they rely on multiple devices, and 33% use at least three devices for work.
• 81% of college students polled say they want to choose their own devices for use at work.
• 68% of young workers polled believe that company-issued devices should allow them to access social media and personal web sites.
• 42% of college students polled believe companies should be flexible and empathetic about the need to remain connected to social media.
• 49% of respondents would rather lose their wallets or purses than their mobile phones.
• 70% of college students believe it’s unnecessary to be in the office regularly.
• 57% of young workers can easily connect to their corporate networks remotely, but only 28% have the ability to do so from anywhere, at any time.
• 63% of respondents want to be able to access corporate networks from their home PCs, while 51% want to network access from mobile devices.

Reasons to Engage a Skilled Marketing Company

Gayle Gardner, November 2, 2011

Anyone can create an email. But it takes a talented marketing firm to create a successful email campaign. Why should you hire a skilled marketing company to manage your email marketing? According to statistics collected during a panel discussion at the Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer called “What Your Customers Really Think of Your Email Program,”

http://www.convinceandconvert.com/email-marketing-advice/15-email-statistics-that-are-shaping-the-future/

Jay Baer reports the following statistics:

1. 21% of email recipients report email as Spam, even if they know it isn’t
2. 43% of email recipients click the Spam button based on the email “from” name or email address
3. 69% of email recipients report email as Spam based solely on the subject line
4. 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone
5. IP addresses appearing on just one of the 12 major blacklists had email deliverability 25 points below those not listed on any blacklists
6. Email lists with 10% or more unknown users get only 44% of their email delivered by ISPs
7. 17% of Americans create a new email address every 6 months
8. 30% of subscribers change email addresses annually
9. If marketers optimized their emails for image blocking, ROI would increase 9+%
10. 84% of people 18-34 use an email preview pane
11. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than people that do not receive email offers
12. 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email
13. Subscribers below age 25 prefer SMS to email
14. 35% of business professionals check email on a mobile device
15. 80% of social network members have received unsolicited email or invites

Statistics posted October 22, 2008 by Jay Baer

If you are not using a skilled marketing company, the chances that your email is being deleted or reported as Spam, even if it’s not, are higher than is acceptable for ROI. Let Cox eLearning Consultants quickly launch powerful marketing and lead generation programs to drive new sales opportunities to you, and keep your ROI high! COX will empower your existing sales and marketing staff to be more effective by writing for you or consulting with you on best practices for optimum email marketing and lead generation.

Tablet Learning – Neither Mobile Learning Nor eLearning

Amit Garg | November 29th, 2011 | Learning Technology, eLearning Technology4

There’s a definite movement towards delivering learning on tablets and mobile phones. It is quite common these days to get client requests for delivering elearning (meant for traditional desktops) or mobile learning (meant for mobile phones) solutions on tablets too. Is that a good idea? I think a more consciously chosen approach for tablets would be better in most cases, while sometimes just publishing to multiple devices may be suitable.

Tablets are very different from the PCs or mobile phones. When it comes to delivering learning on tablets they are quite unique because:

– They are mobile devices which may not be as personal as mobile phones
– They are not as portable and one can’t hold them in hands for long – you will probably need some support eventually

– The context in which learners would use a tablet vis-à-vis mobile phone may be very different.

– Their screen size (~10”) is closer to that of desktops/laptops proving a larger area for multimedia displays unlike the small screens of mobile phones
Tablet Learning – learning delivered on tablets seems to be getting clubbed either with mobile learning or with elearning. Elearning to me is the umbrella term which includes

– CBT/WBT (normally delivered on desktops or laptops),

– Mobile learning (delivered on mobile phones/ smart phones), and

– Tablet learning (delivered on tablets)

And what about tablets with smaller screen sizes?

I admit they will only add to the confusion but the solution remains the same – a conscious decision should be made when designing tablet learning (t-learning) solutions based on the type of learning you wish to deliver and the context in which it will be accessed. It is critical to understand that blindly converting any elearning / mlearning for tablets may not help.

In Tough Times There’s Increased Commitment To Workplace Learning

Amit Garg | November 3rd, 2011 | Workplace Learning0

I stumbled on the ASTD State of The Industry Report 2011 yesterday – find it here.
The title proudly claims “Increased Commitment to Workplace Learning” and that is indeed heartening to see. Not just because it means constant business for us but also because it means the top bosses recognize the importance of workplace learning more that they did a couple of decades back. It was commonplace to find training budgets be the first ones to slashed when downturn hits.

Some highlights from the report:

– The average direct expenditure per employee increased from $1,081 ($1,098 inflation adjusted) in 2009 to $1,228 in 2010.

– The leading content area for the consolidated group is management and supervisory learning. Manager and supervisory content also registered the greatest percentage increase change, going from 10.4 percent in 2009 to 12.8 percent of the content delivered in 2010.

– Instructor-led classroom delivery continues to be the most widely used delivery method. About 70 percent (a 3 percent increase from 2009) of all training is delivered in the classroom-both online and live-and 60 percent of that is delivered by live instruction.

– In 2010, technology-based delivery declined overall for the consolidated group, from 36.3 percent in 2009 to 29.1 percent in 2010.The 2010 decline in the total amount of content delivered via technology by organizations in the consolidated group is atypical of previous years’ results and is a trend that we do not expect to continue over time.

– ASTD’s research demonstrates that leading-edge L&D departments incorporate more technology components and processes than their lesser performing counterparts.

Look out! Here comes 2012

Written By:

By Andrew Penchuk, iContact Director of Account Management
http://blog.icontact.com/blog/look-out-here-comes-2012/

We’re now in the midst of the holiday season, and the year is quickly coming to a close. Before you know it, it will be the New Year. Of course that means a time of reflection and a chance to make improvements for the year ahead. I have three suggestions that every email marketer should follow to kick off 2012 in the right way.

#1: Plan your email marketing around the calendar

Sit down with a calendar and plan your sending for the next three to six months. Think about your business and how the holidays play into what you do on a daily basis. Schedule your sending around the various holidays and come up with timely themes and messages. If your business is a flower store, what you need to do around Valentine’s Day is obvious. If your business is something different, think about how you can either tie into the major holidays or take advantage of the “minor holidays.” For example, let’s say you operate a fabric store. Did you know that the third Saturday in March is National Quilting Day? Yeah, I didn’t know that either.

Look at the calendar and think about how you can use what it gives you. Tie into holidays (both real and ridiculous) when thinking about your email creative and scheduling.

#2: Talk to your customers

This sounds so obvious, and you’re probably thinking, what the heck does he mean by that? If you’re watching the various email marketing success metrics like open and click rates, unsubscribe rates, etc., it’s pretty easy to convince yourself that you understand what your customers are thinking. You might be right, but nothing beats actually talking to your customers and hearing from them firsthand. When someone unsubscribes from your list, why not pick up the phone, give them a call and ask them why? If you don’t have their number, send them a personal email asking why they left. (This is one case where I recommend NOT sending through iContact. The message will have a bigger impact coming from your personal corporate email.)

It’s amazing what you can learn from a three-minute conversation. First, your subscribers will be amazed that you’re calling. Second, while you have them on the phone, ask them if you’re sending enough, too much, or too little. Ask them what their favorite and least favorite parts of your emails are. Ask them how you could improve and be more relevant to them. Finally, I’ll bet that if you ask them to rejoin your list, they’ll be willing to do so.

Don’t just wait for someone to unsubscribe, though. A few years ago, I signed up for a newsletter and about 10 minutes later I got an obviously personal email from the company owner. He wanted to say thanks for signing up but also asked why I did so. Of course, I told him. If he was smart (and I’m pretty sure he was…that’s why he reached out to me), he’ll listen to my feedback and adjust accordingly to increase his new subscribers. You can do the same.

Take that learning and put it right back into your email marketing.

#3: Set goals

A part of any New Year’s resolution is setting a goal, but it pays to be specific. For example, maybe like me, you want to lose weight. Your goal should not be to simply lose weight but to get down to a specific weight, say 200 pounds. Knowing the specific goal allows you to plan on how to get there. Same thing is true for your email marketing metrics.

If you are averaging 10 percent open rates, target 11 percent. If click-throughs are 2 percent, shoot for 2.5 percent. Think about what you need to do to improve these metrics. Maybe it’s better subject lines? Perhaps it’s more calls to action in your email messages? When you achieve your initial goals, increase them. Now that you’re at 11 percent, go to 12 percent. Remember, email marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. So, set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) and make constant, incremental improvements.

Take the time to think about each of these items, and you’ll get 2012 kicked off the right way. If you want any additional email marketing advice, go ahead and tweet me (@penchuk). Best of luck in the New Year and happy sending!

4 New Year’s Resolutions Every Digital Marketer Can’t Live Without

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:04pm ET by Dax Hamman

http://searchengineland.com/4-new-year%E2%80%99s-resolutions-every-digital-marketer-can%E2%80%99t-live-without-103826

Over the last 6 months in this column we have looked at all aspects of the overlap between search and display, from why search marketers could take over the world media budgets of the future, to advanced methods for retargeting and simple alternatives to attribution modeling.
So to round out the year, we revisit the key learnings and outline the New Year’s Resolutions that all ‘media’ professionals should be focused on to drive significantly increased performance in 2012.

Resolution #1: Join ‘Media Anonymous’

The first step to solving your problem is admitting you have a problem!

In November we asked media professionals from iCrossing, ethology, AKQA and Booyah to give their perspective on the overlap between search and display – the shared opinion is that the overlap is real, it can be quantified and you are missing opportunities if you don’t take advantage of it.

“My name is Dax and I admit that search and display must be planned together”

Key messages:

• 1+1= something more than 2

• The benefit of planning search and display together comes from being present during an extended research phase and by keeping individuals on your own site and away from your competitor’s

• A marketer should plan in advance how to measure the overlap as it is not a simple process

• The benefit can be measured by looking at the CTR of search, the overall program CPA, the quantity of brand searches and the engagement rate on your site after exposure

Resolution #2 – Learn Something New

When marketers hear the term ‘retargeting’ they typically assume ‘site retargeting’, the idea of targeting ads to people who have visited their site, but abandoned the process before completing a desired action.

In September we brought you the concept of retargeting off-site events too – specifically search actions, social connections, content consumption and more, and we broke these 7 tactics down in a handy infographic.

The fastest growing, and best performing, of these tactics is search retargeting, a tactic that itself barely existed just 18 months ago, but is now already on version 3.0 and continuing to be at the front of digital media innovation.

Key learnings:

• Understand that retargeting is about more actions than just a site visit

• Add site and search retargeting to your marketing program as an evergreen tactic

• Understand that site retargeting is a conversion optimization tool – it is not an
acquisition tool

• Search Retargeting should be bought at the keyword level, utilize tools like dynamic creative and shiuld be bought on a dCPM like search for maximum campaign efficiency

Resolution #3 – Cut The Fat From Your Retargeting

Few marketers would disagree that retargeting should be part of every digital marketing program in 2012, but so often a retargeting program is over simplified, resulting in a high percentage of wasted impressions.

In September, we looked at some simple ways you can cut this fat from your retargeting and maximize the efficiency.

• Set a frequency cap of impressions – I don’t want my browser to be saturated with your brand until next Christmas

• Remove convertors from your targeting pool if they are unlikely to covert again – if I just signed up for your credit card offer, am I really likely to do it again?

• Exclude irrelevant individuals – if I was browsing your careers page, chances are I am not looking to buy your product too

• Google is not the be all and end all of retargeting – many companies (like Chango) have inventory that stretches far beyond the reaches of Google and provide more advanced technique like Search Retargeting that Google does not offer.

Remember, the more wastage you trim from your spend, the higher your ROI will go from the same amount of effort.

Resolution #4: Stick To Your Resolutions

Defining a good New Year’s Resolution always includes a goal – ‘lose 10 pounds’, ‘earn $10k more’, ‘get promoted by summer’, ‘see family more often’ etc.

If you are going to follow our media resolutions then you need a measurement framework to see just how well you are doing throughout the year. But in August we discussed how hard this can be to get ‘right’ and provided 3 simple methods for measurements over something complex like an attribution model.

• The media overlap report allows you to answer the common question of whether your display investment is really incremental over your search spend

• The PSA test demystifies the world of post-impression (view-thru) revenue and gives you a simple percentage by which to factor your results
With such techniques, measurement doesn’t have to be as complicated as it first seems.