Category : Marketing

First Attempt at Account Based Marketing

First Attempt at Account Based Marketing

Channels Used: Email & Facebook

First, a little context

The very first time I heard the concept of “Account Based Marketing” or “ABM”, I was instantly intrigued. Why? Because Wordstream.

WordStream’s definition of ABM is the best

Account-based marketing is like personalized marketing on steroids.

I mean what’s not better on steroids?

It made me start reading about it more. (Not because of Steroids)

A more conventional definition of Account Based Marketing by WordStream would be

Account Based Marketing is when high-value accounts or prospects are identified, key stakeholders in these businesses are targeted, and finally marketing strategies are implemented through various channels to appeal to their specific personas and needs.

After knowing this, all I did was ask myself this

Which is better?

Finding a few large and important potential accounts that hold the greatest promise of adding to your bottom line OR Finding a huge database of all people from all walks of life, some of whom might never ever want to be my customers, even if I paid them to?

The answer couldn’t pierce a deeper hole into my heart but that’s exactly how I started my journey with ABM.

The two channels I used to target the key stakeholders of a particular high value account were

a) Email — For obvious reasons

b) Facebook — Because Facebook holds a special place for us marketers, as it has proved to be a great ad platform to target your content to a buyer persona relevant audience.

Motion Picture Thumbs Up GIF by A. L. Crego - Find & Share on GIPHY

Step1: Find the Leader

For email targeting; Get your hands on email id’s of all C-level executives from the account you are targeting and send them emails with “minimal info” of your product.

{You can find the key players from a particular company on LinkedIn or other sites that display company related information such as www.crunchbase.comand chrome extensions like Skrapp or Hunter can give your their emails}

We just wanted them to know how our product worked and if interested they could reply back to the same mail. That’s it.

It worked like a charm. Here’s that mail.

Ara Emailer

If you happen to see this email in your inbox, then you should know what you’re into.

Step2: Target everyone

Create a custom audience and target as many possible employees working for that employer on Facebook.

Finding these many people was a challenge. It’s not like FB has a filter for it.

Danny Devito No GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

You can always have a few emails on your list, export it as a CSV, and upload it into Facebook to use as the basis for your lookalike audience.

A lookalike audience is exactly what it sounds like. Facebook takes a list of contacts and then finds a list of people who are similar to the list you provided (the smallest lookalike audience you can create is 1% of your target country).

The smaller the lookalike audience you choose, the more closely it will match your source audience. But even there, the higher the number of similar account targeted emails, more accurate the lookalike audience would be.

Hence the search began.

A little bit of rummaging led me to Intelligence Search— A simple chrome extension to find people on Facebook by their name, what they like, where they work, where they live, whom they are friends with, age, gender, language, and much more. Not just people. You can find pages, groups, events, posts and photos. You can use this tool for LinkedIn and Twitter as well.

Step3: The kill

With Step 1 and Step 2 in place, we went for the kill, with personalized content.

When all was said and done, we had the big fish in our reel.

We often take on adventurous marketing strategies such as these and try to find out how we can use these to get more high quality leads. Follow Heptagon on Medium to see how we conquer our daily marketing battles one kill at a time.

Category : Marketing , Search Engine Optimization

What is Google trying to achieve with RankBrain? (Rant of a Marketer)

What is Google trying to achieve with RankBrain? (Rant of a Marketer)

Doesn’t Google Just Love It’s Users?

They do. A LOOOOT.

So much so, that the only way to fully display this agape love they have for their users, is by screwing up every marketers life.

I mean seriously, weren’t users happy with the Google search results before? When did Google ever try to show you “Vennu Mallesh — It’s My Life What Ever I Wanna Do” when all you wanted to do is find Restaurant’s Near You.

Thank the heavens, that never happened. Google gave us exactly what we asked it.

We were happy, but Google being the Rockstar they are, had to bring out the big guns to please you even more.

This Big-ass canon behind Angus Young, in Marketer’s verbiage is “RankBrain”, which is also now a pain-in-the-brain of every Marketer alive.

In the year 2017, RankBrain made a huge impact on people learning about SEO. Rookies like me who were so eagerly tracking and piling up the never ending list of google’s guidelines to finally get hold of all ranking factors, stopped dead at their tracks. I’m not even making this up.

Here’s my inconsequential accomplishment.

An updated list of Google’s Guidelines.

So, what does Google want?

You see, in happier times, Google utilized its basic algorithm to determine which results to show for a given query.

It had a set of Guidelines (incomplete list above) which when followed upon, helped marketers to rank a particular page in google search results.

Post-RankBrain, it is believed that the query now goes through an interpretation model that can apply possible factors like the location of the searcherpersonalization, and the words of the query to determine the searcher’s true intent.

By discerning this true intent, Google wants to deliver more relevant and accurate results.

Just to be clear, in no way i’m suggesting that say, getting links from good quality sites to rank well is insignificant.

As competition for the top pages in google search results increased so did the number of factors that affected a page to rank.

It is the proof of credibility of a good website and it takes EFFORT to build up such a list high quality links. Not everyone and everyday can we marketers create viral content that just picks up and runs on it’s own.

But now with this new “brain” in control, we are going to need to do a lot more than just filling keywords and building back-links.

Here are 3 things marketers need to consider because of Rankbrain.

  1. SEO Marketers now need to divert all their efforts into determining the type of content that best serves users’ needs
    Different rankings signals would apply to different queries and with no fault of our own, we would have to make changes accordingly.
  2. Another role played by an SEO Marketer is to build a brand’s reputation as a resource trusted by search engines and human users. But with RankBrain in place we would first have to figure out on what basis would we be building the reputation
    Would it be for freshness, for high user engaging content, for diversity of links earned or for in-depth exploration into our niche. Over time, our domain must build a reputation based on the signals it wants to serve.
  3. Also, modern SEO would combine all synonymous keywords/phrases into a single piece of thorough content that incorporates natural language, including variant keyword phrases that reflect the way humans search and speak. []

The 3rd point pisses me off the most. If there were no “google guidelines”, we would have been writing user based “contextual” content in the first place. By this I mean — I would have given Rajesh(My Persona), a list of “Weekend Getaways from Bangalore, India” when he searched for “Weekend Getaways from Bangalore, India, just by adding a few keywords

Why would I want to add intentional keywords in places I don’t want to? Why would I add doorway pages, that are specially optimized for targeted keywords and designed to rank high for particular queries ? Just why?

To end the rant, each of us needs would have to bring their A-GAME with each piece of content and if you want your brands to rank then hail Brain Power!

Brains Out!

Category : Marketing

History Of Marketing & its Evolution

History Of Marketing & its Evolution

When we think of Marketing today, it’s over a 100% Digital.

While this was not always the case, the transition from trade to tech took centuries to develop.

In order to see the entire picture, let’s first rewind and define the timelines upon which change in marketing was recognized and understand how marketing evolved in response to these changes.

History & Evolution of Marketing

Historians of marketing have undertaken considerable investigation into the emergence of marketing, yet there is little agreement about when marketing first began.

Marketing (Kind-of…) in the 16th Century

Etymologists believe that the term ‘marketing’ first appeared in dictionaries in the sixteenth century where it was referred to as

Marketing — the process of buying and selling at a market.

An upsurge in the number of market towns and the emergence of merchant circuits in England and Europe, at the middle ages, saw traders bulking up surpluses from smaller regional, different day markets and reselling them at the larger centralized market towns.

Over time, permanent shops began to open up and peddlers filled in the gaps in distribution by travelling door-to-door in order to sell produce and wares.

Even countries such as China exhibited a rich history of early marketing practices. Chinese packaging and branding was used to signal family, place names and product quality, and the use of government imposed product branding.

Marketing was at it’s adolescence then, who knew where it was headed?

Marketing in 17th Century

As trade between countries or regions grew, in Seventeenth & Eighteenthcentury, companies and individuals now needed information on which they could base their business decisions.

Daniel Defoe, a London merchant, traveled places to gather information about industries he had to work with and soon became a prolific publisher. Among his many publications are titles devoted to trade including;

Trade of Britain Stated, 1707;
Trade of Scotland with France, 1713
The Trade to India Critically and Calmly Considered,1720;

All 3 books were highly popular with merchants and business houses of the period. While such activities might now be recognized as marketing research, at that time they were known as ‘commercial research’ or ‘commercial intelligence’ and not seen as part of the repertoire of activities that make up contemporary marketing practice.

Marketing in 18th Century

In countries like France and Italy and part of Britain, early advertising was far from primitive.

It showed a high level of sophistication in its execution and ability to reach mass audiences. Far from being primitive efforts, early advertising showed a high level of sophistication in its execution and ability to reach mass audiences.

English industrialists, Josiah Wedgewood and Matthew Boulton who were often portrayed as pioneers of modern mass marketing methods. were the key players of this era.

Wedgewood was known to have used marketing techniques such as direct mail, travelling salesmen and catalogs, while Boulton, practiced planned obsolescence and understood the importance of ‘celebrity marketing’

Marketing in the 19th Century

The improvement in the transportation systems saw the rise of a more unified economy allowing companies to distribute standardized, branded goods a national level.

This let to the a broader mass marketing mindset where manufacturers started talking about standardization in order to achieve scale economies with a view to keeping production costs down and also to achieving market penetration in the early stages of a product’s life cycle.

In the same period the concept of branding also emerged, where companies could come up with a high quality product or service and provide good customer service with that to instantly get termed as a brand. This resulted in companies experiencing an improvement in their margins, and reputation.

The term digital marketing was also first coined in the late 90’s

Marketing in the 20th Century

In this era, the likes of George B Waldron, used tax registers and census data to show the first demographic segmentation of a population, Paul Cherington, developed the ‘ABCD’ household typology, which became the first ever socio-demographic segmentation tool , and Wendell R. Smith was codifying implicit knowledge that had been used in marketing and brand management from the early twentieth century.

As industry grew, the demand for skilled business professionals also grew. To meet this demand, universities began offering courses in commerce, economics and marketing. Marketing, as a discipline, was first taught in universities in the very early twentieth century.

Digital marketing became a little more sophisticated, when the proliferation of devices capable of accessing digital media led to sudden growth.

Marketing in the 21st Century

Marketing is now a new specimen altogether. Computers have now become sophisticated enough to store huge volumes of customer information. Not just information, customers themselves are inhabitants of this alternate dimension — The World Wide Web, and in the present day it’s where all the magic takes place.

Here’s an info graphic on marketing timeline courtesy Wikipedia

Marketing Evolution Timeline

Marketing Evolution Timeline

What do you think of the transition? Although we’ve just skimmed over marketing in different ages did you notice a trend in the transition? Feel free to share your thoughts on the topic.