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It’s that time of year again. Before we know it, it’ll be time to wrap the year’s marketing campaigns, report on performance and write the plan for what will bring next year’s successes.

It’s important that marketers constantly iterate strategies throughout the year based on performance. However, the end of the year presents the perfect opportunity to evaluate what worked and what didn’t— including which marketing mediums were successful.

While we’re on the subject of marketing mediums, have you leveraged the power of video? If not, you should.

According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey, 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool— up 18 points from 2017. In addition, the average respondent consumes 1.5 hours of video a day, and 72% would rather use video to learn about a product or service, if both video and text are available.

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Take a second to think about the last interaction you had with a brand online. Positive? Negative?

If it was a positive experience, what stood out to you?

Let me guess… it was some type of seamless interaction that offers real-time messaging to ask and answer questions almost instantly? Sounds a lot like online chat.

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive.

Lights, camera, action. Video has taken the marketing world by storm, and it's here to stay.

Think video marketing is just another fad? Think again. Our customers are demanding it, and the proof is in the numbers

  • 82% of consumers surveyed indicated that they favor live video over other types of social media posts.
  • Video content receives 12 times more shares than text and images, combined.
  • Video viewers retain 95% of a message when they see a video— compared to only 12% of written word.
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Unless you’re a marketer stuck in the Stone Age, you’ve likely heard of marketing automation. At its core, marketing automation is designed to automate marketing actions, reduce repetitive tasks, better nurture leads and ultimately, close more sales.

While you may have heard of it, are you actually using marketing automation? According to CMO.com, nearly half of all companies use marketing automation, and 91% of the most successful users agree that the solution is “very important.” Marketing automation:

  • Improves productivity
  • Automates manual workflows
  • Serves as a centralized hub for activities
  • Increases revenue
  • Improves customer retention
  • Tracks and monitors all campaigns

The best part? With best-in-breed solutions that offer a strong customer support team, it doesn’t take a tech genius to reap the benefits of marketing automation. The hardest part is recognizing your marketing needs more automation, and diving in.

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This post was written by PR 20/20 intern Emily Dann (@EmilyRDann). Emily is a dual major studying Public Relations at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications as well as Marketing Management in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

 

Today’s consumers have a digital-first attitude, relying more on their social media inbox for news than old-school snail mail. That means we as marketers must accept that traditional tactics like direct mail and cold calling are no longer viable options to reach our digitally savvy audience. Luckily for us, rapid advancements in marketing automation technology present new opportunities to revamp our marketing efforts. And, in an era of widespread adoption, there’s no surprise that 58% of B2B companies plan to explore marketing automation if they haven’t already. 

According to PR 20/20’s marketing assessment tool and intelligence engine, Marketing Score, those who have adopted marketing automation report high performance. In fact, marketing automation high performers have an average lead to sales conversion rate of 6.1, which is 1.6 times the average rate of all others. These high performers rate cost of customer acquisition (COCA) 1.4 times stronger, and have an average overall Marketing Score of 61%, 1.5 times all others. 

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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. See even more like it here

We started the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute to connect the dots for marketers, executives and entrepreneurs who want to learn how AI will impact their companies, industries and careers.

Since our launch in late 2016, we’ve profiled dozens of marketing AI solutions providers and discussed how marketers can begin using AI to drive productivity, personalization and performance.

Over the course of this journey, we’ve learned there are three big things that marketers need to know as they get started with artificial intelligence. Understanding the ideas that follow is critical to applying artificial intelligence and related technologies to your business.

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Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. Check out more posts like it here.

Marketing automation platforms have transformed the industry over the last decade, making marketers more efficient, productive and successful. But, the great irony of marketing automation is that it’s largely still manual.

Consider how much time your marketing team spends on repetitive and administrative tasks, such as drafting social media updates, writing data-driven blog posts, personalizing emails and website copy, A/B testing landing pages, building lead nurturing workflows, developing advertising copy, managing paid media spend, conducting keyword research, finding insights in analytics and recommending strategies (to name a few).

Now, what if we told you every one of those tasks, and many more, could be done more efficiently using artificial intelligence technology that’s available today? The challenge is that the solutions mostly exist in stand-alone AI tools, rather than as native elements of the major marketing automation platforms.

While we expect marketing automation companies to rapidly develop and integrate AI capabilities in the months and years ahead (through both acquisitions and internal R&D), for now, marketers need to piece together AI-powered products and integrate them into their core marketing technology stack.

Following are 11 common marketing tasks that can be more intelligently automated right now using AI technology. Many of the companies we include are still early in their product and market development, so use this list as a starting point for your AI research, not as a de facto buyer’s guide.

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published on Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute (MAII), a new community for modern marketers created and powered by PR 20/20. 

Gartner predicts that a full 20 percent of business content will be written by machines starting in 2018. This is a startling claim. The analyst firm says: “Business content, such as shareholder reports, legal documents, market reports, press releases, articles and white papers, are all candidates for automated writing tools.”

Will artificial intelligence automate content creation? It’s a legitimate question. If Gartner is talking about the issue, it’s worth considering. Artificial intelligence technologies are advancing rapidly, to the point where the Associated Press now has machines writing full earnings reports. Marketers rely on content more than ever as a linchpin of their strategies. What if the creation of content was suddenly the responsibility of a machine, not a marketer?

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You’ve heard the saying, ‘Nothing in life comes free.’

Well, good news: it’s not true!

There are thousands of free software solutions out there claiming to make you more productive, more efficient and more impactful. Some are a waste of time (sad but true); others, however, have become a staple in my daily routine. 

The key is finding the tools that work for you. Need a starting point? Below, I’ve listed my top 10. Yes, I could live without then … but I’d rather not.

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By losing our biggest family golf championship, I stumbled upon an insanely powerful, free platform that lets you build your own marketing performance tools. 

The platform I'm referring to is the combination of Google Sheets and Google Apps Script. With it, I’ve managed to:

  • Connect sheets to data sources like Google Analytics through APIs.
  • Strategically build large data sets from multiple sources.
  • Marry marketing activities to performance metrics.
  • Build small algorithms to sort through and pull insights out of thousands of data points.
  • Allow multiple Google Sheets to communicate with one another.
  • And much more.

If you’ve got some coding background or are interested in learning to code, I’ve tried to incorporate everything you need to get started building your own marketing tools, including:

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