Marketing Technology Trends

 Uttering “legal marketing technology” and “trends” in the same breath is far from an oxymoron these days. Legal marketers are pushing the envelope like never before in their efforts to extend firm brands. They’re making the most out of the core technologies they already own (like CRM and marketing automation) and increasingly finding touch points between their marketing campaigns and clients’ satisfaction with outside counsel. November’s roundtable discussion unites an impressive cadre of legal marketers who have “been there, done that” – and are now moving beyond. They’ll share fresh insights related to digital marketing, big data and analytics, social media, extranet technologies, and the broader marketing tech trends expected to emerge in 2015.

ElsterRound Table Moderator, Jobst Elster (JE) –  As head of content and legal market strategy for InsideLegal, Jobst brings 15 years of experience in market analysis, market research, public relations and product marketing to the legal industry. He has advised companies entering the legal market, involved in mergers and acquisitions, and expanding operations overseas. Jobst regularly writes and speaks on legal technology, technology innovations and futures, legal marketing and big data. He is a member of the ABA’s Big Data Committee.

 

Our Panelists

BanickBlain R. Banick (BB) –  Blain is chief business development officer at Hush Blackwell, LLP.  For almost 25 years, Blain has focused his career on business development and marketing within the professional services industry.

 

 

 

CordleJeff Cordle (JC) – Jeff has served as marketing technology manager at Alston & Bird LLP for over three years. He has an extensive background in online marketing, search optimization, social media and providing software-as-a-service applications.  Before his job at Alston & Bird, he spent 13 years with a successful dotcom start up.

 

 

cruzJustin Cruz (JCR) – Justin is a registered patent attorney at Sheridan Ross, and is experienced in all aspects of litigation involving utility patents, design patents, trademark and trade dress.  Justin is also involved in patent prosecution and post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

 

 

ClintonClinton Gary (CG) – Clinton is the chief marketing officer at Arnall Golden Gregory in Atlanta.  Previously, he served in marketing leadership positions with Kilpatrick Stockton and Arthur Andersen.  His accomplishments include national rankings for new brand and website launches, print and interactive campaigns, and best law firm marketing.

 

 

HemmingJeff Hemming (JH) –  Jeff is a client advisor at Tikit North America, part of BT Global Services.  Jeff brings 15 years of CRM and email marketing experience to the company’s roster of global legal clients. His focus is on helping clients maximize the value and the impact of using Tikit’s eMarketing solution in the changing technology landscape.
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Anne Reavis (AR) – Anne is director of business intelligence at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP.  She  works in knowledge management and partners with client development and IT staff to identify and implement technology solutions to best serve the firm’s clients.

 

 

JEWith the topic of attorney/legal professional technology proficiency (and the lack thereof) now making it to the front of the ‘challenges and headaches’ line, how are legal marketers approaching technology roll-outs and user adoption? For example, what is the future of CRM-type systems that have a reputation for extremely low user adoptions rates? What is marketing’s role in making sure technology is used properly?

BB: As competition increases, deeper knowledge of clients and industries has never been more important.  Successful CRM implementations will increasingly depend upon feeding systems with information sourced from internal and external data sources not supplied by the attorneys, to provide a deeper understanding of the client and the firm’s relationships with client organizations.  Attorneys will use tools when data quality is high and their needs are met without significant effort on their part.

JC: Product trainings and roll-outs without stressing the upside to the attorneys is doomed from the start. Legal marketers have realized that a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality with CRMs and other technologies does not work. Additionally, while IT may focus on the buttons to push to make a tool function, many legal marketers make a conscious effort to explain the overall benefits to improve success rates. Firms are finding that a combination of showing value, highlighting in-firm hero stories and providing memorable examples are effective in helping overcome adoption rates.

CG: There is no doubt that technology adoption in the legal industry has been an issue.  This is especially true with cumbersome CRM systems.  Attorneys are not corporate sales reps and cannot be prodded or cajoled to consistently spend non-billable time on tasks that don’t appear to directly and immediately improve their client service delivery and originations.  And most law firms are still employing the traditional method of classroom style training and an initial flurry of email communications to launch a new technology. A paradigm shift needs to occur and we need to start by looking at them current world of consumer technology to create a new baseline.  For example, the average attorney uses dozens of apps on their smart phone, none of which required training.  Think about that.  No binders or multiple training sessions on how to use an app.  The same could be said for their use of social networking sites such as LinkedIn.  Also, an attorney can open the box to a new tablet and immediately use it and not have to read a manual. Attorneys of all ages use various apps, social networking sites, and new mobile devices to improve their productivity and collaboration in their personal lives.  Why do we not hold our technologies we use for CRM, or any other technology, to the same standard?

We will dramatically increase our adoption if we take a page from consumer technologies, by stripping away the complexity and combining intuitive and compelling design and a laser-like focus on functionality, with powerful data integration, analytics and collaboration features to deliver tremendous value – out of the box.

New enterprise relationship management platforms as well as “social enterprise” platforms are great examples of a good start in the right direction.

Marketing leaders, in collaboration with the CIO, must push the legal technology community to blur the lines in the development and usage of technology for personal and professional relationship management to capitalize on the same behaviors to be more effective.  Also, marketing leaders need to make compelling cases to stop the status quo of labor-intensive processes and maintaining ineffective technologies.  But, they must also have innovative solutions to take their place.

JH: CRM-type systems are morphing into platforms that enable users to engage with them when, how, and where they want.  The notion of a one-size-fits-all died a long time ago, but we are now able to offer tailored systems that only show the user what they need for the task at hand, on the device that works best for them/the task wherever they need to work.

Traditionally marketing’s role has (or should have) been to “market” the technology internally, and I think this is still a key role for them.  There is a danger in marketing becoming the owner of the technology as they are generally users and don’t see/have the bigger-picture view of security, ethics, usability, policy/procedures, training, etc.

Essentially we need to use our strong communication, and analytic and behavioral knowledge to help technology adapt to the firm’s culture.

AR: There is no single magic wand, and many lawyers are disinclined to spend time learning new technology. Not a knock, just a fact. As a group, we tend to be late adopters. Having said that, we have recently launched an online training program that is making great strides. Automatic e-mail reminders tell us when a specific course that we need is available. We sign up. We get reminders. We get more reminders. And, hopefully, we participate. The program includes a built-in rewards system. As to CRM, we recognize that most lawyers are not going to personally enter contact information nor last-action, next-action. So we are using supplemental technology to passively gather such information. There are no home runs, but like the Kansas City Royals, we think we can win with a whole lot of bunts, singles and stolen bases.

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JE: As a professional marketer, what do you see as the real value of social media in the legal market? Is value tied to the proper policies/procedures, the right aggregation/monitoring/tracking technologies, or firm culture and even ethics concerns regarding social use and promotion?

BB: Social media is a vital source of client information.  Mining that data source in real time is critical to understanding the client’s needs and opportunities.  As attorneys become more familiar with the technology, barriers to acceptance will decline.

JC: I see social media as a real value because it is another (free) channel we can leverage for our brand and for our attorneys for word of mouth marketing – that is invaluable and has been proven to drive business since the dawn of business – which is something that hasn’t been historically available to marketers. While training, instruction and a firm’s support of social media marketing are important; we have to help our attorneys understand and utilize appropriate related platforms in an effective manner and set them up for success.

CG: I believe that many have tried too quickly to replace the word “social” with “selling.” The primary value of social media is to strengthen knowledge sharing and trust in communities of common interest and not to sell more stuff.  To do the latter will quickly destroy the value of social media.  We see this already in many LinkedIn discussion groups.  In our working world, the community that means the most to us and we gain the most benefit is our own organizations.  I believe there is tremendous value in leveraging the positive, community-building, value-add behaviors most of us exhibit in our personal use of social media and social networks by carrying these behaviors into our own firms and business operations.  This dynamic is being called developing the “social enterprise.”  By adopting these approaches, already being utilized in organizations such as GE and IBM, law firms can exponentially increase the utilization of our collective knowledge and networks to drive more value for our firm and our clients.  Yes, social media and social networks are valuable for marketing departments to drive awareness, preference and sales, however, currently for most law firms, not enough of their target markets are utilizing social media to make decisions on legal services.  Law firms are knowledge-based, relationship-based businesses.  So, I believe marketers should balance their limited resources and political capital to implement social media processes and social-oriented technologies both internally and externally to not only create opportunities, but also to empower a culture to respond efficiently and effectively to those opportunities.  Also, the more lawyers utilize “social” methods internally, the more they will feel comfortable using social media externally for business purposes.

JH: Social media is about expanding lawyers’ trusted networks.  The legal market has always been about a network of trusted advisors – social media expands the reach and immediacy that our networks can access.

The value is tied to enhancing the lawyers’ reputations, which makes the social media about the issues that have always been core to lawyers: culture, ethics, and integrity.

AR: We believe social media has the long term potential to augment our relationship building efforts. LinkedIn, in particular, is making strides toward becoming an integrated power-CRM. If, as we sometimes hear, “I engage lawyers, not law firms,” then social media is a relationship-building tool that allows us to maintain relationships with those who may not be easily accessible. We are actively working with our lawyers on social media efforts. Last year, our CMO predicted that within five years, social media such as LinkedIn may become equal to or greater than e-mail as a communications tool. Policies and procedures will adapt as the technology and its adoption evolves. From a marketing standpoint, we encourage a slightly subversive policy – “Don’t be boring, don’t be ridiculous and always observe Bar rules.”  Here’s what we know, based on many authoritative sources: Buyers of legal services are using social media to acquire information and make decisions about which lawyers and law firms to hire. We should meet them where they are.

JE: Marketing/email automation technologies are popular tools in your law firms but are they cutting through the clutter of information overload? How can such tools be tweaked, even ‘re-aligned’ in pursuit of a more dynamic and targeted approach when communicating with clients and prospective buyers of legal services?

BB: The key to getting the most out of emarketing tools is the ability to target your message to the needs of the client or prospect.  Successful targeting can only be done when you can effectively segment clients and have a greater understanding of their decision drivers.  This is where big data will play an increasingly important role going forward.

JC: Email for the time being is the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way we have to communicate with clients and prospective buyers of legal services.  Despite the facts that email volume continues to escalate, high-walled spam filters sometimes affect deliverability and data overload is a challenge on the side of our target market, it is a necessary tool.  Looking forward, smarter email systems that help drive more targeted content based on open rates, click-throughs and interactions resulting in a purer flow of information to the recipient would be ideal not to mention the opportunity to cross-market other practice areas within the firm.

CG: I believe our problem in this space is not a need to “revolutionize” the technologies and processes but to get back to basics.  We have lost the trust and attention of a large part of our audiences because of poor data management, crazy spamming by sending them everything we create, content that is not immediately digestible by a business-oriented decision maker, very poor creative, and worst of all, a slow or no response to their request to remove their names off of email lists.  Instead of regularly asking for permissions, because of the fear of mass unsubscribes, too many do what they can to prevent people from unsubscribing.  Yes, the rest of the ‘email world’ is just as bad, which doesn’t help, but we (the legal industry) should not perpetuate it.  And by listening to our contacts’ preferences, we reduce the perception of “overload.”  Email is still the most effective marketing tool for client communications.  Overall, email or any form of communication – digital and physical, should be seen as the part of a larger and orchestrated client experience strategy which should be designed with the client at the center and not the law firm.  This is about strategy and process and not technology.

JH: Marketing automation technologies are still in the early days and definitely offer a lot of promise to cut through the clutter.  The significant challenge is that they require a deep knowledge of both prospects and clients at a behavioral level.  This does not exist in the community currently and requires a long-term commitment in terms of resources, people, and strategy.

As simple as it sounds, the most immediate thing that firms can do to cut through the clutter is to move to an opt-in methodology for all communications.  The leading edge firms understand this, but many firms still struggle with it.  For example, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is an attempt to drive this behavior from the regulatory level, but all it is doing is advocating best practice.  We should only be sending marketing communications to contacts that want to hear from us — period, full stop.  This establishes a solid foundation on which to build the automation processes.

AR: Clients’ interest in automated emails generally seems to be waning as other communication channels become more prevalent. Some buyers have made it clear that they find them annoying. E-mails with a tailored personal note about relevance can cut through the clutter. Personalization still trumps automation. Other channels, such as social media, are perhaps more in tune with the times.

JE:  According to the 2014 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey, internet research and consequently the use of websites are a major influence (51 percent response) when it comes to firms making IT purchasing decisions. The same can be said for firm sites and their importance when communicating and interacting with firm clients and general consumers. How do you see firm websites evolving (from static ‘brochureware’ to responsively designed, mobile optimized information portals)? Do you see the push of mobility as an opportunity to further engage or re-engage your audiences via the web or do you see it as a mere tactical extension of your overall web strategy?

BB: The key is developing sites that meet the needs of your entire audience, however they choose to engage you and connect with your firm.  Increasingly, clients will choose to connect with you on their mobile devices and firms will need to ensure the client experience is as robust on a mobile device as it is on a desktop or laptop.

JC: Accessibility to information (e.g. viewing advisories on mobile devices) is now becoming a requirement instead of something nice to have, as more and more online interactions involve mobile devices. In fact, 56 percent of people own a smart phone and 50 percent of mobile phone users, use mobile as their primary Internet source.  Experiences must be conducive to delivering content that is easy to read, navigate and share no matter if it is viewed on a desktop, handheld device or large monitor/TV. Responsive designed sites help meet this relatively new need.

CG: This is when marketers have to blend art and science, and website analytics play the key role.  A law firm that has not invested in a quality web analytics technology and a person on the team that has the knowledge, enthusiasm and time to maximize the information and sustain the process is missing a tremendous opportunity to understand the “digital voice of the client.”  The “digital voice of the client” can help a marketing department to create better interactive technology, design, content management, and mobile strategies, based more on science, rather than assumptions and preferences of a dominant marketer, attorney or agency.   Specific to mobile strategies, legal marketers cannot get caught up in general consumer trends.  Most buyers are not gaining ‘strategic’ value from law firm websites accessed through mobile devices.  For example, it could be said that the average amount of visitors to a corporate law firm accessing it on a mobile device is 10%.  That is far less than your mainstream consumer-oriented websites.  And most are accessing the website for the office address, an attorney’s contact information, or job openings.  For mobile to become a significant piece of legal marketing, law firms must rethink the value we provide through content.  Can we produce content (‘thought leadership’) that would be valuable enough for our target market to engage our firm frequently through various devices to improve their business performance and address their legal issues?  The IT industry has advanced in this area by offering collateral, checklists, tools, etc. to help decision makers.  The strategy and consulting services industry continues to advance in this area by offering substantial thought leadership.  This content is so valuable that decision makers want and need access to it at any time and on any device.  What can law firms offer that creates that kind of value and sense of urgency?  When we answer that, we can then formulate a true mobile strategy that powers a content management strategy that delivers true value and client engagement.

JH: Mobile is going to replace the web as we understand it.  Its ability to track who we are and where we are is a fundamental shift – using search we can ask questions that take us directly to the answer, using location we can tailor the offering, and with social we can find and engage with people outside of the firm website.

Essentially, mobile enables us to break our content into pieces and allows our contacts to engage how, when, and where they want through multiple channels.  Put another way, there is no longer one door into the firm but many, and mobile is driving that change.

AR: We’ve come a long way from the days of billboard web sites. A small percentage of web site users enter through the home page and use navigation; most find web sites via search engines. On the web site itself, search is king. Web sites that are not able to personalize the user experience are long obsolete. Today’s web site quickly understands what a user is seeking, and leads her there. Today’s web technology remembers visitors and tailors future experiences. Mobility is critical, since it has overtaken the desktop in terms of search. All of us should be leading from a search and mobility perspective.

JE: According to a recent Gartner study, analysts predict that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs. This paves the way for the rise of the legal chief marketing technology officer and their influence over not just marketing purchasing but overall technology purchasing and strategy. What do you think about this trend? Is it in fact a trend in the legal profession? Is it a ‘global firm’ phenomenon or is its validity independent of firm size?

BB: I believe the concept of a chief marketing technology officer is likely a bridge too far.  Instead, I see the need for a deeper connection between CBDOs and CIOs and the need for marketing and business development to be more well-educated consumers of technology.  As better consumers of technology, marketing and business development professionals can become more successful implementers of technology rather than rivals to the technology team within law firms, thus benefiting all.

JC: The notion of a CMTO is interesting given that roles have been created within some firms over the past few years of the marketing technology manager. This is likely occurring more in larger firms than smaller.

CG: I believe the use of technology in the legal industry will continue to grow and the importance of a marketing leader to understand the power of innovative technologies to improve their firm’s performance will continue to grow. This will be true for firms of all sizes.  However, we cannot forget that fluency in technology is only one component of a successful marketing leader.  We have seen many marketing leaders not be successful because their strength was siloed in marketing communications, branding, or business development.  We have also seen marketing leaders struggle that could not incorporate leadership and management techniques, such as strategic planning, change management, project management, and team management.  So, I don’t want our industry to fall into the trap of saying the ‘new’ marketer now needs to be dominant in technology.   The more successful marketing leaders in the legal industry will continue to be those with strong leadership and management skills, solid marketing instincts and knowledge of the market, and the ability to create great teams and collaborate with others to get things done.  Having in-depth knowledge of and influence over technology is not a requirement if you are a good leader and manager.  A good leader and manager can create and implement a new brand and a new office as equally effective as a new technology platform.  The same cannot be said for a marketer that is predominantly a guru and czar of technology.

JH: This trend honestly scares me, and I’m a marketer!  There are many considerations beyond the traditional marketing role that this opens up – policy, security, ethics, and usability, to name a few.  While on the surface this is great for us as marketers, it may cultivate an over-inflated sense of self.  Part of this is being driven by cloud technologies that makes technology easier to access and reduces a lot of the traditional challenges that have been faced.

Whether the trend holds out to be true or not, we need to remember that we are part of a team.  Whatever the structure is we need to be able to work together, compromise, and find solutions that benefit the firm.  The big, top-line issues about ethics, firm reputation, security, etc. will still need to be addressed.  The bridges that have been needed in the past are still needed.  Whether it’s easier to do as a CMO/CIO or CMTO will be interesting to see.

AR: As it seems with many functional trends we see in the press, law firms are a little different.  I doubt marketing tech will outstrip all other areas of the law firms’ technology investments, but the larger point is correct: technology to support legal marketing and relationships is clearly becoming more important. Regardless of where the budget sits or whose domain it falls under, we are all in the same business – delighting clients and initiating and advancing relationships with buyers – and we believe that each function should take the lead on roles it is best equipped to handle without respect to turf or silos.

JE: Are big data-type technologies of value to law firm marketing and BD? If so, which ones (categories vs. product names) and why?

BB: Big data is revolutionizing law firm marketing and business development today.  The information necessary to truly understand our clients and their needs is out there and the technology to capitalize on this information exists.  The challenge is convincing the attorneys to trust the data rather than the traditional means of making decisions on their gut instincts.

JCR: The data provided by Lex Machina is very user-friendly and provides succinct litigation statistics that helps inform clients and potential clients.  Data on parties is helpful both in marketing and business development by helping inform clients and potential clients to make strategic decisions when facing potential litigation.  For example, information on how long cases remain pending and how long it would take for a case to go to trial can help assess what may be expected and create a plan accordingly. This can be important to clients’ and potential clients’ budgeting efforts and creating a litigation budget, and making decisions on alternative approaches to resolve a potential dispute.

CG: Big data can be incredibly valuable but mostly for the NLJ 350.  Because you have to have lots of data to formulate insights and the willingness to purchase expensive but not mission-critical technologies to do it.

But note that big data is like client feedback surveys. If you are not going to do anything with the information, if it is not going to influence strategies, processes and behaviors, then don’t invest in it.  Or it will be like the CRM systems of old.  But if utilized, big data can be incredibly valuable in two areas: 1) it can be a valuable component into understanding the ‘Voice of the Client,’ both at a macro client portfolio level and at an individual level, showing us our SWOT, and 2) it can be extremely useful in helping to create more efficient operations, which can be used only a cost advantage or we can use it is as an overall competitive advantage by offering greater value through price and service and consistency of delivery.

AR: When we talk about big data in law firms, I think we mean something categorically different from what other industries think of with respect to the label ‘big data.’  Are there opportunities to mine structured and unstructured data, gain insights, and create knowledge about smarter ways of engaging potential clients? Absolutely. At every step of the sales process, data is critical to understanding ourselves, understanding where we fit with respect to various types of clients, and developing differentiated offerings that will open doors. We currently use CRM/ERM, website scrapers, external pricing databases, news aggregators, and social media tools.  With the incredible innovation exploding in the tech sector, we expect these technologies to continue to improve and new categories of tools to emerge.

JE: Client extranets have been around for a while but they continue to provide value when it comes to better communicating and collaborating with clients. To what extent does your firm or company provide clients with extranet access and where do you see this technology headed?

BB: At Hush Blackwell, our ExtraAdvantage system is a critical component of our LPM and client-focused legal services delivery model.  Going forward, we expect this important client communication/information tool to be a key part of how we meet our client needs.

JC: We see client extranets as a way to add value to our relationships with our clients by providing necessary tools to support them in their matters. Going forward, we expect this to continue to a strategic tool to use when communicating with clients.

CG: We provide extranets but it is selective based on client preference.  Large companies have embraced extranets more so than middle-market companies.  Many middle-market companies see themselves as relationship-based growth companies.  Larger companies have incorporated a more process and cost orientation into their businesses and are skilled at outsourcing, making extranets great tools to provide the needed workflows and transparency.  I do think extranets will evolve as they incorporate more innovative technologies and organizations, especially large organizations, become more ‘social enterprises.’  For example, salesforce.com’s “chatter” capability or Microsoft’s Yammer platform can enhance social-oriented, real-time communications and collaboration for more efficient knowledge-sharing and client service.

AR: We use extranets and they are helpful in collaborating with clients. The next generation of such tools will be sharing not just between an individual law firm and a client, but rather among a client and all of its law firms. Think wiki. Womble currently has some unique client-facing KM systems available through our ancillary practices. This trend is likely to continue to grow.

JE: Firm and client analytics (are becoming increasingly predictive). If nothing else, the buzz around big data has forced marketers to look at their data and info streams more closely and assess (and often reassess) the best ways to leverage business data and create dashboards and ‘KPIs’ that support business decisions. Are executive dashboards and metric meters still the way to go or is time to take analytics to the next client–facing level?

BB: The ability to better understand client needs through the use of tools like data analytics will continue to be a key differentiator for all firms.  How the information is shared within the firm and with clients will continue to evolve as technology improves.  The key is making sure clients have access to the information that is most important to them, when they want it.

JH: Based on what we’re seeing from a marketing side, there is still a long way to go with joining business metrics with marketing results.  At a recent conference, I heard leading marketers say that the analytics they get from their various systems are too detailed for them to understand and that they would not consider sharing.  As a marketer this scared me because it speaks to the age-old question of defining metrics that accurately reflect marketing’s contribution to the firm’s performance.  This is compounded by the technologies that are trying to define their value through technology-specific metrics instead of business- side metrics.

At this stage, simply being able to capture the touch points a contact has before they “purchase” and assign a cost is a significant step in the right direction.  This will give the hard numbers that are needed to drive the right business metrics.

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JE: What do you see as the single biggest marketing technology trend heading into 2015?

BB: Client-focused analytics. The days of throwing darts at a dart board are over.  Marketing and business development efforts must be targeted and driven by data in order to be successful in today’s highly competitive market.

JC: Attorneys’ adoption of social media and its influence on how firms communicate with clients and prospects is likely to be one of, if not the biggest, marketing technology trend for next year.

CG: There are two dynamics relating to technology in the legal marketing industry today: 1) there are few ‘platform’ players in the legal marketing industry, offering something close to a one-stop-shop for law firm marketing departments, and 2) there is a wave of new innovative niche technologies from entrepreneurs (i.e., email marketing, social listening tools, social media management, content distribution, website governance, etc.).  The combination of these two dynamics creates the possibility of legal marketers chasing after too many ‘shinny pennies’ resulting in a complex monster of various cool technologies from multiple vendors of all sizes, offering varying levels of support and sustainability, which could lead to nightmares around maintenance, integration, adoption, and sustainability.  And throw in the training and time from the marketing staff needed to populate and use them all, as well as any attorney training.  So the biggest trend will be for marketing departments to continue stealth technology projects to test value, but leading legal marketers will do a strategic review of their teams to ensure they have the right alignment of people, process and technology – to make sure they are doing the right things right and not adding complexity to what is usually an already stretched, yet always enthusiastic, legal marketing department.

JH: From my perspective, the biggest trends revolve around driving opted-in communications and capturing contact touch points.  These are definitely foundational type trends, but are key to delivering the value that marketing needs to demonstrate to the leadership team and partnership.

From an opted-in perspective, we’re looking at ways to increase message deliverability, build message reputation, and ensure easy compliance with various jurisdictions.  Within the touch point capture trend we are looking at alternate tracking methods and improved ways of linking to other internal systems (e.g., CRM, HR and billings).

AR:  Video. The Google algorithm is weighted so heavily to video that it’s almost marketing malpractice not to use video as the primary content channel, or – even better – in combination with narrative. Yahoo did not become the most prolific content provider without careful consideration of how to play content.

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