REGISTER NOW! September 12th Cross-Channel Engagement Panel in LA

Register

Use the Promo Code ESAGEVIP to save 35%!

Today as marketers, we are faced with the challenge of allocating marketing spend across more channels than ever before – social, web, TV, print, mobile, digital advertising, email, etc.
  • How do we effectively evaluate the relevancy of a channel to our target customer?
  • How do we measure what channels will give us the biggest bang for our buck?
  • How can you influence the customer journey both on and off-line?
  • How do you attribute sales?
On September 12th, enjoy an evening of learning and lively discussion with industry experts including:

Doug BaraschUniversal Music Group
Sr. Director of Digital Marketing and Strategy

Joshua ColeUniversal Studios
VP of Marketing and e-Commerce

Sarah JohnsonNestle USA
Manager of Multi-Brand Scale Marketing

Moderator will be Duane BedardeSage Group
Founder & President

             
Date: September 12, 2013
Time: 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: CAP Theatre map
13752 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Cost: $35 for Members
$45 for Non-Members
$50 at Door
Cost includes entrance to event, light appetizers,
and beverages
Register now
Use the Promo Code ESAGEVIP to save 35%!
       

Cross Channel Customer Engagement Panel – Sept 12th

CCCE Banner

ama los angeles &
esage group

presents

Cross Channel Customer Engagement

On September 12, 2013, AMA Los Angeles and eSage Group presents the first in a series of panels on Cross Channel Customer Engagement. Enjoy an evening of learning and lively discussion from industry experts including:

Today as marketers, we are faced with the challenge of allocating marketing spend across more channels than ever before – social, web, TV, print, mobile, digital advertising, email, etc.

  • How do we effectively evaluate the relevancy of a channel to our target customer?
  • How do we measure what channels will give us the biggest bang for our buck?
  • How can you influence the customer journey both on and off-line?
  • How do you attribute sales?
Register Now!
Transform Your Thinking
Date: September 12, 2013
Time: 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: CAP Theatre 13752 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Cost: $35 for Members
$45 for Non-Members
$50 at Door
Cost includes entrance to event, light appetizers, and beverages

Register Now

Got Data? Big Data Panel in LA a success!

I can’t believe it has been two weeks since the AMA Los Angeles and eSage Group sponsored Big Data panel in LA. It was a full house at BlankSpaces in Downtown LA. The 3 panelists where Raj Babu from Universal Music Group, Christopher Bridges from ValueClick, and Brian Kao from AEG. eSage Group’s Duane Bedard moderated. There was lots on great insights from the panelists. I will be posting more edited clips, but for now, here are a few pictures and a video clip!

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Definitions for “Big Data” – A Starting Point

Big Data

Written by Rob Lawrence, eSage Group’s Strategic Relationship Manager

Will someone please tell us all, once and for all, just what in tarnation is Big Data? What is it? Where is it? Who’s doing what with it? And why are they doing that? In one blog article I can maybe just scratch the surface of those questions. I might even provide some level of understanding for those curious marketers, bewildered and attempting to make heads or tails of the concept of Big Data. I could certainly dive deeper than even that because I’ve spent some time with this, and done homework, and lived Big Data. But this is a blog article, not a dissertation, so I’ll keep it at a 10,000 foot view of the ever elusive, yet intriguing, Big Data!

If you are one of the rare data scientists that have graduated recently from one of few schools offering Big Data degrees, which makes you an expert in this field, please feel free to stop reading here, or continue on to better understand what the rest of us are, well, trying to grasp when it comes to Big Data. For the rest of us, here is my take on the whole Big Data craze:

Big Data is simply all the data available. That means, in realistic terms, all of the data one can gather about a subject from all the places data resides: data sitting in some long forgotten enterprise software program in the basement of a large corporation, data from social media websites, website traffic data (click-through’s and pathing and such), text from blogs, even data from a sensor on a rocket ship or bridge in Brooklyn (not sure if they’re using sensor data on the Brooklyn Bridge, but they could be). Sources of data are vast, and growing. It’s cheaper to store data than ever before, and we now have the computing capability to sift through it, so now there is lots more data being collected, “Big” amounts of Data are being stored and analyzed. There is a lot you can do with all this Big Data, but this is where it gets dicey. You can collect all kinds of data with one subject, question or problem in mind, but end up realizing (through analysis) more important information about a totally different subject, question or problem. That’s why Big Data is so confusing to lots of folks just getting their hands dirty with it, and apparently also why it is so valuable to Marketers, Engineers, CEO’s, The FBI, Data Geeks, and anyone else interested in edging out the competition. Let’s explore some basics:

Wikipedia says: “Big data usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target, as of 2012 ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set. With this difficulty, new platforms of “big data” tools are being developed to handle various aspects of large quantities of data.”

The Big Data Institute says: “Big Data is a term applied to voluminous data objects that are variety in nature – structured, unstructured or a semi-structured, including sources internal or external to an organization, and generated at a high degree of velocity with an uncertainty pattern, that does not fit neatly into traditional, structured, relational data stores and requires strong sophisticated information ecosystem with high performance computing platform and analytical capabilities to capture, process, transform, discover and derive business insights and value within a reasonable elapsed time.”

So, we’ve only scratched the surface of truly understanding what Big Data is here in this blog, and really the multitude of possibilities Big Data represents has only begun to unfold to those of us using it to better understand whatever it is we’re collecting data about. I hope at a minimum by reading this you have gained a better understanding of what “Big Data” is, but moreover, a curiosity to learn more and perhaps even apply it to something you are working on. These are exciting times whether you are using data for marketing or designing a new rocket ship to explore Mars. Big things are coming, and it’s all due to Big Data!

Here are some great articles I’ve recently enjoyed regarding Big Data:

eSage Group supports Social Media Harvest 2013!

Earlier this month at Concordia University in Irvine, CA, students and business owners met and chatted with a diverse panel of six marketing professionals on the topics of Social Media, its ramifications on marketing today, our personal lives, and the lives of our younger generations. This panel discussion event was organized, hosted and moderated by the Social Media Marketing and Adjunct Communications Professor at Concordia University, Angela Williamson, and our panelists for the event included Jeanne Rogers – Assistant Vice President, Marketing at IMPAC Mortgage, Valeska Jacques – Partner Channel/Strategic Agency Partnerships at Rivvid.com, Marieke Hensel – Digital Marketing Entrepreneur at Branding Personality USA, Ty Woodson and Mark Mobley of PBS SoCal, and our very own Rob Lawrence of eSage Group.

The conversation was both lively and sobering at times as the panelists answered various questions such as “Are our First Amendment rights protected on social media networking sites?” and “What company has the best example of social media marketing and how did they do it?” The panelists answered these and other questions sometimes with humor and at other times with a more serious take on just how Social Media is affecting consumerism, people’s lives in general, and especially the youth in society. Although sometimes varying in opinion, our panelists found common ground sharing their thoughts on Social Media such as: “Children today should put down the Twitter and text machines and interact more!”, “Small business owners should have a goal in mind when beginning a Social Media Campaign and pursue professional help from a creative agency”, and “yes, job seeker, your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and any other Social platform is fair game for prospective employers to look at whether they tell you or not!”.

Panelist Questions included:
1. Should social media be regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)?SoMe Harvest
2. Should there be mandatory time (time or age) limits for children using social media? If yes, what should the age be?
3. Has social media lessened face-to-face communication?
4. Does the content on social media lead to more depression?
5. How can I start a career in social media?
6. What skills do social media companies look for when hiring employees?
7. How much information on social media is dictated by what society says is helpful?
8. How can social media shift from a social use to professional use to help college students find a career?
9. Will future employers see be able to view our social media presence? Could it hurt me in finding a job?
10. Should there be laws governing social media to combat bullying on the Internet?
11. Are our First Amendment rights (Freedom of Speech) protected on social media networking sites?
12. Will social media eliminate traditional advertising and marketing activities in the future?
13. What’s the next trend in social media? If I learn this trend, will I be in high demand for employment opportunities?
14. Are there any social media professional groups/associations that I can join to learn more about social media and social media jobs?
15. What company or person offers the best example of social media marketing? How did it/they do it?
16. If I want to be successful in the field of social media should I have a niche (niche marketing)?

We think the dialog was great between panelists, students and business owners and much was learned by all. We hope to see you at next year’s SoMe Harvest at Concordia University in Irvine, CA! (Follow the SoMe Harvest on Twitter: @SoMeHarvest)

Unleash the potential of your Marketing Data!

Every year organizations collect more and more data on customer ”touch points”.  Technology advances are allowing for the storage and analysis of data that just 5 years ago wouldn’t have been possible.  More data from an ever increasing number of marketing channels presents a “secret weapon” that leading marketing organizations are using to better communicate with and engage their customer base.

Data collected from new sources like web usage logs, social media chatter, blogs, digital advertising, online media payers, and smart phone/tablet apps is exploding.  The ability to store this valuable marketing data cost effectively in new Big Data platforms like Hadoop makes the storage of these large quantities of information much more feasible than ever before.  Furthermore, the option of storing this data cheaply means that organizations can now store data at substantially increased levels of granularity.  The result of this trend is the collection and storage of very valuable marketing data that is growing exponentially.  Low cost “Big Data” storage solutions allow organizations to gain insight from data that had been previously inaccessible or too expensive to collect and store.

 As the amount of valuable data collection increases, so does the amount of untapped potential marketing value that can be extracted from this information!

So the next question is…how can you quickly start extracting value from all this valuable marketing data to greatly improve your marketing effectiveness and overall sales, without breaking the bank.

Extracting value from this information using an Agile Marketing Approach

Marketers have a few hurdles to overcome before they can extract the desired value from all this collected data, but nothing that is insurmountable.  The main challenges fall into two buckets; technology and process.   Let’s take process first:

Process

In a rapidly evolving digital environment the approaches to marketing execution must change. From a process perspective; the newer Agile Marketing approach to quickly and incrementally extract value out of your collected marketing data can prove extremely valuable.  eSage Group has developed an Agile Marketing methodology that focuses on rapid and incremental project deliverables that concentrates on the highest business value goals first, while also using the appropriate technologies and IT collaboration that allow for rapid development and cost effectiveness.

The initial focus of this approach is mapping your marketing goals to a set of realistic and valuable Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that will allow you to track your progress against marketing goals.  Once you have a holistic set of marketing goals and KPI’s you will want to prioritize them by marketing benefit to better focus development priorities.  Focus on your high benefit priorities first.  Don’t try to take on everything at once or you will likely get mired down in the details with nothing to show.

Depending on your specific marketing goals; some of these KPI’s will only need to track against a single channel, while others will need to track data across marketing channels to provide the necessary cross-channel performance insight you are looking for. 

The good news with Big Data storage platforms is that you can now cost effectively store large quantities of very granular data, which allows for the development of very rich KPI’s that offer far deeper insight than ever possible before.  Marketers now have the ability to not only track deep metrics within one channel but across multiple channels.  So you can now track things like the number of customers that come from your social media channels to your web properties to make a purchase, or further engage with your company and digital products.  This type of information now allows you to do things like monetize your social media initiatives.  So with the appropriate forethought in your campaign design and data collection processes you can now set up the ability to track metrics across multiple channels.

Technology

Once you have all your marketing KPI’s defined you will then need to make sure you are collecting all the appropriate source data to support the needs of each KPI.  If it turns out that you are not collecting all the appropriate data from the sources you will need to get this remedied so the data is there for future marketing analysis.  It is obviously ideal to define your KPI’s first before a particular marketing channel is set up so you can make sure the data will be there for later analysis, but this is not always possible. 

Once you get a handle on the mapping of your marketing goals to your KPI’s and your stored data, it’s time to start thinking about accessing this valuable data and rapidly building some analytics reports that allow for tracking the performance of your marketing initiatives over time. 

Although tools like Hadoop are great for storing the ever increasing quantities of marketing Big Data that you are collecting, they are not great for quickly getting at this data for analysis.  We have found that if we extract the appropriate data out of Hadoop and into user friendly  and powerful database tools like Microsoft SQL Server we can provide business value to our customers in extremely short time frames (ie in weeks instead of many months as is traditional), while still offering very cost effective solutions.  For even more flexibility we find developing with a set of HTML 5 “front end” charting tools allows us to rapidly develop a single reporting/dashboard solution that can be used on both PC and tablet based devices.  The key is the appropriate set of database technologies that allow for flexible querying and application of business logic, with front end tools that allow for rapid, yet rich dashboard and reporting analytics.

This agile marketing approach requires that the technical team works very closely with the marketing team to get at the right data, build the appropriate business logic, then add a flexible reporting layer that allows for rapid development.   The ability of the Marketing team to tightly collaborate with the IT group is very important at this point.  Without this cooperation marketers can’t get at all the valuable data that is being collected and the marketing potential remains locked within the Big Data repository.  

In summary, if you want to rapidly start extracting value out of the mounds of valuable data that your team has been collecting, we would recommend that you implement for following steps discussed in this article:

  • Start using the appropriate Agile Marketing methodology to rapidly extract value out of your marketing data.
  • Map your Marketing Goals to the appropriate KPI’s, then to the supporting source data.
  • Prioritize your KPI’s by marketing benefit and use this information to build a roadmap.
  • Establish close working collaboration between Marketing and IT groups.
  • Use the appropriate database and presentation technologies that allow IT teams to quickly extract information from Big Data platforms, apply business logic and present information in rich and flexible dashboards/reports that provide the analytics capability the business needs in a matter of weeks, not months.

The eSage Group has been helping companies extract marketing value from their sales and marketing data investments for years using the right combination of Agile development techniques, close collaboration between IT and Sales/Marketing groups and the right technologies that offer rapid development and cost effective solutions in incredibly short time frames.  If you would like more information about how the technical and analytics team at eSage Group can help you quickly tap the potential of your sales and marketing data, please vistit our website.

 

 

Steps to Create an Intelligent Enterprise Marketing Platform

Intelligent Enteprise Marketing Platform

Contact eSage Group for more information on how to create and implement an Intelligent Enterprise Marketing Platform!

Step 1: Perform audit of the marketing goals for each marketing channel

  • Discuss and document:
  • The customer data that is currently being tracked via each channel
  • The desired marketing channel interactions for each channel and the associated priority.
  • The particular marketing KPI’s that the customer would like to track for each channel.
  • Map each marketing goal to a corresponding KPI that would be used to track performance of that goal.
  • Identify any gaps where there is not an appropriate KPI or customer data to track a particular marketing goal.  Define new KPI’s and required data to track goals.
  • Define any cross-channel marketing goals
  • Identify any missing data to track cross-channel marketing goals

Step 2: Intelligent Enterprise Marketing Platform Infrastructure:

  • Discuss and document:
  • The current marketing channel tools that are in place
  • Additional marketing channel analytic tools that are currently being implemented or are under consideration.
  • Create a phased technology implementation roadmap that allows the organization to gain the capability to perform the desired level of integration, given the constraints of the current technological infrastructure in place and customer data availability.

Step 3: Deliver and discuss roadmap results:

  •  Review analysis findings and discuss what KPI’s can be tracked with current infrastructure.
  • Review results of gap analysis and discuss what infrastructure needs to be put in place to support overall channel and cross-channel marketing goals.
  • Discuss prioritization and logical next steps for infrastructure enhancements to meet high priority marketing goals.

Contact eSage Group for more information on how to create and implement an Intelligent Enterprise Marketing Platform!