True Influence October Round-up: Bringing A.I. to Data

There might be something a little bit futuristic about the concept of artificial intelligence, especially for anyone who once watched “2001: A Space Odyssey” and now, even some concerns that the self-driving cars and computers of the future are capable of the same malevolence as Hal 2000.

The future, however, is now. True Influence and its marketing platform InsightBASE have maximized the effectiveness of AI to the benefits of clients who now have a better idea about exactly who their audience is and how to effectively reach them.

Here are some of our most information-packed blog posts from the past month, and despite the futuristic tone, there’s not a worry in sight.

Click on each title to read the full article.

How to Build Audience Trust with Content Marketing

Marketing has changed from the Don Draper days, when advertising was slick, and aimed to please as many people as possible.

Advertising like that may earn your company plenty of likes on social media, but gaining their trust is a whole different animal, and it is the most important part of establishing a rapport with potential prospects.

Trust is clearly built with content marketing.

Content marketing has changed the traditional marketing model, making advertising more of a one-on-one endeavor, that speaks specifically to a target audience, providing content that meets their needs.

“The days of one-to-millions messaging are gone,” we wrote on this Oct. 6 post. “The key to successful content marketing is understanding the individual who represents your target audience — her needs, her interests, her frustrations, her ambitions — and delivering content that speaks directly to her. By refining your content marketing to speak to this specific target buyer, you stand a significantly greater chance of earning his/her trust.”

Who Has Time for Content Marketing? You Do!

While there has been much debate in recent months about the benefits of content marketing, the tried-and-true method of attracting a consumer base is one of the best ways to build trust, because it provides the opportunity to showcase your expertise.

In an article appearing in Forbes magazine, True Influence partner SiriusDecisions said, content marketing is all about how the customer wants to buy, rather than how the seller wants to sell.
Finding time to write the content that will establish that trust can be challenging, without being disciplined.

Given that content is one of the most important parts of a marketing strategy, it’s that discipline, and having a plan for it, is critical.

If you feel as though you don’t have the time to write successful, authoritative content, planning, as I said, is key. Here are some great suggestions to help you get started:

  • Use brainstorming sessions to help determine your audience and their interests, so you can provide ideas beyond a single post, and can help develop a cohesive voice that runs throughout all areas of your content.
  • Rather than scrambling to come up with content on the fly, deadlines looming, set aside a day to create as much of the content you’ll need for a week or even for a month. A long writing session will not only help keep a level of cohesion running through your work, it will also alleviate poorly-written copy penned with a sense of urgency.
  • Use guest writers that are thought leaders on your topic at hand. They can amp up the interest and energy. While cohesion is important, inviting respected guest bloggers can help expand your focus, and potentially your audience as well. You can also draw from complementary topics across the web.
  • The Future Is Now: How AI Finds Actionable Patterns in Data

    While almost everyone is talking about the benefits of artificial intelligence, as it turns out, AI is nothing like the Jetsons-inspired technology of the imagination.
    Instead, AI is being put to use as an effective way to target the right audience, at the right time, through the use of AI’s fact-based analytics, and there is nothing futuristic about this at all.

    According to RK Maniyani, Chief Technology Officer at True Influence, because fact-based analytics as an AI solution draw on data in real-time, it has finally found its footing as a genuinely effective marketing tool.

    AI can help you find your audience, target them with the right email, select the right platform on which to reach them, and create personalized content, including chatbots, that improve website interactions, all by analyzing patterns created by a wealth of digital footprints.

    “AI has been in use at larger data-driven marketing and advertising companies for years, and as the technology matures, it will create almost unlimited optimization opportunities for your own B2B Marketing efforts,” says Maniyani in our October 11 blog.

    It all hinges on the quality of the data, along with having the right humans behind the proverbial wheel.

    Analyst Firm Names True Influence in B2B Marketing Data Report

    True Influence was recently recognized by Forrester Research for its cutting-edge marketing solutions.

    In a report from Forrester Researcher, “Vendor Landscape: B2B Marketing Data Providers, Q3 2017,” True Influence was recognized among peer vendors for its ability to gather a wealth of valuable information through its InsightBASE platform.

    “Many B2B marketers believe that inaccurate and incomplete data is a hard fact of life that is too difficult and expensive to fix,” Forrester wrote in its report. “It’s time to drop that legacy thinking. The data marketplace has exploded with solutions and services to address the origin and governance of business-buyer data – with a reasonable investment of time and money.”
    Determining who a buyer, through data can be, used to be a time-consuming process; but, with True Influence’s precise understanding of what information is of actual value to a marketer – and what information is junk – it is a game-changer – in real-time.

    “Identifying who is in the buying cycle is a home run,” said Kay Kienast, head of Global Marketing Operations at GE Digital. “Trying to identify a buyer’s journey used to require a significant amount of time and money in the past. Now, we can determine who is likely ready to but in a timely and much more accurate faction. True Influence is an example of a partner that provides timely, accurate, and quality data for those ready to buy.”

    For a Global ABM Strategy, Think Local

    Account-based marketing can be the gateway to landing global accounts, but because of the intimacy involved in getting to know those accounts through their online activity, the process still has a local feel.

    And it’s that mom-and-pop warmth – the personalized marketing techniques that ABM allows – that has the capability of making any ABM campaign successful, because it enables you to identify your target’s concerns, and subsequently offer answers to them.

    “Whether your target is down the block or a world away, remember that people are still people, and when you show up with answers to what they need, you’ll almost always get a positive response,” True Influence posted in this October 16 blog.

    Understanding the ABM Framework

    Historically, account-based marketing consisted of lining up contacts at a business you desired as part of your portfolio, and using that contact to get a foot in the door.
    To effectively market to your desired audience today, however, it’s no longer who you know, it’s what you know.

    With contemporary account-based marketing, the target company does most of the actual legwork by leaving digital footprints which become important assets in a marketing plan.
    By properly analyzing these footprints, B2B marketers can personally target individual companies, not by knowing someone on the inside, but by getting to know everyone from the outside, by following their online activity.

    There are four keys to a successful ABM campaign, according to this Oct. 13 post:

  • Identify target accounts. Intent signals can assist you in finding accounts which fit your wish list, including some you may have missed using old-school techniques.
  • Engage contacts at target accounts. Intent signals can help you determine the best person to contact within a company’s structure, based on online behavior, including searches.
  • Align sales and marketing. Because sales and marketing work together so closely, both teams need to share information, so marketing can clearly target the right contact, with the right message, based on intel gathered by the sales department.
  • Measure and optimize campaigns. While ABM takes much of the guesswork out of marketing, you are no longer throwing out advertising in order to see what sticks; there is always room for improvement. By monitoring data, you can determine at what point in the marketing process potential prospects are no longer engaged, so your team can shore up those particular campaigns and improve the messaging.
  • How to Use Intent Signal Data Effectively

    Intent signals are one of the hottest B2B trends of 2016. They are even more powerful, more than a year later, as the platforms used to analyze those digital footprints have become more sophisticated and precise.

    Because they give valuable insight into potential prospects, intent signals – the digital footprints left behind that show what prospects are searching for, which platforms they are using and other information – are important assets for both sales and marketing teams. Those signals show interest, making marketing campaigns things of value rather than time wasted.

    “Because intent signal data offers real-time insights based on actual online activity, sales and marketing teams can track targets over time, and identify spikes in tracked activity. If, for example, a team notices increased activity around a particular topic — say, related to a new regulation or a major development in a targeted industry — they can capitalize on that surge,” True Influence noted in its October 23 blog post.

    True Influence Appoints Michael Van Patten Chief Financial Officer

    On October 25, we announced the appointment of Michael Van Patten as our new Chief Financial Officer.

    Van Patten previously served as Vice President of Finance and acting CFO at Smart Tuition, a company that provided software to private or parochial schools to manage billing and collection of tuition payments more efficiently.

    “We are delighted to have Michael join our team at this exciting time in our evolution,” said True Influence CEO Brian Giese. “We look forward to leveraging his impressive and lengthy experience in finance, technology, and marketing to help lead True Influence, as we continue our rapid growth.”

    He is a graduate of Elmira College in Elmira, New York, and received his MBA from George Mason University in Virginia.

    “I am thrilled to be the new Chief Financial Officer at True Influence,” Van Patten said. “This position enables me to be at the intersection of my three passions: technology, marketing, and financial strategy. True Influence is truly a high-tech company, offering advanced marketing products and services with longevity…It is exciting to be able to help implement strategic initiatives that will impact all companies, regardless of their size.”

    B2B Email Provides Value in The Boom Era of Display Ads

    While trends may lure companies into changing direction – Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Snap are seeing the most growth – True Influence COO Craig Weiss says, in this post from Oct. 30, that instead of throwing your marketing dollars behind platforms that may not be a good fit for your company, instead, take a look at what does work.

    “Turns outs, email is doing just fine,” he wrote.

    Social may be flashier, but of B2B and B2C marketers, email is the only channel where most marketing budgets are growing.

    Email is more effective than display advertising – it gives recipients more opportunity to interact – and in most cases, email is also a more budget-friendly option.

    While mass emails are generally seen as spam, and are sent directly to the trash, today’s marketing platforms provide teams with enough information that they can effectively personalize emails, making them attractive enough to attract even the most dubious of targets, all while more readily measuring the response rate.

    “Email enables you to clearly communicate the value proposition of your product and service, and customize your message per prospect, with a depth that even the most advanced PPC personalization systems can’t match,” Weiss writes.

    While advancements are important, time-tested techniques still have a place in marketing, and likely always will.

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