Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Strategies Program and Mambo Media’s Siouxsie Jennett (@siouxsiejennett) recently hosted the quarterly Digital Marketing Breakfast. These events showcase a panel of experts who present useful insights and new approaches in digital marketing strategies and tactics. The presentations are typically followed by Q&A.
This quarter’s version, titled ‘Don’t Be A Tool…Leverage Them!’, featured a panel talking about the tools they use or are building. The lineup included:
- Adam Ware (@wheresitworking) CEO of SwellPath was a last minute sub in for Measureful’s John Koenig. Adam focused on analytics tools.
- Nate Angell (@xolotl) of Little Bird spoke about the value of discovering and connecting with experts and influencers while describing the technology behind Little Bird.
- Ben Fowler (@benfowler) of NEEA detailed a variety of collaboration tools for teams– from instant messaging to social business platforms.
- Greg Harned (@craftcocktails) of Mambo Media highlighted visual aggregation tool VividWall that Mambo built for its clients.
There were too many tools described during the breakfast to detail here, so I have selected four of the more intriguing solutions – one from each presenter. Most are beta products that are just emerging, while another will help teams collaborate.
New and Emerging Tools
- Website: Measureful.com
- Cost: $49.00 monthly (currently 14 day free trial). Unlimited user access, but limited to three websites or profiles.
- Use Case: Turn analytics into insights and stories
In his presentation, Adam Ware described analytics as “making sense and making decisions.” Marketers must either become an analytics expert, hire an analyst or hire a third party partner to accomplish this goal. Measureful, ideated, prototyped, and spun off from SwellPath, was built as a fourth alternative.
Measureful is a software as a service (SaaS) platform that collects online marketing data and distills it into simple, insightful stories. It is designed to bring enterprise-level analysis to small and mid-sized businesses.
Data – Information – Knowledge – Wisdom
The tool automatically pulls data (current support for Google Analytics and Facebook, with Twitter and Shopify on the roadmap), analyzes it, and surfaces the important information and stories. The tool tries add a narrative to the data by answering the whys behind changes in KPIs.
The automation of reporting alone would make Measureful attractive to many, but by adding additional context and organization Measureful can move the user up the knowledge pyramid from data to information to knowledge and maybe even wisdom.
- Website: getlittlebird.com
- Cost: Limited Public Beta, subscription pricing not yet released
- Use Case: Finding the experts and influencers in social media
The Internet Is a Noisy Place
Little Bird helps you sift through Internet noise by answering three questions:
- Who are the leaders in a topical community?
- What are they talking about?
- How are they connected?
- To you (or your client)?
- To each other?
More specifically, Little Bird allows you to create reports on experts and influencers in your chosen industry or topic. After you run a search, Little Bird will email you a link to your detailed report, which will show up to 500 of the most highly-connected people in your topic area. Little Bird is also releasing new functionality to allow one to better visualize the connections among those in the topic landscape.
Little Bird also helps you with engaging the influencers it surfaces. One interesting capability is the identification of the most shared links within an expert group. This will ensure you do not miss the hottest news. You can also build a conversation with the experts by engaging with and sharing their content. Or you can add value to it to build your leadership in the topic.
- Website: www.mambomedia.com
- Cost: Beta testing
- Use Case: Aggregating and displaying social media – especially visual – content
The Move from Text to Visual
Greg Harned detailed the movement from text to visual content trend. He sited stats such as:
- Brain’s ability to process images 60,000 times faster than text
- Images making up 50% of Facebook News Feed content
- Pinterest now being the third most popular social network
Mambo wanted to help its clients understand how they are using visual content, and look for ways to better use it. So, Mambo developed VividWall to aggregate all social channels and display the results. The tool can be used internally to leverage content across channels and extend the shelf life of content. However, another interesting use of VividWall is to share user-generated content.
Build Your Brand Through Visual Curation
The tool allows for the editing and curation of content before it is shared publicly. Once curated, the content can be shared anywhere – at events on the big screen, on Facebook, or on a website. Greg showed a client example to bring this point home. The Portland Timbers used VividWall and #RCTID (Rose City Till I Die) to help build their brand through visually curating the hashtag. The Timbers can build themed walls and invite fans to contribute through contests – increasing fan engagement and loyalty.
The tool is now in its Beta release and was showcased during the Innotech eMarketing Summit.
Search For Solutions With Established Collaboration Tool
- Website: www.yammer.com
- Cost: Free for Basic Network; $3/user/month for Enterprise Network
- Use Case: Enterprise social network
Social Networking for the Enterprise
One collaboration tool that Ben Fowler discussed was Yammer, which was acquired by Microsoft last year for $1.2 billion. Some have referred to Yammer as a “Facebook for the enterprise.” Users create a profile to highlight their skills and experience. This is useful for finding internal subject matter experts (SMEs) in large enterprises.
A basic version of the tool is available for free, with enterprise-wide use starting at $3 per user per month. The tool is designed for intra-company communication, so all users must have the same email domain, which is one significant drawback. Yammer is a SaaS solution, allowing access via a web browser, while also providing an app for mobile use.
There is little in the way of a learning curve for basic use. The look and feel of Yammer will be familiar to users of public social media networks. Users post “conversations” in a microblog environment and others can add comments to the conversation. This makes it quite easy for new users to jump in and start collaborating with colleagues.
The tool also provides several additional functions, such as creating polls for your network, sending private messages, and instant messaging. More administrative control or integration with other tools, like SharePoint or Office 365, requires upgrading to the paid plans.
That’s A Wrap
In all, it was an interesting and informative Digital Marketing Breakfast session. If you are familiar with these tools, I would love to hear your perspective in the comments.
Category: Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing, Modern Marketing Buzz, Recruit 101, Social Media Tools, Special Agent Intermediate, tmmBosley, tmmCharlie, tmmJill, tmmKelly, TMMPDX, tmmSabrina, Veteran Advanced