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Mark Cohen
Digital Strategist, Marketing Technologist, Community Contributor
Digital Strategist, Marketing Technologist, Community Contributor

Mark's posts

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Conversion is marketing's biggest challenge.

There I said it. I don't feel better but I purged.

This is an article about storytelling, user experience design, persuasion and conversion all wrapped into one.

And it's a good one. I couldn't have done better myself.

Let me know your thoughts. 

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Here Are The Social Platforms Preferred By Teens

And not surprisingly, Snapchat takes the lead. Though it's not a social platform per se, I'd love to see SMS in here to see if teens are texting of snapping more often.

My hypothesis is they are using each for different reasons. SMS for pure text, Snapchat for any kind of media-rich communication/expression.

And that's what we need to always keep in mind. What are they using it for? By understanding why consumers are using media (yeah, sorry, getting all advertising wonky on you right now) we can understand how to best reach them through it.

In practice, this differentiates each social platform utilized by teens as Snapchat can be expressive communication while Instagram is more of an expressive network for them.

Does this jive with your understanding of how teens are using social platforms?

#social #socialmedia #digital #marketing #teens #snapchat #instagram #twitter #facebook

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VR and AI Are Just Bright Shiny Things...

This article nails it.

Understanding cross-device usage by consumers is far more important. And by cross-device, the author means TV, even paper (ie, magazines) and I'd suggest in-store displays.

We live in an age where consumers are increasingly utilizing multiple contact points with our marketing messages, many of which we cannot track.

And not that I ever think we'll be able to track all of this, but we can understand it. We can learn enough about our customers' journey to know how to put the right message, in the right place, at the right time fully into practice.

And that my friends is the most important thing in marketing.

What do you think?

#marketing #digital #digitalmarketing #digitalstrategy #marketingstrategy #advertising #onlineadvertising #customerjourney

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This is important news for you if you have a Facebook business page. Some of the pages I manage already have the design, and it is a big improvement. Let me know if you need help migrating to the new environment.

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It's All About Product.

Will Smith is correct. And this isn't just about Hollywood or movies.

It is about product.

If you have a poor product or service, or the perception of one, the best advertising in the world won't save it.

Sure, you may get some press and some trial purchase. But once a person peeks under the covers and senses fraud, it may just be time to close up shop. (See - Donald Trump.)

Social media has sped up the process further, as you don't even have to try the product if your friends have and already bashing it online.

As a marketer, I love these conversations because agency relationships are terminated all the time due to "poor performance." And it makes you wonder, is it us or them?

#marketing #advertising #willsmith #hollywood #movies

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Marketing Automation Gone Bad...

I was recently invited to a virtual trade show and indicated I would attend. Well, as fate would have it, I did not.

A few weeks later, after I had forgotten all about it, Imagine my surprise when I received the following email:

Hi Mark,

I wanted to personally reach out and thank you for attending the Sales Acceleration Summit.

As one of the speakers, I was inspired to see so many people, like you, attending to grow their sales, their business, and their social presence.

This is to invite you to join my newsletter, Sales Caffeine.

It has over 200,000 readers and great content to help you get better at sales, and put more dollars in your pocket.

You don’t have to do anything, just look for it every Tuesday morning. (If you're NOT interested, click here.)

Yours in sales,



Attend the summit? I don't even recall signing up for the summit - though this auto-responder did remind me of that. And who is this guy anyway? A host/sponsor of the summit? I don't recall giving him permission to sign me up for his e-newsletter...

You get my point.

I don't know Jeffrey Gitmer. He is probably a good guy, polished professional, and it is likely he has no idea this email was sent to me. His agency or lieges don't even know it got to me because when they set up their auto-responders, they didn't account for people who may have registered by not attended...

This my friends is marketing automation gone bad and why I'm posting on Monday - wait for it ... - about how customer journey orchestration technology will add some much needed smarts to marketing automation. And it is also the reason why it is so crucial to create a cohesive plan prior to setting up marketing automation campaigns.

Did you ever wake up and not know what to post on social media? Well that is the approach some take to marketing automation as well. They jump into the software, start creating tasks and workflows and lo and behold, are unable to think through all the scenarios. That's a rough way to do it. Trust me, I too learned the hard way.

Have any marketing automation gone bad stories to share? Please do!

#marketing #martech #marketingautomation #marketingtechnology #digitalmarketing


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It's 1998 all over again!

That's when I counseled clients and my previous employer about why the best way to view digital was as a medium.

And that the same approach we took with marketing...
 - Understanding our target audience
 - Objectives and strategies tied to business goals
 - Delivering the right message, in the right place, at the right time

...was the ONLY way to approach digital (which in those days meant websites.)

Was I prescient? No. Just a marketer who got it. 

I think I still got it. And get it. I don't know. 

Do you?

#digitalmarketing   #marketing   #marketingdigital   #marketingstrategy   #socialmedia   #socialmediamarketing  

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Latest Social Hype.. or Reality?

Research giant Gallup has found that consumers don't use social to make purchase decisions.

A frightening thought to some.

But not me.

The takeaway is that brands may be best served by having their best customers, their advocates, promote on their behalf.

This is why it is not frightening me. Because I have been speaking at meetings, events and conferences, on webinars and in offices, and with every one of my clients that this is, indeed, the primary use of social media.

Surely, we can advertise on it and it works. Thus the reason I have always regarded it as MEDIA.

But the secret is not to somehow turn a Facebook fan into a customer by asking them to take a selfie with your product. It is understanding that people are on social networks for every specific reasons - as identified by Gallup - and lo and behold, it's not to interact with brands...

So what to do?

Identify your advocates on and off of social and as a result of their social activities, then reward them for their advocacy and if they aren't doing so via social, incentivize them to do so. This results in a recommendation from a friend and that is the most powerful means to sell products and services via social.

And pretty much everything else.

That's what I think - what about you?

#socialmedia #social #socialstrategy #digital #digitalstrategy #marketing #socialmediamarketing

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Spreading some #givingtuesday  love... 

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There is SO MUCH hype around social and mobile and content, and everything new that we sometimes neglect what the consumer is actually thinking...

So what ARE they thinking?

Well, that they know exactly how they want to be marketed do, by who, when, and where. And it's probably not what you think.

Will this evolve? Of course it will!  As purchasing power shifts to younger generations, social will become their email, and personalized in-store holograms generated when users's mobile devices are in the vicinity will become the mobile of today...

My 3 takeaways:

1 - Stay on the leading edge if you're a marketer and you have the time and resources to afford it. You don't HAVE TO invest in bright shiny objects immediately to remain relevant.
2 - Now more than ever, consider your audience. For example, e-Marketer just released research indicating that Boomers have much lower adoption rates of smart phones than other age groups. So if you target Boomers, is it imperative to invest heavily in Mobile?
3 - Don't ever lead yourself to believe that a medium invested in by major companies and trusted by millions is going away anytime soon. When I first started in the digital business - I found a 14.4 modem in my house the other day, no kidding - we told the world that print was dead. Well, here we are a few decades later and not only isn't print dead but even newsprint isn't! 

Psst - digital natives, are you listening? ;->

#digitalmarketing   #marketing   #strategy   #advertising   #socialmedia   #mobilemarketing   #emailmarketing  
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