Plus, a new platform for virtual selling
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Good morning, Marketers, and what big decisions are weighing on your mind?
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the marketing professionals that are regular readers here, as part of a survey about how useful free trials are to marketers. As a journalist I learn so much from these kinds of conversations, because every industry is different. Our first story, below, spans finance, automotive and government.
There are some repeating themes between industries, however. We’ve all had to face significant disruption over the last fourteen months. Outside forces that were unexpected put pressure on organizations to make a decision.
But other big decisions start from within. Pinterest’s new Creator Code and Creator Fund are examples of how a community of influential Creators can set a tone of inclusivity that hopefully catches on in other parts of the digital world, as well as in real life.
Free trials and freemium subscriptions: hit or miss?
There are a number of hurdles to clear internally that make free trials hit-or-miss when businesses are updating their martech stack. In disruptive times like these, however, organizations are looking to evolve and further transform their digital capabilities. When are free trials helpful to the process?
A B2B company, for instance, could see growth potential in e-commerce sales and in adding consumer customers. In other cases, marketers are looking to expand their reach or improve measurement in existing channels.
Some companies have a limited ability to try new solutions due to constraints within their industry. For instance, in the financial sector, the security needed to protect customer accounts makes many free trials unfeasible.
Because of the change management factor, the ideal use case for a free trial might not be to replace existing solutions. Of course, replacement is a major part of managing a martech stack, but free trials are easier to implement when looking at new tools.
Pinterest announces Creator Fund and new code of conduct
Visual discovery platform Pinterest continues to improve its attention-getting community, attracting users and brands alike. In order to ensure that the growing volume of activity is diverse and inclusive, the company has announced a Creator Code that makes a “safe and positive” standard official for all creators. Pinterest has also launched its first Creators Fund, a program that provides financial and educational support to Creators from underrepresented communities.
The key tenets to the Creator Code are:
- Be kind: Ensure content doesn’t insult or put other down;
- Check my facts: make sure information is accurate and factual;
- Be aware of triggers: practice discretion when it comes to visually sensitive content;
- Practice inclusion: never intentionally exclude certain groups or communities;
- Do no harm: make sure any call to action or challenge is safe.
There are also newly announced tools and guidelines for comments posted by users, known as Pinners. Comment moderation tools allow Creators to remove comments and filter offensive keywords. There are also new spam prevention signals using machine learning that help Pinterest detect and remove malicious comments.
According to Pinterest, the Creator Fund is currently only available in the U.S. It partnered with diverse Creators in the worlds of fashion, photography, food and travel in its first round. These Creators were provided training and creative strategy consulting. They also received funds for content creation and ad credits.
Why we care. While these new initiatives are a result of Pinterest’s own values, as well as that of its Creators, the push for greater inclusivity continues to gain awareness throughout the broader marketing community. (See our wide-ranging interview with Lauren Tucker on diversity and inclusion.)
Qualified’s new platform for virtual selling
Qualified, the salestech vendor, has announced the launch of a new platform, Qualified X, designed to support the virtual sales process and help sales reps engage with website visitors. The platform is integrated with Salesforce. Among the capabilities are:
- Qualified X Live Stream: one centralized view of VIP website visitors (including Salesforce-defined target accounts and open opportunities, including real-time browsing data and CRM, ABM and firmographic information;
- Qualified X Segments: automatic assignment of visitors to predefined segments;
- Qualified X Pounce: sales reps can use the platform to pro-actively engage with website visitors;
Why we care. Digital transformation isn’t just for marketing. As the B2B buyer journey moves almost entirely online, sales teams need a digital mind-set too. And although it’s early days, a fully digital funnel, from acquisition right through to conversion, can only bring marketing and sales into closer alignment.
The 2021 Search Engine Land Awards are open for entries
Once a year, Search Engine Land highlights the industry’s most innovative professionals and campaigns with the highest honor in search marketing — the Search Engine Land Awards.
This year’s awards are now open for entry, and it’s easier than ever to apply. Metrics and campaign stats are no longer required, and you can simply send in an executive summary (750 words or less) that showcases your team’s award-worthy performance during the last year.
In 2020, Search Engine Land introduced the inaugural Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing, and this time around, they’re adding three new categories: Boutique Agency of the Year (for both SEM and SEO agencies) and Freelancer of the Year.
Quote of the day
“[Martech tools create more manual tasks] because the perception is still that buying a tool is a solution in itself, instead of investing in the proper human resourcing to integrate it, create processes, manage it, train marketers, etc.” Sara McNamara, Marketing Operations, Slack