The Monday Stack: Art and Data

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Logo: Hilary Allison
Logo: Hilary Allison

Arts marketing? Okay, another interesting niche (listen to our podcast with Artfinder last week on aesthetics and personalization): And now we hear of a new partnership between Capacity Interactive, a digital marketing consultancy for the arts, and Datorama (which featured in the One-on-One podcast series last year).

Capacity Interactive provides digital marketing services for a range of performing arts, visual arts, and entertainment brands such as New York City Ballet, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alvin Ailey — as well as educating arts brands about today's data-driven marketing environment. Datorama provides a Marketing Integration Engine for collecting, managing, and activating brand data from all sources. 

Datorama will be freeing Capacity Interactive from the burden of spreadsheets, previously used to track conversions from various digital channels, and help develop the treasured comprehensive view of arts aficionados, including demographic and location data.

The conference season is truly with us: Next up, the Demandbase Marketing Innovation Summit in San Francisco, with the fun-sounding Jiveworld, following it; then the Sirius Decisions Summit and Salesforce Commerce Cloud XChange coming into view.  We can't be everywhere, but we'll be where we can.

In the circumstances, it was to sit down near home for once: in fact, just around the corner from our Seventh Avenue offices with the guys from Ceros, the interactive content marketing solution. I sat down with VP of Marketing Matthew Wellschlager and director of events Zarina Stanik at their in-office bar but not over beers, to find out more about what Ceros offers.

Essentially, Wellschlager explained, it's a tool for creating interactive content without needing to use developers or wrangle code. Interactivity covers many kinds of embeds, including multiple choice navigation, quizzes and polls, interactive maps and diagrams, interactive animation and video, behavior within eBooks, and just click options generally. Once inside a brand's digital experience, Ceros will track the trajectory of visitors with some granularity, monitoring interaction of course, with content, benchmarking performance, and recommending real-time optimizations. "The feedback loop is complete," said Wellschlager. "If the content doesn't work, you're going to know."

The Ceros approach, he told me, reflects a new wave for content marketing, following on the heels of SEO and the compulsion to post, say, ten blog articles per week. "What's really refreshing," he said, "is that there's a huge shift to focusing on quality. Engagement matters." 

Ceros data can be ploughed back into systems of record like Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, etc. Evaluating time spent by visitors in specific parts of the digital environment, and levels of engagement, can inform lead-scoring and guide customer journey planning. 

Some clients, Wellschlager said, are "super-sophisticated. The challenge elsewhere lies in educating clients about the importance of visual story-telling and a compelling, interactive narrative. "Don't just dump a bunch of copy," Wellschlager sighed. "We have to walk clients through the new workflow," he said: It's more like story-boarding a video; the words are a complement. 

Finally, I wrote about the evolution of GetReponse from an email marketing to a more comprehensive marketing automation solution last summer.  And this spring, they have some data for us. Its new Marketing Automation Excellence report (based on a poll of over 2,500 global marketers) shows the space has a long, long way to go:

  • Almost 40% not using MA at all, or using it very basically
  • Many lack budget or quality customer data
  • Where MA is being used, it's mostly being used to trigger emails

Either there remain great opportunities for MA vendors — or brands, and especially non-tech savvy brands — are going to languish indefinitely. And as people keep telling me: Everyone has data, few know what to do with it.

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