Podcasts, Field Services, Paid Search, and Talking Like a Pirate

Time to check the tickertape this fine Monday morning. First up, Adobe is whistling our tune with its report on the podcast space. According to data derived from a survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults, people are “heavily engaged” with this kind of content, which is also positioning itself as an effective advertising medium. The nost engaged audiences are to be found among millennials and Gen Z.  Here are some more highlights:

  • Podcast mobile app usage has increased 60 percent since January, 2018
  • 25 percent of current podcast listeners developed the habit in the last six months
  • 75 percent say the quality of podcasts is improving
  • 52 percent listen on the way to work, or while working; 42 percent in the car
  • Discovery is primarily happening through blogs and articles
  • 45 percent plan to listen to more podcasts in the future

Well, we’ve got you covered, with a library of podcasts of which we’re truly proud, and which is growing by the week. Just about every marketing tech trend under the sun, from some of the industry’s sharpest thinkers, collected here.

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We’re also still thinking about Salesforce’s proposed acquisition of field service management vendor ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion — mere pocket change compared with the almost $16 billion splurge on Tableau.  We know that Salesforce has been enamoured of this category from this pre-2019 deep dive, seeing it as another step on the path to “ubiquitous connectivity.” Essentially, FSM software manages the operations of team members off-site, on the road, and at customer sites, providing scheduling services, and predicting demand and resource capacity.

Of course, existing Salesforce solutions provide mobile support for field sales teams. ClickSoftware, it seems, will have more relevance for Service Cloud. “Our acquisition of ClickSoftware will not only accelerate the growth of Service Cloud, but drive further innovation with Field Service Lightning to better meet the needs of our customers,” said Bill Patterson, EVP and GM of Salesforce Service Cloud, in a statement. Field Service Lightning, as has been noted, was pretty much built for Salesforce by ClickSoftware in the first place.

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We’ve been covering the evolution of Act-On Software, the MA provider targeting medium-sized businesses, for the last several years. Latest news is that is that success of Act-On customers is driving customer success for Act-On itself, with “best-in-class retention rates” for first-year customers. Act-On attributes the success to an emphasis on customer-centricity. Easy to say, but in practical terms that has meant investing in deliverability services and educational resources.

Said Kevin Williams, SVP of Customer Success, in a release: “It all comes down to creating a simplified experience that actually drives value, which we accomplish by providing intuitive and user-friendly strategic consulting services that directly lead to results.”

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Time to check in on the health of paid search. As far as investment goes, it could hardly look heartier, with CMOs pushing $50 billion into channel in 2018. But how’s the ROI?  Adthena is a competitor analysis solution for search , and its new  CMO Search Intelligence Index & Report uncovers some interesting perspectives on how top marketers in financial services view search:

  • 92 percent view paid search as informing strategic business decisions
  • Many respondents ranked their paid search strategies above their competitors
  • Almost 60 percent believe paid search provides a competitive advantage, and helps identify new marketing opportunities
  • But over 40 percent are not tracking paid search performance of competitors

Oh yes, Adthena has some skin in the game, but the finding that Fortune 100 companies are being outperformed by more agile players is striking. Of course, from another perspective, the glass is half full. More than 50 percent of respondents are looking over their competitors’ shoulders.

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Finally, a reminder that there’s an opportunity not to be missed on September 19. You too can be cast adrift on the briny main with the DMN crew and our 2019 40Under40 honorees. You don’t have to be a winner to splice the mainbrace with us. It’s a great opportunity to meet your high-flying marketing peers, network, and walk the entirely safe planks of the luxury yacht Aqua Azul. Tickets here. (And guess what, the East and Hudson Rivers around the isle of Manhattan really are briny — salt water: I just looked it up.)

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