Dennis Yu, CTO, along with CEO, Alex Houg, of Portage, will be kicking off our Wake Up & Learn: Converting the Sales Funnel event with a fun and dynamic presentation showcasing real examples of social ROI and how exactly you calculate it.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dennis Yu and get his thoughts on marketing automation, social ROI and what he’s been up to lately in the world of digital marketing.
CE: With your background in marketing automation, how have you seen it evolve from when you first started?
DY: Marketing automation is essentially nothing more than smart direct mail sequencing. I started doing this back in 1997 for American Airlines. The only difference that sets marketing automation apart from an email auto responder is the logic and intelligence behind it. The marketing automation that we know today didn’t start to become popular until around 2008. In theory you could have done marketing automation years ago, but it wasn’t possible until we had the customer level data and API layer allowing you to talk between platforms. The key today is being connected to all your social platforms in order to gain enough consumer data to make it worthwhile to segment and target your desired audience.
CE: How do you explain the concept that social ROI is not only part of the last click section of the funnel to people who just don’t get it?
DY: You accumulate value all the way through the funnel until you reach a conversion. Saying that a conversion comes from only one thing is like saying a pickup line converts directly to a wedding ring.”
The key is to assign semi-arbitrary values for every customer interaction including everything from the first time someone visits your website to when they complete a form. Each step along the way is a crucial step in the conversion process and contributes value.
Another common misconception is that a review is just your typical online recommendation, but what many don’t realize is that word of mouth is also a very important review that influences consumers.
An easy way to think about social influence is to think of it in terms of a three-dimensional cube. Instead of using the equation length x width x height to measure, you have number of fans x engagement along with fans x recency of last engagement.
CE: What is the latest and greatest thing you have been working on in social?
DY: We have figured out, through trial and error, the framework of the viral cycle on social. The framework consists of a four part cycle: Goals, Content, Targeting and Amplification. Essentially you go around and around the cycle starting with setting your company goals (mission, vision), creating content that reflects your goals, targeting the right audience of people who need that content, and finally amplifying your content through retargeting and customer engagement.
This concept is something we will be teaching in our new training called the ‘Untern Movement’. The Untern Movement is where we train college students on these critical digital marketing topics, free of charge, in order to help them discover what they love and gain valuable job experience in cooperation with universities.”