Digital Marketing Trends – Chatbots

Many digital marketing trends are on the rise – an important one being chatbots. Chatbots are a form of artificial intelligence that are designed to aid in customer service using either auditory or textual methods.

Chatbots allow for real-time assistance, day or night, and individualized support – making them a significant component in the improvement of customer experience. Chatbots can be programmed in various ways in order to obtain optimization. They can have a linear, set response to each individual or respond differently to messages containing keywords. Chatbots can be found across a series of platforms, some being website chat windows, SMS text, Facebook, and Twitter.

The ultimate purpose of chatbots is to maximize engagement with website visitors and make it easier for customers to make purchases.

Chatbots are effective because customers may not know where to find the information they are seeking or know where to begin on a new website. For example, a visitor landing on a website may be asked to request assistance or get more information about a product. Depending on the customer’s response, s/he will either be referred to a representative or asked a series of automated questions. This ultimately allows the customer to have a smoother experience in the navigation of a website. Many customers enjoy interacting with chatbots because they give answers promptly and never lose patience. This attention to detail will increase the number of customers that make it to a point of purchase because there are less complications that would have previously caused a potential customer to exit the website.

Chatbots allow for organizations to save time and money that can be allocated to other areas. Although humans staff chats most of the time, some websites rely solely on bots to solve problems. By automating conversations, companies no longer have to hire an employee to answer customers. By replacing many steps in the B2C buying process, there is an increase in efficiency and sales velocity.

References:

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/topics/chatbots/#The-Value-of-Chatbots

https://www.digitaldoughnut.com/articles/2018/december/10-digital-marketing-trends-for-2019

https://www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/11-digital-marketing-trends-you-can-no-longer-ignore-in-2018/

Author: Shana Bigley



How Start Up's Provide Interns Unparalleled Opportunities

This article was quite challenging for me to write. Summarizing three months of insightful knowledge into a couple of paragraphs is a challenge that I thought I would never take on. Nevertheless, thanks to my experience in a startup like Nimble, I have learned how to excel even when I am not in my comfort zone.

Summer of 2018 was probably the most fun I have had learning something. I was interviewing with Nimble for the Social Media and Influencer Marketing intern position. The title of the position, in fact, was the driving factor for me to apply for the role. Never before in all my years of applying to Marketing positions did I ever see "Influencer Marketing" as part of the title. Nimble also provided the startup culture environment which always seemed alluring to me.  

I was beaming with excitement on my first day. I was given my duties for the day, and I was glad I had no typical intern work of getting coffee or making copies, a fear that we all have as students! I was treated as any other full-time employee and my duties reflected that. The Nimble office is set up like an open neighborhood and everybody sits next to each other on a huge table. Even the CEO has an open-door policy for anybody. In fact, on my very first day Mr. Jon Ferrara, the CEO, introduced himself to me and welcomed me to the team. I didn't expect this at all. Having the CEO come out to welcome an intern to the team is not a very common experience for interns and was a first for me.

Another first for me was the amount of responsibility I was assigned. In just a few weeks after proving I could take on more work, I was researching for potential awards that can influence Nimble's reputation, helping to design and craft email templates for Nimble's partners and editing videos too.  

Perhaps my most challenging task came during the Microsoft Inspire conference. For me, it was all about being "in the right place, at the right time." Since Nimble works a lot in the area of Influencer Marketing, the conference is seen as more than just an opportunity to network. It is seen as a gold mine regarding the connections the Nimble team can make and leverage. I worked on helping the team devise criteria for recognizing the most influential people attending the conference and through an article encouraging conference attendees to follow these people and their activities on social media. I also continued supporting the team’s presentations and networking sessions from the Santa Monica office. I realized that it is Nimble’s team culture that proved to be a driving factor in us having a successful conference, where Nimble signed with some of Microsoft's biggest distributors.

I was lucky to get such a fantastic experience with a company that made me more confident as a marketer. I will always value everything I learned in my three months at Nimble because I not only gained knowledge about my field, but also gained a lot of invaluable lessons about hard work and career development. To conclude, for the students reading this article, I invite you to consider interning with a startup. You will be trusted with meaningful work and build life-long connections who look out for you as family.

By: Yajas Chopra

Personalization for Marketing Strategies in 2019

With the emergence of digital marketing has come many innovative and interesting trends. From social media to search engine optimization, the opportunities are endless. One 2019 trend that really sticks out is personalization. With the availability of big data, personalized advertising becomes easy — and has great effects.

Companies have been able to pinpoint and target consumers to create segmented markets for quite a while, but now they are focusing even more specifically: on the individual consumer. For instance, instead of creating batch emails that market to a broad type of consumer and are sent out in a “blast”, businesses are creating customized emails to each individual based on their behavior. Another great example is the “recommended for you” section on your Netflix account, which monitors your “behavior” (i.e. what you watch, how you watch, etc.) and creates a carousel of different options that you may be interested in.

Personalization can maximize consumer satisfaction, create customer retention, and even brand loyalty. Looking towards the future, it’s obvious that personalized marketing is only getting started. Who knows what type of crazy customized advertising we will see next!?

- Amanda Lewullis

Earn These DM&A Certifications First

There are many free digital marketing related certifications on the internet, and the PSAMA Digital Marketing & Advertising division was sure to leverage more than a few of these this year. Here is what we think are the most advantageous certifications to prioritize.

Lynda.com

The American Marketing Association partnered with Lynda.com to assemble several individual courses which cover topics from email marketing to optimizing your web page design for user experience and conversion. The following is a short list of the critical courses to watch within this learning path:

  1. Online Marketing Foundations:

    • Start to understand the basics of how one goes about marketing online

  2.  Content Marketing Foundations:

    • Learn how to write content that is interesting and useful for your audience

  3.  SEO Foundations:

    • Understand what Google does behind the curtain within barely a couple of seconds to provide content to consumers that is relevant to their search and learn how you can boost your content to the top of those results

  4. Social Media Marketing: Facebook and Twitter

    • See the varying interfaces between Facebook and Twitter and some of the valuable tools they provide

  5.  Learning Conversion Rate Optimization 

    • Learn about the conversion funnel and how to improve yours for less drop-off and more conversions

Google Analytics / AdWords

Out of the goodness of their hearts, Google has developed free courses online to help people get certified in using Google Analytics, AdWords, AdSense, etc. The newest manifestation of this service, Google’s Academy for Ads, has comprehensive courses, some video and some text-based, which will guide you through the process from starting your Google Business account to using advanced capabilities within their platforms.

In the Google Analytics Individual Certification, we start off with GA for Beginners. After introducing what GA is and does, they dive into the interface layout, basic reporting practices, campaign and conversion tracking. After completing the introductory course, you move over to the Advanced Google Analytics course which takes you through data collection, processing and configuration, as well as advanced marketing tools and techniques. The final part of the free certification is a 90 minute, 70 question examination which tests your understanding of the material covered through both courses.

Overall, this course is a big help in learning how to use GA and also learning what it means to be a digital marketer. For many, GA is an essential part of their online marketing efforts and it acts as a reference for which they base critical decisions on. With analytics being of massive desire in the job market, the Google Analytics Individual Certification is a great course to understand how to be a digital marketer and to boost your resume.

Google Analytics Individual Qualifications

Google Ads Fundamentals

HubSpot Inbound Marketing

Last but not least is the Inbound Marketing certification from HubSpot. This course is extremely useful as a tool to better understand the conversion funnel for marketing online and how all the different techniques and platforms of digital marketing play into that.

They start with the essentials of an effective inbound strategy and continue on to talk about SEO, content marketing, social media, email marketing, and more. Each person who teaches the different segments of the course are all certified HubSpot professor who are considered experts in their field and can speak to best practices and winning techniques which prove helpful for understanding how to implement inbound marketing techniques for your own purposes.  We definitely recommend you prioritize this certification if you want to get a really strong depiction of what it means to be a digital marketer.

DM&A members have worked on some awesome certifications, but the ones here definitely stand out and are excellent learning platforms for those who want to go above and beyond from your normal class schedule to really stand out amongst competitors in the job market. Those are just the kind of people we have here at PSAMA.

HubSpot Inbound Certification

PSU x Google: Non-Tech Career Information Session (10/19/17)

On October 19th, Penn State was proud to welcome back a PSU Alum turned Googler, Ms. Kelsey Bonsell. Kelsey graduated in 2013 with a degree in Advertising and PR, from the College of Liberal Arts and maintained a great track record at the Schreyers Honors College. She came to Penn State to recruit as many Penn Staters as possible, for open internships and full-time roles at Google for the year 2017-2018.

Kelsey worked as a former Marketing Manager at GiveCorps, before being recruited by Google for a full-time position as an Account Manager. Kelsey also mentioned how along with her full-time job, she devotes 20% of her time recruiting Penn Staters. The information session was mainly focused on what Google was looking for in their candidates and what their work culture was like. Kelsey also walked us through her career path, and how she transitioned from Penn State to Google.

“Google looks for four key aspects in their candidates, they are, leadership qualities, role-related knowledge, cognitive ability, and Googleyness”, said Kelsey, as she explained what it takes to really stand out as a candidate when applying to Google. She also emphasized on how important it was as a candidate to show your passion for learning. Because she works as both an Account Manager at the Chicago office, as well as recruiting on college campuses, she told us if you’re passionate about a specific role, you can always test the water somewhere else.

That’s the type of exposure you get from working at Google. Every Googler leaves their mark, contributes to their mission, and understands their ambiguous but consistently evolving culture. It’s important to create products that have planetary impact, because that means we can learn and contribute as a valuable member that helps connect and impact so many people around the world