A Marketer’s Guide to IAB Certifications

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is a think-tank organization that conducts studies and sets standards revolving around digital marketing and online advertising. The group consists of committees of industry experts and has a membership of more than 650 media and technology companies. It is widely considered a global authority on all things pertaining to online marketing and advertising.

In 2012, the organization introduced the IAB Professional Certification program. There are four different tracks that can earn professionals a certification: Digital Media Sales, Digital Ad Operations, Digital Data Solutions, and Digital Media Buying and Planning. The program is an exam-based credential that represents your knowledge in the field and can be proudly displayed on a resume. The IAB says it has received more than 8,500 applicants for certifications, the most popular being the Digital Media Sales certification for professionals who work in online advertising sales.

Why do I need an IAB certification?

The IAB Professional Certification was developed by digital media experts for the purposes of creating a standard credential that would help employers identify if prospective employees were knowledgeable enough in digital media and advertising.

With more media migrating to the internet, it’s no longer enough to have a college …

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Valuing Your Marketing Services: 3 Pricing Models That Work

Marketing is one of the most important parts of any business, and it takes a lot of work to get it right. That’s where your marketing agency comes in. Depending on the focus of your agency, you could be doing comprehensive marketing services or specific tasks like market research, creating a new ad campaign, establishing a brand, making new graphics or anything else related to marketing.

As with any creative field, marketing agencies have to face the difficult question of how to price their services. Specific prices will depend on factors like your area, the years you’ve been in business, your area of expertise, the number of employees at your agency and the current market value of your services. For an idea of the current prices in the market, look at the results of this independent study on agency pricing in the U.S., U.K. and worldwide, or read through this 2017 marketing cost guide from Jason Falls.

As an agency, there are pricing model options you can choose from: an hourly model, project-based model or value-based model. Each has its own pros and cons, and the right one for you will depend on several different factors. Here’s how to …

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5 easy ways to blog in less time

Do you want better SEO rankingsand high-quality content to share on your social media sites? How about increased traffic to your website? Then you should consider blogging. The idea of blogging on a consistent basis may seem like a daunting commitment, but don’t worry – you have time! Here are five tips to help you generate great content in a flash.

1. Write about what you already know

Rather than researching and writing about a topic you don’t know much about, focus on your professional expertise and passions. A plumber might write about preventing limescale or frozen pipes. A fashion retailer could offer styling advice or an overview of the latest clothing trends. When you write about a topic that you’re well-versed in, the blogging process is easier and faster. Don’t think anyone will want to read about what you do? Think again. The very things that seem routine about your job tend to be interesting and valuable to potential customers. Millions of people are seeking information online every day, and blogging is a fantastic way to reach them.

2. Interview an expert

Need to blog about issues that you’re unfamiliar with? You’ll have to be creative. If you’re …

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A Marketer’s Guide to IAB Certifications

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is a think-tank organization that conducts studies and sets standards revolving around digital marketing and online advertising. The group consists of committees of industry experts and has a membership of more than 650 media and technology companies. It is widely considered a global authority on all things pertaining to online marketing and advertising.

In 2012, the organization introduced the IAB Professional Certification program. There are four different tracks that can earn professionals a certification: Digital Media Sales, Digital Ad Operations, Digital Data Solutions, and Digital Media Buying and Planning. The program is an exam-based credential that represents your knowledge in the field and can be proudly displayed on a resume. The IAB says it has received more than 8,500 applicants for certifications, the most popular being the Digital Media Sales certification for professionals who work in online advertising sales.

Why do I need an IAB certification?

The IAB Professional Certification was developed by digital media experts for the purposes of creating a standard credential that would help employers identify if prospective employees were knowledgeable enough in digital media and advertising.

With more media migrating to the internet, it’s no longer enough to have a college …

Read more

From Spark to Sale: Guide to a Successful Sales Funnel

Every business needs to generate revenues in order to grow or at least continue functioning. And to generate revenues, you need customers. This also means you’re going to need a well-devised sales funnel that will effectively guide your target audience throughout the purchase process and turn them into buying customers.

However, the actual process of developing a sales funnel that works can be a huge challenge as well. You need to thoroughly develop a plan for executing each stage of the funnel so that it yields the desired results. This means you need to consider how the attraction, engagement and conversion stages will play a role in generating positive revenues for your business.

It starts with research

Even before you start planning how your sales funnel should look and function, you need to conduct thorough research. This research needs to be focused on your target audience.

  • Who are they and what do they need?
  • What are their pain points, and how will your product address those pain points?
  • How can you deliver your marketing messages in a way that would convince them they need the product?

Additionally, you need to properly categorize them under the most fitting personas so you …

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The 30 magic marketing words you should be using

Language is a powerful tool – it enables you to connect with audiences and spur them to take action. For email marketers, the importance of using the right words cannot be overstated. Which word or phrase will click with your subscribers and nudge them to open emails, click to visit your website or make a purchase?

Many words have the ability to motivate. The trick is determining which ones work for your business and your particular situation. A word or phrase that performs well in one campaign may not be the best option for your next campaign. Trial and error, and of course A/B testing, can help you narrow down which words connect with your audience.

To get you started, try some of the following magic marketing words in your next email or social post. (Don’t hesitate to use them on your print marketing and your website too.)

  1. You:Write as if you were speaking directly to the customer. Make it about the reader, not about yourself.
  2. Because:Give customers a compelling reason to take action.
  3. Free:Don’t underestimate the appeal of free.
  4. Value:Highlight the value that customers receive for their money. Cost or price imply losing something
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Don’t Ignore Market Research. Your Brand Depends on It.

Market research should be a key part of any business strategy, but many brands are reticent to invest in specific strategies. They either don’t see the purpose offormal market research, or they’re unsure of how to best engage their target market on this front. If they do invest in market research, most are failing miserably at it.

All of this is troubling, because market research isn’t just about collecting information on consumers it’s just as much about creating a customer experience and fostering a brand community through relevant incentives and rewards. If you’re avoiding market research, or going about it in the wrong manner, you’re missing a huge opportunity to grow your brand.

Research experience is customer experience

In many ways, the market research experiences your customers have shape the way they feel about your brand. If the experience is positive, then they’re more likely to engage you again in the future. If the experience is negative, then you risk losing their trust and future participation.

Unfortunately, the 2017 GRIT Consumer Participation in Research study found that only one out of four customers around the world are satisfied with how companies engage them in the market research process.

As the …

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Ad Tech vs. Marketing Tech: Understanding the Difference

Articles, webinars and discussions on marketing can spur some confusion when referring to advertising technology and marketing technology (sometimes shortened to “martech”). Columns argue about which industry to invest in, which is superior to the other and where their futures lie. The straightforward difference between the industries of ad tech and marketing tech is the difference between targeting the audience you don’t have and targeting the audience you already have, respectively.

Ad tech is made to build your brand and draw in the unknown customer to your business. It works on a larger scale, casting a net on large numbers of people to get them interested in you. Marketing tech is more intimate, covering the group of people who are already customers and fostering their continued business with you. Both require analytics to be successful, and specialists debate which one should be a priority for businesses. They are two sides of the same coin, to be sure, and businesses need to at least implement some form of both.

Ad tech

Ad tech is commonly seen as platforms and tools to not only advertise online, but to target ads to make them more effective, build your outward brand to attract any …

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Autumn emails: Harvesting the best themes for the season

Unless you run a pumpkin farm, autumn sometimes brings a dip in business along with the drop in temperature. Many consumers take a spending breather after the expenses of summer vacations and back-to-school season, and before the traditional holiday shopping extravaganza begins.

The good news is that many of your competitors will likely take a bit of a marketing break, too. They’ll reserve their creativity, zest and drive for the upcoming holiday season. That means you’ll have less competition to catch consumers’ interest with your standout autumn marketing tactics!

Here are 10clever autumnal email marketing themes, topics and tips to help your small business reap the lion’s share of the harvest this fall:

  1. Create and promote your own pre-holidays holiday.Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will soon grab all the attention. Before the traditional holiday frenzy hits, cook up your own promotional holiday. For example, a florist or nursery could stage a First Mums of the Season event. Clothing stores could sponsor a winter clothing sale and dub it Sweater Weather Week. Have a hardware store? Present a Before the First Snowflake Falls sale on must-have items like shovels and driveway salt. Promote your special events withgreat email
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Create CTAs readers can’t resist

Editor’s note: For this blog post, we asked Reid Yoshimoto, one of our email marketing experts, to weigh in on the best way to create compelling call to action (CTA) buttons for your email campaigns. Here’s what he had to say:

As a marketer, I’m always looking for ways to get our customers more engaged. As a result, I’m always testing. I test subject lines to see what increases open rates, I test email templates to discover what increases click-through rates, and I test call to action buttons to see what gets people to click on them.

Testing your CTAs isn’t difficult. Just put some thought into it first. What is it you want to test? What results do you want to see, and what do you want to do with the data? I’ve always put together a simple test matrix for any sort of A/B testing that I do, so it’s easy for me to track what I tested and what the result was. You can put together a quick and easy test matrix with a spreadsheet, naming your columns Date, Goal, Test Detail and Results. And remember, with any test, it’s important to change only …

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