Software Development and Agile Methodologies: A Chronicle of 2016

By Celerity on Dec. 27, 2016 View Comments

As we say goodbye to 2016, let’s reflect on some of the Celerity stories that were popular this year! From trends like Agile development to personalization and operational readiness, Celerity’s consulting team has contributed a wealth of knowledge to Breakthroughs in Acceleration. Here are a few of our favorite articles:

Operational Readiness: 3 Keys to a Successful Takeoff for Any Large-Scale System
If you’re preparing for the launch of a large-scale initiative in the coming year, don’t let untested systems and unprepared users create a deployment debacle. Follow these three operational readiness steps to help build confidence in your new system and get your project off the ground smoothly. Read the full blog post.

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How Content Personalization Can Amp Up Your Digital Marketing Strategy

By Kathryn Markwell, Digital Strategy Lead on Jun. 28, 2016 View Comments

As a marketer, I’m sure you know by now that you’re not going to get very far with a one-size-fits-all approach. Sure, you have a target audience in mind, but are you really in tune with their needs? Your customers may be in the market for what you’re offering, but you have to find and talk to them in different ways. That’s where personalization comes in.

But how do you get started?

In a study by Adobe Marketing Optimization, 97% of marketing and customer insights decision-makers prioritized personalization as the most important capability to their company’s marketing moving forward. These numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise – the ROI is astounding. When you focus on providing personalized content to your target audience and have the proper digital analytics in place, you can expect to see increased conversions, better qualified leads, and increased loyalty.

Setting the Foundation for a Personalization Strategy
There are three pieces of the personalization pie that you need to get a handle on before you reap the benefits: personas, journeys, and goals.

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How Marketers Can Balance Analytics & Creativity (...And Still Prove ROI)

By Jenifer Kern, Vice President, Marketing on May. 3, 2016 View Comments

Marketers are more obsessed with digital analytics than ever before. After all, we need to be. How else can we prove ROI and justify spend? We need data to prove the value of our programs and monitor what’s working and not working.

But have we marketers gotten too focused on data at the expense of our core creative and strategic marketing principles? My humble opinion is.... “Yes.” 

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A/B Testing Tips: 4 Ways to Optimize for Conversions

By Mindy Sabel, Digital Optimization Project Manager on Apr. 26, 2016 View Comments

Whether you’re a seasoned digital strategist or just dipping your toes into A/B testing, you’ve likely come to love the optimization benefits that testing tools provide. In fact, I’d even say that a solid testing program is the key to successful digital marketing and strategic site improvements. It drives better business decisions by helping to decide where your dollars will have the highest impact.

That’s why you should use these critical tips when planning your testing roadmap to get the most exciting, high-impact results:

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6 Lead Generation Best Practices that Stand the Test of Time

By Jenifer Kern, Vice President, Marketing on Apr. 12, 2016 View Comments

Lead_Generation_Strategy_Blog.jpgLead generation isn’t a new concept. It’s a popular and over-used term describing how businesses use aligned marketing and sales strategies to attract new leads. While many companies today have some form of lead gen in place, there are an astounding number of businesses – from small start-ups to large global corporations – that struggle to align sales and marketing teams for meaningful lead gen results.

What’s standing in the way? And how can you break through roadblocks if you’ve been aiming to build a strong lead gen function, but are missing the mark?

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What to Know Before You Jump into Cross-Channel Marketing

By Jessica Mays, Senior Technology Consultant on Mar. 15, 2016 View Comments

Easily delivering the right message to the right consumer at the right time is the dream for many ROI-driven marketers. Consider calls-to-action (CTAs). Did you know they actually convert 42% better when personalized than untargeted CTAs? That could make a big difference to your bottom line. Integrated, cross-channel marketing orchestration tools are key to making results like that a reality for your business.

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Why You Should Throw Out Your Digital Marketing Dashboards

By Kathryn Markwell, Digital Strategy Lead on Mar. 8, 2016 View Comments

Only 13% of CMOs believe they can accurately measure marketing ROI, but many state “improved analytics and reporting” as a top goal for 2016.

How can marketers better leverage marketing data for useful reporting that justifies investments and defends spend? We believe lengthy dashboards misaligned to digital marketing objectives are to blame for some of the divide. So throw out your current dashboards to make room for a fresh strategy.

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Don't Drown in Data: 3 Strategies for Better Marketing Analytics

By Kathryn Markwell, Digital Strategy Lead on Feb. 23, 2016 View Comments

Most marketers are currently caught in a whirlpool, comprised of data overload and increasingly complex digital marketing analytics:

- We have more data than ever before, thanks to the availability of information about customers and their behavior
- The linear marketing funnel has been replaced by a self-directed buyer’s journey and non-linear engagement
- CMOs are on the firing line to clearly justify program spend and ROI through proven metrics and data

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The Digital Analytics Checklist: Can You Keep Up With Your Data?

By Kathryn Markwell, Digital Strategy Lead on Feb. 2, 2016 View Comments

Are you getting enough bang for your buck with your digital analytics programs? Or are you like most marketing executives: swimming in data that you can’t quite get your hands around?

If you fall into the latter group, you’re not alone. CMOs today are struggling to find the right marketing analytics data that will help them justify spend, prove ROI, and report on the most meaningful business and digital marketing metrics.

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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Bought Marketing Automation

By Jenifer Kern, Vice President, Marketing on Jul. 8, 2015 View Comments

Choice can be a beautiful, and yet paralyzing, luxury—especially when it comes to a big decision like choosing a marketing automation system.

I’ve evaluated many of the major solutions, and have overseen two digital marketing automation implementations in the past three years. But what I understand now as a marketing automation advocate is this: the most important factors have less to do with the solution itself, and everything to do with your business and digital marketing strategy.

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Agile Marketing: the Only Way Forward for Digital Marketers

By Jenifer Kern, Vice President, Marketing on Jun. 22, 2015 View Comments

Leading companies like Apple and Google have been doing Agile Marketing for years, but it still hasn’t really hit mainstream yet. And here’s the thing, although the rest of us have been slow on the uptake: the Agile methodology could be a game-changer for Marketing.

I’m talking about for everyone in Marketing, not just America’s tech darlings. As smaller organizations scramble to get more done with less, an Agile framework can help teams prioritize and execute projects faster. As larger organizations struggle to keep projects moving across multiple layers of management and departments, Agile helps bridge gaps between IT, Marketing, and the Business.

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Why I’m Drinking the Hubspot Koolaid: Three #INBOUND14 Takeaways

By Lauren Howell, Marketing Specialist on Sep. 18, 2014 View Comments

Why I’m Drinking the Hubspot Koolaid: Three #INBOUND14 Takeaways For me, the highlight of Hubspot’s INBOUND marketing conference in Boston this week was hearing the same, basic word over and over in each session: “human.”

As marketing and sales people, it’s so important to remember that we’re not pursuing “leads.” Or “contacts.” Or “resources.” We’re pursuing humans. And the more we’re aware of that, the less doors we get slammed in our faces and the happier our customers will be.

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5 Reasons Digital Marketers Need to Embrace "Lovable Imperfection"

By Jenifer Kern, Vice President, Marketing on Aug. 22, 2014 View Comments

Let's face it. If you're a professional marketer, you're probably driven by perfectionism.

But we need to be perfectionists, right? Our lives are dominated by mountains of projects—from content creation, web and mobile sites, social media, brand refreshes, and digital campaigns—to reporting, analytics and real-time data capture. If we can't bring order to this craziness and perfectly manage our teams, schedules, deadlines, and budgets, we'll be sunk. Buried alive. Fall behind the market and our competitors. Right?

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Smart Forms for the Marketer

By Ken McAndrew, Senior Technology Consultant on Aug. 19, 2014 View Comments

smart_forms_for_marketers-1This post was originally published by the Ektron Community Blogs here.

As any of my developer brethren will tell you, I’m a big proponent of Ektron’s Smart Forms. In our world, they’re a great way to structure content, to make dictionary objects for storing things like settings, and to store more data in a defined way than is natively available in the Ektron Workarea. I like to call them a database inside the database.

But this is geared more towards marketers and decision-makers, those that use what we developers do. So you might not be familiar with what a Smart Form is or why it’s a good idea to use it. Hopefully after this, you’ll not only understand it, but if your application isn’t making use of the concept, you’ll convince your development team to look into it.

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Exposure, Engagement, and Lovable Imperfection: Why Your B2B Company Should Join Instagram

By Carly Walsh, Marketing Intern on Jul. 17, 2014 View Comments

In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram (a startup with 13 employees and no revenue) for $1 billion. While Facebook users were losing interest, Instagram users were falling in love, and this shift in influence did not go unnoticed. Mark Zuckerberg predicted a bright future for Instagram, and he has yet to be proven wrong.

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How to Get “Lucky” with Hummingbird, Google’s New Search Algorithm

By Katie Pietrak, Marketing Coordinator on Dec. 29, 2013 View Comments

Are you feeling lucky? We all know there’s not much actual “luck” involved in Google’s commitment to understanding exactly what you mean and giving you back exactly what you want. To provide quick, accurate, and timely information, Google updates its search algorithm over 500 times a year—mostly with minor enhancements—but occasionally, they unveil brand new search engine algorithms. The latest is called Hummingbird. Named for its speed and precision, the cutting-edge approach to search result ranking is designed with both new and existing technology. With more of an emphasis on user-generated content and customer engagement, Google is transforming the digital world and changing the search engine optimization (SEO) game. But how can your website score with this new search algorithm?

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What's a Marketing Girl Got to be Grateful For?

By Jenifer Kern, Vice President, Marketing on Nov. 27, 2013 View Comments

It’s the season for gratitude—and, well, we’re all thankful for lots of things. As a Celerity Marketer, I’m especially thankful for achieving some big milestones this year:

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