Last night I attended a fireside chat featuring Michelle Slater, an award-winning Marketer and currently the Head of Business Marketing at Twitter Canada. Michelle works closely with Fortune 100 companies to integrate Twitter into their marketing plans. She gave us an inside look into the organization and spoke about her role at the company, big data, challenges in the industry and Twitter’s future.
The Role of Twitter Canada’s Head of Business Marketing
Michelle has three primary goals:
- Marketing: help brands across all verticals, as well as agencies, achieve their business goals.
- Sales enablement: support the sales team providing them with the tools and resources they need.
- Consulting/educating: educate brands on how to use Twitter effectively.
The Significance of Data Driven Marketing
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker
That was then, when companies spent an exorbitant amount on TV and billboard ads without knowing the return on investment. Now, technology allows us to determine the effectiveness of a marketing campaign via click-through rates, website hits, conversion rates, etc. It has changed what, how and where we communicate with our target audience.
For example, McDonald’s changed their breakfast offering from 6 am – 11 am to all-day breakfast based on the data they pulled from Twitter. Breakfast conversations on social media were trending outside of the typical breakfast hour timeframe. The company saw this as an opportunity to listen to their consumers. They made significant operational changes to make this happen. As a result, they increased their sales by 5% globally, this past March. This is a clear example of how using data effectively can drive sales.
The Challenges for Marketers
Data is a great opportunity for marketers, but there are three key challenges Michelle sees in the industry:
- Finding the path to purchase: marketers have to figure out how to trace every step of the sales funnel of its target audience and provide the right message at the right time.
- Education gap: the marketing and technology industry are moving at a rapid pace. It’s a challenge keeping up with the latest and greatest to be considered a specialist or expert in digital.
- The new consumer: consumers have become extremely fickle and distracted. The attention span of a human is 6 seconds; a goldfish is 7 seconds (I’m lucky if you’ve read my blog this far!!). So how do marketers breakthrough? How do brands and companies breakthrough?
44% of the digital population uses Twitter and it continues to grow year over year, according to Michelle Slater.
There’s been grumblings about changing Twitters 140 character count. Michelle commented that won’t change. In fact, the best performing Tweets range between 60 – 70 characters. Twitter, instead will be looking at enhancing media rich content through videos, gifs, photos, and live streaming, which all also outperform plain text Tweets.
Another area that Twitter is developing is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Next week a global bank will be releasing a new way to provide improved customer service by partnering with IBM’s Watson Technology.
The Weather Network integrated AI for its consumers. Direct Message them to receive weather forecast for a specific location at a specific time. Try it out!
AI will play a big role moving forward with Twitter’s evolution along with virtual reality and live streaming. There’s a fair amount of new initiatives for the company and Michelle sounded hopeful that businesses will continue to turn data into meaningful insights to improve their customer relationships.