Good morning, Marketers, what kind of changes are you trying to encourage through your marketing efforts?

I heard recently from an executive at a vendor that when they work with clients they ask if their goal is to drive sales or to change the customer’s behavior. Overwhelmingly, marketers aim at the second option.

With Yelp’s new pandemic-related profile attributes, which you can read about below, the same question came to mind. If local restaurants and other businesses can make it clear in their profile that [their] “Staff [is] Fully Vaccinated,” will that drive sales? Perhaps. But it also sends a deeper message about the company’s culture and the behavior and values of those who work there.

Chris Wood


Evaluating tools? Ask the right reference questions

When evaluating a possible addition to your marketing technology stack, or a replacement for a tool you’re already using, be sure to ask the vendors on your short-list for references. Any good vendor should be able to provide them. But that’s where the hard work starts.

As Jarrod Gingras of Real Story Group writes in his latest contribution, getting the most out of these references demands a methodical approach and plenty of preparation. “A savvy reference checker will employ a variety of different approaches and questions to obtain a richer and more transparent view of potential suppliers,” he writes. “Moreover, reference checking is invaluable when it transcends simple lists of strengths and weaknesses to uncover broader issues of supplier ‘fit’ for you.”

Because vendors are likely to supply their most satisfied customers, don’t be reticent about reaching out to your own network too. You probably won’t have time to ask every relevant question, but in this article Gingras provides a long list of possible questions to choose from — and explains how the questions need to be tweaked if you’re evaluating marketing services rather than technology solutions.

Read more here.



5 tactics to scale your agency

Digital technology is a $220 billion market that is rapidly expanding and comes with its own set of challenges. According to a 2020 survey of more than 600 respondents, local agencies and business experts say their inability to scale operations is the number one challenge they face in providing digital solutions to local businesses.

Here are the most common challenges faced by local experts and tactics to help overcome them.

Read More »


Hubspot CEO steps down

Brian Halligan, who along with CTO Dharmesh Shah founded HubSpot in 2005, has announced he will step down as CEO after more than 15 years in the role. He will continue to serve the company as Executive Chairman, while Chief Customer Officer Yamini Rangan will succeed him as CEO.

Halligan, one of the best-known executives in marketing technology, was injured in a snowmobile accident in March this year, and took some time away from the company, with Rangan taking over daily operations.  While he has made a full recovery, the break gave him an opportunity to think how he could best support HubSpot moving forward.

Rangan joined HubSpot in January 2020 having previously served as Chief Customer Officer at Dropbox. She has also filled a variety of executive and management positions at Workday, Appirio and SAP America.

Why we care. Alan Trefler of Pega may be the longest-serving CEO in the space (38 years) and Marc Benioff has led Salesforce since its inception (22 years), but 15 years at the head of HubSpot, the company he created with fellow MIT student Dharmesh Shah, is quite an achievement. He steps down singing the praises of his replacement, an experienced tech executive and a woman of color.

“As a trained engineer who has led sales, operations, and go to market teams, she’s able to think big on strategy while nailing the details, and she has managed to bring remarkable lessons she’s learned from previous experience while being culturally additive to every initiative she’s led at HubSpot.”


Use the power of AI to deliver an extraordinary customer experience

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the way businesses operate. And even more so, AI brings the promise of meaningful customer experiences to build deeper brand loyalty and long-lasting customer relationships. But how do you ensure your customer experience is personal, relevant and human when using AI and machine learning to improve CX?

Learn more »


Yelp introduces “Proof of vaccination required” and “Staff fully vaccinated” profile attributes

Yelp is introducing two new COVID-related profile attributes, the “Proof of vaccination required” and “Staff fully vaccinated” attributes, the company announced Thursday. Users will be able to filter searches using these attributes and the “Proof of vaccination required” attribute will be visible in search results.

Why we care. Given the rapid spread of COVID’s Delta variant, these attributes may help customers feel safer when visiting a local business. Yelp’s “additional safety measures” may also help to curb any potential blowback from bad actors seeking to leave reviews based on their stance about COVID vaccines as opposed to their firsthand experiences with the business.

Read more here.


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Quote of the day

“Just told our entire email list to get vaxxed. Prayers for our unsubscribe rate.” Natalie Bowman, Managing Director, Marketing and Advertising, Alaska Airlines