The State of Martech 2017: Why the sudden optimism?

Reviewing our second annual State of Marketing Technology Report, we were struck by how much the space has changed. Based on numbers alone, the number of solutions has ballooned 84 percent from just last year. According to, there are now a staggering 3,874 solutions.

Selecting the right solution from this mass of logos reminds me of playing the claw machine – precision is required, but the risk of slipping up is high.

Video courtesy of Picktzar

Most marketers have to make multiple attempts to grab the right CRM, CMS, DMP, etc. Then, the hard work of integrating these solutions begins.

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Little Bird: A Great Tool for “Influencing the Influencers” Marketing Programs

Thought Leader and Influencer Engagement Automation Tools
Influencer engagement automation tools like Little Bird can help you tap into the reach and power of your industry’s thought leaders…or help you become one yourself!

I use a great software-as-a-service product called Little Bird to find influencers.

What I’ve determined is that Little Bird is a very useful tool for “influence the influencer” marketing programs. These programs go by many names — influencer engagement, advocate marketing, social marketing, influencer marketing, social influencer mining and engagement, thought leader engagement, and more — but the basic idea is that you want to build relationships with experts, influencers and thought leaders to accomplish some goal.

Little Bird was recommended to me by people I met at this year’s Content Marketing World, and it turns out, unbeknownst to me (insert #CluelessCEO hash tag here), that our Walker Sand social media consultants in our Chicago office have been using it for ages to serve our clients. Glad to see that they were way ahead of me on this one!

For the uninitiated, here’s how Little Bird works, some key Little Bird features that I like, some strengths and weaknesses of Little Bird, and, last but not least, some tips for getting the most out of Little Bird.

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An Inexpensive Website May Be More Expensive Than You Know

Is Your Website Toxic? Inexpensive Websites Can Be Costly
Is your website toxic yet you don’t know it? Beware: inexpensive websites can be very costly.

Recently, I spoke with a sales prospect for our digital services. Her company had recently redesigned and relaunched the company website. She wanted to build on that milestone marketing event with refined messaging, SEO, PPC, remarketing, thought leadership, content marketing and other tactics to drive new business opportunities.

We had a great conversation and left with our marching orders: come up with a plan of attack for her digital strategy, nothing too expensive but something that would move the needle on lead generation.

Not a problem, I thought. Right in our wheelhouse. Easy sailing. And then we took a look at the company’s website. Ugh.

It wasn’t pretty. We had to share some bad news with her. Your web designer engaged in some unethical, spammy tactics. As a result, Google seems to hate your site, and it may take months to recover.

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Coming Up with Ideas for Blog Posts: How to Turn an Email into a Blog Post

Thought Leadership and Blog Ideas - Coming up with Ideas for Content
Hey, thought leader, you’ve already got a pair of ruby slippers. It’s time to put them on and click those heels!

Most people are thought leaders and they don’t know it.

As marketers, a big part of our job is helping clients to find their ruby slippers. They’ve got the magic ruby slippers on already, but they don’t recognize what they’ve got.

It’s true. As marketing consultants, we often walk in and, say: “Hey you do realize that this aspect of your business is really interesting and you could use it in the following three ways to accomplish those four incredibly important organizational objectives you just told me about?”

Sometimes, it turns out, the answers are in front of you but you don’t see them.

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Visit the Walker Sands website. We specialize in PR and marketing services for technology solution providers and B2B companies. Walker Sands Digital offers a wide array of digital marketing solutions and helps firms to get the most from their online presence.
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