Marketing Excellence Awards.
A bible for online marketers, ClickZ assembles a crack staff of the most sophisticated users of online marketing software, and sifts through the countless offerings in e-marketing software packages each year, returning with la crème de la crème of Web marketing tools.
Many such packages are already in use by early adopters in the nonwovens industry. 3M, NonWoven Solutions American Textile Machinery, for example, all use some form of web analytics to study how visitors interact with their sites in an effort to make the online experience at their Web sites more user-friendly.
And other nonwovens businesses, like Oxco and O’Neal compete for ad clicks on Google and other search engines when cruisers type in search terms like “nonwovens” and “nonwoven fabric.”
Overall, nonwovens businesses determined to use the most robust and advanced software packages in e-marketing will want to study the winners for the year 2009 in each category closely and take advantage of the free demos and consultations that most of these winning companies offer to interested parties.
Meanwhile, industry businesses not quite ready for all the features offered by these state-of-the-art packages will also want to take a close look at the latest-and-greatest, if only for benchmarking purposes.
Essentially, businesses in this second group may not need every bell-and-whistle offered by these applications, but by studying the packages, they will be fully informed about the ultimate in what the market has to offer and then be able to go on to shop for a subset of the state-of-the-art features in those packages that make sense for them.
Either way, here are the packages that rang the bell for judges in each category:
Top Social Media Software
Nonwovens businesses looking to add or expand a business community on their Web sites will
want to check out Pluck’s Site Life Platform (www.pluck.
com), which won first place in this category. Essentially, the package allows a business’ Web designer to add a full spectrum of social networking options to a Web site, including blogs, forums, individual user profiles -- with just basic Web design skills.
The primary concept behind the package is to eliminate all the heavy, under-the-hood programming needed to create a sophisticated online community, thereby freeing a business’ web designer or web design firm to expend resources actually nurturing an online community. Pluck accomplishes this end, in part, by offering the business’ web designer a raft of templates that can be used as is, or customized for the business’ site.
Pluck also has a special module that enables a business to customize the company’s social network for visitors accessing the domain via mobile devices like cell phones, iPhones and Blackberries. “For marketers looking to do more than plug in a tool and live with its native functionality, Pluck offers the flexibility to innovate,” says Ryan Turner, associate director of user experience at Zaaz.
Other finalists in this category included Ominture’s Genesis (www.omniture.com/en/products/marketing_integration/genesis) and Wildfire Promotion Builder (wildfireapp.com/?variation=1).
Top E-mail Marketing Software
Businesses searching for a sophisticated email marketing program that can segment e-mail messages based one or more variables will want to take a look at the winner in this category, ExactTarget Reseller Edition (email.exacttarget.com/Products/ExactTargetApplication/ResellerEdition/default.html). Responding to the need for ever more personalized email marketing campaigns, ExactTarget is designed to enable a business to send messages based on a customer’s geographic location, past purchasing history, past responses to previous email marketing campaigns, and/or any other marketing variable a business wants to sort by.
The software also offers plenty of graphics-based reports to ease the analysis of each e-mail marketing campaign. Plus, ExactTarget is designed to integrate seamlessly with a number of major Web site analysis programs, including packages made by Omniture, Coremetrics and
The judges also said ExactTarget's Reseller edition not only enabled the end-user to see measurable results of list building and revenue, but also enabled the most overlooked component of a strong e-mail strategy: the actual party that implements the program.
Other finalists in this category include: BlueHornet eMarketing Suite (http://www.bluehornet.com/site/technology/ems.htm) and Responsys Interact http://www.responsys.com/.
Top Mobile Marketing Software
Businesses dealing with a significant percentage of customers that are interacting with their businesses via mobile devices will be interested in this category’s winner, Eyeblaster Channel Connect for Mobile (http://www.eyeblaster.com/Content.aspx?page=Content.asp?Page=mobile). The software is designed to enable nonwovens marketers to more easily plan, create, execute and analyze their mobile marketing campaigns alongside more traditional e-marketing efforts.
“Eyeblaster offers a clearly differentiating product that ports a capability that advertisers are already familiar with to the mobile Web,” says Davis Brewer, lead strategist of emerging channels at Spark Communications.
One additional note: even if your business is not currently offering Web pages on its site especially designed for mobile device users, you’ll want to begin watching the mobile Web space carefully during the next few years. The reason: market researcher Gartner is predicting that by 2013, the number of mobile phones on the planet with Web access will overtake the number of PCs accessing the web.
The clear message from this finding is that adding a mobile-friendly version of your Web site—which enables product and other images, text descriptions and other Web content to download easily on the relatively tiny screens of iPhones, Blackberries, Android phones, and the like—will increasingly become an expected option by mobile device users during the next few years.
Other finalists in this category were Textme (www.textme.net/) and Ominture App Measurement for iPhone (www.omniture.com/press/612).
Top Search Ad Management Software
Nonwovens businesses dabbling in sponsored search ads offered by Google and other search engines should take a look at Kenshoo Search (http://www.kenshoo.com/), the winner in this category. The software helps users automate and optimize the search ad bidding process. Plus, Kenshoo will also help match the most appropriate ad and/or Web landing page based on the keywords a customer uses on Google and other major search engines.
Other finalists in this category were Acquisio Search (http://www.acquisio.com/) and Marin Search Marketer (http://www.marinsoftware.com/).
Top Web Analytics Software
Omniture has enjoyed a reputation for years as an industry standard tool in the field of Web analytics, and the release of its Omniture Online Marketing Suite (http://www.omniture.com/en/products/online_marketing_suite) once again sealed its reputation as tops in its field this time around.
Omniture takes a holistic approach to analytics, bringing in data from customer interactions with a company on the Web, mobile Web, on the company social network, as well as any interactions monitored by customer relationship management software, company call center software and point-of-sale systems.
The result is an extremely in-depth customer profile that enables a business to deeply understand each customer, as well as to expertly sift for trends when data is viewed in terms of customer groups. “They continue to be the market leader in fully integrated online analytics,” says Michael Orlinkski, search marketing supervisor at Overdrive. “Omniture's suite approach is a flexible package that can integrate fairly easily with their Genesis application. While previously Omniture required an above-average education, for the average marketer they have made great strides with creating actionable dashboards for entire organizations."
Other finalists in this category: iPerceptions 4Q (http://www.4qsurvey.com/) (free); Coremetrics Analytics (http://www.coremetrics.com/solutions/web-analytics.php) and Webtrends (http://www.webtrends.com/Products/Analytics.aspx).