Good morning readers! In this issue, we’ll explore some demand generation tactics that will help you quickly fill your sales pipeline, will talk about the growing realm of voice-activated marketing, will share results from a recent survey of 3,000+ CMOs and will give tips on ensuring your email is as engaging as possible.

And now…let’s get to the news.

Demand gen tactics to scale the pipeline, stat

It’s no secret that marketing tactics like developing and hosting webinars and creating/promoting valuable whitepapers and other educational content will add qualified leads to your sales pipeline. But it’s also no secret that they take a long time to put together; they certainly are not a quick fix for getting good leads into your pipeline right now. And the days of buying lists of leads are long, long, gone. So when sales is breathing down your neck, what options are available to a savvy marketer?

Resist the temptation to weaken your targeting parameters to generate quantity over quality warns Triniti Burton in CustomerThink, and avoid augmenting your pipeline with leads who simply aren’t ready for sales. Instead, consider investing in some paid demand generation tactics—including paid social marketing on LinkedIn—as a way to quickly get qualified leads, traffic and engagement on your landing pages and website. Read all of Burton’s demand generation suggestions here.

Voice-activated marketing? Yep.

Whether you use Google Home to order paper towels from Costco or ask Alexa to take advantage of Amazon’s exclusive Alexa-only deals, you’ve been part of the ever-expanding smart speaker market. The market, which started at 2.9 million units last year, is anticipated to grow to 9 million units this year, generating a $2 billion market by 2020 according to Gartner. And with voice-activated gadgets becoming the new norm, can voice marketing be far behind?

The answer, according to adtech entrepreneur Bruno Gralpois as interviewed in Martech Advisor, is that voice marketing is here, but brands must first determine if they are ready to extend its capabilities. Articulate a voice marketing strategy with specific requirements. If you can’t add real value in the way of easy-to-use voice search functionality or a fun, interactive component, it may not make sense to move forward. And see how and where voice marketing may fit into your existing workflow. Break down your marketing siloes if you haven’t already; work with your entire team to brainstorm how voice marketing efforts may work from brand building through user experience and campaign analytics. Read all of Gralpois’ tips here.

CMOs say measurement is still lacking

Research firm Nielsen recently surveyed 3,000 U.S. CMOs and reported that while 82% of them plan on increasing their spend in digital marketing in the next year, only one in four feel confident in their ability to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their media spend. And the majority of respondents (79%) plan on putting budget toward analytics and attribution in the next year to help gain greater insight on how their spending is paying off.  

“The marketers we spoke with and surveyed made it clear that it’s not more data they are looking for, rather better insight. They’re aflush with dashboards, yet only a quarter are highly confident in ROI measurement,” Nielsen’s report says. Check out other highlights from the report as covered in MediaPost here.

Engaging email marketing

First be clear, then be clever; that’s just one of the pieces of advice gathered by Kristen Dunleavy in her Business2Community piece on writing engaging email copy. And she’s spot on: While being witty and entertaining is excellent, it should be secondary to your goal of getting your main message across to your customer or client; if your clever message obscures what you’re trying to say, the recipient will likely hit the delete button.

Additionally, Dunleavy reminds readers to ensure that your email’s tone and images “match.” A serious message apologizing for a business mistake could be completely misinterpreted by recipients if packaged in an HTML email with the wrong images and likewise, a lighthearted message can be rendered unnecessarily somber if heavy or stark images are used. Take a closer look at all of the email tips here.