Entries Tagged 'marketing' ↓

What are marketers reading this summer?

The Fourth of July is just around the corner and for many of us, that means the official beginning of summer. With the new season come thoughts – or perhaps mere dreams – of lazy days ahead. Perhaps camping, road trips, flights to far away places, and time to catch up on some summer reading.

What have you got packed away in your carry-on? Or on your Kindle? Or iBook?

We’ll put the question to our #B2Bchat Twitter audience on June 27. Tune in at 5:00 p.m. Pacific to discuss this and several other questions such as:

Q. What is your preferred book format and why?

Q. Do you engage with authors via social media? Which authors are best at it?

Q. What are the hottest marketing books out at the moment?

Q. Which older marketing titles are must-reads for B2B marketers? Why?

Q. Which non-marketing books have taught you lessons that you’ve applied to your marketing career?

iStock_000020443823XSmall

Pushing the Right Buttons to Viral Video Success

This video crossed my radar this morning and I think it’s brilliant. I wonder how many “push the button” spin-offs this will create?

The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics: Key Take-Aways

I recently got my hands on Marketo’s latest white paper, titled: The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics.

Here are some of the gems I found in the 70-page paper and which I cover in the video above.

  1. Define targets for each of your marketing campaigns as you plan them. Consider setting a ‘best possible outcome’, ‘worst case scenario’ and ‘most likely outcome’. Express these targets in terms of number of leads, amount of incremental revenue to be generated, or in terms of anticipated ROI.
  2. Keep 10% of your marketing budget for ‘Marketing R&D’. Experimentation can lead to new best practices. Acknowledge that you are experimenting with some of your programs and detach those from revenue targets.
  3. Don’t Measure Just for the Sake of Measurement. Before you invest time and resources in measuring a data set, you should know what you would do if the answer turned out to be X or Y.
  4. Define Distinct Stages in your Customer’s Buying Cycle. Especially in B2B, with longer sales cycles, you need to acknowledge the fact that there are several stages in the buying cycle. Marketing’s work will not only generate leads, but also help move leads forward through these stages. This requires fixed definitions – understood across the marketing and sales organization – based on business rules.
  5. Marketo's Demand Generation Funnel (simplified)

  6. Measure Flow, Balance, Conversion and Velocity of Leads. Once you have lead stages defined, the following metrics will be most important: Flow (# of people entering the stage), Balance (current inventory in that stage), Conversion (% of names, on average, that make it from the previous stage) and Velocity (time it takes, on average, to complete the stage).
  7. Aim to knowing the answers to these crucial questions: What would be the expected ROI if your marketing budget increased by 10%. What would be the impact on sales closed? Alternately, what would be the impact on sales if the budget was decreased 10%? Questions like these test marketing’s maturity.

This paper is a must-read for marketing executives that are aiming to improve their departments’ efficiency and accountability.

How to Achieve Enchantment, by Guy Kawasaki [Infographic]

In his latest book titled Enchantment, Guy Kawasaki covers the principles that individuals and businesses can apply to achieve personal and professional success.

If you don’t have time to read the book, or are looking for a nice refresher, look no further. Here is a handy overview in the form of an Infographic: How to Achieve Enchantment.

Enchantment Infographic

How do Marketers “Sharpen the Saw”?

Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, has provided inspiration to countless numbers of people since it was released over two decades ago. The seventh and final habit in the book focuses on continuous improvement, what Covey calls “sharpening the saw”.

What are the best ways for marketers to build and sustain their own expertise? Which books, which blogs, and which conferences, and which individuals drive us towards excellence?

Join us this Thursday for our next #B2Bchat event where we dive into these questions.

Q. What is the best marketing-related book you’ve read recently?

Q. Name a blog that you regularly draw inspiration from.

Q. Have you encouraged professional development for people you lead? What is your approach?

Q. What role can mentors play in a marketers’ professional development?

Q. How has social media changed the way marketers learn?

Review of Seth Godin’s Poke the Box

I recently had the pleasure of reading Seth Godin’s latest book, Poke the Box. It’s a nice, light read and something that can be fit into an afternoon visit to your favorite coffee shop.

As with other Seth Godin books that I’ve read, the message first strikes you as self evident. “Of course this makes sense. Who wouldn’t know that?” But Seth has a way of taking the obvious, and using it as a means to teach a lesson.

I’d like to share some of the things that have stuck with me from this book. Incidentally, as I was reading it, Twitter provided a temporary outlet to tell the rest of the world what I was gleaning from the pages. There were a lot of bite-sized pieces of information, perfect for the 140 character limit on Twitter.

The basic premise of the book is that a lot of people are afraid of starting, of experimenting with new ideas, of ‘poking the box’ to see what happens.

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth.
Not going all the way, and not starting.”
Siddhartha Gautama

The Starbucks story provides an example of how it’s ok to start, and be wrong at first. One of the founders, Jerry Baldwin, had a vision of a company that would sell coffee beans and tea leaves. His vision turned out to be wrong, and it was only after his business partner Howard Schultz visited Italy and developed a passion for espresso, that the company took the direction for which it is known today. Jerry Baldwin was wrong, but because he started, it allowed for the company to know it was wrong, then change direction.

The person who fails the most usually wins

Talk to any person who is successful and they will share with you their list of failures that helped bring them to where they are. If you fail only once, i.e. fail big, it’s game over. If you never fail, you’re either very lucky, or you’ve never tried succeeding. It is in allowing yourself multiple smaller failures, and learning from them, that you move forward to successes. Poke the box, figure out which ideas resonate, and then ship them.

Why is this message relevant now?

Today’s market is obsessed with novelty. In a world where information can spread quickly, the most remarkable ideas win.

What Apple is Doing to Beat Microsoft and Google

I’d like to share this fantastic presentation by French consulting firm faberNovel, a study on how Apple has maneuvered itself successfully in the market against Microsoft and Google.

Lead Scoring Best Practices

More and more B2B marketers are turning to lead scoring as a way of optimizing lead management. Many of us will remember when we used to process raw Excel lists, handing over hundreds of names with job titles and companies to our sales department, only to find that leads weren’t being followed up on. It wasn’t possible to know which leads were the most interested in your company, and wasn’t easy to see which matched your target buyer.

Recent advances in marketing automation and sales CRM software have made it easier to streamline the whole process. Marketing and sales professionals can apply lead scoring algorithms to leads, effectively sorting and prioritizing them for nurturing programs and sales follow-up.

In a recent episode of the weekly #B2Bchat on Twitter, we dug into questions surrounding lead scoring. Here is a summary of the questions and comments, compiled:

Q. What is lead scoring?

  • There are a lot of online resources on the topic lead scoring. We’ve posted a couple of articles on lead scoring including The 5 Basics of Lead Scoring on B2Bbloggers.com.
  • Here are a couple of definitions of lead scoring in 140 characters or less: Lead scoring is assigning a probability/weight to a lead based on its online behavior while interacting with your digital assets (via @joezuc) and Lead scoring is giving a rating system to prospects so more time spent with qualified leads (via @NuSparkMktg)

Q. What do you need in order to get started with lead scoring?

  • A marketing automation system. Vendors that were mentioned by name in the session included Marketo, Vtrenz, Eloqua, Genius, Marketbright and Silverpop. @jepc referred us to a comprehensive list of marketing automation systems that he has compiled.
  • You need a list of the possible paths/interactions a customer can have with your digital assets. This can be quite complex, depending on the type of product/service.
  • A target audience definition is needed, and an understanding of your buyer personas.
  • You need to understand your customer buying behavior. Talk to sales in order to learn buying behaviors, and look at previous activities associated with closed deals.
  • An agreement on the definition of a lead is essential. Sales and marketing need to come up with the definition together. Any discussion of lead scoring helps sales and marketing connect better with goals.
  • Executive buy-in from sales & marketing leadership is needed.

Q. What advice would you give to marketers that want to take lead scoring to the next level?

  • Normalize job titles to get better scoring, or restrict job titles to a pick list.
  • If possible, include consideration of offline activities as well.
  • The following high-value interactions should be weighted accordingly: E.g. “How We Help” page = higher score
  • The combo of product page w. case study or contact us page = bonus points
  • More visits from more people in one company within a shorter time frame = bonus points
  • Use negative scoring for certain job titles, e.g. consultant, student and assistant.
  • Review lead scores of closed sales to assess the validity of your scoring assumptions

This post appeared originally at b2bbloggers.com.

Measuring the Value of Digital Marketing

How do B2B marketers tackle the question of marketing campaign value? Do we make strategic decisions based on real, actionable data? With the firehose of data that is available to marketers now-a-days, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the information that truly matters. And this is especially true for B2B with their typically complex, drawn out sales cycles.

In our latest episode of #B2Bchat, we dug into questions surrounding metrics. Here is a summary of the questions and comments, compiled:

Q. Which components of your digital marketing campaigns are delivering the best results? E.g. Search, Email, Display Advertising, Social Media?

  • Search (PPC and SEO). These are most effective when in used in conjunction with great landing pages.
  • Email
  • Mediums are secondary, success depends on the contextual relevance of the message.

Q. Why do campaign budgets get cut? Poor performance or lack of tracking?

  • Both: poor performance due to lack of clear objectives. and lack of tracking because no analysis properly done during campaign
  • Most of the time the problem is poorly defined goals and metrics
  • Budget cuts can also come due to lack of well defined baselines.
  • Lack of commitment to the campaign. Unreasonable expectations of sales impact.
  • On social media budgets: Shyness with social media due to it being unproven, thus high risk. Execs are holding back.
  • Measuring metrics a science, but knowing how to explain them can sometimes be an art. e.g. convincing your boss to keep budget.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to marketing reports?

  • First Dashboard reports need to be customized (management level) and meet biz needs…focus on actionable metrics!
  • A lot of people over-do it with reports. Too much data and too complex = danger of focusing on wrong metrics.

Q. How do you assess the value of a digital marketing campaign? Where do you start?

  • Have specific goals and objectives
  • Start with the dollar value of new sales and work backwards
  • Measure the number of sales-ready leads and wins
  • A good marketing dashboard is fundamental

Q. What metrics (Key Performance Indicators) do you track? Which matter most?

  • “Actionable” metrics, data which will allow us to make better decisions and take action
  • PDF downloads, newsletter subscriptions, sales leads, e-commerce transactions
  • Clicks, conversion, leads
  • Customer retention
  • Qualified leads, Reach, Buzz, Sentiment
  • Engagement: comments/replies
  • Predictive actions: signups, downloads, resource access

Word art of transcript from April 29 #B2Bchat – Measuring the Value of Digital Marketing (courtesy of Wordle.net).

This summary was originally posted at www.b2bbloggers.com.

The More You Think About ROI…

The More You Think About ROI

What is the Return on Investment (ROI) of an ad campaign? How do you go about measuring it? Which attribution models work best for your sales process?

These are some of the things I was working on this afternoon which led me to ponder the following relationship. As you start to think of the ROI question, it sounds very straight forward.

Return on Investment = (Gain – Investment) / Investment

Then you begin to realize that there are a lot of different ways to define each of these. And what about the interplay between the various ad campaign investments? Where does it end?

It’s not until you work it through further that it becomes clearer once again.