Latest Updates: b2b marketing RSS

  • Email Marketing to Lead the Way in 2012

    Joe Hendershot 6:04 pm on January 19, 2012 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: b2b marketing, email marketing

    Marketing budgets healthy. Email marketing on the rise in a big way.

    According to an extensive survey of more than 900 large, medium and small firms conducted by Zoomerang in November, 2011, marketing budgets will be healthy this year, with email marketing being a huge focus for most of the firms.

    In terms of marketing budgets for 2012, 51% of the companies will be increasing their budgets and 41% will maintain current levels. Email marketing will be replacing or overcoming other tactics in terms of budget allocation.

    For email marketing, some of the biggest findings were:

    • 60% of firms plan to increase their email marketing spend
    • 68% will focus on “win back / re-engagement” tactics and 59% on “welcome” programs
    • 48% want to increase email subscriber engagement and 32% want to grow their email opt-in numbers
    • biggest challenges include: 45% of companies need to integrate their customer data better; 43% are challenged with lack of staff and resources
    • 67% see email marketing’s primary value as a customer retention / loyalty tactic

    So, companies realize the potential value of email marketing and they know it can help retain customers — if they do it right and they have the time and resources to execute email marketing on a consistent basis. The study also showed that email tactics are replacing other tactics such as direct mail and trade shows.

    The name of the study is the “StrongMail 2012 Marketing Trends”. It took place online by Zoomerang and polled more than 900 marketing and business leaders over a wide industry spectrum.

     
  • Google's Ad Revenue: How Big is It?

    Joe Hendershot 7:19 pm on January 6, 2012 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , b2b marketing, Google Ad Words,

    I heard a staggering statistic the other day during a radio segment on advertising.

    The revenue coming in to Google for their Ad Words and related offerings is 150% more than the ad revenue of all of the newspapers in the U.S. combined.

    We all know that ad revenue in daily papers has been declining for some time. But this statistic is really staggering. To think even just ten years ago that ad revenue in daily papers would be only a tiny fraction of an online advertising service was unthinkable.

    But it’s all about how people search to get information today (face it, it’s almost all online) and how they buy. It’s not that Google stole the ad revenue; it’s that people’s search habits have changed.

    When considering online advertising as compared to traditional methods, b-to-b and consumer advertisers alike benefit from almost instant testing and measurement of their ads.

    For example, with Google Ad Words you can test different creative and offers and landing pages and measure the results within hours and days of your ad placements. You can also measure ROI via Google’s conversion tracking. And all of this analytical support is free.

    I think that  every company that sells anything should at least test Google Ad Words. And it’s not just the broad reach that Google has; they’ve been very committed to providing advertisers with better and better tools and support. You can even talk live to a Google rep. Imagine that!

     
  • What Part of Analytics Don't You Understand?

    Joe Hendershot 1:53 pm on March 12, 2011 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: b to b analytics, , b to b marketing measurement, b2b advertising measurement, b2b marketing, b2b marketing analytics

    I can’t tell you how many clients we speak to who undertake marketing-advertising initiatives, from radio ads and PPC ads to direct mail — typically with an offer driving people to their website, yet they don’t analyze the results.  Are you kidding me?  You’re spending money, and you have no idea what media or what campaigns are giving you the best ROI?  Really?

    Today’s analytics are so robust and so inexpensive (most are free), yet many marketers don’t use them.  It’s really, really important to measure campaigns and media — even specific creative approaches — so you can measure ROI right away, and measure your marketing over time.

    If you don’t have the resources to implement analytics and do the reporting (monthly is recommended), then outsource that.

     
  • Business Survival Plan: It's About Strategy

    Joe Hendershot 11:16 am on October 12, 2010 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , b2b marketing, , , business survival plan, business to business strategy

    Today, businesses need a survival plan.

    Why?  So they can position themselves for the turnaround.

    A survival plan goes like this:  Do all you can, marketing-wise, with a limited budget, so that you don’t lose ground, and so that as the economy gets better, you are considered as a premier supplier.

    A survival plan must be based on strategy.  Strategy is how you win the battle, and indeed the war.  Your strategies are based on your sales and marketing objectives.

    This takes some thinking.  So lock your team away for a day and arm yourselves beforehand with some solid research about your industry, your competitors, and your customers and prospects.

    At a minimum, a basic survival plan should include strategies dealing with: positioning (your value proposition, or USP); customer retention; branding (including brand engagement and loyalty); sales lead generation; segmentation of messaging; and customer service.

    Note that those are not tactics, but strategies.

    Tactics are what support the attainment of your strategies.  Luckily, today’s tactics — most of which are e-based — are more cost effective than ever, and much more measurable.

    If you need help creating your survival plan, give us a call at (651) 905-1400, or go here.

     
  • Rationalize, Simplify Your B-to-B BUDGETING Process

    Joe Hendershot 7:18 am on October 12, 2010 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , , b2b marketing, , business to business marketing budgets

    Struggling with establishing your business to business ad-marketing budget?

    When your boss or the company president says you can spend $xxx on marketing, chances are that figure is just a shot in the dark.  Use the “task” method — it’s the most RELEVANT way to budget.

    Here’s a link to a helpful article on b-to-b MARCOM BUDGETING … how to rationalize and simplify your advertising - marketing budgeting process.

    For more on b-to-b marketing STRATEGY, including objectives, tactics and budgeting, go here.

     
  • Yesterday: Mad Men. Today: Mad Tactics

    Joe Hendershot 12:40 pm on September 30, 2010 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , , , b-to-b marketing outsourcing, b2b marketing, , , , marketing outsourcing, ,

    In the past era, creative was king.  It was  ideas and  images that captured attention and won customers.  Madison Avenue at its best.  Three martini lunches.  Lots of money paid to talented creative directors.   Ad agencies actually  creating demand for products people didn’t even know they wanted.

    Today, it’s all about fine-tuned, multi-channel strategies, and dizzying tactics.  Not as simple, but surely more measurable, and in many cases, lower cost than in the past.

    As b-to-b marketers follow b-to-c marketers in areas such as online, social, video, optimization, e-mail and analytics, CMOs need to be better prepared, and better staffed.

    In such cases, outsourcing may make sense.  Learn more here.

    For strategy development, branding and online advice, see our free, no-registration downloads here.

     
  • B-to-B Marketing Optimism, and Budgets, Rising

    Joe Hendershot 1:25 pm on September 28, 2010 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Add new tag, , , , , b-to-b planning, , , b2b marketing, b2b planning, ,

    According to an August, 2010 survey of 574 senior b-to-b marketers conducted by Duke U. and the AMA, marketing budgets will increase an average of 9.2% over the next year, compared with a forecast of just 1.1% in the same survey done a year ago.

    Over the next year, Internet spending will rise 13.6%, branding and CRM 8.3% each, and social media will grow to almost 18% of budgets in the next five years.

    The marketing execs stated that they are optimistic about their own company’s revenue prospects: 64% said so, as compared to just 47% a year ago.

    Now is a good time to get that 2011 marketing plan in place … for help with strategy planning, budgeting and more, go here.

     
  • Has The SEO Snake Oil Dissipated?

    Joe Hendershot 6:54 pm on October 14, 2009 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , , b2b marketing, , , ,

    Many marketers, especially b-to-b marketers, have long considered SEO (search engine optimization) to have an oozy sensation to it, or maybe to have that voodoo-like aura.

    SEO is more than ten years old now.  At first, it was indeed a technical, complicated thing: trying to figure out – and stay ahead of – the search engines.

    Compared to SEO, online “advertising” seems to be easier for marketers to embrace.  Maybe more trusted.  No snake oil.  For example, PPC (pay per click) ads have always been pretty straightforward: make an ad and get visits to your website.  (I know, there’s a bit more to it.)

    Good b-to-b marketers ensure that SEO and PPC work in concert; these marketers know the value of marketing integration.  And they add a lot of SEM (search engine marketing) into the mix.  They also integrate their marketing with their sales efforts.  Good idea.  Too bad more marketers don’t understand that.

    Back to SEO: why is b-to-b SEO still treated as a third cousin with H1N1?  “Stand clear!”  I can’t tell you how many business-to-business marketers I meet, who dismiss SEO as unnecessary.  Yet they readily admit in the same breath that their website is underperforming!

    Here are a few FACTS you should know about SEO, or search engine optimization:

    1) Optimization is not voodoo: it’s a defined set of technical and non-technical things you need to do to your site to make it “found” by the search engines.  Search engines have rules; you need to play accordingly.

    2) SEO is not expensive: it does not (in most cases) mean a re-design of your website (design is always costly).

    3) A website that is optimized works as a website should: it organically (without PPC) draws visitors who are looking for the company’s products or services.  Why do you think some sites are always on top, and others on page 17?  It’s not luck; it’s skill.

    4) SEO should be a key component of your marketing plan.  And it’s not SEO-and-we’re-done … it’s ongoing content management work (not difficult; you just need a bit of creativity.)

    5) “Don’t try this at home” … SEO experts are called “experts” for a reason.  It’s like going to a specialist if you have a problem; you want the right people doing the work.  Most firms that list “seo” in addition to 15 other things they do (especially design firms), do not truly know SEO.  This is based on personal research; call me for details.

    6) SEO is measurable: search engine by search engine; keyword phrase by keyword phrase.  This allows you to track results and modify on the fly.

    7) SEO does take some time, but it’s not bad: expect to see initial meaningful results in 90-120 days, and some very nice results – if you pay attention to content management – within six months.

    The bottom line with SEO is this: it’s a proven, non-voodoo, mandatory tactic for business marketers.

    For more info on SEO, go here.

    If you’re in the Minneapolis area, go here.

     
  • Low-Cost Social Media / Online Video Examples

    Joe Hendershot 5:23 pm on September 30, 2009 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , b2b marketing,

    American Express OPEN, the very successful service for small business, uses social media to “drive marketing efficiency during the downturn” according to BtoB Magazine (9/14/09). Their OPENForum, an online community for small business owners, was created with a team of just a few people and “at a fraction of the cost of other marketing initiatives” according to BtoB Magazine.  Amex “uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs to drive traffic to the site”.

    And Sybase, a big player in the database and risk analytics business, is using online video driven by social media sites and blogs, as well as virtual conferences, to target very specific influencers.  “This stuff is so cheap”, says Mark Wilson, vp-corporate marketing of Sybase, “you want to go out and experiment and do a lot to see what sticks.”

    INSIGHT:  Business marketers need to first develop a social media strategy (no matter how simple it may be), and experiment.  //  Marketers must also realize that online videos (informational, testimonial, how-to’s) are in demand by customers and prospects — and therefore should be on the marketer’s must-do list.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA HERE and visit video examples from B2B Inc. HERE.

     
  • Online Ad Shape and "Where" = More Critical Than Size. Video Big Too

    Joe Hendershot 9:14 pm on August 21, 2009 | 0 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , b2b marketing, ,

    As just reported by B-TO-B ONLINE, a new study by digital ad measurement company Dynamic Logic says that ad shape and placement are very important.
    Based on 2,390 online display campaigns over the past three years, ads that are integrated into the content of a Web page, such as half banners and rectangles, are the most effective in driving online ad awareness and purchase intent. These beat out ads that frame the page, such as leaderboards and skyscrapers, according to the company.

    The research also revealed that ad campaigns using rich media with video created the strongest brand impact,

     
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