Generating More “Educated Leads” on a Small Budget

Doing more with less is pretty much the mantra du jour in industrial and B2B marketing these days. How does one generate high quality, educated leads, not just site visitors on a marketing budget that is less than 1% of the projected revenue?

To find answers to that question, I went to HubSpot’s Lead Generation Marketing Hub and I found an incredible video featuring Holly Allison, vice president of marketing at Vico Software, a successful Boston-area startup that provides construction software to engineers and contractors.

Instead of spending most of their marketing budget on traditional industrial marketing channels like trade shows or direct mail, Vico produces webinars and creates content that site visitors download and others link to. In short, they are doing things that help them get found online. Read more

Boost Marketing Results with Integrated Campaigns

Integrated campaigns could be the answer to improving your marketing results in this tough economy. It was one of the recommendations made by a panel of marketers and analysts at B-to-B Outlook 2009.

I am big fan of Integrated Marketing. See "Integrated Marketing – Creating and Delivering Compelling Marketing Messages that Sell" on our website.

Here's some good news to come out of the same conference. Bob Felsenthal, BtoB publisher and conference moderator said, “Our research indicates that 31% of b-to-b marketers plan to boost their marketing budgets this year, with 62% citing customer acquisition as their primary goal.”

Online advertising remains the fastest-growing channel for b-to-b marketers, although its growth rate has moderated to between 3% and 10% for 2009, compared with robust double-digit growth in past years, panelist Geoff Ramsey, co-founder and CEO of market research company eMarketer, added, “But flat is the new up.”

Read the entire news article here.

Yesterday’s Nerdy White Paper Becomes Today’s Top Marketing Weapon

The white paper – what began as a wordy, complicated, techie document has become the cool, neat catalyst for generating insatiable demand, and freelance writers are cashing in with corporate content in 2009. And when a Google search for “white papers” returns millions of results… that means somebody’s got to write them.

Now more than ever, it’s predictable that companies will need to carefully scrutinize more information before making buying decisions, and freelance wordsmiths can expect more demand for their sought-after skill.

Today’s white paper is a conversational 3,000- to 5,000-word document, with a succinct educational focus on how clients can solve specific problems–served up with a pinch of persuasiveness.

“White papers are today’s marketing super weapons,” says Michael Stelzner, author of the best-selling book Writing White Papers. Stelzner cites a number of reasons why clients love marketing white papers: Read more

Invest in Content Marketing During a Recession

In a recent survey (December 2008) done by Junta42, 56% of marketing- and publishing-decision makers plan to increase their content marketing spending for 2009 (31% increase significantly, 25% increase slightly).

According to the same survey, the top six content tactics are:

  1. Social media (other than blogs) – 68%
  2. E-newsletters/email – 60%
  3. Case studies – 55%
  4. Online video – 51%
  5. White papers – 46%
  6. Microsites – 43%

Joe Pulizzi, founder of Junta42 and author of "Get Content. Get Customers." said, "If marketers will spend less in 2009, it won't be coming from their content development budgets. More and more marketing professionals now realize that tomorrow's marketing is all about developing a conversation with customers. Without valuable, relevant and compelling content, that's pretty much impossible. The numbers show that."

You can get the more survey details from http://www.junta42.com/resources/Content_Marketing_Spending_Points_Up/

Is the New Alphabet Soup of Marketing “M’m! M’m! Good?”

First, a little history: The 4 Ps describing the strategic position of a product in the marketplace were first used in 1948 when James Culliton said that a marketing decision should be a result of something similar to a recipe. Then in 1953, Neil Borden, in his American Marketing Association’s presidential address, coined the term “marketing mix.” E. Jerome McCarthy, a prominent marketer, was the first to propose the 4 P classification in 1960. Since then, McCarthy’s definition has become widely accepted as the classic 4 Ps of marketing.

What are the classic 4 Ps?
Product — an object or a service that is mass-produced or manufactured on a large scale with a specific volume of units.
Price — the amount a customer pays for the product.
Place — the location where a product can be purchased. It is often referred to as the distribution channel.
Promotion — all of the communications that a marketer may use in the marketplace.

Criticism of the classic 4 Ps
Over the years, the classic 4 Ps have received a fair amount of criticism. Peter Doyle, in his book Value Based Marketing, claims that the “marketing mix” approach leads to unprofitable decisions because it is not grounded in financial objectives such as increasing shareholder value. He argues that a net present value approach maximizing shareholder value provides a “rational framework” for managing the marketing mix.

Some people claim that the 4 Ps are focused only on consumer markets and are not applicable to industrial product marketing. Others claim it has too strong of a product market perspective and is not appropriate for the marketing of services.

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Using Video in B2B Marketing

The use of video in B2b marketing is on the rise and is expected to grow exponentially. In the August 11 issue of BtoB Magazine, Tom Simmons, President-Creative Director of PRTNERS+simons wrote,

"Web video will continue its rise in prominance. It is admittedly the preeminent marketing channel for all marketing communications—consumer, b-to-b and professional—and its role will become even more critical. The text-based content emphasis that has been the default Web strategy will continue to lose its prominence."

In a recent BtoB Webcast audience poll, 29.2% of the respondents said they used video in their marketing mix. This is second only to Blogs which are used used by 32.5%, followed by RSS Feeds (17.5%), Social Networks (14.2%), Threaded Discussions (4.2%) and Wikis (2.5%).

Jay Gulick, Director of BNET also makes a very strong case for the use video in B2B marketing in his post Video: The B2B marketing sweet spot. In his video he explains why B2B marketers should provide customers with resources such as white papers, case studies and Webcasts instead of traditional display ads.

Are you currently or thinking of using video in your marketing?

Your Company Web Site Must Be the Hub of Your Online Marketing

Your company Web site is the top online marketing option when it comes to marketing to engineers, technical, industrial and manufacturing professionals. This is according to a new white paper from GlobalSpec called "Marketing to Engineering, Technical, Industrial and Manufacturing Professionals: What’s Working Best Today."

The white paper cites statistics from their recent surveys of their target audience, which show that:

  • 90% have used the Internet to find components and suppliers
  • 85% go online to obtain product specifications
  • 74% use the Internet to conduct research
  • 68% use the Internet to search for technical application ideas

Read more

Sales and Marketing Playing on the Same Team

The title of this post may sound like an oxymoron but that is the reality that B2B marketers need to get used to. I read a great post by Anne Holland, Founder of MarketingSperpa.

Her post is titled The Secret Key to Marketing & Sales Working Together. In it she writes,

The key is: In B-to-B, sales and marketing will never play as one intramural team; there’ll never be equal recognition for all players. The varsity team already exists, and sales is it. As a marketer, you can be a cheerleader, a water boy, a groundskeeper, a ticket taker….You don’t get to play — you get to support.

She goes on to say,

Once you realize sales are Hollywood Divas at heart, with all the unique talent, fragility, and difficulty that implies, it becomes easier to handle your relationship with them. Even when they drive you nuts, let’s face it, you could never do their job. (If you could, what are you waiting for? Sales will always make way more money than B-to-B marketers.)

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