White Papers Prove Their Worth Once Again

Technical and b-to-b marketers usually include white papers in their marketing mix. Now, there’s even more evidence that they are indeed valuable in influencing the buying decision. Eccolo Media, a content strategy services company did an online survey of 155 technology buyers last August. A whopping 86% of respondents found white papers to be the most effective piece of marketing collateral.

Lorie Loe, president of Eccolo Media said, “They are definitely the best investment you can make in terms of your collateral budget.”

The same survey asked the respondents to rank various marketing collateral based on the how they influenced the buying decision. White papers were ranked number one as being the most influential. Brochures and case studies were number two and three respectively. Even though product brochures and data sheets were the most frequently used collateral type, they were ranked as being the least influential.

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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/

7 Key Components of a Successful Lead Generation System

After evaluating lead automation solutions from several vendors, I have developed my own list of seven key components that make up a successful lead generation system. A strategic lead automation system will lower your cost per lead; boost ROI and closely align sales and marketing. A unified lead definition leads to objective scoring and qualifying, resulting in higher quality leads. The sales team is motivated to score more wins because now there is an agreement on the quality of leads.

My list of seven key components are:

  1. Demand and inquiry generation using a variety of channels
  2. Convert site traffic into prospects with optimized landing pages and pre-populated forms
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Have You Heard of Sales 2.0?

While I was researching sales and marketing automation solutions, I came across several videos that were talking about Sales 2.0. I found them on allbusiness.com.

It is true that they are referring to the current trend of using social media but in ways that are fundamentally different from the traditional sales process. I found the videos very informative and learned something new. You may find them interesting too. Read more

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

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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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