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Dos and Don’ts of Effective Lead Generation


You have a big audience that is ripe with potential leads, but they’re not necessarily volunteering to jump in your sales funnel. How do you generate leads – good leads – out of a crowd?

There are a lot of philosophies and opinions on lead generation. To help you cut through the noise, we spoke to four leading marketing experts and got some of their best insights. Here’s what they had to say about the dos and don’ts of effective lead generation.


Bryan Eisenberg is a global thought leader and pioneer in online marketing. He has authored three best-selling books, and is a highly sought-after marketing keynote speaker. Eisenberg has been a featured expert in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and has been quoted and recognized by dozens of industry publications and organizations.

Do: Develop content for different stages of your buying process.

From email campaigns to landing pages, and from blog posts to ebooks, your audience is consuming your content from all over your sales funnel. Don’t alienate one group by always talking to another.

“When you’re developing content and landing page strategies, plan different designs based on the different stages of your customers’ buying process. Use personas to understand their particular needs during each stage of the process, and develop different offers and calls-to-action that are most appropriate to their needs.” – Eisenberg (@TheGrok)

This will require a well-rounded content development strategy, one that sales and marketing should probably develop together.

Don’t: Let your lead response get lazy.

Even if marketing could herd every qualified lead into your sales funnel, they’ll fall off track if the response from sales isn’t snappy.

“Marketing and sales need to align to use effective content planning, integrate the customer buying process with the company’s sales process, and distribute leads. Then, marketing can provide sales people with details that matter to them about the prospect’s interests and motivations, and distribute those leads effectively. There isn’t a salesperson in the world who wouldn’t respond to that kind of qualified prospect right away.” – Eisenberg (@TheGrok)

Sales and marketing need to get together (again) to develop a robust lead response strategy that everyone can commit to.

Continue reading…

5 charts showing the rapidly changing face of UK content consumption

The Media Briefing

The ways in which people access and consume media are changing incredibly rapidly, and one of the most comprehensive studies of how this has happened in the UK is Ofcom’s Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report.

We’ve picked out some of the key points relevant from the 2014 edition, which demonstrate how consumers are accessing content in new ways, via new formats and new devices.

The report covers attitudes and understanding among UK adults aged 16+ and covers TV, radio, mobile, games and the internet, with an emphasis on the latter.

Ofcom’s methodology involves quanititative surveys with between 1,000 and 2,000 adults in-home, and statistical significance testing to within the 95 percent confidence limits.

Internet usage still varies massively by age group, but more older people are going online. The biggest percentage point increase was in the 65+ age group, which went from 33 percent online in 2012 to 42 percent last year.

The next biggest increase was for the 55-64 age group. In 2012 73 percent were online, but in 2013 this had risen to 78 percent.

Maybe there’s digital hope for the Daily Telegraph’s ageing print readership after all…

Click to see charts and continue reading

10 Charts That Are Changing the Way We Measure Content


In March, the “how to measure content” debate came in like a lion. It came out like a lion on steroids.

Were you following?

In short:
1. Chartbeat founder Tony Haile published an epic analysis of Internet reading trends in Time that garnered about 20,000 shares.
2. Contently’s own Paul Fredrich published a manifesto here on The Content Strategist, calling for death to pageviews and a long life for engaged time metrics.
3. And News Corp’s Raju Narisetti fought back at Poynter, saying pageviews are more than a so-called “vanity metric” and have real value for publishers.

Those were just three of the highlights.

In between, publishers around the Web posted some of their best insights into what is and isn’t working when it comes to measuring content. We looked it all over and realized that creating a breakdown would benefit our readers, who might not be following this movement quite as obsessively as we have.

Without further ado, here are the 10 most important data points from the content measurement debate over the last few months.

Click for the 10 most important data points from the content measurement debate

Turn a Prospect into a Quality Lead

IDG Global Solutions

Business card information or the download of digital content is often times not enough to judge the quality of a prospect.  If you can determine a person’s Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing (BANT) then a marketer delivers a truly qualified prospect to sales.

In an interview with IDG Communications Director Howard Sholkin, IDG Connect General Manager Andrew Sambrook explained the value of skilled telephone qualification and how BANT can help turn a lead into a customer….

Mayer moves Yahoo further away from search with new content push


LAS VEGAS—Forget search. The future of Yahoo is content. Yahoo’s loss to Google in the search engine wars was already quite evident before the 2014 International CES, but CEO Marissa Mayer revealed a new focus for the company during her Tuesday keynote at the tech trade show.

“A common theme is us simplifying our business,” Mayer said at the show. “Fundamentally when you look at Yahoo it’s about four core areas: search, communications, digital magazines, and video. These are four things people do as part of their daily habits.”

Mayer made a slew of announcements about new Yahoo products tied those core areas. In the process, she answered a few questions like: Why on earth did the company hire TV anchor Katie Couric and former New York Timestechnology columnist David Pogue?

Riding the content wave

Couric is anchoring interviews and original content for Yahoo’s mobile apps, while Pogue will lead the Yahoo Tech digital magazine, one of the first magazines Yahoo will launch this year. The company also trotted out Nick D’Aloisio, the teenage CEO that made headlines when Yahoo last year acquired Summly, his summarization technology. Summly is now baked into another new app that Mayer unveiled at CES, Yahoo News Digest.

News Digest delivers two daily news summaries of current events to users, one in the morning and another at night, and pulls content from all over the Web—tweets, photos, infographics, maps, and so on—to make the stories more visually appealing.

Read more and view videos related to the article

Leading Prospects from Content to Sales

IDGE Leading Prospects from Content to Sales

Are you looking to create an impactful content marketing strategy that results in high levels of engagement? This white paper explores the evolving role of content in marketing strategies and the IT purchase process — and how making the right moves directly impacts success.

This white paper will provide insight into:

  • The role content consumption plays in the purchase process for major technology products and services.
  • Creating distinctive and high impact content marketing campaigns that create high levels of engagement with IT decision-makers, driving awareness, trust, and, most importantly, sales.

And more…!

Download Whitepaper

WP COVER Page 1 294x380 Leading Prospects from Content to Sales

Native Advertising Rules of the Road

IDG Global Solutions

Native advertising can be controversial because the sponsored content is made to blend in more with editorial than typical online ads. IDG Communications Chief Content Officer, John Gallant, helped write rules for native within IDG media sites.

Gallant explained to IDG Communications Director Howard Sholkin how native content is produced in IDG and what needs to be done to separate it from editorial….

Video and Social Media Use Growing in Connecting IT Buyers and Vendors

IDGE Video and Social Media Use Growing in Connecting IT Buyers and Vendors


IDG Enterprise’s 2013 Customer Engagement Research Details the Role Content Marketing and Social Media Play in the Technology Purchase Process and what Customers Expect from Vendors

Framingham, Mass. – September 18, 2013 – IDG Enterprise—the media company comprising Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, CIO Executive Council, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld —shares insights on how IT decision-makers (ITDMs) use and share content throughout the IT purchase process from the 2013 Customer Engagement research. The research also delves into ITDM’s vendor expectations, providing actionable data for tech marketers.

ITDMs Search, Read and Share Trusted Content
During the IT purchase process, ITDMs download an average of eight informational assets to help guide their purchase decision, from product reviews, product demos/literature, technology news and feature articles (see infographic). Additionally, ITDMs are turning to video at the beginning of the purchase process, watching IT news, interviews with industry experts and technology primers. During their content search, 86% of IT heads register for content and almost half appreciate content being delivered to them based on their search history. When beneficial content is found, ITDMs do not keep it to themselves, the majority (93%) share this content. Top methods for sharing useful content are email, in-person or phone conversations and sharing on LinkedIn. During the purchase process, ITDMs at enterprise organizations are most likely to share viewed or downloaded white papers, emails directly received and case studies.

 View the full release here



To see a Marketing Charts report on the survey


10 ways to write content that ranks high on Google


Please customers and search engines alike when you apply these tips to your content. Since its arrival on the online scene, search engine optimization (SEO) has put writers in a difficult position. Do you write for people or the search engine algorithms? Thankfully, we no longer have to choose. According to an infographic from ContentVerve.com, Google actually prefers natural-sounding content—as do, obviously, your readers. Besides, what’s the point of landing a high Google rank if your content won’t turn people into customers?

Continue reading…

B2B Buyers Don’t Trust Vendors’ Online Content: CMO Council


Vendors certainly know the true value of what they are vending, but when they seek to convince business buyers of the value, the buyers become suspicious.

According to “Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field,” a new study from the CMO Council and NetLine, business buyers belittle vendors and give much higher marks for content trustworthiness to professional organizations and industry groups, whose information is considered more usable and relevant.

“Buyers are not happy with vendors,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, in an interview with CMO.com. “Their content [tends to be] overtechnical, product-centric, and self-serving”–and buyers sense this. Neale-May said B2B marketers annually invest $16.6 billion in digital content publishing, used primarily to produce leads.

The report surveyed more than 400 business buyers across a wide range of global industries and other disciplines. It found a critical need for marketing organizations to bring more discipline and strategic thinking to content specification, delivery, and analytics.

Continue reading….