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5 B2B lead nurturing mistakes and how to fix them

Bizo

In the business-to-business (B2B) marketing landscape, sales don’t come easily. Before customers sign on, your marketing and sales teams must collaborate to build brand awareness and trust, demonstrate value, and help prospects make an informed decision.

That’s a challenge — especially in the digital age, when prospects have instant access to huge amounts of conflicting information and reviews from multiple sources. Today’s prospects are often reluctant to reach out to your sales team until they’ve completed a significant amount of independent research.

To maximize potential sales opportunities, your marketing team needs to master the lead nurturing process. Here are five common mistakes that many B2B companies make during the lead nurturing process—and practical tips for how to avoid them.

MISTAKE #1

WAITING FOR YOUR TARGET PROSPECT TO REACH OUT TO YOU
If you wait for customers to find you, you could be waiting forever. A recent
Forrester survey found that prospects are now as much as 90% of the way
through their buying journey before they ever reach out to a sales rep—so if
you’re not making an active effort to generate and nurture leads, you’ll likely see
them slip away to your competitors.

THE BIG FIX: Engage prospects earlier in their journey. To fill your marketing
funnel with new qualified leads, you’ll need to focus on generating awareness
among a wide pool of targets. To that end, invest in broadly targeted display
advertising campaigns, which are paired with thought leadership content offers
designed to appeal to each segment group you’re targeting. As viewers fill out
forms for white papers, webinars, or free trials, you’ll be able to nurture these
new leads through your marketing funnel.

Download the lead nurturing marketing guide now…

Customer-Focused Teams Are Secretly Daunted By Data Demands

IDG Connect 08111 Customer Focused Teams Are Secretly Daunted By Data Demands

One of the top goals for business leaders today is to better understand, engage with and retain their customers[i]. This involves making the most of the ever-growing volume of customer data available to build integrated, three-dimensional profiles of customers and to identify patterns and trends. Many firms turn to the roles closest to the customer to deliver this insight.

Recent research undertaken with PwC[ii] reveals that nearly two-thirds of European and just under half of North American mid-market firms believe their marketing teams have the best skills to extract insight from information, and around half (46% and 57% respectively) say the same for their customer service and insight teams.

Yet conversations with marketing leaders reveal that the teams in question are far less confident about their ability to achieve this.

One study[iii] found that a third of executives believe that being able to use data analytics to extract predictive findings from big data is the top skill required of their marketing professionals. However, just under half admit their own team lacks this skill. Another[iv] discovered that an overwhelming 82% of marketing leaders feel unprepared to deal with the data explosion, and only 59% say they have the skills to analyse and understand customer behaviour across all channels.

Despite this clearly recognised skills gap, only one in five marketing professionals is expected to receive formal training in data analysis this year[v].

In short, many firms could be passing data to teams that are ill-equipped to do it justice. Missing out on rich customer insight is just one of the risks. Our research found that marketing teams are increasingly given free access to sensitive and confidential customer information in order to extract intelligence, but are rarely held accountable for keeping it safe.

We discovered that less than one per cent of mid-market firms think teams such as marketing and customer insight should have a responsibility for information protection. Many (39%) place this responsibility firmly at the door of the IT security manager.

This is all the more worrying when you consider the fact that marketing departments are often at the forefront of flexible working practices[vi], allowing staff to work from home or while travelling – often without providing adequate guidance and support.

We found that one in three marketing professionals works from home two-to-four days a week, more than most other job roles. A third undertake confidential or sensitive work while travelling on public transport; one in four throw documents into insecure bins away from the office – and 48% send or receive work documents over a personal email account, at times using an insecure wireless network (12%). However, just a third of the employers surveyed provide secure remote intranet access for marketing professionals working from home, or offer guidelines or policies on how to handle sensitive information.

Continue reading… 

DEMO Fall 2014 Conference Wraps Day Two of Launching New Startups — and Crowned DEMO Gods

 DEMO Fall 2014 Conference Wraps Day Two of Launching New Startups — and Crowned DEMO Gods

Technology Innovators and Venture Capitalists Like Matt Rogers, Keith Rabois, Steve Papa Share Knowledge at Tech Launchpad Event

SAN JOSE, CA–(Marketwired – Nov 20, 2014) – DEMO Fall 2014 (www.DEMO.com) today welcomed the launch of another 20 technology products and services focused on solving real-life problems. The conference showcased a hand-selected group of entrepreneurs demonstrating new technologies in the areas of Bitcoin and personal finance, cloud, messaging and the Internet of Things, and setting the pace for future technology. Executives, founders, engineers and investors all gathered at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose to crown the DEMO Gods.

DEMO God Award™ Winners
The Fall DEMO God Awards are presented to the DEMO Fall companies that exhibit exceptional potential to thrive in the market while inspiring and stimulating the DEMO audience. Congratulations to the following companies that were honored with Fall DEMO God Awards during DEMO Fall 2014:

The Work Cloud: Student Loans (www.goslb.com)
Wearables & Hardware: Curb (www.energycurb.com)
Mobile: PathSense (www.pathsense.com)
Smart Data: Celect (www.celect.net) and Ghostery (www.ghostery.com)
Traction Showcase Winner: Templafy (www.templafy.com)

“We traveled the world, meeting with promising startups to look for solutions that harness emerging technology to tackle big problems,” said DEMO executive producer Erick Schonfeld. “The core concept of creativity is looking at problems in new ways, and that is what we celebrated onstage at DEMO Fall.”

Speaker highlights of day two included key executives as well as “founder judges” who provided critiques and feedback to each demonstrating company:

continue reading… 

China Interview: Insight for Western Marketers

IDG Connect 0811 China Interview: Insight for Western Marketers

As the Alibaba IPO has reminded international businesses afresh of the vast potential in China, we catch up with Tait Lawton, who hails from Canada but has been working in People’s Republic for over a decade. He founded the Nanjing Marketing Group  to help Western companies get into the marketplace and now provides some useful insights for marketers worldwide.

Following the highly publicized Alibaba IPO have you noticed an increase in Western clients looking to target China?

We’ve noticed a steady increase overall, but not a large jump around the Alibaba IPO necessarily. Tough to say.

Has the attitude of Western clients looking to target China changed in the time you have been based there?

I’ve been helping Western clients with Chinese marketing for five years. I’d say they have the same basic concerns, but are more willing to accept our advice when it comes to tailoring their campaign more to the Chinese market.

We prefer to plan the China marketing campaign anew from the ground up as opposed to using more of a one-size-fits-all globalization strategy, and more people are willing to accept this now. Tough to say if it’s because of a change in the overall mind set of Western marketers or it’s just because we have more people that have been reading our articles on our blog and other websites.

How does the way Chinese consumers use technology differ from the way technology is used in your native Canada?

They haven’t gone through the same process of adoption. Since China developed so quickly, lots of people in China have just skipped whole stages of technology that Canadians, Americans and other Westerners are used to. For example, some years ago I was surprised to see that my girlfriend’s family never used a VCR and instead just went straight to using DVDs. Now, of course, people may be skipping VCRs, DVDs and even streaming on laptops and just go straight to streaming on mobile devices.

What’s most relevant for our digital marketing efforts is that there are plenty of internet users that started using the internet on mobile devices. Mobile marketing is essential. Sometimes people ask me “do you do mobile marketing?”, and I’m like “well, ya. 100% of the marketing we do is relevant to mobile. All of our SEM, SEO and social media services are relevant to mobile.”

People in China also use QR codes a lot. You’ll see QR codes for Weibo and WeChat campaigns on subway ads, restaurant menus, everywhere.

What do you think Western businesses most misunderstand about China?

For one, they may underestimate the competition and the amount they should invest to be successful. China is very competitive and for most market entry cases we see, there are Chinese competitors that are entrenched and willing to invest much much more than the foreign company planning to enter China. Chinese companies are very confident in their business opportunities and willing to invest in branding.

And Chinese advertising is not cheap, nor is marketing talent. Great Chinese marketers can make as much money as great marketers in USA or other places.

Continue reading…

How to Develop Digital Content – 4 Analyst Insights

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 How to Develop Digital Content – 4 Analyst Insights

With digital content so widely consumed online it’s important to create relevant and interesting content for your audience. These four insights from our Principle Analyst, Bob Johnson, will help you build a content strategy that works for your brand.

1. Do You Have a Digital Content Strategy?

Today many are clamoring for a content strategy. The trouble most organizations do not understand that it is a lot harder to implement than it is to conceptualize. Read more >

2. Do You Follow these Five Senses?

What does your content tell you about the people who consume different assets? Is each asset a good listener, does it have a sense of taste, can it smell a buyer from non-buyer, does it see where the buyer’s interest lies and can it feel the readiness of a buyer to engage with sales? Read more >

3. Do Misuse Your Content?

You spend so much time, money and effort on creating digital content but too much of that effort goes wasted as we see multiple issues. See you if stand out from the crowd by thinking about your content against these common mistakes. Read more >

4. Do You Organize Your Content Effectively?

As you focus on how to organize your digital assets on your website, you face a multitude of options. But when you ask buyers how they prefer to see content organized, they speak very clearly that they have a primary preference. Read more >

Instagram begins serving ads in the UK

The seven UK advertisers are trialling Instagram’s new “Sponsored” paid-for ad unit to increase the reach of their content on the platform, which now has more than 200 million monthly active users.

The Facebook-owned photo app first began trialling the format in the US in November.

The units are charged on a cost-per-mille basis and brands can currently choose to target audiences by age, gender and geography. A threshold has not yet been set for the number of ads a user is likely to see on any given day, but this is likely to remain minimal as Instagram continues to roll out advertising “deliberately slowly”.

Waitrose was interested in being among the first brands to trial the format because it believes Instagram can help the retailer build on its already-existing “Love Food” brand platform in a highly engaged social environment, Rupert Ellwood, Waitrose head of marketing communications, told Marketing Week.

Read on…

Tune Audiences Into Your Marketing Video Initiative

IDG Connect 0811 Tune Audiences Into Your Marketing Video Initiative

With video consumption on the rise, audiences today expect to able to receive information that is easy to digest and also engaging. It is predicted that by 2016, 1.6 billion people will be watching video online, and the growth of video traffic on the web will rise from 57% to 69% by 2017. As a result, a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second in 2017.

Given the eminence and influence video content will have over the next few years it could become one of the marketing department’s most powerful tools. Videos can be shared as compelling content that can help attract new customers, encourage existing ones to upgrade to a new product or spread product information quickly and efficiently.

Short videos can even be used as an alternative to lengthy text descriptions, telephone calls and face-to-face demonstrations to help a customer chose the right product for them. James McQuivey from Forrester Research believes that one minute of video can be equivalent to 1.8 million words. Video can provide easily accessible, on-demand information that is also engaging to a wider customer base.

Creating video content that is audience-tailored and accessible across multiple devices can keep digital marketing initiatives on the road to success. One quick and easy method of content creation is screencasting. Screencasting software records everything on your screen from applications and mouse clicks to your audio commentary. Screencasting technology is efficient since little investment is required for equipment and unlike working with video cameras or other videography equipment, very little training is needed.

To make successful screencasts, there are a few factors any marketer should consider:

Know Your Audience

With any video marketing initiative, understanding what makes your audience tick should be a priority. One video might be the right hook for a particular viewer, however could completely miss the mark for someone else.

Continue reading… 

4 ways magazines are making video work

Digiday

Magazine publishers have plowed money and resources into video. The reason is obvious: Video advertising is a booming market, with plump ad prices that dwarf the CPMs display ads fetch.

But the devil is in the details or, more precisely, in the execution. There are internal challenges to organizing to create video — just ask Condé Nast – in addition to problems around generating a viewership of sufficient scale and putting together attractive ad packages.

“Legacy publishers seem to have internal difficulties shifting to a multi-format content model that is committed to each distribution platform from dot-com to social to apps,” said Paul Kontonis, executive director of the Global Online Video Association. “Shared services is a way to get a publisher to dip their toe in video without overhauling the existing hierarchies, politics and comforting bureaucracies.”

Traditional publishers have made great headway to reinvent their content strategy and distribution model, but they are still building diversified video inventory at scale, said Robin Steinberg, evp, publishing and digital director of investment and activation, MediaVest.

“They are contending with publishers outside their traditional competitive set with stronger targeting capabilities and pricing structures,” she said. “Due to their traditional print legacy position in the marketplace, they have to push harder for a prime seat at the digital video marketplace table.”

Find out the four ways publishers are trying to ensure success…

Media Advertising Sees Largest Growth in Over a Decade

IDG Connect 0811 300x141  Media Advertising Sees Largest Growth in Over a Decade

Media Advertising

Media advertising spending will see its largest growth in over a decade, according to Neustar’s Media Intelligence Report for Q2 2014. Companies are focusing more and more on the data that they can collect, and they are trying to use that data for their marketing. However, half of marketers reported that they’re still having trouble linking the data to actionable insights.  Some of the other areas of interest in the study were social, video, and mobile. Social is the only channel that performed above the indexed average for reach efficiency, and video and mobile are becoming a more normal buy. The three areas that Neustar advises marketers to work on for the upcoming year are mobile, video, and attribution.

Inbound Marketing

Ascend2’s Inbound Marketing Research Summary Report takes a look at what’s next for inbound marketing. Currently, 90% of companies are integrating social, search, and content for inbound marketing purposes, and most of them are doing it successfully. For the next year, the most important objectives for inbound are to increase conversion rates and improve lead quality. One of the challenges of inbound is the lack of an effective strategy, which will begin to change as more companies adopt inbound as a top marketing priority.

 

Read more…

Digital Marketing Strategy: The Importance of Language

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 Digital Marketing Strategy: The Importance of Language

There’s no doubt that we’re living in an increasingly multilingual society. It actually takes 20 languages to communicate with 80% of the world’s online population. However, according to a report from Common Sense Advisory (CSA), content in English has dominated the web “while companies have catered to Anglophone markets and the enormous spending they generate”. Despite this, English isn’t in fact the only prime language of ecommerce.

When it comes to business, people like being marketed to in their native language and, more often than not, that’s not English. We’ve commissioned a year-long study into the behaviour of the millennial generation (aged 18-36) looking at how their behaviour is forcing businesses to adapt their digital marketing approaches. A key focus for us within this has been the impact language has on marketing techniques. We surveyed 1,800 millennials and found that 32% of the millennial generation in English-speaking markets actually prefer a language other than English. What’s more, 46% are more likely to make a purchase if information is presented in their preferred language. These findings are supported by the CSA’s report which highlighted that 75% of online shoppers are more likely to buy products from websites in their language and 74% are more likely to purchase from the same brand again, if the after-sales care is in their mother tongue.

More so than any generation previously, it’s the millennials who are causing the biggest headache for marketers. They’re far more demanding than their predecessors and expect content to be delivered to them across their preferred device, channel and more importantly, in their preferred language. Figures like those above demonstrate just how language needs to be an integral part of any global digital marketing and customer experience strategy. If you don’t have this factored in then you risk alienating a significant proportion of your target audience, reducing the likelihood of driving brand advocacy and sales.

But how can marketers easily deliver high-quality multilingual content to their customers? It often seems particularly difficult to accomplish this in such a fast-moving, multinational market where millennials interact online and through social media. Digital marketers need to implement solutions that will enable them to translate potentially high volumes of high quality content into multiple languages, and deliver this at speed.

A great example of a business committed to offering its customers this service is B2B travel providerGTA, part of the Kuoni Group. GTA is growing fast, with already thousands of customers in 185 countries worldwide and processes over 21,000 bookings per day in more than 25 languages online. The company has recognised the importance of localising its content – tens of thousands of hotel and ground travel descriptions – to its global customer base, particularly as it continues to grow exponentially. It aims to deliver a seamless and personalised customer experience by addressing cultural differences.

Continue reading…