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IDG Sonar: Revolutionizing Big Data to Accelerate Sales

Screen Shot 2015 06 25 at 12.56.22 PM IDG Sonar: Revolutionizing Big Data to Accelerate Sales

IDG SONAR is a “data enhanced” demand generation program that provides actionable sales intelligence at the company and individual decision-maker levels. Through expansive web mining of behavioral analytics and one-on-one qualification, IDG’s Sonar identifies organizations with an intent to make technology purchases and delivers highly qualified, sales ready leads from within that company. Sonar allows your sales team to target the hottest leads and teams of purchase decision-makers inside of organizations that are ready to buy

What Does Sonar Do? „

Identifies business triggers „
  • Internal/external
  •  Ownership changes
  •  Technology upgrades/outsourcing/major initiatives
  •  Adding head count
  •  FCC regulations
  • Recent hacker attacks
  •  Award recognitions
  • And many more! „

Download the IDG Sonar product overview

4 Trends in Demand Generation for 2015


In the coming year, marketing will continue to evolve, while data will be more important than ever.

Demand generation will be a bigger focus than ever for marketing departments this year. While the role of a demand-generation marketer did not even exist 10 years ago, there’s now a clear understanding that marketers are responsible for forecasting and driving revenue. In fact, an increasing number of companies now require marketing to demonstrate its impact on revenue.

The demand generation is now a discipline of its own, and within that discipline, here are three trends that will evolve this year:

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IDG TechNetwork Expands Programmatic Media Buying Into China


The IDG TechNetwork has expanded its global online advertising network into China, following its parent company International Data Group (IDG), which has supported the market for 34 years.

The launch of IDG TechNetwork China, announced Monday, means that IDG now supports data-driven marketing and premium programmatic buying to more than 60 Chinese language magazines, newspapers and Web sites.

Peter Longo, CEO of U.S. Media for IDG Communications, believes the move makes the company the first global technology-focused ad network to enter the Chinese market. The network supports more than 570 publisher sites and reaches more than 130 million tech enthusiasts, enterprise tech buyers and gamers.

Based in Beijing, IDG TechNetwork China is a fully owned business unit of IDG China led by CEO William Xu.

For brands, the move means an easier transition into China to reach the local market and better access to premium inventory they can purchase and optimize through one media group, the IDG TechNetwork China.

Marketers will have access to auctions and private marketplaces, data management platform and demand side platform services, along with increased targeting capabilities and multiple ways of acquiring inventory through direct placements and exchange based trading, per Longo.

“They will be able to buy with confidence against premium inventory from IDG, a media company that has been doing business in China for over 30 years,” he said.

All owned-and-operated Web sites in China become part of the IDG TechNetwork China along with selected premium partners that we have chosen to work with us. This provides increased scale to offer their advertising partners, as well as the ability to do business with new partners, such as DSPs and agency trading desks.

The company will now collect first-party data for its network of Web sites, allowing for better performance and return on investments for advertisers.

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Details emerge about how world’s best media companies innovate routinely


Innovation is a process more than it is a great idea. That was one of the great lessons from last month’s INMA World Congress in San Francisco.

And it’s especially important for media companies aiming to reinvent themselves in the eyes of readers, advertisers, communities, shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders.

David Kelley, the founder of the global design and innovation firm IDEOtold INMA last month that companies should prioritise the art of “innovating routinely.”

Merging that idea with what I see among media companies worldwide, I would say that it is the willingness to throw down seeds that will multiply that separates the companies that occasionally come up with great ideas using gut instincts akin to the mad scientist in his garage and those that are laying the foundation from which ideas grow systematically via culture and process.

“Innovation” is an over-used word in the media industry these days. For companies to capitalize on innovation’s ramifications, we have to see innovation as a foundation and not an idea. That requires some vernacular gymnastics in the media business.

To this end, INMA this year launched the Global Innovation Awards. This was a contest designed to surface efforts by media companies to innovate routinely.

In today’s blog post, I want to shine a light on the four regional winners and turn the light brighter on some examples that fit David Kelley’s view of innovation as culture and process.

Regional winners of Global Innovation Awards

First, congratulations to regional winners of the INMA Global Innovation Awards. With their permissions, we provide you links below that give descriptions of their innovation programmes.

Fairfax, MittMedia, and state of innovation

What do these case studies tell us about the state of innovation in the media industry?

There is a movement afoot in the media industry to encourage the kind of seed-planting, human resources-facilitated, people-oriented innovation programmes for which Gannett, MittMedia, and Fairfax Media were rewarded.

MittMedia and Fairfax Media won Global Innovation Awards for the comprehensiveness of their programmes.

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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.

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Marketing 101: How to get started in lead generation

B2B Lead Blog

The challenge for anyone in B2B content marketing is to not only to create content that would impress the most experienced reader, but also to have some content that appeals to someone new to the industry.

For that reason, here is a beginner’s look at lead generation with links to many additional resources so you can dive deeper where you would like to. I’ll focus on some fundamental questions you should answer as you craft your lead gen program.

Experienced lead gen marketers reading this: What did I overlook? Please add your own advice in the comments section of this blog post.

Question #1. What do your potential customers want?

Getting leads isn’t as easy as it sounds, if it sounds easy at all. No potential customer wants to wake up in the morning and become a lead for your company.

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Too Many Value Propositions Don’t Talk About Value

IDG Connect 0811 Too Many Value Propositions Don’t Talk About Value

By Bob Johnson, VP & Principal Analyst

Think about the challenge to create meaningful value propositions. They are most often me-too single words or one-liners that simply get lost in the competitive noise and do little to motivate behavior.  Vendors need to fix how they create and package value propositions beginning with understanding what a true value proposition should be.

One of the better definitions I’ve seen is from Knowledgence Associates.  A value proposition isa customer-focused description of value that demonstrates your knowledge about the customer’s experience or challenge, your specific offer to address it, underscored by what differentiates your offer from any other.

Value propositions must be defensible, sustainable, differentiating and quantifiable. They should articulate how the vendor is able to deliver needed, distinct value or impact if a buyer invests in a particular solution. It is hard work to create an effective set of value propositions. So, many marketers simply make standard product or service statements, using buzz words that are in common use within a market and tout them as value propositions. A word that often is touted as a value proposition is the word “agility.”  But the reality is that a single word that describes a feature or a capability does not make it a value proposition.  What are the challenges or goals that a prospect or customer has that agility can address?  What about your offering leads to improved agility? What does the prospect have to do to get there? What are the tangible improvements they gain along the way? The value could impact how people are allocated, how processes take place, the types of insight a solution provides that leads to clear action steps.

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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….

Introduction: The 7 Principles of Content Optimization

IDG Connect 08111 Introduction: The 7 Principles of Content Optimization

If you are concerned about the expanding demands to create digital content for prospects and customers, your feelings are well founded. The surface of the communication bubble continues to expand in every direction, driven by fragmented audiences, expanding buying team size, new rich media formats and social media.

You simply can’t be everywhere you want to be without content creation costs consuming an ever greater portion of your marketing budget. However, you can optimize what you spend and the time you invest by paying attention to how you create content. I suggest you do it based on the seven principles outlined below.

The Time is Now

The timing has never been more relevant. If you truly want to maximize alignment with your audience needs and be relevant to buying team members, you have to get better LEVERAGE out of team efforts. Otherwise forget it – the communication bubble will consume you. Content creation will take up a greater percentage of budget dollars. Sales and channels will continue to complain about what you create.  End result: your customers will find what you offer less and less relevant.

Continue reading for the 7 principles 

Forget 2014 Marketing Predictions – Instead Focus on Marketing Imperatives

IDG Connect 0811 Forget 2014 Marketing Predictions – Instead Focus on Marketing Imperatives

I’ve read through many predictions for the coming year about marketing and sales, but feel that in reality making predictions is meaningless unless marketers address several foundational requirements. So predict all you want, but what really is important is a few key imperatives.

We are overrun with talk about content marketing, the importance of challenger sales techniques, and the impact of big data on marketing to and reaching the customer. Stop listening and get busy with a focus on three imperatives because without them nothing else matters.   These imperatives come down to three words: alignment, relevance and research.

1. Alignment is about how well your value propositions, offering and approach match buyer preferences. From our research we see value propositions are frequently miss-stated, missing or misaligned with what buyers consider important (up to 30% of digital assets fail to touch on them). According to Lisa Dennis, President of Knowledgence Associates and author of the book360 Degrees of the Customer, marketers have a very inconsistent understanding of value propositions and need to think of several success keys:

“Buyers too often mistake features and functions for value propositions,” according to Lisa.  “After assessing thousands of pieces of content and working with technology vendors for over 15 years on value proposition development, it’s clear that we need a reality check on what a value proposition is and what it is not.”

Many technology value propositions are not distinct, are thinly veiled advertisements, and generally end up sounding the same. “The key is to map your value propositions to your differentiators, ones that actually matter to your target audience.”  Dennis continues, “in every workshop we do, we see that how teams define value tend to be generic, not defensible and worse yet, can’t be quantified in any way.  The best value propositions are formed from an outward-in perspective – how the buyer would see it, how they would describe it, and why it is important to them.”

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