Most B-to-B marketers are faced with the dilemma of more marketing channels than resources.
We are living in the age where there is a marketing channel
or marketing platform for almost every aspect of B-to-B marketing. From
outbound channels for customer acquisition to platform channels for managing
the marketing process. It seems there is
a provider at every turn offering the latest marketing technology with promises
that their technology will wholeheartedly produce the marketing results you are
Smaller manufacturing firms are still viewing marketing as an expense rather than an investment.
Why do manufacturing firms treat marketing as an
Currently, I’m in prospecting mode for new business. Saying good bye to Dallas and hello to Denver has required me to rev-up my prospecting skills and make business contacts in a new region. One of the realities I’m seeing is the lack of urgency or thought that manufacturing firms display toward their own brand.
Let me explain. There are fewer big dog companies in Colorado than there are in Texas. This is due to several factors, including cost of living, strain on natural resources, availability of affordable housing, etc. For comparison, the population of Dallas and Fort Worth is greater than the entire state of Colorado. Most of the business activity in state is spread out along the front range. Some market segments such as healthcare and recreation display some pretty savvy branding chops. However, many of the smaller manufacturing firms are still viewing marketing as an expense rather than an investment.
McKinsey and Company recently published “An incumbent’s guide to digital disruption.” In the guide, they suggest that all incumbent businesses are susceptible to digital disruption and the four phases that executives should be aware of and plan for so as not to go the way of the dodo bird. Siting examples for the music, newspaper, and travel industries, McKinsey charts the path of creative disruption. Below is my interpretation for small to mid-sized B-to-B firms, having lived through digital’s onslaught of the advertising business.
7 decades of successful advertising has relied on this advertising model
It seems that the entire advertising ecosphere has become infected with the cheaper/better virus.
Startups think that agile marketing can introduce their idea/App/product exclusively through social media. Thinking that social media can be scaled and user comments controlled to reach and influence the intended target audience with enough impressions to influence the next round of investor backing is naive.
Why the human factor is so important in the automated customer service process.
For all of the resources that companies are pouring into automating the customer’s journey, many are falling woefully behind in training their frontline personnel in the automated customer service process.
Automating back office customer service functions is nothing new. Companies are obsessed with efficiency, implementing automated customer service systems, and reducing head count as a way to increase efficiency and reduce cost.
As paid search advertising becomes more intrusive, organic search listings have become more illusive.
Depending on your browser search engine preference, you may have noticed a change in the SERP (Search Engine Page Results) for organic listings.
This is due to the fact that search engines make their money from paid search advertising and because of this, more page space is being allocated to paid search results at the top, bottom, and side bar of the browser window. Continue reading →
In all the clutter being injected into business-to-business marketing, it seems that the quaint idea of the brand promise has been forgotten. Yet there are some large global consumer brands that invest untold time, treasure, and resources to define their differentiated brand experience and articulate it across their industry segments to ensure powerful and consistent customer communications.
There is considerable content being generated on the topic of mobile marketing. Data suggests that by 2016 there will be over 196 million smart phone users (60% of the population) in North America. eMarketer is predicting $67 billion in digital ad spending, of which $40 billion will go towards mobile internet ad spending. Obviously these are sizable numbers but we should not lose sight of the total ad spend which is close to $200 billion, with traditional (broadcast and print) representing $132 billion. Continue reading →
Developing an online revenue cycle requires a structured approach in which marketing and sales work together. Marketo, in their Marketing Metrics & Analytic Guide, describes their revenue cycle and offers a pictorial example of their sales funnel. Below is my interpretation of their revenue cycle for small to mid-sized B-to-B brands that would like to apply ROI metrics to their inbound marketing efforts.
Soft marketing metrics don’t impress the CEO or CFO
In most business-to-business vertical marketing segments, marketing is viewed as an expense on the balance sheet. One reason for this is that the justification for marketing has relied on soft marketing metrics — awareness levels, brand recognition, website visitor traffic, target audience reach, etc. While these marketing metrics are important and part of the marketing equation, they lack accountability for revenue generation. This reinforces the perception with the CEO, CFO, and COO that marketing is a cost center, not a revenue center.