Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 13:48
B2B marketing – is there any ‘marketing mantra’ there? Or is it as ambiguous as it can get? Lately we have seen a lot of campaigns targeting business to business category. The earlier myth has been that anything to do with B2B has to be dealt with only one o one basis between business associates. However, we now know based on lot of empirical data and some break through initiatives that there are some principles we need to follow in order to carry out B2B marketing initiative
First of all, crux of any business is your audience, your buyer in this case. Place him in the centre of your marketing. The cliché way of describing audience is by age/sex/demographic, company size/type. But let’s, for once go beyond this description and understand who this guy/gal is actually? What are the social and media habits of this person, what does he consult before making a purchase decision? What research papers/sites he visits, what resources are most important for him to take a vital business decision? These behavioural patterns are most significant when we talk of generating demand for our product/service through ‘buyer’
A successful marketing initiative will be defined by understanding our ‘buyer’s footprints (starting from information seeking to taking an action), his complete buying behaviour and buying cycle pattern. We no longer live in a sales driven environment alone, today the sales funnel is entirely focused around understanding our ‘buyer’s persona’ There is no other choice but to align your sales efforts to ‘buyer’s persona’
Second most important aspect is how are you placed in your ‘buyer’s critical path/journey from information seeking to action. Are you a resource which is critical for him/her? This is where you need to establish your product/service differentiator. Gone are the days when you could ‘push’ your message to your buyer and expect him to respond to your communication/marketing initiative. Today the message delivered has to be in a ‘buyers’ environment
Each and every channel buyer is consulting at each stage of buying process has to be studied and monitored. All efforts should be towards ‘aiding’ buying process, leading to a natural and organic buying conclusion. This will help us in not just acquiring new customers but also ensure our long term association with buyer and hence result in sustainability and maximum lifetime from a customer/buyer
Thirdly, we move to lead management – starting from lead origination to seeing to the final conclusion of any business which is sales. Once we have a fair understanding of our buyer behaviour, devised a marketing strategy keeping in mind positioning ourselves as the most ‘organic’ resource available for our buyer, we move onto how do we ensure smoother operations. It’s imperative and very critical to understand where a prospect gets exposed to real life sales interaction process. We will have to figure out each stage of buying cycle, ensuring maximum eyeballs and influence on our buyer through digital mediums available, resulting into buyers interaction/engagement with brand, leading him/her into display his intent for our product/service. This is a process starting from marketing ourselves to external audience which is buyer in this case and setting expectations for the sales team which is our internal audience. Sales team not only needs to know the basic details of a lead, however they also need to understand the ‘state’ the lead has come to them in – which includes generalizations such as hot, warm or cold leads. This helps to look at this whole process with a birds eye view to project realistic sales volumes. Lead Management Systems hence play a crucial role in not just managing but improvising the sales prospects. Lead management includes not just timely follow ups but also nurturing of a lead prospect to take it the next level of closing the sale
In today’s marketing environment, it’s disastrous not to innovate – innovate with your product offering, innovate with your channels to reach out effectively to your audience. Starting from a successful e-mail campaign which is at core of any B2B campaign or buying decision. It keeps your connectivity with your prospects warm and helps them reach the final buying decision. The basic rule is be where your audience is, if they are on Twitter, you got to be there. Innovate yourself and closely follow your audience’s digital footprints, make sure you not only follow them, you also engage with them at each stage and work towards creating a viral and organic impact
The last although not at all the least important aspect is tracking. All our efforts from identifying the buyer, rationalizing our marketing investments against his purchasing path, need to be tracked and monitored closely. Map your efforts to the results desired, back track to each and every source of your marketing successes. In short, partner, learn, learn deeper from your analysis. Insight based marketing improvisation leads to success of a campaign. Consumer or in our case buyer is leaving his footprints at each stage, for us to derive consumer insights and re-position ourselves according to their requirements. We need to make sure not only have we got all stages tracked, but also analyzed in an accurate manner. Remember, bad data is the root of biggest marketing mistakes. Data is one of our strategic asset to improvise and fine tune our marketing efforts
Now when you have it all figured out, don’t forget the biggest contribution you can make to your fraternity by sharing your knowledge. Spread the good word around, spread your successful case studies/white papers – let the world know of your marketing success stories
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 January 2010 18:47
A very typical answer from any organization when asked about their SEO objective is to be seen on top or top 10 in organic results. A surprising number of companies simply focus on what they think is the right goal for themselves, steering the whole effort in a wrong direction!! Picking the right goals is a key to the success of any SEO effort.
When we select a wrong objective, we invest all our efforts and energies in achieving that wrong objective and hence lose out on the ROI! Let’s have a look at some of the most ‘sought’ after goals which are finalized without much thought into it. Since everyone else is doing it, we should do it too is the basis of these wrong direction goals.
By far the most popular goal for many businesses, very often we hear from clients to bring their site on number 1 rank in organic results for a particular search term. Do you think the new businesses generally get top rankings? This is a long term strategy and not a short term goal
Let’s assume that we do manage to get the organization on number one ranking for their search term defined and perhaps that would also result in increasing the web site traffic and may be sales increased too by approximately 10%, is this a good result, yes indeed…
However, if the same organization could have taken the same SEO efforts and energy and increased the ‘relevant’ traffic to the site by 20%, and grown sales by 20%, wouldn’t that be an ideal scenario? Hence, rather then concentrating on just one search term and coming on number one rank should be the goal or should you be concentrating on getting relevant traffic to a site generally coming from long tail terms?
Number one ranking does have its branding value; however having relevant traffic which results into higher sales is the main objective of any business. So would you prefer a 20 percent increase in business or a 10 percent increase? The SEO effort to drive relevant long tail traffic is fairly a different one then to drive a single term to the number one position
Are we buying traffic here or we buying Intent? That’s the biggest question boggling marketers around the world. Let’s assume that we increased the traffic to a website by 20% however what good is this traffic if it is not relevant to the vertical or product/service we offering? May be this will result in increasing the sale by some small percentage however if we concentrate in increasing the traffic by 20% of the users with strong buying intent for our product/service? Which one you think should be chosen, I don’t think we have a debate here.
“X” New Links per Month
This goal is rampant now days, sort of commoditized goal. Some people think that 50 new links per month will do the trick and some think that 100 new links will be able to get them what they need. However, we need to decide whether we want 100 such links which will do hardly anything to grow our business or do we need one authoritative and relevant site link which will help us manifold times. Higher number of links with marginal impact on business or select few links from authoritative relevant sites and bumper increase in the impact?
Buying links is a dangerous trick of this trade, whereas linking to proper, relevant and strong source is the way to go…
This discussion was to understand that poorly or wrongly selected goals can take your energies in wrong direction as well. Choosing the ‘right goal’ is applicable to any walk of life and is as applicable when choosing your right search engine optimization goal as well. If your goal is to increase sales or leads or impressions or branding, you should tie your SEO goals to these metrics to derive the maximum out of it. You will be glad you did
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 December 2009 01:40
Know your customer, know your market – this is the cardinal rule of marketing anywhere in the world. It includes knowing demographics, psychographics, purchase behaviour, consumer insights- this whole lot of information is either available through market researches you conduct, or free resources or with your years of experience. Sometimes we get lucky when we go with this collected experience of years and sometimes it backfires. Why would that be so, how can your years of personal knowledge go wrong? Now let’s come to the generic assumptions we rattle off when deciding on a marketing campaign – SEC A/B, Gen Y, DINKS, high- tech, etc. As marketers we use these broad generalizations very easily and casually. Is this a right way of going about it? The issue we face is that most people do not always think alike, there are no standardizations across the world and when this fact comes into play, every marketing generalization is a recipe for disaster! Every individual is ‘individual’ in itself and wants attention in a one o one way for a marketing campaign to be successful
So if you are a marketer who is considering social media to your target group, you need to ask yourself – do you know who are you talking to? Do you know their social interaction habits, in a community have you observed who are the opinion leaders or influencers, do you know what topics they normally react to, can you just ‘connect’ with your target audience or blend in the community he frequents?
When you barge into a online social media space, you need to be prepared with 2 reactions – response or ignore! Ignore is hardly a matter of concern however if anyone responds that is where your work starts. Are you prepared to hold a conversation, are you prepared with full product/service knowledge, do you have a back up ready in case there is something which is beyond your knowledge domain?
Often we see that marketers themselves are not right people to engage in social media for an organization they don’t really understand the market very well. The knowledge of market, audience and response time can sometimes be a bigger issue and put off a prospect. The effort needs to be integrated effort between brand team, corporate communication, public relations, and product/service development team. We have seen some fine examples of social media following this integrated approach and have seen some which have backfired terribly for clients/organizations due to lack of an integrated effort
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 January 2010 18:48
A recent study by http://www.pearanalytics.com said ‘40% of tweets are pointless babble’ – Do you agree?
Twitter did start with one motto – update your status; however during the course it has taken a shape of an effective marketing channel. The study covered tool 2,000 tweets in English from the public timeline over a time span of two weeks, with 200 tweets captured each half-hour from 11am – 5pm CST daily. They then categorized tweets into six different types: news, spam, self-promotion, pointless babble, conversation, and pass-along value.
Although the study could have been carried out in a systematic manner, 40% does seem like a very high for ‘babble tweets’!
We have been reading loads of articles about ‘what makes you a quality tweet’ or even ‘do’s and don’ts of twitter’ – 40% useless babble makes you wonder if this is for real or casual users on Twitter are high in number then the ones who understand the potential of the medium.
Since it is a user generated content, it throws a very important responsibility on every dedicated Twitterer to maintain its quality. It’s solely on us whether we make the content any interesting or make it a medium just to rant out some random personal thoughts? What do you think makes an interesting read on Twitter?