Optimizing Digital B2B Marketing Campaigns

Plans are carefully laid. The creative is impactful. The content is compelling. The media surrounds your audience. Search, social and email are integrated in support of the overarching program. But the results are not there.

Your plan is the result of your passion. When someone says it isn’t performing, it is nearly a personal affront, but it shouldn’t be. Doing something that doesn’t work is learning. Continuing to do something that doesn’t work is lunacy.

Let’s skip past setting goals and establishing your metrics. If you are still struggling with this, there are numerous good articles available. When should you optimize your campaign? When are you certain that making a change is better than waiting it out? Read more of this post

Social Media is Lowering Our Content Standards

Sharing has ceased to be an endorsement of the quality of content. Social media has created the expectation that we share content, and in the drive to meet the content demands social media places on us, our content standards are falling.

Here are signs that sharing content may have become more important to you than the content itself:

  • You have started reading in order to find content to share, not because you want to spend time reading content.
  • When you find content you REALLY like, you have to share it differently, emphatically stating how great it is to differentiate it from the only OK content you shared before. (ie “LOVE this post! …” or “+100 RT …”)

If so, it is time to stop listening to the social media experts, the ones Read more of this post

The Importance of Woozles in B2B Marketing

The role of brand in enterprise B2B marketing can be a subject of debate (my friend Maureen Blandford even wrote a book “Branding Doesn’t Work in B2B“). With complex buying processes, multiple stakeholders, and a high touch sales process, how important is a brand? And what does that have to do with a woozle?

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Woozle’s live in the hearts and minds of Pooh and his friends. And most importantly, woozle’s change behavior in the Hundred Acre Wood.

Like a woozle, your brand Read more of this post

3 Questions For When Mobile is the First Screen

my iPhone family pileMobile devices are expected to be the primary mode of internet access in the next three years. This is worth saying again: Your company’s digital experience will be primarily via mobile devices.

The current response from marketing falls woefully short of where they need to be in a few short months.

Discussions of mobile marketing quickly turn to apps, mobile sites and how to make content mobile-friendly. Even when embraced, this response is eerily similar to early websites, which extended brochures to the web by merely converting to HTML and adding hyperlinks. Read more of this post

Is Social Media Just Winning Price Sensitive Customers?

Box o' couponsIn social media, marketers buy attention with promotions or discounts. And research shows consumers expect this from marketers. 44% connect with brands on Twitter for discounts (source). The problem is, buying attention is an old school mindset, plopped into a new communication paradigm.

For social media to become an important part of the marketing mix and create loyal customers, it cannot continue to rely on tactics that reinforce consumer price sensitivity. Consistent discounts and promotions erode your pricing power; preference increases your pricing power. Read more of this post

Beyond Lists: Use Filters to Manage Twitter

Manage Twitter with Filtering in TweetDeckWe each build our own communication channel on Twitter, choosing who to follow and list. However, based on a number of recent conversations I have had on Twitter and Google+, many Twitter users are overlooking a significant tool to customize their channel and reduce noise: filters.

If your Twitter stream clogs up every evening with color commentary on a TV show, filters can remove it, without unfollowing people you otherwise appreciate. If auto-post applications are filling your stream with drivel, filters can cut through it.

Filters change the list/follow/unfollow decision, giving you more control over the tweets you see from each person. The difference in the stream of a single person may be minor, but across even 50 people, filters can be the difference between a stream of noise and a source of content and conversation. Read more of this post

Can We Save Twitter From Ourselves?

Canyon ItaimbézinhoTwitter is not a communication channel, it is a platform that allows each of us to create and evolve our own custom communication channel.

If Twitter is not working for communication, it is not a problem with Twitter. As a platform, Twitter is developing and our behavior reflects its infancy, with the full spectrum of human behavior on display.

The societal norms for Twitter have yet to be established. The fact there are so many posts on Twitter etiquette is proof. A Google blog search for “Twitter Etiquette” returns 32,000 results, to just 11,000 for “Dinner Etiquette”.

If Twitter is no longer an effective channel, like Kary Delaria postulated in Three Reasons Twitter is Beginning to Suck, the problem stems from how people are building and evolving their own communication channels on Twitter. Read more of this post

Social Media, Opt-In Marketing, and When Valuable Isn’t Enough

Please!What would happen to your marketing programs if every channel required explicit opt-in and opting out or unsubscribing was just a click away?

Although it may seem absurd, this question is relevant today for two reasons:

  1. Congress continues to consider privacy legislation every year, and although not well understood, it is broadly supported by constituents. In need of popular support, this Congress may finally take on extensive privacy reform.
  2. More importantly, social media is much closer to an opt-in channel than email. On Twitter or G+, the difference between spam and consensual contact is much clearer than it ever has been in email. On Facebook, it is the only option.

Read more of this post

Three Ways to Break Down Barriers to Strategic Planning in B2B Marketing

BarricadesB2B marketers often face internal obstacles to strategic planning. Common barriers I outlined in Removing the Barriers to Strategic Planning in B2B Marketing are not valuing strategic planning, not having sufficient time and resources, lacking alignment around a strategy and a lack of internal expertise.

Strategic planning has to begin by addressing these barriers. As long as these issues are not addressed, your company is not ready for strategic planning.

Breaking down the barriers will likely be a bigger challenge than planning. Below are three steps you can take to begin breaking down these barriers in your organization. Read more of this post

Remove the Barriers to Strategic Planning in B2B Marketing

As B2B marketers enter the 2012 strategic planning season and begin shaping executional plans, it is important that we get it right. The goal is to create a strategy that survives the full year (and beyond) and gives you a framework for more tactical planning, execution and optimization.

Today, many companies have replaced strategic planning with a set of goals and tactics, without a formalized marketing strategy. Read more of this post

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