Tag Archives: analytics

Fellow B2B Marketers, We Have a Problem…

1 Apr

…And It’s Called ROI.

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SalesStaff put out a great article highlighting a recent report that surveyed more than 600 United States digital marketers in both the B2B and B2C space. If you haven’t already, give the report a read. It’s filled with excellent nuggets of information, like:

  • Lead generation is still cited by B2B marketing pros as their primary marketing objective
  • B2B marketers use marketing automation at a greater rate than B2C marketers (65% vs 55%)
  • Both B2B and B2C marketers agree that video is the most effective tactic
  • 32% of B2B marketers are not sure what digital marketing tactic is their primary revenue generator…

Tire Screech.

Hold up. Did I just read that correctly? As of February 2015, almost one out of every three B2B marketers (32%) doesn’t know which of their digital marketing tactics is the primary revenue generator. B2B marketers: when asked which digital marketing tactic is your biggest revenue generator—email, SEO, paid search, social media, display— “Not sure” is not a tactic, so it certainly shouldn’t be your answer to that question.

So what does this tell us? The #1 challenge for B2B marketers in 2015 and for the foreseeable future is proving ROI. The article also contends that generating and converting leads is as much a priority as ever, but our goal needs to be to prove that those leads were generated and guided down the sales channel through specific digital marketing tactics (email, Search Engine Marketing, display ads, and so on.)

Here are a few tactics you can use as B2B marketers to prove ROI:

  • iStock_000002902205MediumInvest in sophisticated marketing automation platforms and continually measure your results as part of your process
  • Buy media that is easily trackable, and track everything! (Include tracking codes and numbers wherever possible)
  • Before starting a campaign, set objectives and plan how you will track ROI prior to the launch.
  • Set a timeline for reporting, and stick to it.

For more insights from the report, click here to read the full article!

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Building Products Marketing Transformation And The Empowered Customer

6 Dec

Leading Marketing Transformation

Customers are more informed than ever and marketing needs to evolve to match those smarts

Earlier this month I heard from Christine Jacobs, Director of Demand Programs at IBM North America. She spoke on marketing transformation – how marketing is changing and how marketing departments need to focus on social, content and ROI to meet the growing demands of customers. She focused on the need to make digital mainstream and shared that 40% of IBM’s marketing spend is now digital. Here’s what I took away from her presentation:

Social is the way of the future

  • Christine talked a lot about social engagement and pointed out that for many organizations, this is a key area of under-preparedness. Recently there has been an explosion of data and social media and most companies aren’t prepared to tackle these changes.
  • It’s time for marketers to redefine the customer. We’ve talked about the need for personas in the past and Christine touched on this too. Instead of looking at customers as one buying group, we need to focus on micro-segments so you can build experiences and make marketing more relevant. In fact, each micro market needs specific objectives. As building product marketers, we need to appeal to the empowered customer through a differentiated experience.
  • So how do we do this? Social media is on-demand intelligence and engagement. We need to be listening. Social media should help guide media buys, social media strategy and so much more. Especially for CMOs, social media will be a key engagement channel moving forward. Are you ready?

Content and assets should align to the buyer’s journey

  • How do you create, package and distribute your content today? We need to provide a seamless experience for our customers across all touchpoints, whether they’re paid, owned or earned.
  • The best way to do this and prepare for the future? Embrace new technologies through testing. Testing can be a great way to try out things like text ads, retargeting visitors from your website, targeting niche audiences in LinkedIn, mobile marketing, etc.

ROI: Measure impact by applying the science of analytics to your marketing

  • Analytics are the future of marketing. There are a finite set of KPIs. Make sure you are measuring business outcomes (not volumes) and move from the historical to the predictive.
  • The best thing about analytics? You can optimize all the time, on the fly and operate in real time to ensure you’re making smart business decisions.

So what does this mean for your marketing department? Make sure you understand your customers in real time and anticipate their needs. Where do you start?

  • Enhance
  • Extend
  • Redefine

And work with your CIO. The CIO and CMO are the power team of the future. When looking at your 2013 marketing plans, consider: are you ready with a plan for social, content and analytics? Because if not, it’s time to reconsider. For more information on marketing transformation visit IBMconnectedcustomer.com or IBM.com/smartermarketing.

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Phone Call Tracking for Building Product Marketers

14 Jun

Do you know how many phone calls your marketing is really driving?

In previous posts, I’ve talked about basic email analytics, as well as more advanced ones and, surely, your team is measuring the performance of your website and digital marketing efforts through Google Analytics, Omniture or another analytics solution. But there’s another area of measurement that is still ignored by a lot of marketers – the phone.

If you’re a larger company, you may have an inbound call center, either your own or through a 3rd party. They can take care of your customers and also provide you some great data. However, they can’t always tell you what campaigns drove those calls to help you better measure the return on your marketing efforts. Depending on what kind of product/service you sell, and the demographics of your customers, you might get a ton of phone calls, but it’s impossible for you to tell if it was the print ad you ran or the direct mail campaign you executed that actually drove the call.

Enter phone call tracking. There are a ton of options to choose from – just look at the long list of options for Google Analytics users. I don’t care which one you use, but it’s time you started. I’ve used Marchex Call Analytics and am happy with that solution, but they’re not the only game in town.

Through a web-based interface, you can purchase the numbers you need and forward them to your existing number(s) so there doesn’t need to be any extra work for whomever answers the phone. If you want to get more complex, some systems will let you identify what number is being called by “whispering” to your customer service person prior to them being connected to the caller.

For example, if you had a print ad offer of 20% off installation of your product, and someone called that number, your customer service person could know that offer triggered the call, and utilize a custom script for that offer.

Some systems will even let you record calls, which can help in analyzing customer service performance. Implementation is fast and easy, and most systems will provide data via their own web interface and also push data into your analytics solution, making it easier to incorporate into your existing reporting.

In terms of cost, each number you have generally costs around $10/month, and then you pay a per-minute rate for calls to those numbers. While that does add additional cost, you’ll now be able to measure the response your marketing drove, whether through the web or by phone. The power in that data can be tremendous, and is more than worth the incremental tracking cost. If you’re not tracking phone calls like this, it’s time to start.

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Theodore Roosevelt & the Building Products Industry – Great Quotes Series

8 May

Image source:Wikipedia

What can one of the 4 Mount Rushmore presidents teach us about marketing?

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

- Theodore Roosevelt

We’re all guilty of it as building product industry marketers. I’ve heard it countless times myself. I’m talking about making excuses for why we can’t do something.

We have a small staff. We can’t get that information. We have a limited budget. Our budget got reduced by 20%. The head of sales won’t work with us. Those are the kinds of statements I thought of when I read this quote from President Theodore Roosevelt. And I don’t think he was saying to be complacent or accept the status quo; that was never an option for TR and it shouldn’t be one for you, the building product marketer. So what can we do, as marketers?

  • Don’t spend time on it if it’s not aligned with the business goals: quite often, an organization has a long-standing commitment to something that doesn’t make sense with the business today. It might be a tradeshow that used to be the industry event, a publication that you’re always advertised in or a customer event you’ve always supported. There should be no sacred cows in your marketing.
  • Make sure you’re collecting usable data: for too long, we had to frequently justify mass media as being solely a branding effort. After all, how could we tie it directly to results? Now, with the ability to create and track unique URLs, use tracking phone numbers and create QR codes, it’s possible to tie results back to every single piece of communication possible. Start doing that, and it becomes a lot easier to decide where your dollars should best be spent – no more sacred cows in the media plan either.
  • Automate It: technology has made it easier for us to automate so many things that used to require time from internal staff. Want to trigger reminder campaigns? Tie your sales data into your email marketing platform, set the business rules and let the system run. Tired of creating custom spreadsheets with pivot tables and other data visualizations? Look at marketing automation/analytics platforms, of which there are many.
  • Bring in strategic partners: we’re all being asked to do more with less, but we can’t all be experts at everything. Maybe you can’t afford a full-time website designer and developer, but hiring a website development firm to build a site with a content management system (CMS) that your staff can use to update the site might be just the ticket.

It’s easy to say something can’t be done, but it’s an incredible experience to overcome all those obstacles and achieve the goals in place for the business. I think that’s what TR had in mind, and the organization he was leading had more problems than we’ve ever had to consider, as marketers.

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