The marketing funnel is not dead. It cannot be dead because it is not a thing.
People in social media especially like to pronounce the death of everything old. We have to make way for the new. But we have to be careful that we aren't throwing away what's important just because it's not shiny.
The marketing funnel has become the standard but it is just a representation of marketing's effect on the organization.
The actual thing is measurement. Getting rid of the funnel, as a model, is fine. It doesn't matter. However, if you are going to remove one model, then be sure you have a new one to put in place.
Building a new measurement model is going to be unique to your company but some high-level concepts you should include are:
- Raw marketing reach. It is important to know how far your marketing reaches. Or how many people are responding to your outreach.
- Qualified marketing leads. You need to know out of your entire audience what subset of fall within your traget market and are, or could become, sales ready.
- Bottom line. Measure the ROI for your campaigns. It's difficult to track marketing from start to finish but when you can create that path, it helps to show the value of marketing.
- Proxy measurements. Following on the point above. Marketing isn't responsible for the revenue coming in - that's the role of sales. But it introduces some variability into measuring your effectiveness. Attaching revenue amounts to activities that marketing does control, allows you to rate how well your different efforts are doing.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The marketing funnel is not dead. It cannot be dead because it is not a thing.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I took notes during the Inbound Marketing Summit (IMS) in Dallas so that I could post about each of the individual presentations. I also decided to do something that I've feel doesn't get enough emphasis coming out of conferences -- what are the immediate actions you can do to start taking advantage of what you've just learned. These aren't intended to be full plans but just the first thing to break the interia of doing something new.
- Aaron Strout - I'm Your Customer and I Can't Hear You
Take Away: Listen to your customers are talking (not just what they are saying).
- Panel: Innovative Marketing Programs Using New Media
Take Away: Discover what niche communities your customers are already participating in.
- Chris Brogan - You Shall Know Us By Our Dialtone
Take Away: Create a main, central location that you own to use as the call to action.
- Mike Volpe - SEO 101
Take Away: List the terms you want to be found on in Google. Be realistic! (Remember the ninjas)
- Tim Marklein - Advocacy, Badvocacy, and Upsetting the Apple Cart
Take Away: Inoculate your legal team against the shock of using social media.
- Chris Kieff - Best Practices for Listening and Engaging Consumers in Social Networks
Take Away: Pick a community and find a way to engage with them.
- Bill Tolany - Q&A with Whole Foods
Take Away: Give guidelines/direction in social media to the people closest to your customers.
- Panel: Listening and Monitoring – The new way to market
Take Away: Find a conversation that is happening about your company in a space you haven't been monitoring before.
- Chris Bowzer - Art of Persuasion in the New Content Marketing World
Take Away: Pick at least one landing page -- Does the page lead your users deeper into your site? How can you create a path to lead users into your site?
- Rick Frantz - Discover what really works in optimization
Take Away: Write down your value proposition. Compare it to your compeition and evaluate if it's a real differentiator.
- Mike Walsh - Discovering the Power of your Community
Take Away: Look at all your social networks and determine where you can focus your attention.
- Mike Moran - Internet Marketing by the Numbers
Take Away: Determine what your conversions are and your current conversion rate for those.
- Greg Matthews - Social Media from the Inside: A Case Study
Take Away: Start a personal blog so you get familiar with the tools for when your business is ready to jump in.
- Paula Berg - Nuts about Online Communication
Take Away: Make a social media fire-drill plan. Practice it!
- Greg Cangialosi - Extending the Reach of email
Take Away: If you haven't segmented, look for at least 2-3 segments you can create for your lists. If you haven't tested, pick one area you can start doing A/B testing on – subject lines are good to start with.
- Jake McKee - How LEGO Caught the Cluetrain
Take Away: Determine if you have customers outside your normal demographic that are high-value.
- Giovanni Gallucci - From 0 to Social in 50 Minutes – Extreme Social Media for Business
Zappos didn't get huge because of Twitter. They got huge because they changed their culture to trust their employees and providing more customer service than anyone else.
Search Engines – especially Google – still love social networks because amount of traffic is still important to them; context is important and soc nets have groups for everything; and search engines link out to other sites.
Title: How LEGO Caught the Cluetrain
Main Point: Embrace what your community is doing without your help. Also look at highly-engaged but small segments of your market – they might provide a new way for you to do business.
Take-away Action: Determine if you have customers outside your normal demographic that are high-value.
Lego didn't accept “unsolicited” product ideas. This turned into a culture that Lego couldn't talk with their customers at all.
Lego noticed that Adult Consumers had created a large secondary market for trading/purchasing pieces. And that community had already created tools that the community wanted/needed.
When you have community members committed and they come to you for acknowledgment, you should ask what you can do for them.
Talking with the highly engaged minority can provide a lot of good information.
Changes to social media engagement starts with a change to culture inside the company.
Core of Lego community effort focused around their shift from selling boxes to creating a creative medium (i.e. what you can build)
Lego has a tool that you can design an object, submit it, and have just the pieces you need to build that model sent to you.
Take advantage of consumer evangelists can be more effective than your own PR.
Title: Extending the Reach of email
Main Point: Look for the low-hanging fruit of email marketing to make it better.
Take-away Action: If you haven't segmented, look for at least 2-3 segments you can create for your lists. If you haven't tested, pick one area you can start doing A/B testing on – subject lines are good to start with.
3 Types of Email: Social, Marketing, Transactional
Make it easy for people to subscribe. Don't put up barriers or ask for too much information
Segment your audience data (demographics). Segment what content your users get. Allow users to manage their own content preferences. Segment on behaviors (especially good for follow-up segments)
Email provides an unbelievable opportunity for A/B testing to optimize your marketing
Copy & Creative
Call to Action
Time of Day
When people stop responding to your emails, find a way to re-engage them. Or, if they won't engage, start putting them into a drip campaign that is different than your master list. Maybe quarterly, or a specific request to confirm their interest.
Email is the common currency of Web2.0; All social networks require using email to sign up.
Email can be a key driver of social content. Convert your email lists into your community on social networks. It is a good way to jumpstart those efforts.
Main Point: Establish yourself in social media channels before the crisis hits
Take-away Action: Make a social media fire-drill plan. Practice it!
Picked 30 employees from all over the company who oozed pride about working at Southwest
The blog has continued to increase in readership over the last 3 years
We can't control the conversation but we can lead with our POV and facts about what we are doing. Try to make sure we are staying ahead of current news trends so we can talk about what is relevant to people.
Being a human being during blogger relations really got a positive response from bloggers
Blogs allow the public to share positive views of your company, something that media usually isn't looking for.
Southwest posted a video of their rapping flight attendant. They didn't wait for a consumer to put it up, they took the opportunity to show their commitment to flight attendants personalizing the experience.
Social media presence has started to boil down to the people who really want to engage with us.
You have all the talent you need already in your company.
Main Point: Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
Take-away Action: Start a personal blog so you get familiar with the tools for when your business is ready to jump in.
We are changing from an information economy to a collaboration economy.
Business is like a small town. They are building pieces that help them work better as a corporate community.
Use social media (like Twitter) for taking meeting notes. Something that is immediately posted and public for people to check afterwards. (And contribute?)
Take what's fun and then make it healthy. That's how Humana approaches making games.
“We don't know what the long-term benefits of our projects will be, but we are working to find out.”
Title: Internet Marketing by the Numbers
Main Point: Marketers must measure their website and online campaigns. When you measure, you are responsible for making things work. All the Internet stuff you know won't do any good if you don't get ROI from your site.
Take-Away Action: Determine what your conversions are and your current conversion rate for those.
Internet Marketing is more about marketing than the Internet.
Numbers have found you. You don't have to calculate the numbers but you have to be the person that makes decisions based on the numbers.
Transactional – If someone buys something, was it profitable to get them to that point
Relational – Each customer acquired is measured individually
Management doesn't care what goes into the execution; They want to know what the results of the execution were.
Know your business to know if you should calculate your conversion rate by dividing by Visitors or Visits.
Conversions are the metrics that you should be tracking. “What do you want people to do?” That's the question that matters most.
In relation to setting up source tracking “Why did we go through that much trouble?” Answer: “Because it's the only way to measure how your marketing programs are working.”
Every sale does not cost the same amount. It costs far less for you to sell more to existing customers. Make sure you understand the lifetime value of your customers.
Main Point: As you get older, especially when you join the workforce, the noise level in your life increases significantly to the point of overwhelming distraction
Take-Away Action: Look at all your social networks and determine where you can focus your attention.
Everyone wants to be in the Discovery space. Both Twitter and Google think that they do it but the other service doesn't.
Social networks within the enterprise allow for internal discovery – feeds that provide news about what company-centric projects are going on.
Be a Kid Again! Simplify, Simplify. Don't worry about what's not relevant to you.
Minimize your trusted sources of information to get more signal
Communities have two sides – need to be aware of what both need
Presenter: Rick Frantz of MarketingExperiments
Title: Discover what really works in optimization
Main Point: If something you are doing doesn't work, doing more of it won't change that.
Take-Away Action: Write down your value proposition. Compare it to your compeition and evaluate if it's a real differentiator.
Hitting the ketchup bottle on the bottom doesn't work.
There has to be a better way to do other things in life
When something is not working well, doing more of it won't produce better results
Obvious solutions are not the best solutions
Measuring and Testing are the only ways to discover what works better
Starting an argument doesn't help you persuade, it only helps you hurt someone.
Landing Page Optimzation Meta-Theory
People don't by from websites, they buy from people
You don't optimize pages, you optimize though sequence
To optimize though sequence, you need to enter a conversation
Then guide the conversation to a value exchange
c = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) - 2a
C = Conversion
M = Motivation
V = Clarity of Value Prop
I = Incentive
F = Friction
A = Anxiety
Value Prop and Incentive are Value Contributors
Friction and Anxiety are Value Inhibitors
You need the Contributors to outweigh the Inhibitors
If you don't have something that differentiates you (the Value Prop) then you are just getting by on the ignorance of the market.
When you advertise on something people are looking for, make sure that you're giving them what they want when they come back to your site.
Every page on your site should have a Primary Objective and should stick to it!
Presenter: Eric Bowzer of SiteCore
Main Point: Tracking and evaluating content leads to success sooner.
Take-Away Action: Pick at least one landing page -- Does the page lead your users deeper into your site? How can you create a path to lead users into your site?
Land pages need to deliver on ad's promise
Keep telling stories as they move deeper into your site
Understand what your sales process is
Learning to Listen
Score your content – Give scores to content so you can start building different profiles of your visitors.
Score your actions – Lead Scoring
Test and Validate with content and score engagement
The show isn't over after the first dance
Episodic delivery of content
Build assets that can be subscribed to
Us the crowds to help filter info for other users
Traditional segmentation doesn't work anymore
Use community as magnet and microscope to understand what your segments should be
Match content to emerging segments
Find ways to bring people in past the landing page of your site
Pick Your Pitch
Understand your intimacy level with customers
Understand how to make that window of consideration longer
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Title: Listening and Monitoring – The new way to market
Main Point: Just because you aren't listening, doesn't mean people aren't trying to talk to you.
Take-Away Action: Find a conversation that is happening about your company in a space you haven't been monitoring before.
Amber – Companies are getting dragged in to SM whether they like it or not.
Social Media is like the phone, people are trying to call you and you wouldn't just let your phone ring and ring un-answered?
Use listening to inform the content development strategy. Customers don't necessarily want to hear marketing that “align with your core brand messages.”
What is the language that your customers are using when talking about themselves and your company/products.
When you can't act on the flow of information coming in, you need to scale up to a better tool.
Blake – Companies are seeing the transparency of the negative experiences customers are having and that scares them.
Companies have had access to this kind of data for quite a long time but may not have known what to do with it.
If there is no conversation, that's a huge opportunity.
Most of the conversations are neither positive nor negative. They are just neutral. Companies are mining the neutral to determine why people don't have a stronger opinion.
Gabriel – We do end up being like therapists because we uncover areas that company doesn't have strengths and isn't sure how to handle those areas.
Big companies can put the resources behind doing more listening. But smaller companies need to be flexible with the tools and roll with shifts in the market.
Title: Q&A with Whole Foods
Main Point: Be in-tune with your customers as close to person-to-person as possible.
Take-Away Action: Give guidelines/direction in social media to the people closest to your customers.
Stores at the local level have their own blog. It's difficult for corporate to be relevant to local audiences.
Shorten the distance between customers and employees (team members).
Engage as brand advocates for local producers.
Cannot measure individual purchases at stores based on Social Media but do notice trends in how much people are thinking/talking about Whole Foods.
Main Point: Social media isn't a broadcast medium, it's designed for community engagement.
Take-Away Action: Pick a community and find a way to engage with them.
Be Relevant, Authentic, Responsive (That's the foundation, you hear it all the time.)
Beware of the mean (the middle, the average). Beware of the extreme.
Allow Feedback and responses from the people; respond back to them.
Don't Be Creepy
Talk to them in their backyard
85% of consumers feel companies should be present online to interact with customers and help solve problems
Title: Advocacy, Badvocacy, and Upsetting the Apple Cart
Main Points: Companies need to be prepared to re-think how they are approaching their customers.
Take-Away Action: Inoculate your legal team against the shock of using social media.
Advocacy is the new wave of marketing. This goes beyond influentials or elites.
Marketers need to re-think channels, reach and influence.
Apple Cart #1 – Customer at center with different hubs:
- Inside – Day to Day interactions
- Outside – Expert sources
- Mega – Media/Celebrity/News
- Social – Online and Offline groups they consider themselves a part of
Apple Cart #2 – Engagement Methods – Not just the same mass media channels
Apple Cart #3 – Legal and Regulatory Controls
Apple Cart #4 – Measurement; Advocacy isn't all digital but it can be measured.
Apple Cart #5 – Budgeting; Most marketing budgets are not designed to fully embrace social media. Social media requires more headcount.
Apple Cart #6 – Organizational Structures; Change from hierarchy by silo'ed function and switch to community-based roles
Main Points: Know which battles you should be fighting over keywords
Take-Away Action: List the terms you want to be found on in Google. Be realistic! (Remember the ninjas)
Don't fight ninjas when you're not fully trained.
Google is smarter than you. Don't try to trick it. Make sure your copy matches what you say the page is about.
Meta-Data Description is what Google shows when presenting results. You should customize this per page on your site.
Google figured out how to understand which pages people will want to look at, more than just keywords on page. Links are the currency of the Internet.
If you have more content, you tend to get more links into your site.
SEO is like the lottery. The more tickets you have, the better your chances to win. In SEO, the more content you have (optimized for different keywords) the more likely you are to get links into your site.
Re-purpose your content and publish in as many places as possible.
Create content that can be shared. The more people can share, the more links will get pointed back to your site.
Don't be afraid to be polarizing. Have an opinion and get people talking -- on both sides of the issue.
Title: You Shall Know Us By Our Dialtone
Main Points: Understand how to allocate people in your organization to get involved in social media
Take-Away Action: Create a main, central location that you own to use as the call to action
It doesn't matter what your customer is doing with your product, they are still your customer. Even if they are using it ways you didn't expect.
Listening is the new black. Marketers aren't used to listening, they are used to collecting surveys and market research instead.
You don't control facebook. If you pin your marketing strategy on those tools, you are constrained to what they let you do.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Title: Innovative Marketing Programs Using New Media
Main Points: Understand what you are trying to accomplish and what strategies support that
Take-Away Action: Discover what niche communities your customers are already participating in.
Koudas: Intrigued by companies that are successful using media that isn't branded until the very end. But, also interested in what is the return on the social media success. If people watch your YouTube video, what does that mean?
Strategy doesn't have an end. You need to take what you learn at the end and start over to go forward.
People will know if you are not honest. You don't want to get caught being dishonest.
Borges: Two companies without huge brand name are making social media work for them in the space that is important to them.
Niche doesn't mean that you can't find success. If you can own that niche, you can still do well.
Walker: It's easy to pursue meaningless numbers in social media if we aren't thinking about what our objectives and strategies should be. Ask first: Where are our customers already congregating online?
I don't agree that there is a limited pool of dollars for the social media pool. They will continue to bring in more dollars, and customer bases will grow when you can show quality of product/company versus your competitors.
Main Point: Marketers are trying to use new tools to overcome the hurdle of media disintermediation that has entered into business-to-customer communications.
Take-Away Action: Listen to how and why your customers are talking (not just what they are saying).
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
It might be overstating the facts to say that I went to SXSWi this year. Rather, SXSWi happened and I managed to position myself in it's vortex as it frantically rushed through Austin -- fueled by free drinks and Twitter.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
It's getting late but I wanted to make a quick post that I'm on the Innovators' Roadtrip organized by Colin Browning of New Marketing Labs.
Posted by John Johansen at 3/10/2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
I was invited to the Blellow Beta and my interest was picqued in examining another Twitter-like application. The recent history of microsharing is littered with past attempts to improve on Twitter. Pownce and Jaiku were both acquired... but not supported. Plurk hit a chord with it's threaded conversations, but then Twitter figured out how to stay up more consistently. And recently, Yammer and identi.ca are working to bring microsharing inside the Enterprise firewall.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I've had an interesting experience in the last week with my job search. I'll leave the company names out of this because it's on-going.
Monday, March 2, 2009
I was asked by Rachel Happe, writer of The Social Organization blog, to particpate in her Deep Bench series of posts about people in the social media space who are available for new job opportunities.
John is a social media buddy - I haven't met him in RL (i.e. real life) and I still think of him more as jljohansen - his Twitter handle - than by the name John. Funny how that works. But while I have not worked with John directly, he's been in my circle for quite some time. John was a Bostonian that is currently in Austin...part of that trend last year of some of Boston's brightest moving to Austin...what is up with that?!?! To me, John exhibits all the best behavior of a community manager - even though that has not been an explicit role - he shares his knowledge and information freely, engages in conversation, and is not into gratuitous self-promotion. I would guess that those qualities are what make him so plugged in.
If you are in the Austin area and looking for an interactive or social media marketer, you should snap John up quickly. Here's his response to my questions - I love the Speedo incident!:
What part of the social web world are you most fascinated by and why?
I'm most fascinated by how the social web continues to change. Not only is it changing everything it touches but it keeps changing itself. It's nearly impossible to keep up with everything that's happening but the broad trends are starting to emerge and you can see how they start applying to specific situations in social spaces.I'm also fascinated by the change in search and discovery using the Internet. I had an instance this morning when I was using Google for a search and switched to Twitter Search because I wasn't getting results that were useful to me. Real-time search is a powerful tool.
What are you passionate about and what motivates that passion?I stopped to really think about this question and came up with some very interesting answers. Part of what I'm discovering in my re-assessment of my career path is that I'm passionate about solving problems. I thrive in situations that need me to be creative and innovative. Keeping up with my blog is an example of this, I post sporadically because once I find a topic that I want to explore my single post quickly grows into full-blown series.In the arena of social media, what drives my passion is that I have the opportunity to be exploring the space before the 'rules' are defined. There are a great many smart people that I respect in the social media arena. I read their blogs or follow them on Twitter because I'm interested in what they have to say and want to be influenced by their thoughts. But, I'm also doing my own thinking about the gray areas. I absolutely feel that the 'answers' to social media can come from anywhere and I want to be a part of that.
If you could construct your own job who would you be working with? For whom? On what problems?Moving to Austin was a conscious choice for me. I came down here before I had found a job in the area. (I was fortunate enough to keepmy job back in Boston.) One of the main reasons I decided to come to this area was because of the industry in the area. Austin has its share of large companies (Dell anyone?) but it's also got a significant number of smaller companies and start-ups.I want to work for a small- to mid-sized company that is looking to improve its marketing program. When I look at job postings, I don't take them literally. I make sure I meet the requirements (I don't want to waste my time or theirs). Then I look at the essential functions but I read them as the starting point for what I could do. What ideas are sparked when I look at what they're hiring for? What improvements can I make in the areas that I'd be responsible for?Let me get back on track here. I don't see this as an "if" question. I take it as an imperative that if I get hired by a company, I am going to construct my job role in such a way that will push both myself and the company to learn new things and do them better. With that reference, it makes it very easy to answer the rest.I would be working with a company that has a solid business model with objectives that marketing can support. I would be working in a department, or for a manager, that respects my ability to perform my responsibilities but also supports my initiative to branch out beyond those. And I would be solving problems related to demand generation, measuring marketing results, developing effective lead nurturing -- in other words closing the marketing loop.
Since you can't always make up a job that will support you - what are you looking for next?Hmm. I think I wrote myself into a corner with the answer above. Maybe I can side-track again. I've had a wandering path through the realms of marketing. I began my career with a PR degree and a position at a PR agency. I've explored direct mail, project management, web design, webinar production, email, search, web analytics, marketing communications, and social media. Up to about a year ago, I probably would have considered myself an Internet Marketer because I'd been taking more of a focus on online tools. But, I don't agree with all the connotations that Internet Marketing conjures.What I've realized is that I can use another handy marketing label: Demand Generation. I've been responsible for bringing in leads, in the B2B space, for about 5 years, so I think it's a reasonable space for me to continue looking.
What project/activity from past jobs gave you the most joy?
I had a wonderful opportunity back in Boston to roll up my sleeves straighten out the online marketing for Snowbound Software.One of the first projects I took on was a major re-focus of the newsletter. Rather than using it to re-hash our press releases, I began writing in-depth articles related to our industry (document imaging and viewing).From there I took a serious look at our Google AdWords account and discovered a significant amount of spending on keywords that were unproductive for us as a business. I took drastic measures in the short-term to cut our spending by nearly 40%. Then spent the next two years tweaking the campaigns and was able to bring in more qualified leads from SEM while keeping our spending down.I also implemented and monitored Google Analytics for our site. I learned so much about the value (and limitations) of web analytics. We were able to shift our focus off the pages we thought we should be spending time on and started making improvements where our visitors were spending their time.And, finally, I researched marketing automation systems and implemented Marketo for use with lead qualification and nurturing. This was also the spark that triggered my passion for lead nurturing. I believe that it's going to have a major impact on marketing and, again, I want to be part of that answer.Now, I know that sounds pretty self-aggrandizing but what brought me joy in my role was seeing how my projects were affecting the business. It wasn't just that I got the newsletter out on time (which I did) but that customers were telling my CEO how much value they received from it. That's hard to beat.
What non-work related activities make you the happiest?The ocean. Seriously, the ocean makes me happy. I grew up near the Pacific, it's a major factor in my childhood narrative. I could be quite happy going swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving on a daily basis.When an ocean is not available, I like to read. Most of what I read is fiction or science fiction, it's engaging and easy. But when I have time, I enjoy picking up a real piece of literature. My most recent read in that genre is probably East of Eden by Steinbeck. And if I can carve out some time, I've got my sights on One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
What's your most amusing work-related story?My wife is a big proponent of looking professional. When I know that I'm going to be doing a job search, she always makes sure that I have a nice suit to interview with and wear to work if appropriate. Each time that I've bought a new suit at the beginning of a job search, I've ended up working at an office with a casual dress code.At one company, when I was making sure to get an explicit definition to bring back to my wife, I asked what the dress code was. The HR person told me, "No Speedos."Needless to say, I was always in compliance with that one.
What are your thoughts about the US economy and what is going on?I don't think that the economy is a surprise. The market is righting itself and because it's been bolstered artificially (sub-prime loans, I'm looking at you) for so long, it's going to be messy before it gets fixed.But, if you want me to use this as a soap box, I think that this is also a good time for individuals. The lay-offs that are happening are shaking people out of the mindset of "I belong to the company." People are recognizing that they can, or may need to, create value themselves. The rise of social media is helping facilitate the concept of individual value. This series by Rachel is a great example of creating individual value, it's useful to me as a job searcher, it's useful to Rachel's readers to get perspective from others in the social media space, and it's valuable to Rachel because she becomes a hub.That's where I see the economy going. We're getting so connected these days that it's increasingly unnecessary to take risks on people we don't know . If you're hoping to just find a quiet desk to sit behind until someone hands you a gold watch... well, good luck with that.
I think I've said too much already. ;-)
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The economy has gone downhill. The effect on the workforce has been significant and devestating.
Friday, February 6, 2009
This is actually a dual-purpose post. The first is to state that I'm now part of the ranks of the unemployed. I'm saddened by this turn of events. I enjoyed working at Bulldog Solutions and would be happy to talk with anyone who's interested in working there or working with them.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
While reading Seth Godin's blog, I ran across this little line that seems to capture most of what he says when discussing permission-based marketing:
"It doesn't scale, it shrinks."So many of the new media tools we use for marketing and collaboration run into the question of scale.
- How to we make it bigger?
- How do we reach more people?
- How can it require less effort?
- If I do this, will my audience shrink?
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I went to the ProductCamp Austin on Saturday. It was an interesting experience because I don't have much of a background in Product Marketing or Product Management. A big part of why I wanted to attend was so that I could learn what distinguishes product marketing from the areas I'm more familiar with, marketing communications and lead generation.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I've written a 4-part series about Lead Nurturing. This is becoming a major trend for 2009 and I believe that marketers need to be more than just informed about it, we need to be advocates for making the changes in our ogranizations that will allow this to happen.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I've put off technology for the end because I've been trying to figure out how I want to write this post.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Having been through the exercise of defining what a lead is, the role of content is to help you move those leads through the B2B buying cycle.
This means two very important things for the content that you use for lead nurturing.
- Content should be appropriate to your prospect's stage in the buying cycle.
- Content should include a call to action that moves interested prospects closer to being sales ready.
1. Identifying the problem -- You don't have a nurturing role here but certainly marketing can be instrumental in helping shape the discussion around problem-identification. This is not to imply that you should be creating problems so you can sell more product but if you have insight into your industry and can identify where companies are failing then bringing that to light benefits both sides.
Call to Action: Find out more information about your company and products from your site.
2. Defining the criteria -- While discussion about a solution may still be at a very high-level at this stage, experience with existing companies and products will influence the input given.
Call to Action: Find out more information about your company and products when doing research.
3. Researching the options -- This is a key step. At this point in the cycle two crucial things happen. First, the responsibility for moving the process forward is typically delegated to a lower level within the organization. And second, you may get your first contact with a new prospect. I'm probably going to run afoul of Sales people everywhere but there is a real danger if you try to take prospects at this stage and skip right to the Purchase stage. For some prospects it might work, however as a strategy you're going to lose more than you keep.
Call to Action: Engage with your company by providing information in exchange for something of value.
4. Evaluating Products/Services -- In my experience this is probably the most critical stage in the buying cycle for marketing, especially in the context of lead nurturing. In this stage, information has been gathered, both generally about the industry and specifically about companies. The prospect is now comparing products against each other; looking for the strengths and weaknesses of each product when lined up side-by-side.
Call to Action: Contact your company, or sales person, with specific questions about your products or services.
5. Trial/Test Period -- This can be a tricky case. If your company offers a low-barrier free trial that prospects can use on their own, then marketing should have a trigger to re-engage with the prospect before the trial period ends.
On the other hand, if your trial requires a commitment, such as a physical installation, then you're in a good position having gotten in the door. While your prospect is going to be heavily engaged with sales, and possibly a sales engineer, marketing can still contribute.
If you have a customer-support area of your site that facilitates either customer-to-customer interaction or easy access to your own internal support, you should provide your prospects with information about how to participate and some pointers towards areas that might be most useful to them.
Call to Action: Extend the benefits gained from the trail by purchasing your products or service.
6. Purchase and Implementation -- After the deal has been completed is a good time to make sure you have clean, viable data. Check if the initial contact is still going to be active in the on-going relationship. If the primary contact is changing, make sure you have updated information about the new contact. If there are going to be additional contacts after the sale, make sure those are also captured and associated with the deal. With a more complete picture of how you will be used within your customer's company, you are in a better position to make cross-sell and up-sell offers.
Call to Action: Opt-in to continued communications from your company. Explore additional products or services that may be of benefit.