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Keyword: ‘data’

B2B Social Media Marketing: 5 career killers and how to overcome them

August 28th, 2012 No comments

Day one of B2B Summit 2012 has finally arrived.  Today, I had the opportunity to listen in on the panel discussion “5 B2B Social Media Career Killers … and how to overcome them.”

This session went beyond simply helping your company, and on to improving the future of your personal career.

MECLABS Director of Editorial Content Daniel Burstein moderated the panel of three B2B social media experts: Eddie Smith, Chief Revenue Officer, Topsy Labs; Chris Baggott, Chairman, Compendium; and Nichole Kelly, President, SME Digital.



With the introductions made, they jumped straight into the first B2B social media killer …

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Lead Generation: Trends in 2012 marketing budgets

August 24th, 2012 2 comments

According to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report (free excerpt at that link), 71% of survey respondents indicated that generating high-quality leads was a top challenge.

So, in today’s blog post, let’s look at lead generation budget trends (hint: money is moving to online tactics) and provide some resources to help you make wise use of that budget.

To help you get the most effective use of your budget, here are several case studies and how-to articles for some of the tactics mentioned in the above chart.

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Class Is In Session: Q&A with Web analytics professors about Optimization Summit 2012

August 14th, 2012 No comments

You network with the most interesting people at a MarketingSherpa Summit, and Optimization Summit 2012 was no exception for me. I caught up with one of the top optimizers from Denmark and a nonprofit marketer heavily engaged in A/B testing, and I also met two professors in the increasingly popular Web analytics field.

With our next event, B2B Summit 2012 in Orlando, just around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to look back at our last event in today’s MarketingSherpa blog post and share an interview with those professors, who can provide a unique viewpoint on Internet marketing.

With their experience teaching others in the classroom and having to convey overall marketing principles, they are a step removed from the average in-the-trenches, brand-side marketers, overly focused on the “putting out today’s fire” crises that sap so many marketers’ attention.

And, since they’re not vendors of platform providers, well, they’re not trying to sell you on their unique marketing buzzword approach that just happens to map very nicely to the products and services they are trying to sell.

Ray Lam and Victoria Harben are adjunct faculty and teach Web Analytics, a graduate-level course in University College at the University of Denver. During Optimization Summit 2012, they live-tweeted the event to their students from @COMM4324.


MarketingSherpa: What were the top lessons you learned at Optimization Summit that you think could be helpful to brand-side marketers?

Victoria: The main point that was reiterated throughout Optimization Summit was to always test; don’t rely on assumptions, intuition, guesstimations, or theory — rather, get out there and test it. It’s always best to back up a hunch with data, and that’s exactly what the Summit instilled in me: test, test, test! We’re teaching a Web Analytics class at DU through the New Media and Internet Marketing program, and this is the first thing we tell our students.

Ray:  The top lesson I learned was Dr. Flint McGlaughlin’s conversion formula: C=4m+3v+2(i-f)-2a. Where m=motivation, v=clarity of value proposition (why), i=incentive to take action, f=friction elements of the process, and a=anxiety about entering the process. This simple formula helps marketers think about the different elements that need to be considered when constructing a landing page.

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Social Media Marketing: 7 steps for using contests and sweepstakes to promote your brand

August 9th, 2012 No comments

Bribe them and buy them. That was an old-school marketing technique to acquire customers when the value proposition of a product just wasn’t strong enough to pull in enough interest of its own.

Do corporate social media accounts face that challenge? While many Facebook pages and Twitter accounts offer strong value (news, humor, insider information, etc.), the average corporate account can find it challenging to develop a following without an incentive.

One incentive that works well for many marketers is a sweepstakes or contest. (While those terms are often used interchangeably, technically the winner of a sweepstakes is decided by random chance, and a contest is decided by skill and competition.)

“Some of the main benefits of a social media-based contest are fast time-to-market, immediate responses/results, low-cost and no-cost program options, and measureable ROI,” said Sandra Fathi, President, Affect. “I have yet to find an organization — business-to-business or business-to-consumer — that would not benefit from some type of online contest.”

Sandra pointed out that even the President is holding an online sweepstakes to help with fundraising efforts.


The goal of online sweepstakes and contests

 While online sweepstakes and contests can help boost your social media following, they can help you meet other objectives as well.

“The goals of any marketing effort should align directly with business goals – and the same holds true for social media promotions,” Sandra said. She provided some example objectives:

  • Accelerate social media adoption/participation
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate leads/sales
  • Drive product/service usage
  • Recognize or reward customers/prospects

However, sometimes it pays to think outside the box.

“For example, we launched the New York Intern Project as a recruiting tool that also provided ancillary benefits, such as doubling our social media following, generating media coverage and new business opportunities with clients who were interested in hosting contests of their own,” Sandra said.

Here are a few mini-case studies to help you visualize successful sweepstakes and contests, and then we’ll review seven steps for launching your own sweepstakes and contests.

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Digital Marketing: Understanding customer sentiment

August 3rd, 2012 2 comments

Yuchun Lee, Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Marketing Management Group, IBM, understands analytics and metrics are, as he puts it, “a huge part of marketers’ lives.”

He says the question then becomes, “How much time and energy should marketers spend checking out metrics and worrying about the analytics of their efforts?”

Yuchun adds, “I think the market trend has been moving towards incorporating more and more data and analysis of customers.”

This includes learning what messaging is relevant to your customers.

“Being able to analyze the data to understand a customer becomes paramount for every business,” explains Yuchun.

This data analysis allows you to determine consumer sentiment, which in turn provides a framework for relevant communications. 

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A/B Testing: 4 tests from a crowdfunding site with double-digit results

July 26th, 2012 2 comments

Before you start an optimization program, you have to be clear on what you are trying to optimize. Or, as Brad Damphousse, the CEO of GoFundMe, a crowdfunding site, puts it, “What’s the one thing that really matters?”

The GoFundMe team determined that, for its site, it had to focus on making it easy for anyone to receive donations. To achieve that goal, the team would have to optimize for both of its customer segments (which are essentially on both sides of the transaction): users asking for donations and donors making those donations.

So, Brad launched a series of A/B tests to help convert more new users and to gain more donations from donors.


Test #1: Sell the service

For the first test, the team mapped out its funnel and identified where leaks were occurring.


Click to enlarge

Read more…

How Can We Make Email Summit 2013 More Helpful to You?

July 24th, 2012 No comments

Our job is to help you do your job better. One way we do that is through events, like the upcoming Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas.

You can help make this event more valuable for yourself and fellow marketers by taking a few minutes to fill out the survey below.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a FREE copy of MarketingSherpa’s 30-Minute Marketer: How to Segment Your Email List for Better Results.


Related Resources:

Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas, Feb. 12-15, 2013

Email Summit 2012: Top 5 takeaways from the industry’s largest research-based event

Email Summit: Integrating mobile, social and email marketing channels

Lead Generation: 5 steps for managing cost and quality of leads

July 19th, 2012 No comments

Organizations target quality, but they don’t pay for it. That is one of the latest discoveries from the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report (free 10-page excerpt at this link). Let’s take a look …


Click to enlarge


“In the past, it may have been acceptable to assume that if an organization can lower their upfront cost-per-lead, they will also increase lead generation, improve ROI and drive revenue,” said Jen Doyle, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS.

“This makes sense when calculated on a spreadsheet, but when rolled out in an evolved marketplace with an empowered buyer, it’s going to take a lot more than simply lowering the cost-per-lead to achieve the goals of today’s CMO.”

So how can you balance cost and quality of leads?

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Lead Generation Strategy: 5 signs you’re selling like it’s 1992

July 12th, 2012 1 comment

Back in 1992, if you wanted to find information about a company or its products, you had two choices:

  1. Spend hours at the library poring over periodicals, annual and industry reports, and magazine and newspaper clippings. (Do you remember microfiche?)
  2. Meet with a salesperson.

Life was simpler then: You could reach quota by sending some direct mail, making a few phone calls, and scheduling a few meetings. After all, the customer had very few alternatives to inform themselves. You could succeed without a solid strategy; all that really mattered was the size of your Rolodex. Lead generation as we know it today didn’t exist. Frankly, it really didn’t have to.

Those days are long gone, yet too many organizations are still selling like it’s 1992.

How do I know?

All it takes is a quick review of MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report (free excerpt at that link). Of the 1,745 B2B organizations that participated, 61%  still have that big-Rolodex mindset – they send any lead that responds to a marketing campaign directly to sales. Furthermore, check out the chart at the right: The vast majority has not applied strategy to any aspect of lead generation.

These statistics are just a reflection of the day-to-day behaviors and attitudes that keep sales and marketing organizations stuck in a time warp. Here are five of them:

  Read more…

Random Apps of Kindness: Using mobile for nonprofit and cause-based marketing

July 10th, 2012 1 comment

According to, 84% of small and medium businesses saw an increase in business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts.

This got me thinking … how could mobile marketing help another segment that, much like SMBs, often has limited budgets and time to invest in new marketing tactics – non-profit and cause-based marketers.

So, I asked a few experts in the industry, and they shared a few basic considerations to help you with your mobile marketing efforts …


Consideration #1: Determine if you need a mobile app

Apps have gotten a lot of buzz lately, but they are not the only way to reach a mobile audience.

“Building a mobile app, a good one at least, isn’t cheap,” said Amy Sample Ward, Digital Advisor, Good360.

You might want to start by optimizing your website and email marketing for mobile first.

“Be sure to update form pages for signing up or donating so that people aren’t turned off when they can’t even make out the fields and complete the page,” Amy said.

Once you’ve optimized your current presence for a mobile audience, how can you decide if an app is a logical next step?

“See if mobile views and navigation, opens and clickthroughs on emails, etc. go up as you mobile-ize those areas of content,” Amy remarked.

“The second indicator is the unique content or service an app would provide,” she added. “Unless you have information or data that people will want to access regularly and will actually help them in their day-to-day life, an app probably isn’t a fit.”

“For example, if you are an organization working on clean water access and conservation, an app that shares facts about water is not interesting, nor is it helpful. An app that helps people geo-locate and navigate to places where they can refill their water bottle for free is very helpful and reinforces an organization’s mission.”

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