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Archive for the ‘B To B Ecommerce’ Category

What You Can Learn about Automated Personalization from Google’s Hilarious Mistake

October 4th, 2017
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Embarrassment. It’s a common emotion I hear from marketers after reading or watching a MarketingSherpa case study.

“The work these marketers are doing is amazing! And my marketing program is a mess. I’m overwhelmed by data. I don’t have enough resources to monitor social. My website doesn’t load fast enough …”

Today’s blog post is basically our way of saying:

Hey, it’s OK if you’re not a perfect marketer

Because no one is. Even here at MarketingSherpa, our reach is further than our grasp. There is so much more we’d like to do to improve our own marketing.

Which is why there was more than a little schadenfreude when we received an impressively erroneous direct mail piece from Google trying to use its hoards of data to personalize a message to us that would convince us to buy AdWords.

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‘Do Not Contact Us’ Forms

April 6th, 2010
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As a reporter, I will contact a company through any means necessary. I prefer using a phone number or an email address for a specific person — but sometimes I’m stuck filling out a ‘contact us’ form.

I’ve filled out more contact forms than I’d like to admit. I really dislike them. About a quarter of them do not work, and I’m never sure if my messages reach my intended audience: the marketing department.

Some common problems I’ve seen:
o Errors after clicking ‘submit’
o Tiny message length limits (such as 200 characters)
o Bounced emails in response
o Claims of ‘improper formatting’

Even worse is after receiving an error, you can lose your entire message. I learned long ago to write messages in a separate program and to copy-and-paste them into forms, in case I need to resubmit.

I’m just a reporter trying to get a marketer on the phone — can you imagine if I was a dissatisfied customer? My frustration level would skyrocket. If I was a potential business lead, I’d likely leave and never return.

‘Contact us’ forms are similar to social media in that they provide a way to receive customer feedback — which is very valuable. Broken ‘contact us’ forms send a clear message: “we don’t care about your feedback. Don’t contact us.”

But I’m sure that’s not true. You must care about your customers’ feedback. Their satisfaction keeps you in business.

So if you have a minute, check your website’s contact forms. Make sure they’re flexible, easy to use, and most importantly, that they work. A small effort can go a long way in preventing customers from walking away for good.

Social Bookmarks in B2B Email

March 23rd, 2010
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Not every marketer’s audience is waiting on Facebook or Twitter, especially marketers in B2B manufacturing. Tim Madel, Manger, Global Ebusiness, Kennametal, is one of these marketers, and his team experiments with social channels anyway.

“We know our current customers might not be using Twitter and Facebook, but we know that the next generation is, and we want to be there and ready for it,” he says.

One way Madel’s team is preparing for a new generation of metal workers is by using Lyris to add buttons to Kennametal’s emails to share content on social bookmarking sites and networks. Although the quick, low-cost tactic does not drive much traffic to Kennametal’s site (referrals from social networks are below 1%), the team hopes the buttons:

– Bring content to correct customers

Many of the team’s email subscribers are purchasing officers, who’re not their target audience. The team adds the buttons so emails can more easily reach people who use Kennametal’s tools.
Kennametal email with bookmarking buttons
– Help current and future customers

Customers who prefer to bookmark using Delicious or iGoogle have the option. And if more customers start moving to Twitter, the team will be comfortable sharing its content on the network having experimented. Other buttons the team includes are for:
o Digg
o Reddit
o Newsvine
o LinkedIn
o StumbleUpon

In a sample of two emails, the buttons captured between 40 and 50 clicks each in each email. This is a very low percentage of all emails sent, but the team is undaunted.

“You’re not looking at high percentages, but in our world, that’s a great number to start with,” says Jennifer Altimore, Site Content Manager, Global E-Customer, Kennametal.

Not Advertising On Social Networks

December 18th, 2008
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The New York Times ran an article this week describing the challenges of advertising on social media sites, Facebook in particular. The article describes Procter & Gamble’s experience with brand advertising on the world’s largest social network and leads the reader to believe that it’s been less than fruitful.

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Teamwork Turns Leads into Sales

October 13th, 2008
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Teamwork is essential to any project involving more than one person. Strong teams are more efficient, reliable and create work of higher quality. It’s impossible for your marketing team to be at its best if it’s not working together. Read more…

Are White Papers Still Effective for B2B? Absolutely!

August 26th, 2008
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Last week, we invited 35 MarketingSherpa Members to a virtual roundtable discussion to tackle a question we’ve been hearing quite a bit about recently: “Are white papers still effective?”

From our standpoint, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Data show that white papers are still an integral part of the business buying cycle:

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Please, Join the Email Anti-Blast Revolution

July 22nd, 2008
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DJ Waldow from Bronto Software recently posted an entry in his blog that made me nod my head and chuckle. He ranted a bit about the term “email blast” and called for the community to slash it from the current vernacular. Read more…

Gas Prices Make Free Shipping by Eretailers Even Hotter

July 14th, 2008
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I recently received an email from outdoors clothier Roots with a subject line that definitely caught my eye: “Free Economy Shipping This Memorial Weekend”.

The imperative word in that copy was “Economy.” With gas prices this summer seemingly ready to hamper consumer spirits, it reminded me that free-shipping promos will likely be hotter than ever. Read more…