Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Content Marketing: How shifting the budget led to a 152% boost in landing page traffic

September 30th, 2011

 At this week’s B2B Summit in Boston, one of the case studies presented was on a multi-channel lead generation campaign conducted by CenterBeam, a technology infrastructure company serving mid-sized businesses. This campaign included an extensive outbound element with multiple phone calls and follow-up email, and a “friends and family” referral program.

The third piece of this campaign, a new content marketing strategy, was created from the ashes of a failing pay-per-click effort.


Reallocate the budget away from losing efforts

CenterBeam simply took money from the PPC campaigns, and put that budget line into the content strategy. There was no new expense, just a reallocation of money Marketing had to spend.

Karen Hayward, EVP and CMO, CenterBeam, says the company’s paid search program was not producing positive results. The campaigns were bringing in smaller companies that weren’t part of the CenterBeam’s target market.

The solution was to take that spending and apply it to a concentrated content marketing strategy to boost organic search traffic, and hopefully draw in more qualified leads.

For this effort, CenterBeam went to an outside vendor specializing in custom news creation with a number of requirements:

  • 50 articles per month
  • Every article had to be unique and exclusive to CenterBeam’s website
  • CenterBeam optimized the keywords
  • CenterBeam provided six categories of relevant topics for the articles

Here you can see a screenshot of the news page at CenterBeam showing the heavy dose of new content: Read more…

Staying the Budget Axe

March 27th, 2009

When times are tight, every marketing campaign and employee’s performance is checked. And when you’re holding the budget axe, everything can look like a tree. But try to stifle your inner lumberjack. A few tweaks can turn a busted campaign into a boon, and a few suggestions can turn a struggling worker into a solid performer.

I talked with Kelley Quain Troia, Senior Director, Marketing Operations, Wal-Mart, earlier this month about accountability in marketing. She described a few of the challenges to setting up a smooth accountability system.

Later in the conversation, we touched on what marketers and managers should do when campaigns or people aren’t meeting expectations. The immediate reaction may be to swing the axe, but Troia says you should first look for something that could be holding back the under-performer.

For campaigns that aren’t meeting set KPIs, try a few tweaks in the copy. Or look for underlying infrastructure problems, such as poorly rendering emails or a dysfunctional landing page.

For struggling employees, sometimes a few suggestions or even peer pressure can help, Troia says.

“You can use the pressure of others to help raise the bar with folks that might not be meeting their KPIs. And it’s not always saying ‘why can’t you be more like this person?’ But it’s trying to gently push them. ‘Here’s what these guys are up to. You might want to leverage some of the ways that they’re working to help get yourself at their level.’”

You can also encourage collaboration between strong teams and weaker teams to help bring them up to speed, Troia says.

Confusion in the organization–such as a disjointed hierarchy or poor reporting methods–can also hold people back. Be sure to take a second look at a person or campaign’s situation before letting the axe fall.

2.0 Campaigns for Any Budget

December 22nd, 2008

When a budget gets cut, experimental marketing dollars are often the first to go. Management cannot afford to dabble in unproven strategies. They want to focus on predictable, reliable tactics.

What a bore, right? You’ve been reading about social networks and viral marketing all year–and now you can’t get the budget to test them. Fear not, help is here.

Read more…

The ROI of Putting on Pants

November 18th, 2008

When the economy is down and your budget is slashed, you might be forced to prove every investment. Your CEO or manager might want to see the ROI of every effort — from direct mail to responding to comments.

And who can blame them, really? Times are tight. All signs are pointing south. They want to make sure that money isn’t being wasted. You might feel the same way: you don’t want to waste part of a shrinking budget on anything that’s not guaranteed to work.

But that might not be the best way to market. Alan Scott, CMO, Dow Jones certainly doesn’t think so. Scott’s strategy is to measure every investment and interaction with the customer that he can, and to make sure overall revenue numbers are solid, he says. Getting too granular in your ROI analysis can become a distraction.

“It’s very difficult to understand the cause and effect of every individual component and make a meaningful decision,” he says. “I heard at a conference not too long ago, someone said ‘What’s the ROI of putting on pants?’ Your probably could calculate it somehow. But you have to do it [anyway].”

That’s a great line: “What’s the ROI of putting on pants?” Remember it when you’re thinking of changing a successful marketing plan just because you cannot calculate the return on every portion of it. If it works overall, why change it? Granted, it’s worth the time and effort to tweak and test, but don’t slash and burn your pants because you’re not sure how much money they make.

B-to-C Marketing on a Shoestring: Focus on Customers

July 10th, 2008

Tracy Drumm found herself in an unpleasant situation three years ago. Tracy, the Marketing Director for plastic surgeon Steven Dayan, MD, FACS, was told that she had to clamp down on marketing spending, big time.

She didn’t panic, though. Instead, she got creative.

Read more…