Posts Tagged ‘Online Marketing’

B2B Lead Generation: Why teleprospecting is a bridge between sales and marketing

March 24th, 2011

For complex B2B sales, there is no better capability than teleprospecting for optimizing funnel efficiency.  I suspect that is one of the reasons more and more marketing executives have taken ownership of this function from sales.

One of the reasons that teleprospecting is so important is that it is (or should be) a bridge between upstream marketing campaigns and downstream sales teams.  For marketing, the teleprospecting team cannot only convert marketing responses into sales-ready leads, but provide marketing with clarity on how to improve its demand generation efforts.

Let me provide two simple examples:

1. Fine-tuning lead scoring models

There is probably no more promising capability than lead scoring.  To evolve the rule set, marketing must take aggregate funnel data from teleprospecting and fine tune the scoring model.  For example, usually 20-50 percent of the leads will be unreachable after four or five dials and three or so personal emails from the teleprospecting representative.  By comparing a large pool of these unreachable leads with leads that do respond to follow-up of teleprospecting representatives, marketing can often find different characteristics that correlate to responsiveness and dial up the lead score accordingly.

2. Fine-tuning messaging and media strategy

If a large percentage of potential customers the teleprospecting team does reach are out of the target market, then marketing can often fine-tune its messaging and its media/search strategy to improve the percentage of responders who are actually in the target market.

If the teleprospecting team receives similar, simple feedback on the sales-ready leads, that feedback can help the teleprospecting team improve it’s practices.  For example, if there is a disproportionate percentage of sales-ready leads that do not respond to the follow up by sales, then the teleprospecting team (or some subset of the team) most likely needs additional training (or talent) in order to better qualify prospects.

What’s important is that there is a repeatable process and that the operation measures the right things.  What’s also important is that marketing views the teleprospecting capability as a mechanism for improving upstream marketing efficiency and that the teleprospecting operation views sales feedback in a similar light.

In this light, the real question isn’t whether sales or marketing owns the teleprospecting function, but that everyone sees the potential for teleprospecting to better connect marketing to sales and drive optimization of the funnel.

Related resources

Free Web clinic, March 30th — Converting Leads to Sales: How one B2B company generated $4.9 million in additional sales pipeline growth in only 8 months

B2B Marketing: The FUEL methodology outlined

How and When to Use Content in the B2B Sales Process (Members library)

Free MarketingSherpa B2B Newsletter

Informed Dissent: The best marketing campaigns come from the best ideas

March 18th, 2011

“There are no bad ideas.” When I was an advertising copywriter, this is the line we would always use to enter a realm of, essentially, suspension of disbelief and start concepting our next ad. The idea being that, even if I come up with the absolute worse idea, it might spark a concept in my art director partner that would eventually lead us down the road to riches for our client and our names engraved on a gold One Show pencil.

But, of course, there are bad ideas. And according to an article in Ode magazine about research into ways to spur creativity and innovation, those bad ideas are…well…bad…

“These revelations are all the more potent considering that many organizations continue to embrace the ‘brainstorming’ technique developed by advertising executive Alex Osborn in the 1950s. According to Osborn’s now debunked system, criticism and conflict squash new ideas and should be discouraged; in hindsight, those brainstorming sessions of yore were more likely to act as echo chambers in which bad ideas were amplified by fake enthusiasm.”

“In praise of dissent” by Jeremy Mercer

A dissident is here

In essence, to get better marketing work, you must not be pulled into the groupthink.

And, while this is the first time I have personally heard anyone admonish the idea of reality-free brainstorming, dissent shouldn’t be a radically new idea, right?

More than 50 years ago, General Patton said, “If everybody’s thinking alike, somebody isn’t thinking.” More recently, we’ve heard the bland embellishments to “think outside of the box.” And yet…

So many times we don’t. From the financial crisis to the heap of blasé, color-by-numbers marketing that proliferates across the Web, so many people don’t pop their head out of the cubicle and say, “Our current way of doing things isn’t a good idea.”


Hang on, Voltaire

It’s not easy now, is it? It’s hard to be the outsider. It’s hard to tell the group, “You’re all wrong and I’m right.” It’s hard to, perhaps, put your job on the line by separating from the pack.

As Voltaire said a few hundred years ago… “Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.” Pretty harsh. Can you imagine how much more biting those words would be if he ever had to ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation from a former co-worker that he publicly disagreed with?

But, perhaps, as with marketing itself, it’s all how you communicate your dissent? Both your attitude and approach? To wit…

So, how do you disagree agreeably?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this as well, but here are a few ways I’ve learned to buck the status quo in my career…

  • Ask questions – “That’s a horrible idea, our audience will hate us for it.” Or… “That’s an interesting idea. How do you think our audience will react if we sell our list to Viagara salesmen from Nigeria?” When you disagree, the last thing you want is a battle of wills, head-to-head confrontation.

    Put your ego away for a moment, and serve simply as the advocate for the idea. The best (and most non-confrontational) way to bring someone along to your side is by giving them gentle triggers to aspects they may not have considered. This way, they are discovering why an idea won’t work, instead of having you ram it down their throats. This also helps them (and you) save face. After all, no one wants to lose a head-to-head battle.

    As in the movie “Inception,” you can’t plant an idea in someone’s head, only introduce the seed, nurture it, and hope to watch it grow.

  • See things differently – In the famous “Think Different” TV ad, Richard Dreyfuss talks about those who “gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels.” You don’t have to be quite that visionary, but simply looking at everyday things in a new way can help.

    Take data, for example. I was very impressed by a comment by Greg Sherry, VP, Marketing and Business Development, Verint Systems. During his MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2010 presentation, he mentioned that he invested in direct mail because he read in a MarketingSherpa Benchmark Report that less marketers were investing in direct mail. He figured he’d have less competition. How counterintuitive.

    Or in a recent article by Adam T. Sutton about the origin story of Orabrush’s YouTube sponsor channel, which is second only to Old Spice. This small business sponsored market research by a college class and found that 92% of people wouldn’t want to buy this product online, so the class advised against it. One dissident student raised his hand and said, “That means 8% might be interested in buying it online. That’s millions of people.”

  • Let others challenge you – Here’s what Jeremy Mercer advises in the above-referenced Ode magazine article:

    o Have executives lead by example by allowing subordinates to challenge their positions
    o Hold meetings at which diverse perspectives are welcomed
    o Surround yourself with people who think differently than you do.

  • Be right – There’s nothing worse than putting yourself on the line for a cause and being wrong. Don’t create “facts” that support your decisions, base your decisions on the facts. A great way to do this is with real-world, real-time online testing. In this way, you can experiment with your dissident idea as well as the ideas you disagree with and let your customers be the judge. Just make sure you know what those test results really mean.

In the end, you have to be a little bit Patton (the hard-nosed general shepherding an idea past any obstacle), and a little bit Voltaire (the outspoken writer finding creative means around strict censorship to criticize your organization’s dogma).

Related Resources

Marketing Wisdom: In the end, it’s all about…

The Last Blog Post: To understand life is to understand marketing

From Corporate America to Entrepreneur: Giving up steady pay for a steady say

Free MarketingSherpa Newsletters

Marketing Career: Free salary guides for direct and online marketing

March 11th, 2011

How much money do you make?

For whatever reason, that’s a question most of us never ask our peers. It’s such an uncomfortable topic to discuss. Yet, you’re curious, aren’t you? And well, you should be. How can you benchmark your salary without knowing what other VPs of Ecommerce, Search Engine Marketing Analysts and Advertising Agency Copywriters are earning?

That’s why I was so intrigued when I received a “Dear Editor” email from Wendy Weber, President, Crandall Associates, with two marketing salary reports attached (the DMA directs inquiries about salaries to Crandall). I gave Wendy a call, and she was kind enough to share these guides – for free – with the MarketingSherpa audience. So, here they are:

“The guides were compiled using salary data from conversations with over 1,100 direct and online marketing professionals, including both hiring managers and job seekers,” Weber said. The executive search firm, which specializes in the direct and online marketing industry, chose not to conduct a mail survey, as they generally have a bias toward larger companies and are never random, as respondents select themselves.

So, aside from the fact that there is a Corporate Copywriter banking $135,000, what else can you learn from this data? Here are two points that stuck out (and we’d love to hear your takeaways as well):

  • Digital marketing salaries continue to grow The average annual salary for digital marketing positions has shown a steady increase, according to Weber. For example, the average salary for Web Analytics Manager has grown 2.8% since 2010 to $78,200.
  • Optimization is a valuable skill – The top-paying Internet jobs require knowledge of optimization. For the VP of Online Marketing ($169,300-$198,200 with 7+ years experience), the job description calls for the ability to “manage and merchandise…site navigation and shopability, transaction processing, onsite promotion management…” And the Director of Ecommerce ($146,200-$168,700 with 7+ years of experience) specifically asks for “landing page optimization.”

In fairness, since we just announced our new Optimization Summit, I may have optimization on the brain – so I’d love to hear your takeaways as well.

Related Resources

Optimization Summit 2011 – June 1 -3

From Corporate America to Entrepreneur: Giving up steady pay for a steady say

Marketing Career: You must be your company’s corporate conscience

Marketing Career: Can you explain your job to a six-year-old?

“How to Become Indispensable to Your CEO” Special Report

MarketingSherpa Job Listings

MarketingExperiments Careers

The Last Blog Post: To understand life is to understand marketing

March 4th, 2011

(Editor’s Note: When we first conceived of The Last Blog Post experiment, we thought it would be another way to learn from successful marketers and thought leaders. What we never imagined is how harrowingly close life can imitate marketing…as Scott explains in this post.

So while we’re a few weeks past The Last Blog Post experiment, I wanted to publish this one last insight since successful marketing must imitate life. And while, from my perspective, Scott has always had an impressive ability to understand people, businesses, processes and systems at their core, I believe his recent experience has further clarified that knowledge…)

Just prior to my 45th birthday, our editor asked me to provide a contribution to a blog event titled “The Last Blog Post.” He stated the idea came from the concepts of the book entitled The Last Lecture,  that I had recommended to him.

As sharing things I have learned along the way is a passion of mine, I could not help myself but to say yes. My assistant, the best assistant anyone could ask for in the world I might add, argued that with my current focus and only two weeks lead time, there would be no way for me to complete the assignment on time. However, much to her chagrin, I took the task and added it to my long list.

The only thing I asked of our editor was that he provide me with some questions to get myself thinking along the direction he wanted this to trend, which he gratefully did. I carefully planned my writing time and set off to complete this assignment, as part of the many things I had taken on.

Little did I know that a few days later, on my 45th birthday, I would get that wakeup call we all fear. Just after the kind group of people that I work with and serve presented me with some wonderful cupcakes and a gift, I realized that the constant pressure in my chest and shortness of breath would not go away. At first, I said, “Hey, it’s my birthday; I will deal with this tomorrow.”

But, thanks to Lisa, my wonderful persistent wife, I decided to give myself a different kind of present. I went to the hospital, just to get cleared, before I headed off to celebrate. Well, a few days later, which included having to be jump started (as my children called it) once along the way, thanks to the great care of the staff from the Jacksonville Heart Center and the Baptist Hospital, I got a second chance.

Now, with a new diet (thanks to my family and everyone at MECLABS ), some new pills and a few more cardiac procedures to go staring me in the face, I was told I did not need to worry about trying to hit the deadline to produce my Last Blog Post, since, well, I came all too close to it actually being my very last anything. So, I tried not to think about it and focus on catching up on my major projects. While I did not hit the deadline, I could not help but put a few of my thoughts on paper.

I wanted to focus on three areas in particular: 1) Good vs. bad people, 2) Short-term vs. Long-term approaches, and 3) Balancing work and life.

Good vs. bad people

With respect to good people vs. bad people (in fairness to my editor, the question as he posed it was more along the lines of what makes a good/bad leader and/or employee), I find it quite easy to state it this way. Most people are fundamentally good and it is simply their behavior that is bad.

More specifically, I define behavior that considers one’s own self-interest at the expense of other people’s interest as bad. The reality is that we are all guilty of “bad” behavior from time to time. The goal is therefore to prevent it first.

However, on those, hopefully rare, occasions when our behavior fits this definition of bad, it is incumbent upon us to admit it, apologize for it, make our penance and be darn sure we do not repeat the act. See a parallel to customer service and public relations here? I hope so.

At the end of all our days, the only thing that will really matter is the relationships we have and have had along the way.

Short-term vs. long-term approaches

We often hear people define others by whether they are thinking short term or long term in their strategy. Especially in today’s world, the short term, that is instant gratification, has become what we want.

However, I have watched people and businesses continue to fall flat on their faces with this short term approach because they lose their raison d’etre (the long term). What I try to help people understand is a simple adage that a mentor from my college days shared with me; don’t confuse fun with happiness.

He was not trying to say don’t go out and have fun. What he meant was – don’t let having fun get in the way of achieving the short term goals you needed to achieve in order to meet your long term objectives, which will leave you feeling fulfilled and happy.  For a deeper study of this concept, I recommend Spencer Johnson’s The Present and Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Likewise, a splashy advertising campaign is certainly fun, but is it serving your customers in the long term? Are you building a sustainable business or a flash in the pan?

Balancing work and life

The concept of working on short-term goals that will allow you to achieve your long-term objectives is how I build my approach to “balancing work and life.” Let me first explain that you cannot have “work-life balance” from my perspective. It makes the flawed assumption that your life and your work are two distinct and mutually exclusive entities. I argue that your work is a subset of your life, just as your family, schooling and time spent with friends are subsets.

The key to balancing them comes down to understanding the purpose you have dedicated your life to fulfilling and understanding how each of the pieces moves you closer to the life objective you have set out to achieve.

I will never forget the first short on the companion DVD to The 8th Habit. It defined life with four key elements: living, loving, learning and leaving a legacy. There is no reason that work you do cannot contribute to your living, your loving, your learning and the legacy you leave behind.

Consider those elements in every campaign you create. Does that campaign represent your best efforts for both your company and your audience? After all, there is no “work you” and “home you.” There is only “you.” Ask yourself…do you, all of you, truly stand behind that latest campaign?

And in the end…

So, at the end of it all I will say that you simply have to do the following:

  • Find a purpose that moves you and will improve the lives of others
  • Understand how what you are doing today will help you to achieve that purpose and
  • Realize that without other people to share our journey you may as well just stay where you are.

Related resources

Marketing Wisdom: In the end, it’s all about…

The Last Blog Post: Marketers must embrace change

The Last Blog Post: 5 Lessons I’d Leave Behind

The Last Blog Post- What Marketers can learn from The Last Lecture

The Last Blog: It All Begins with Trust

The Last Blog Post: How to succeed in an era of Transparent Marketing

Email Marketing: Maybe it really is an inbound tactic…

March 3rd, 2011

I’m a huge skeptic by nature. Moon landing? Pshh. More like a studio production in Houston. But, Karen Rubin really won me over with this talk at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit…

Our own Adam T. Sutton recently wrote about this topic on the MarketingSherpa blog – Email Marketing: An inbound tactic?

Skeptic that I am, I had Adam thoroughly tone down that post. I did not buy into email marketing as an inbound tactic.

“Bah, all vendors just try to show how everything they could possibly make money from fits into their branded word of the day. Now get me photos of that Spiderman!” I said in my best grumpy editor voice.

But, when Karen Rubin, Product Owner, HubSpot, spoke at Email Summit 2011, she said something that really made my ears perk up (about seven minutes into the above video)…

“Those house email lists, that’s really inbound marketing. When you think about it, those are people asking to hear from you. They want to get more information. So, you’re not interrupting them when you go in their inboxes.”

Inbound & Down

So, basically there are two opposing schools of thought circling around the Interwebs right now:

  • “Email is dying” and on its way down
  • Email marketing, at least when done right, is really inbound marketing – a hot and growing marketing tactic

Or perhaps both are true? List buying is dying, while house lists continue to be effective?

In your experience as a professional marketer, which statement do you think is the most true:

  • Email is going the way of bell bottoms and Hammer pants
  • Email marketing is a form of inbound marketing – hot, profitable, muy caliente
  • Email marketing isn’t one thing – list buying is dying, but house lists are as profitable as ever (Kaching!)

(We welcome you to use the comments section and tell us which of the three statements you think is the most accurate and why)

Related resources

Optimization Summit 2011 – June 1 -3

Free MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Newsletter

Real-time Marketing: Crowdsourced video of keynote from MarketingSherpa Email Summit

MarketingSherpa’s 3rd Annual German Email Marketing Summit – March 21-22, 2011

Growing Email Lists with Social Media

The Role of Email Marketing in an Inbound Marketing World – Karen Rubin

Marketing Wisdom: In the end, it’s all about…

February 15th, 2011

At MECLABS, we’re constantly trying to learn more about what really works in marketing. Through research. Through reporting. And by simply asking marketers like you.

And we’ve written about what we’ve learned… a lot. The MarketingSherpa site has 33,000 pages according to a recent Google search. MarketingExperiments has 1,980 pages.

That’s a lot to digest. But what if we had to simplify that down to just one blog post for the busy marketer? Well, that’s exactly what I tried for MarketingExperiments discoveries. And Todd Lebo, Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development, attempted for MarketingSherpa’s research and reporting.

Even better, other knowledgeable marketers performed a similar exercise with their content as well. It was all part of an effort dubbed The Last Blog Post. It was a community-wide attempt to pass on knowledge and expertise. It was a tweet up, a meeting of the minds. It was a mix of fun and inspiration. And it was one more way for us to ask leading marketers what works for them.

You can see everything marketers had to say by searching on Twitter for #LastBlog (depending on how long Twitter saves these tweets. It has varied lately. Buy more servers @ev and @biz!)

In an effort to help you on your career (and perhaps life) journey, here are a few of my favorite takeaways…

Pursue purpose
“True entrepreneurs will never be satisfied with riches. They have to affect change, and will risk everything to make their vision reality.”
The Last Blog Post: 5 Lessons I’d Leave Behind by Paul Roetzer, PR 20/20

Exciting but intimidating times
“As a marketer we have no choice but to improve what we are doing. Embrace change.”
The Last Blog Post: Marketers must embrace change by ToddLebo, MECLABS

When there is an elephant in the room, introduce him
“It’s in the flaws of our products that our customers really see the personality of our company.  So, let’s agree that instead of hiding the elephant in the room that we find ways to show how our companies go above and beyond when our products aren’t perfect.”
The Last Blog Post- What Marketers can learn from The Last Lecture by Maria Pergolino, Marketo

Give value, build trust
“When you give people what they value, without expecting anything in return, you build trust.”
The Last Blog: It All Begins with Trust by Brian Carroll, MECLABS

“When writing I try and ask myself, “Will this be fun to read? Will the audience be delighted?” If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to take another crack at it. The important thing is not to forget that I am writing for people, not just suits.”
The Last Blog Post: The 4 Metrics That Matter by Jesse Noyes, Eloqua

Take time to help customers, coworkers and even competitors.
“Market research is a rich intellectual discipline, shaped by the contributions that thousands before us have shared. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and we should all seek to lift those around us by sharing what we’ve learnt.”
My Last Blog Post by Jeffrey Henning, Vovici

Honesty and earnest people and companies are long-term
“Loyalty is a two-way street and as a person, a company or a brand, you have to apologize when you screw up. Don’t focus on yourself, rather focus on how that mistake affected other people.”
The Last Blog Post by Ilona Olayan, Social Strategy1

Use your gift for the common good
“Speak loudly when statistics are being interpreted too strictly, too loosely, or just plain incorrectly. Speak loudly when surveys are too long, too boring, or poorly designed. Speak loudly when samples are selected with little care. Speak loudly when charts and illustrations are being used to entertain instead of educate. Speak loudly when you see our market research industry being wrongly trod upon.”
The Last Blog Post: Speak Loudly My #MRX Friends #LastBlog by Annie Pettit, Conversition Strategies

Be honest, be fearless
“Though not always easy, I’ve found the fearlessly honest approach in life and business invaluable. I’ve seen many individuals and companies who have not always followed this path. Even for shorter periods, the cost of not doing this is high. Realize it’s often much easier to fool yourself than others.”
The Last Blog Post by Tom H.C. Anderson, Anderson Analytics

Don’t go to bed angry
“It’s not worth holding onto anger. Let it go, and go to sleep with a sound mind. You’ll feel better in the morning.”
– The Last Blog Post
by Martin Lieberman, Constant Contact

Do something
“Just step away from the monitor and do something.  There’s nothing I (or any other ‘marketing expert’) can say that’s nearly as important or interesting as rejoining your life, already in progress.”
The Last Blog Post (And The Most Recent Ego Trap) #LastBlog by Joe Chernov, Eloqua

Not one second
“I would not use one second of my last moments to write a blog post. I would spend as much time as I could with my wife and children—and maybe grandchildren if it’s that long from now.”
The Last Blog Post by Guy Kawasaki

Now that we’ve bared our marketing souls, we’re turning to you. If you had one last blog post, what would you say? Feel free to write your own and begin the title with “The Last Blog Post:” Or one last tweet? Share it using #Last Blog. Or one last comment? That’s easy, just leave it below.

Related Resources

The Last Blog Post: Marketers must embrace change

The Last Blog Post: How to succeed in an era of transparent marketing

Inbound Marketing newsletter – Free Case Studies and How-To Articles from MarketingSherpa’s reporters

Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook

Jujitsu Marketing: How B2B marketers leveraged Super Bowl buzz (minus the media buy)

February 10th, 2011

The Super Bowl isn’t only the Super Bowl of football, but the Super Bowl of marketing as well.

Big splashy ads. Massive media spends. And tons of buzz in the media, both print and social.

Ah, but pity the poor B2B marketer. While she can probably find the budget to land a spot on the big game (most memorable for me – the EDS cowboys and their cat herding adventures), she isn’t selling sodas or cars, so she can’t get a big-name celebrity to pitch industrial plumbing equipment or enterprise telephone software.

Or can she? hired The Black Eyed Peas (personally, the first person that come to my mind when I think of a real-time, enterprise collaboration platform is in its recent Super Bowl spots. Sounds like a lot of fun, but was there ROI? Considering they spent “big numbers” it’s quite hard to judge.

Jujitsu Marketing

Aside from having big numbers and black-eyed peas on your side, can your B2B marketing efforts benefit from a major consumer event like the Super Bowl? I’d argue, yes. For the sake of this blog post, and to parrot every other marketing blogger who is much better than me at branding their own terms, let’s call these attempts Jujitsu Marketing (perhaps a subset of real-time marketing).

In case you’re not familiar, jujitsu is a martial art designed to use an (often better equipped) enemy’s energy against him, instead of directly fighting it. Jujitsu Marketing (and I’m just making this up off the top of my head, as I type so there are no hard and fast rules) uses the energy created by a (most likely) larger marketer in the consumer realm to grab some B2B attention and buzz.

Here are two examples, one for Enterprise and one for SMB B2B marketers. One example leverages a partner’s energy, the other example leverages a competitor.


As I mentioned above, BEP was selling B2B during SB XLV. What I saw as bizarre, the always clever marketers at Marketo saw as a marketing opportunity to ask their email list if this was, in fact, bizarre.

“A few of my colleagues read that had purchased commercial slots during the Super Bowl halftime show one week before airtime. We were impressed that would invest millions of dollars to promote via a medium dominated by B2C companies,” remarked Shonal Narayan, Manager, Marketing Programs, Marketo.

“Having this prior knowledge, we debated amongst ourselves if this [email send] was a good investment. Feeling compelled to ask what other marketers would think about the ad, we came up with the idea of a poll right after the ads aired live, so it was still fresh in people’s minds.”

click image to enlarge

There were two landing pages to confirm to recipients that the poll voting had been captured, one for the “yes” and one for the “no.”

Narayan’s team followed up with a results email the next day to everyone that participated in the poll. It drove people to a landing page that encourage people to tweet. The landing pages for the initial email send were also redirected to the results URL, so anybody clicking the initial poll email after the results were sent would see the results from the poll.

click image to enlarge

Keep mobile in mind

When leveraging a consumer event, keep in mind that your B2B audience likely doesn’t have a bulky gray Dell on their lap when engaging in the activity.

“[We] ultimately decided to use a single-click poll embedded within the email to make it easy for the people viewing the email on their mobile device. Just a simple ‘click yes or no’,” Narayan said.

The results: Marketo, B2B Super Bowl advertising win

“We conduct many A/B tests, and we’ve found that Sunday emails (especially P.M. sends) do not perform well. However, this campaign did particularly well. We wanted to give a buffer after the halftime ads had been shown, so I scheduled it to send at 5:40pm PT,” Narayan said.

Here are the results from Narayan’s team:

  • Email sent to more than 20,000 marketers in the US and Canada.
  • 13.5% open rate, yielding a 16.5% click to open rate.
  • More than 680 respondend to the poll (which is more than the initial click performance reveals, indicating that marketers were forwarding the email on to colleagues and friends)

And the results of the poll itself? Personally, I thought the ads were ridiculous. After all, the only thing and have in common is dots in their name. But in the end, 63 percent agreed that B2B advertising is a good idea. Ouch. Hard to argue with data.

Or Narayan, who disagreed with me as well. “I think it was a good idea. I like how the ads were at the bookends of the halftime show, integrating the performers into the ads. I like how stayed consistent with as somewhat of a spokesperson, as he appeared at their Dreamforce event.”

Surely, Narayan at least agrees with my newly branded term, Jujitsu Marketing, to describe his efforts?

“It wasn’t so much Marketo leveraging someone else’s name and investment to draw attention to our brand, we were excited and supportive of a SaaS company finally breaking through and attempting to become a household name,” Narayan stated.

Ah, well, so maybe the term isn’t as fitting when you’re playing off of a partner’s efforts. So let’s take a look at how an SMB marketer leveraged a competitor’s Super Bowl ads. From my past work, the Competitive Sales Office always seemed to have the most fun…

SMB B2B MARKETING: WEB 2.0 REVS UP SOME EXCITEMENT has been advertising to the SMB in the Super Bowl since 2005. And, supposedly because of these ads, has garnered a 50 percent market share of domain registrations. This year, it focused on selling a new top-level domain (.co).

So, what’s the Jujitsu Marketing move against Danica Patrick and a $3 million media buy? Cloris Leachman and social media.

You read that right. On their Go Granny microsite, Network Solutions posted a “mockumentary” YouTube video of Cloris Leachman doing three minutes of sexual innuendo jokes, followed by (I couldn’t make this up) an interstitial titled “Get Serious,” and then an actual serious minute with Lisa Stone, Co-founder & CEO, The video was also posted to other sites, such as and

You can check out that microsite at but, fair warning since this is a family marketing blog, it features Frau Blücher as you’ve never (wanted to) seen her before, including licking a man’s hand and discussing her chest.

But this was not a one-channel effort. The campaign included a variety of elements:

  • Banner ads
  • Media outreach
  • Web 2.0 “share” functionality (via email, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Twitter promotion on #GoGranny

According to Shashi Bellamkonda, Social Media Swami, Network Solutions, all of these channels had a consistent message, tightly timed around the celebration of the Super Bowl and launch of Go Daddy’s new Go Daddy Girl commercial.

Monday morning quarterbacking on the video creative aside, let’s take a look at how this Jujitsu Marketing campaign did on the field. To the results…

Results: Aaron Rodgers, Cloris Leachman have reason to celebrate

Since launching on the Friday before the Super Bowl, the campaign has generated the following impressions as of 10 a.m. EST on Tuesday:

  • Twitter – 18,026,251
  • Blogs – 14,688,221
  • Video – 8,332,625

It also had a viral element:

  • Facebook – 2,000 shares
  • Twitter—1,680 retweets

And most importantly…

  • 500% increase in .co sales (based on historical data from previous weekends – since .co is relatively new, there is no apples-to-apples comparison for last year’s Super Bowl weekend).

“The success of the campaign also stemmed from Network Solutions years of listening, community engagement and community building strategies through social media,” Bellamkonda said.


So, B2B marketers, there is no need to sit glumly on the sidelines and watch as your consumer marketing peers bask in the glow of big-time events like the Super Bowl. If you can’t find budget or justification for hiring pop stars to pitch your products in prime-time, slip on your Jujitsu Marketing belts and get to work.

“Instead of investing millions of dollars in Super Bowl ads, we leveraged the power of the Internet to promote our brand, like we do for our small business customers every day. With a little bit of creativity and the support of an online community we’re letting the masses know that as a company, we like to have some fun, but when it comes to our customers, we take their business seriously,” Sanjay Gupta, Head of Marketing, Network Solutions.

Related resources

Lead generation: Real-time, data-driven B2B marketing and sales

B2B Marketing: Marketing automation helps with lead nurturing and management

B2B Lead Generation: Increasing leads 296% by analyzing Web traffic — Case Study

Free MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Newsletter – Weekly demand generation and lead nurturing case studies

jujitsu photo by:  saia.neogaia

Social Marketing: Will you monetize social media and measure ROI in 2011?

February 1st, 2011

Social media continues to have a profound effect on marketing, and the use of this channel for marketing purposes is rapidly evolving. This week marks the fielding of our third annual Social Marketing Benchmark Survey to determine exactly how this important new marketing channel has evolved and which strategies will work best going forward.

Last year’s study revealed how social marketing was maturing, resulting in a shift from tactical to strategic thinking. However, we found that most organizations, even those in the strategic phase of social marketing maturity, had not yet figured out how to measure the return on their social marketing investment.

Without the ability to prove ROI, social marketing budgets were, and in most cases still are, being driven by perception. What is the perception? As this chart shows, only 7% of the 2300 social media marketers responding to our last study thought social media was producing ROI and, as a result, were willing to budget liberally. While 49% thought it was a promising tactic that will eventually produce ROI, nearly the same numbers (44%) are much more skeptical and unwilling to invest more.

But social marketing has evolved significantly in the past year and many marketers are not only promising ROI, they are proving it.

So, in our new survey we examine how organizations are overcoming the challenge of social media monetization, and which tactics are most effective for achieving this important objective, in addition to the comprehensive coverage of social marketing topics in general.

To share your insights on social media marketing, please take our third annual Social Marketing Benchmark Survey. This survey is being fielded now and will only remain open through Sunday, February 6, 2011.

Related resources

Social Media Marketing: Turning social media engagement into action at Threadless

Measuring Social Media’s Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 tactics (Members’ Library)

Inbound Marketing newsletter – Free Case Studies and How To Articles from MarketingSherpa’s reporters

Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook

Email Marketing: A customer-focused mindset at ATP World Tour

January 14th, 2011

Watching my Jaguars opt for quiet, January Sunday afternoons at home with the family instead of getting pummeled by large men in Arctic conditions (who needs the playoffs, anyway?), I realized that sports is a great example of a product that I care about in a real-time fashion.

So, I asked Philippe Dore, Senior Director, Digital Marketing, ATP World Tour his thoughts about using email as a real-time marketing tool, as well as a few insights about the case study he will be presenting at Email Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, “Executing a B2C Campaign with a Small Team and Low Budget.” It was game, set, match, profit for the men’s pro tennis tour, with an impressive amount of revenue generated per send.

Here’s what Philippe had to say…

At Email Marketing Summit 2011, keynote speaker David Meerman Scott will be discussing real-time marketing. What do you think the role of email is in real-time marketing?

Philippe Dore: I am looking forward to hearing David’s keynote in Las Vegas on this interesting topic. Real-time marketing is becoming quite a buzz word especially with the explosion of social media and the availability of new tools today for marketers to “listen” and engage with their consumers in real-time. There is definitely a need for real-time marketing with email and successful marketers have already been taking advantage of it.

There are some really good examples, especially in my industry (sports). Most major sports league in this country capitalize on the ‘live’ moment and send merchandise email offers immediately following the completion of a significant event like the Super Bowl or NBA Playoffs. It works very well in our sports and entertainment industry where we capitalize on consumer passion.

We’ve done similar promotions here at ATP World Tour with real-time marketing emails after significant events. As soon as Rafael Nadal won Wimbledon earlier this year, we had a splash page on our website and an email was sent with “Nadal Wins Wimbledon – See Him Back In London This November.”

Another example is when our players qualify for our season-ending championships: “Federer Qualifies For London.” Those messages not only let the consumers know the news, but invite them to consume more content – whether it is buying a ticket for an upcoming event or simply read a special story or feature on our website. We catch them in the heat of the moment and that is a great thing.

We’re also looking at mobile/text alerts, which has great potential for real-time marketing.

In the case study you’re presenting at Email Summit 2011, you started with zero opt-ins, yet you chose to build your own list instead of buying a list. Why?

PD: Yes, having a clean list of fans who wish to receive our content is important to us. We prefer quality over quantity so we are not interested in purchasing lists. Our email program welcome message, a Marketing Sherpa award winner, even tells the consumers that we know what it’s like to get a lot of emails so we encourage them to “customize their email experience”! Not many marketers do that.

You derived $21.82 in revenue per message sent. I just want to clarify that for a moment because I think that’s quite phenomenal. That is per individual message sent. Do you think you could have achieved this kind of success with a similar campaign in a different medium, or is there an intrinsic aspect of email marketing that helped deliver this impressive response?

PD: This is another example of real-time marketing. The example you are referring to is from a triggered welcome message on opt-in. Not only did we get the person’s email and start the digital relationship, but we were able to capitalize on the moment and achieve a high conversion rate. Email was definitely the perfect medium for our campaign in this case.

And I’m guessing the cost to send each individual email message was significantly less than $21.82…so the ROI must have been quite impressive?

PD: Yes, our cost of sending is our regular email service provider (ESP) cost per message sent. All our emails campaigns are done in-house.

While we received many speaking submissions from agencies on behalf of client-side marketers, yours was one of the few that came directly from the marketer with a campaign that was performed entirely in-house. So, I’m guessing you’ve gotten your hands dirty, so to speak.

While many marketing VPs and directors focus on the big picture and leave the details to someone else, what tactical know-how do you think they should be careful not to overlook? What details would you advise a marketer with an agency to focus on?

PD: Yes, email marketing is still fairly new for us since we’ve only been doing it since 2008 if you can believe it. It is now an integral part of our digital strategy so I am staying close to it. We even had our CMO weighing in on subject lines last year!

Marketers should make sure to keep a consumer-focus mindset when doing email marketing. We do not send any messages that we would not want to receive ourselves. It is also important to look at metrics frequently and improve email after email.

Related Resources

Email List Reactivation Incentives: Gift cards vs. whitepaper vs. nothing

Email Marketing: Improve deliverability by deleting subscribers?

Email Marketing: Why should I help you?

Email Summit ’11: Tackling the Top Email Challenges with All-New Research, Case Studies and Training — Sign up today (1/14/2011) and get a $25 Caesars Palace gift card

photo by psd

Social Media Marketing: Turning social media engagement into action at Threadless

January 13th, 2011

So, how’s this for a business model? An “ongoing T-shirt design competition.”

Well, that’s the way Threadless keeps hip people in hip T-shirts. And with a business model like that, you need A LOT of engagement and interaction with your customers…key marketing buzzwords for 2011.

To get a behind-the-scenes look at how the online T-shirt retailer works its mojo, you can attend the “Growing Email Lists and Engaging Customers with Social Media” how-to panel at Email Summit 2011 in Las Vegas (January 24-26). Liz Ryan, Email Marketing Manager, Threadless, will be one of the panelists.

To give us a quick glimpse into the Threadless marketing machine (or, perhaps, marketing loom), Liz was kind enough to answer the following  questions…

Threadless has more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter. What can you possibly be tweeting about that’s so interesting?

Liz Ryan: We wouldn’t have much to say if it weren’t for our awesome community. The majority of our tweets focus on our community-submitted tee shirt designs, voting, and community events. We also of course tweet about any specials on pricing, shipping and new products.

Sometimes we tweet on things going on at HQ, live stream of a band playing in the warehouse, DJ or holiday party. Other times it’s an interview with our founder, Jake Nickell, an event we’re participating in, or a Threadspotting – celebrities in Threadless shirts.

Our marketing team has autonomy over the channels we manage. So there is a flexibility and authenticity to the way we manage social media. We tweet about what we want to tweet about without approvals, executive sign offs and strict calendars.

It’s collaborative in that email, social, public relations and advertising work together to make sure messaging is cohesive, but other than that we have complete control over our channels.

Part of your panel is about “…and Engaging Customers with Social Media.” When we hear about social media, we hear a lot about engagement. But how can marketers move customers beyond just engagement to action?

LR: Give them something to take action on.

As marketers, we’re used to pushing information at consumers. We have to change that dynamic and give them something worth pulling and something worth doing:

  • Open dialog – At Threadless, we provide an opportunity to have an open dialog with the Threadless team and other community members and an opportunity to take action. That might mean buying a tee shirt, but we also place a high priority on inspiring our community to submit a design, or to vote on designs, or comment on designs, or blog, or come out to a stop on our tour, or post a photo.
  • Incentives – We not only provide information about what’s going on with Threadless, but we give our community incentives to take action on promotions – whether it’s a giveaway on Twitter, trivia on Facebook, or responding to a blog post.
  • Don’t micro-manage – We don’t micro-manage our community involvement on comments to each other regarding their work. We give our community the power and voice to be Threadless and they take it from there.

Threadless is a “community-centered online apparel store.” I got that information, by the way, from Wikipedia, which, of course, is also collaborative. Marketers are increasingly looking to leverage community-based models – from creating Super Bowls ads to creating, as you do, T-shirts. And, when you think community, most people naturally think of social media. But is an email list a community as well?

LR: Absolutely, email is the original social media. As email marketers, we struggle with making email a two-way interaction. There have been groups and listserv since email was invented, but how do you scale that to one million plus email subscribers?

It’s important we don’t silo email as a solitary channel. At Threadless, we use email to help guide subscribers to our site with newsletters that highlight our latest designs.

We encourage discussion about the designs, the company and our community through blogs and social media channels. It doesn’t make sense to ask one million subscribers to respond to an email, so it alone is not always a two-way channel, but absolutely we respond to emails if someone does reply to our email.

We also respond to our community’s preferences to not receive all our emails or to get info on new designs through social channels only, or maybe you only want to hear about sales. Great! Email is a channel by which we can serve our community, and through that sell some tee shirts.

Your community of 1.3 million regularly votes on their favorite T-shirts. Why? In other words, in possibly a combination to my two previous questions, what motivates them to act?

LR: We give them the platform by which to act, and they are motivated by each other, the community itself. They’re generally supportive of one another’s efforts and feel the need to give feedback to fellow artists. They also feel emboldened to choose new tees to be printed. Their participation can directly affect which shirts are available to buy.

Since you are essentially crowdsourcing your main products, your T-shirt creators aren’t punching a clock at Threadless HQ, I would imagine you would want to keep a pretty close eye on the competition. After all, they could steal not just some of your best product ideas, but also the very people who created the T-shirt designs. What kind of competitive analysis do you perform?

LR: We keep an eye out on other graphic tee companies, but because our business model is ever evolving, we don’t worry so much about what other companies are doing as much as our focus on giving our community what they want – multiple platforms to display their art while providing outlets to give and receive feedback to each other.

I do however receive emails from other tee-shirt lines. In general I am constantly monitoring retailers’ email programs to see what others in the space are doing in terms of messaging, cadence and any deliverability issues they may have.

My favorite T-shirt on Threadless is…

Haikus are easy

But sometimes they don’t make sense


What’s yours?

LR: As a zombie culture fan, I love The Horde. As a mom, I’m really into the Threadless Kids! line, especially the new longsleeves. Running Rhino is one of my all time favorite designs.

Related Resources

Social Marketing: Twitter contest boosts followers 43%

Social Media Marketing: How enterprise-level social media managers handle negative sentiment

Improve Your Facebook Profile to Increase Consumer Interaction: 4 Tactics (Members’ Library)

New MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Newsletter

Twitter ‘Teaser’ Campaign Supports One-Day Sale: 5 Steps to a 4% Conversion from Tweets (Members’ Library)

Photo by dan taylor