That first step – it can make or break you. In sports, that first step can launch you into the lead of the race, or help you beat your defender down the field. A good first step often puts you in position for success. It’s no different in business, especially when it comes to technology.
Dec 11, 2014
That “uh-oh” moment…When you are looking to buy something – cell phone, smart TV, any piece of technology, really – what’s one of the first questions you ask the sales person? You want to know what the product can do; what it’s capable of. It’s often not until after we make the purchase that we step back and realize we have no clue how to make the product do what we bought it to do. It happens all the time in business, too; especially when it comes to marketing technology. The issue is usability and, according to a recent report by Gleanster on marketing resource management systems, “ease of use” is one of the most important criteria we should consider in the evaluation and buying process.
Dec 05, 2014
Gleanster, a leading voice in business technology research, insight and analysis, recently released their benchmark report on marketing resource management (MRM). Even living in a world that revolves around MRM every day, it’s always important to occasionally step back and view the industry through a fresh lens, and this report certainly provides that. More than anything, it does a good job of painting the challenges marketers face today as they look for MRM (and technology in general) to improve operations.
Dec 17, 2013
An article from chiefoutsiders.com recently published the statistic that most buyers are usually 70% through the sales cycle before they make initial contact with a sales person or company representative. As the article points out, this has some serious implications for marketers and how they go about their job. Where I think marketing has the biggest impact on the sales cycle is in the content it delivers, whether directly or indirectly, to support the sales team.
Aug 15, 2013
As we’ve discussed on this blog before, technological changes and economic variables are putting more and more pressure on marketing teams and businesses in general to justify strategies and quantify results with data. The problem with data is that data, in its simplest, just-collected form, is completely raw. Knowing that 10 of your leads this month came from Ohio doesn’t really tell anyone anything about how well you did or how you should run your business going forward. Is that number high or low when compared with how you’ve done in that state in the past? How does it compare to other states? The point is data needs a context before it can have meaning and be useful.
Here’s the problem with everything I just said, though: The person who manages the data collection often isn’t the person who is best qualified to place the data in a useful context. There’s a data integration process – from collection, to management and filtration, to analysis, to action – that relies on technology and systems, and someone has to maintain those systems (usually IT). But, IT isn’t the department actually needing/using the data (that would be marketing and/or sales). At some point, the data baton needs to be handed off, and figuring out how to do that is the real challenge for businesses.
While perusing the Internet for new ideas and to keep myself updated on the latest business happenings, I came across this excellent presentation on marketing localization and thought it had some very interesting statistics that make the case for why you need to localize your marketing efforts. The first number isn’t a huge shock, but does lay the foundation for nearly everything I’m about to say: 97% of consumers do online research before making a local purchase. Translation: If you can’t be found locally and aren’t targeting locally, you aren’t going to beat the competition.
So how are companies making their local presence felt? In short, many aren’t. We all know one of the laws of marketing is to be where your customers are. Yet somehow, the fundamental tenet has slipped many companies’ minds. According to ReachLocal, of marketing organizations surveyed:
Jun 18, 2013
Distributors can be a valuable asset to a corporation, if the organization uses them correctly. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges of driving sales through distributors and what the manufacturer/vendor can do to overcome those barriers.
One of the primary roadblocks to improved distributor sales is motivation. This can be especially true with smaller distributors. Often times they are comfortable with their current sales levels and are not interested in really growing their business. The manufacturer also bears some responsibility for making the information needed to sell effectively accessible and convenient. For example, not having a single point of contact is a hassle that will cause many distributors to disengage.
Whether you are in the financial services, insurance or manufacturing (e.g. building products) verticals, planning joint campaigns with your distributed sales channels is a great way to generate new up-sell and cross-sell business. Because they already know and likely trust your business, existing customers are a prime audience for additional sales, but they may not be properly informed about the full scope of products or services in your portfolio. You may expect that your distributors are taking initiative to nurture up-sell and cross-sell business from their current customers, but they may need a little push. However, if you provide direction and make it easy for distributors to participate, you can both profit. Here’s how:
Tags: Marketing Programs, financial services, insurance, marketing campaign, Distributed Sales Model, Building Products, MRM, marketing resource management, local marketing automation, sales and marketing alignment
Apr 18, 2013
The proliferation of information has empowered consumers like never before. There are all kinds of third-party resources at their fingertips for them to get the skinny on brands, products and services, and more ways than ever before for them to share their own experiences and opinions about those same brands, products and services as well. The scary thing about this for marketers and CEOs isn’t that so much information as out there, it’s that this information is unregulated and unfiltered. They feel they’ve lost control of their message, and to a point, they have. But the real issue managers and leaders should be concerned with isn’t control- it’s communication.
Consumers no longer have to go on your word as a business, but that doesn’t render your word meaningless. According to the Edelman 2013 Trust Barometer, the way businesses need to communicate their message has changed greatly. Influence no longer takes place as a fixed monologue dictated by the few with goal of control. Instead, it’s flexible dialogue co-created by many that is all about empowerment.
Apr 16, 2013
Change can be scary, both in life and in business. To change often requires hard work and commitment, and most of the time the outcome or results of those efforts are uncertain. In business, technology is constantly driving change. While some industries are quick to embrace that change, others are slow to adapt.
Tags: digital marketing, big data, manufacturing, direct mail, online marketing, brand management, traditional marketing, campaign management, financial services, insurance, MRM, social media, marketing technology, marketing resource management