In the current issue of Harvard Business Review, a team of experts from Bain & Company presents an analysis of B2B client data that offers insights into what matters most to B2B buyers of business products and services. A framework emerged from their research – a pyramid which organizes 40 fundamental “elements of value” within five categories. At the bottom of the pyramid is table stakes, followed by functional value, ease of doing business, individual value and inspirational value.
Apr 02, 2015
I have to admit – a recent social media post we shared caused me to do a double take. Last week, we shared an article from Harvard Business Review called “Stop trying to delight your customers.” Unsure of what the article was really about – and why we were sharing it – I took a look. And I totally got it.
May 28, 2014
Stay better informed as a marketing professional with this monthly series highlighting the latest developments in all things marketing. Get caught up with the May Marketing News Snapshot.
DocuStar is delighted to welcome Eric Chester to our Marketing Organizational Leadership series. Eric is an award-winning keynote speaker and author of Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader’s Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Emerging Workforce.
Mar 17, 2014
In the past, companies bought, built and maintained IT infrastructures on their own. When Software as a Service (SaaS) came along, it was widely embraced by businesses. Why wouldn’t it be? SaaS allows customers to access technology solutions without even owning the infrastructure itself.
As businesses grow in a predominately digital marketplace, some can’t keep up with rapidly changing technology. This is especially true for marketing departments. They don’t have enough time or in some cases the right staff required to be kept-up-to-date and implement new solutions that can drive revenue and expand their customer base.
Aug 27, 2013
Friend or foe? It’s a question many creative agencies are asking when it comes to new technology. Does new software that improves creative production workflow give in-house creative teams the confidence and bandwidth to replace agencies, or does it make the agency more appealing because it augments their ability to serve the client? Let’s take a look at some ways technology is helping creative agencies adapt to a changing advertising, marketing and PR landscape to try to answer that question.
There has always been some crossover between marketing, public relations and advertising, but the lines between those functional areas have never been blurrier. All of those functions are now, for the most part, carried out on the same channels, and there are a lot of those channels to manage and keep an eye on. Part of the problem is when one thing happens on one channel, it’s not long before it spills over onto another channel (think about the concept of “going viral”).
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.
Jul 19, 2013
It’s a question every company faces with any new initiative or strategy shift that may require new or different skills and resources: Should we keep it in-house or are we better off paying someone else to do it? Sometimes arriving at an answer doesn’t take more than two seconds of thought. Other times, more due diligence is called for, and that’s what we’re going to examine in today’s post. I think there are four areas of analysis businesses need to consider when deciding whether or not to keep work in-house or look outside the company: core competencies, personnel, other resources (equipment, machinery, software, etc…) and financial impact/cost.
The first question you need to answer (aside from the main question of this post) ties directly back to the core competencies of your company. Is the new work or initiative you are considering in line with your core business competencies? To put it another way, will it divert the focus of your business and your people away from what they do best? To use an example on an individual scale, it doesn’t make sense for a sales person to spend time designing and building his or her own email marketing tool. That’s time spent not working leads, and no matter how great it would be to have an email marketing program built to 100% custom-fit specifications, it’s just not worth the effort with so many other viable options on the market. That example segues nicely into our second area of analysis…
Jun 20, 2013
Everyone has caught themselves daydreaming of a scenario where they said the right thing at the right time in the right place. Maybe it was about a marriage proposal, or falling into a dream job; either way, that goes to show that all (or at least most) of us at some level recognize the inherent value in the relationship between message, time and place. These elements are no less valuable when it comes to marketing and sales. Think of all the legislation that exists to prevent businesses (legit and non-legit) from saying anything in the “wrong place.” The CAN-SPAM Act and the National Do Not Call List are the biggest examples that come to mind.
The point is, no matter if it’s getting engaged or sending a webinar invite via email, it’s hard to know exactly what the right thing to say is, when to say it and where to say it. In business, the challenge is two-fold:
May 09, 2013
On Tuesday, we discussed how mobile wallets, money movement and the branch experience are changing the game, and in many ways those three factors affect and are affected by the rising tide of mobile. The question now facing banks is: Will they rise with that tide, or be consumed by it? It was one of the major topics covered at Net Finance 2013 last week, so let’s continue our recap with a look at three mobile-related issues banks will have to adapt to:
IT and marketing cross-over
A big concern for banks is the new demand placed on their IT departments. And it really isn’t so much the demand, rather the expanded role it gives IT, one that has a tendency to cross over into marketing’s territory. Usability and consistency across mobile devices is critical and it’s IT’s job to make sure both of those elements are in place.