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B2b Marketing News & Analysis

Do Omnichannel Principles Work for B2B?

2014-07-July-Magic-8-Ball.jpgYou may be familiar with the poster children for omnichannel B2C marketing -- Tesco, Macy’s and Nordstrom’s. The companies gained significant admiration for their ability to gain insights from shopping patterns and then offer that same user the perfect pair of shoes, or coupon, whenever they are ready to purchase -- be it in store, in-app or online.  

In the B2B world text messages, in-store shopping and coupons are close to irrelevant. Impulse buys never happen, acquiring a new customer unsolicited is unlikely, and while e-commerce does exist, its intent is entirely different. It’s not surprising that omnichannel is not a hot buzzword in this space.

The question remains “why?” Is it because it’s not relevant or because it’s relevant, but still too complex to generalize? Will omnichannel as a trend carry a significant shift in how we operate in the entire business world in the next few years?

Sales and Marketing Strategies from the #WorldCup

digital marketing, Five Ways Marketers Can Empower Sales With Strong Leads

World Cup soccer is a marketing goldmine. Just ask McDonald's.

So what lessons can we apply from this major sporting event to B2B marketing and sales? Officials at marketing software provider CallidusCloud say record-breaking viewership confirms that quality performance can deliver high returns. And this is a lesson that can be applied to sales and marketing.

Giles House, chief marketing officer at CallidusCloud, said marketers should try to balance the needs of sales when they pass on leads.

House shared five steps every marketer should take to keep the sales team supplied with quality leads.

There's More to E-Commerce than Mobile and Social

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Mobile and social. Invest in them now, right?

Well, if it's not those two surging platforms that are doing the trick for your organization, why put so much stock in them?

EPiServer’s third annual 2014 e-Commerce Survey of e-commerce practitioners, conducted at the 10th annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, the world’s largest e-commerce event, revealed that mobile and social may not be as "surging" as they seem.

For instance, 64 percent of those surveyed claimed less than 20 percent of their business sales came through mobile transactions. But mobile ranked as the top priority in regards to future investments for those surveyed. 

Similarly, 93 percent of those surveyed said transactions are made through their website rather than their social site. However, social ranked third in terms of future investment areas for those surveyed.

EPiServer's message? Put your money in what's working now.

Good News for B2B Marketers to Share with the C-Suite

Marketers are usually a paranoid bunch, we've come to learn. Will I go extinct? Does my work even matter?

Bizo says it does. Its annual State of B2B Lead Nurturing Report revealed 60 percent of marketers deliver at least 20 percent of B2B company revenues — and almost 25 percent contribute more than 40 percent. 

"Marketing organizations everywhere are taking on more influential roles when it comes to supporting company revenue growth targets," Jennifer Agustin, senior director of marketing at Bizo, told CMSWire. "Data like this supports the idea that marketing is more accountable than ever, and can play a more active and strategic role in the way companies are run."

How to Set Social Media Marketing Goals

2014-26-June-Goal.jpgI have a lot of conversations with B2B marketers. And you know what? They’re all struggling to figure out what the right goals are for social media.

I’m not saying they don’t know what they hope to achieve (hint: leads). It’s just that these smart marketers seem unsure of themselves when it comes to setting measurable goals for social media. No wonder there’s still confusion about Social ROI!

So what’s going on?

B2B Marketing and Twitter: Strong Marriage, Legitimate ROI?

customer experience, B2B Marketing and Twitter: Strong Marriage, Legitimate ROI?

Dag Holmboe trekked along the 26.2-mile running route from Hopkinton, Mass., to Boston for the 2014 Boston Marathon in April.

Meanwhile, Holmboe put his Twitter analytics engine to work.

Holmboe, CEO and founder of Klurig Analytics in Boston, had a deep interest in the Twitter sentiment around the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

He's done about a handful of them now, including the 2013 race when two bombs were detonated around the finish line, killing three and wounding close to 300.

Not deterred, Holmboe, 55, came back this year again and completed this year's race, finishing in three hours, 23 minutes and 42 seconds.

Meanwhile, his Twitter engine was picking up stats on the #BostonStrong and #BostonMarathon hashtags while analyzing top words, top tweeters and sentiment both positive and negative.

5 Types of Influencers B2B Marketers Need to Engage Now

2014-29-May-Horse-Race.jpgYou've seen the stats: 60 to 80 percent of the buying process is done before anyone wants to chat with your chomping-at-the-bit sales reps. To make matters worse, more people than ever are now involved in the process of buying complex products. So where does that leave you?

Most likely trying to craft a never-ending stream of content marketing to influence this very process. And that helps, for sure.

But let’s be honest. You need to do more than turn your brand into a publisher … especially as most publishers are having their own issues these days. With that in mind, there’s another approach to influencing the buying process while also supporting your could-be-better content marketing efforts.

Start engaging the influencers.

Carsten Wierwille: Improving CX Through Better Design

Connecting with Bill SobelCarsten Wierwille is the kind of guy who tweets that his autocorrect turns "happiness" into a "happy mess" — and that the early bird gets caught by the bird.

He sees things a bit differently, as he should: he's vice president and general manager at frog, a global product strategy and design firm.

He manages frog's operation in the US, aligning creative passion with client goals. He has more than 15 years of experience in digital design, technology and innovation strategy, and has worked extensively with clients in a variety of industries including automotive, financial services, telecommunications and media.

B2B Marketing Needs Durable Systems of Engagement

2014-19-May-No-Sales.jpgAnyone looking to sell IT technology business-to-business (B2B) has it pretty hard these days. Decision-making processes have become more complex and more people have a say.

A recent Text100 study reported (registration required) that on average, six people (in Germany, seven) with very different functions are involved with purchasing decisions. Two-thirds of the companies surveyed said that once the decision had been made, the purchase still had to be signed off by the board. At the information gathering stage, decision-makers use numerous offline and online channels to do their research. This stage now lasts longer and more resources go into preparing and justifying decisions.

The study, which surveyed 1,900 people from around the world, asked questions about the influences that affect B2B decision-makers as they consider purchasing IT solutions.

Please Stop Tweeting #mute

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If you long for the sounds of silence, even on social media, then Twitter's new mute button may be for you. Of course, an account feature that allows users to shush a user — or a brand — creates some new marketing challenges. But back to that in a minute.

Demandbase Invests in B2B Marketers with Cloud Release

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The difference between B2B and B2C marketing is simple: all web traffic amounts to potential customers in B2C, and B2B relies on targeted audiences even down to a particular department within a company.

That’s how B2B digital marketing provider Demandbase sees it. Today, it releases its B2B Marketing Cloud, which it calls the first subscription-based marketing platform that helps marketers target accounts, plan ad spending and tie acquisition costs for target accounts to revenue.

In the new offering, Demandbase pulled together several solutions and introduced Performance Manager, a dashboard that brings ad impressions, website activity and CRM data into one unified view. 

“We plug into CRM marketing solutions you already have in place to make them more B2B enabled,” Chris Golec, CEO of San Francisco-based Demandbase, told CMSWire.

Dstillery's Andrew Pancer: How to Build Smart Marketing Campaigns

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Holding a BS in Business Administration from Washington University and an MBA from NYU, Andrew Pancer has been around the block a few times. In fact, when he joined Media6Degrees back in 2008, he had already compiled a considerably impressive resume.

During his tenure at About.com, Pancer tripled profits and brought revenues to more than $100 million dollars. He would later go on to serve as the vice president of digital development at the New York Times, where he began working with the kind of technologies he’s currently fleshing out at Dstillery.

Pancer sat down with CMSWire’s Bill Sobel to talk a little bit about his own professional journey, brand value and the advertising strategies he’s helping pioneer as the COO of Dstillery.

Ex-Skype CMO: Leadspace is the 'Industry's Best Kept Secret'

customer experience, Former Skype, Salesforce CMO on B2B Marketing Challenges

It’s pretty cool being the chief marketing officer of a company whose product owns a third of the international market in its space. 

We know. We asked. 

Doug Bewsher led the marketing teams at Skype as the instant messaging and video-chat service grew to 750 million users, including owning a third of all international calls. Microsoft bought it in 2011 for $8.5 billion.

“Skype is one of the great success stories in terms of being one of the most pervasive brands on the Internet,” said Bewsher, whose appointment as CEO of B2B social demand generation provider Leadspace became official today. “… We had a vision of breaking down barriers to communication.”

Marketing Content Isn't King Without Buyer Relevancy

Remember the days of producing content on your website just to, well, produce content?

Maybe it was for SEO. Maybe it was to add another element outside of product descriptions and the “About Us.” The more content, the merrier.

Content may be king, but it’s a pawn without relevancy for the buyer. Two reports released in the past week -- one by IDG Connect and the other by Forrester Research -- deliver this message.

“When it comes to providing content, the two most important things are its alignment with organizational needs and its relevance to the buyer,” Robert Johnson, vice president and principal analyst for IDG Connect, told CMSWire this morning. “… More vendors have woken up to the fact that they simply can’t just create new content. In some cases, the buyer can’t find what they need and when they do find it, it isn’t relevant enough. It’s hurting vendors.”

10 B2B Marketing Tips from SAP #AdobeSummit

When you get into semantics with marketing, be it B2B or B2C, you lose a basic fact. Marketing is about the ways human beings interact with technology on the web and mobile devices.

Shawn Burns, global vice president of digital marketing for SAP, told this to attendees at the Adobe Summit Digital Marketing Conference in Salt Lake City today. “Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, people interact with technology,” Burns said.

It’s one of the things Burns has realized as he’s managed web strategy, design, development and operations for SAP’s flagship web property: www.sap.com and its 72 country sites in 40 languages.

Here are 10 ways Burns and SAP approach B2B digital marketing.

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