February, 2007

B-to-B Labs

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B2B Lead Generation Blog: On giving away ideas

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I had coffee with a potential partner and our conversation ebbed to a discussion about marketing philosophy and lead generation. He said something like, "I think companies [like yours] give away many of their trade secrets on their

Marketing Edge

Marketing Edge

In today's Marketing Edge, I comment on JetBlue's “customer bill of rights” and how it used public relations strategies to address its situation. JetBlue's “customer bill of rights” sounds like it was written by lawyers for lawyers and

Streb Defies Gravity at ICA Boston

Smashmouth Marketing

My sister Anne treated Linda and I last night to a show at the new Institute of Contemporary Art museum in Boston. Lot's to point out in one post. The facility is a design masterpiece with the use of space and location all in a dramatic structure that seems to grow from the edge of the Boston Harbor. When you first walk into the lobby, you are presented with a stunning peice on the lobby wall.

Feed Icons Library Part II for Blogs

Anything Goes Marketing

I wanted to do a follow up post from my original Feed Icon Library post as there are so many new icons out there that you can add to your blog! Be Original with Your Blog Why use a different feed subscribe icon? Why not just use the regular orange feed icon that you typically see? While it's easy to keep the standard icon (as it's recommended), why should you? Chad H.


A Content Formula for Complex B2B Organizations

Content Marketing is essential for anyone who wants continued success and growth.

Are Multi-Variate Testing Systems Under-Priced?

Customer Experience Matrix

I’ve had a series of conversations over the past few days regarding the distinction I made last November between “behavioral targeting” systems and “multivariate testing” systems. Both types of products tailor Web contents to individual visitors. Both work similarly: place code snippets in slots on the Web page where the personalized content will appear; when the page is loaded, send visitor information to a hosted server; run server-side rules to select the content; then return the selection to the Web page for display. The difference is in how they select the contents.

Email Tip - How to Improve Open Rates

Anything Goes Marketing

If you send out email regularly, getting a few extra opens is always a good thing. I had read a good case study a while back at Marketing Sherpa that mentioned that you may want to try writing emails that contain some good information at the top of the email as this will seen in the AutoPreview in Outlook. Marketing Sherpa left out a few key items: a. How the hell do I add something at the top of the email that will display in the AutoPreview but not in the actual message. b. AutoPreview is not the only place that this text is displayed. don't need any more junk stinking up my inbox. Chad H.

A/B Testing E-Marketing Tips

Anything Goes Marketing

Does the word "test" still make you tense up and think of your high school math teacher with the bad comb over? When it comes to e-marketing, testing takes on a whole new meaning. If you read Anne Holland's weekly email newsletter, you will typically hear her preaching to e-marketers to TEST, TEST, TEST. at least a few hundred times. OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration but if you read her stuff, you know what I mean. You want to make sure that your message will resonate with those that see it and that it has been fully optimized. This is a no-no. What type of industry are they in? nightmares?

Worried About Email Deliverability and Being Blacklisted?

Anything Goes Marketing

Stefan Pollard over at EmailLabs continues to write great articles on email marketing. In his recent article over at ClickZ called Get Over Being Blocked , he outlines how you can check if your IP address that your emails are being sent from has been blacklisted and how you can get yourself "clean". Your email provider will let you know what your IP address is if you don't know it or check out these IP look-up services: SURBL and DNSstuff. Not sure if you have been blacklisted? You can check out the following: Blacklist Monitor , Return Path's Sender Score , and Habeas' RepCheck. Chad H.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

Why Customer Experience Management Depends on Metadata

Customer Experience Matrix

I’ve written a great deal recently about the importance of Lifetime Value as a measure to guide customer experience management. Let’s assume I’ve made my case, or at least no one has any interest in arguing about it. The next question would be, what blocks companies from making Lifetime Value calculations? In one sense, the answer is nothing. You can generate a crude LTV figure with nothing more than annual profit per customer and attrition rate. But that type of calculation isn’t precise enough to measure the effect of changing a particular customer treatment. None of these tasks is trivial.

Assessing an Array of Analytics Application Acquisitions

Customer Experience Matrix

To an industry analyst, one event is interesting, two are a coincidence, and three makes a trend. Last week has (at least) three acquisitions of analytics vendors: TouchClarity by Omniture , Decisioneering by Hyperion , and Pilot Software by SAP. So what trend are we witnessing? Actually, the answer is quite obvious: companies are trying to add more intelligence to their products. This particular trend has been under way for a long time. This wasn’t always the case. Until recently, most managers who were not themselves statisticians have been leery of such tools. This is unusual.

JetBlue's Problems from a Customer Experience Management Perspective

Customer Experience Matrix

It feels kicking them while they’re down, but the JetBlue story continues to fascinate me. Like other well-regarded brands facing a crisis, they’ve responded forcefully. This in itself is good, since it means they are controlling the story rather than leaving the media to dig around for more horror tales. And JetBlue’s specific response—to promulgate a “ Customer Bill of Rights ”—is very much in line with their core brand position as customer champions. If they pull this off, their problems last week may actually end up reinforcing rather than diffusing that image. will the amount be correct?

What's Really Holding Back Customer Experience Management?

Customer Experience Matrix

Epsilon’s Ron Shevlin is worried about the future of Customer Experience Managment. In a post today, he concludes, “If proponents don’t come together to reconcile the conflicts in their frameworks and provide credible high-profile case studies that capture the attention of senior execs — before the end of 2008 — then CEM won’t be a term we’ll hear a lot about come 2010.” I actually think there are plenty of successful cases for Customer Experience Management: Amazon.com, Disney, Dell, Federal Express, Starbucks, JetBlue (until last week), and Apple iPod spring to mind.

Where Is JetBlue's Brand Value of Yesterday?

Customer Experience Matrix

JetBlue Airways’ highly publicized problems in recovering from last week’s snow storm raise a fundamental issue about the value of brands. JetBlue had built a strong image for being customer-friendly in an industry that is notoriously customer-hostile. Perhaps it will recover this image and perhaps its recovery will be helped by that reservoir of good will known as brand equity. But perhaps it won’t recover: if enough attention is focused on the recent problems, this will eventually become the dominant impression of JetBlue. The psychology of this is interesting.

The Rise of the Customer Marketer

Explore the changes taking place in customer marketing from the perspective of customer marketers themselves.

I'm a CEO - I Don't Have Time to Blog! Think Again

Anything Goes Marketing

If you're waiting for another kick in the ass to get out there and start a corporate blog, check out the CEO of Marriott, Bill Marriott's blog. love it! Check out his latest on Marriott's decision to ban smoking at all Marriott hotels - this guy sounds like a Texas gun slinger who cracks a mean whip and runs a tight ship. He basically says "If you don't like it, stay somewhere else". Only a blog can you get this personal with your audience. Why this Corporate Blog works: Authenticity To show you how sincere Bill Marriott is trying to be, he even records each blog post as podcasts!

Good Year Gets Bad Press

Anything Goes Marketing

I reviewed a business blog in my last post so I thought I would check out and see how Easton was doing in his project to see which of the Fortune 500 were blogging. For fun I checked out Goodyear Tire & Rubber to see what they were up to on the blogging front and have contributed the following to this project. Cutting Through the PR Crap - Blogs Can Help While Goodyear may be saying that it set a sales record in Q4 2006 , it's obvious that a 3 month strike that ended on December 28, 2006 really hurt the company in Q4 2006 and continues to do damage in the first quarter of 2007. Most likely!

Web Analytics In One Hour? I Don't Think So.

Customer Experience Matrix

I’m still reflecting on speed-trap's promise to provide “all the data you need” in “under an hour”. It’s not so much that I’m skeptical about the time required—maybe it’s really possible in a simple situation, and people don’t take such claims too seriously anyway. Nor does it bother me that speed-trap turns out to rely on cookies for visitor identification: although that's definitely an imperfect solution, it's still the best one available. What really concerns me is the notion that speed-trap can create a meaningful analytical data set without human involvement.

Speed-trap and SAS Promise More Accurate Web Analytics

Customer Experience Matrix

Here’s an intriguing claim: a February 2 press release from SAS UK touts “SAS for Customer Experience Analytics” as linking “online and off-line customer data with world class business intelligence technology to deliver new levels of actionable insight for multi-channel organisations.” But the release and related brochure make clear that heart of the offering is Web analytics technology from a British firm named speed-trap. Speed-trap employs what it says is a uniquely accurate technology to capture detailed customer behavior on a Web site. Back to the SAS UK press release.

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs.

Cellphone Ads Miss the Point

Customer Experience Matrix

I know I promised to stop writing about mobile phones, but the headline “The Ad-Free Cellphone May Soon Be Extinct” in today’s The New York Times (February 14, 2007, Business Day , page c5) is irresistible. It seems that 60,000 people have assembled in Barcelona, Spain for the industry’s main annual conference and nearly all of them are salivating over the ad revenue they might earn. The article grasped several key attributes that make mobile phones special—detailed information about users, location awareness, built-in payment mechanism, and always being turned on. Will yours be one of them?

Happy Valentine's Day

Smashmouth Marketing

So call me corny, but I stumbled on something like this a year or so ago. company that did DNA prints and Fingerprint prints as personalized artwork. decided to go one better and do the work myself. Me and Linda. Unique but one.

Uses of Lifetime Value - Part 6: Final Thoughts

Customer Experience Matrix

These past five posts have been a jolly romp through the delights of lifetime value. think the main applications have been laid out clearly enough that I need not review them here in any detail. For the record, they are: LTV itself, LTV components, comparisons of components, forecasts based on components, and, somewhat tangentially, simulation models.) But there have been several underlying themes that might benefit from explicit elucidation (plus I just like the word ‘elucidation’). The Lifetime Value measure that counts is really aggregate Lifetime Value. Nothing radical about that.

Marketing Edge

Marketing Edge

in another preview of the newcomm forum, i chat with two companies that are reaching buyers by pushing the envelope in using social media and multimedia to win friends and influence buyers. i'll highlight how, sigler music

8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust.

Uses of Lifetime Value - Part 5: Trend Analysis

Customer Experience Matrix

This series of posts has followed what should seem like a logical progression: using the Lifetime Value figure; using components within that figure; comparing component values over time, across segments, and against forecasts; creating the forecast values with models; and using the models for simulation, planning, and optimization. Since optimization is the ultimate goal of management, that should be the end of the discussion. But it isn’t. You probably noticed that the focus of the discussion shifted midstream from LTV to modeling. So let’s backtrack a bit. Let’s not get too literal.)

Old Spice, New Marketing Strategy

Anything Goes Marketing

While Old Spice is still trying to make itself look like the cool, "in" brand to appeal to a younger demographic, it's recently launched a new campaign that embraces that old, stuffy, "that's the type of stuff that my dad used in the dark ages" feeling that we all know. How are they doing it? The Old Spice Experience Old Spice has created a few sites to take note of. The first site is a microsite called Experience Old Spice (a nice play on words). What do you see when you first get there? Old Spice continues this "experience" theme with a blog written by a number of so called experts. like it!

Uses of Lifetime Value - Part 4: Optimization and What-If Modeling

Customer Experience Matrix

Yesterday’s post on forecasting the values of LTV components may have been a little frightening. Most managers would have a hard time translating their conventional business plans into LTV terms. The connections between the two are simply not intuitive. And how would you know if you got the right answer? Part of the solution is technical. Given a sufficiently detailed LTV model, it is possible to plug in the expected changes in customer behavior and have a system calculate the corresponding values for the LTV components. projection using current values gives baseline LTV components.

Uses of Lifetime Value - Part 3: Forecasts

Customer Experience Matrix

Yesterday’s post discussed how values for LTV components can be compared across time and customer segments to generate insights into business performance. But even though such comparisons may uncover trends worth exploring, they do not tell managers what they really need to know: is the business running as planned? To do this, actual LTV figures must be compared with a forecast. The mechanics of this comparison are easy enough and pretty much identical to comparisons against time or customer segments. The real question is where the forecast values will come from. Well, maybe. Though I doubt it.)

A Blueprint for Content Marketing Success

84% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 5 years but less than half have any real confidence such content investments are paying off, based on a recent CEB survey.

Uses of Lifetime Value - Part 2: Component Analysis

Customer Experience Matrix

Yesterday I began discussing the uses of Lifetime Value models. The first set of applications use the model outputs themselves—the actual estimates of Lifetime Value for individual customers or customer groups. But in many ways, the components that go into those estimates are more useful than the final values. Today we’ll look at them. All lifetime value calculations ultimately boil down to the same formula: lifetime revenue minus lifetime costs. These in turn are always built from the same customer interactions—promotions, purchases, support requests, and so on. This is a key point.

Marketing Edge

Marketing Edge

in another preview of the newcomm forum, i chat with john bell, managing director ogilvy pr and executive creative director of the firm's 360 digital influence team, about building a social media strategy. john talks about: introducing

Uses of Lifetime Value - Part 1

Customer Experience Matrix

Yesterday I came down firmly in the middle in the great debate between Return on Investment and Lifetime Value as the primary measure for business decisions. My heart lies with Lifetime Value, but the realist in me knows you have to consider both. The realist in me also knows that most of work with either measure is projecting future customer behavior. This provides the inputs needed for both types of calculations. The good news is that a sophisticated model has many applications. think it’s worth laying these out in some detail to encourage the required investment.

Blogger: Redirecting

Buzz Marketing for Technology

IBM just unveiled a suite of software products called Lotus Connections that includes tools for posting personal profiles, Web logs (or blogs) and lists of Web bookmarks for creating online communities. The suite also has bookmarks for

Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful.

Return on Investment is Only Part of the Solution

Customer Experience Matrix

I was reading a paper on measuring return on investment for marketers this weekend and thought that the author had misclassified a set of expenses in one of the examples. The specific issue was whether a gift certificate given to respondents is part of the marketing investment or the cost of sales. It matters because including the gift in the marketing investment increases the denominator in the return on investment ratio (profit / investment), thereby lowering the ROI. Profit is not affected because marketing investment and cost of sales are both expenses. You could argue this case either way.

Even Merchandisers Must Be Customer-Centric

Customer Experience Matrix

For no particular reason, I’ve been reading a lot of retail white papers recently. Most have to do with customer-centric marketing, and describe the usual plethora of clever things you can do to improve relationships with individuals. But one—it happened to be about business intelligence systems—highlighted the importance of merchandise managers. This isn’t news to me: merchandisers are the kings and queens in most retail organizations, for the excellent reason that nothing else matters if people don’t want to buy what a store is selling. So it’s important to check out possible exceptions.

Vista Makes It Easier to Build Ad Hoc Display Networks

Customer Experience Matrix

In case you’ve been stuck under a rock or trapped on an American Airlines flight, Tuesday was the official launch of Microsoft Vista. chose not to stand in line for a copy, but BusinessWeek tells me that Vista’s greatest consumer benefit will be easier access to digital content (“ The Real Value of Vista ”, BusinessWeek , February 5, 2007). But my mental image of a slot is pretty much a rectangle floating in space waiting for content, so free-standing picture frames are about as close to that as you could come in the physical world. Thank you, Bill Gates


Executive-Level Web Analytics, Part 2


ThinkMetrics CEO Brandt Dainow recently wrote a piece for iMedia Connection on the Worst Website Measurement Mistakes. Dainow advises web marketers to ignore total site traffic and focus on conversions. While the article is useful overall and Dainow's arguments are valid, I have one slight disagreement with him and one observation to add.

The B2B Marketer's Field Guide To Customer Engagement

Leverage customer engagement and advocacy to drive brand, demand and profitable growth.