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Cartoon: Who is creating content for your company?

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Today's my first attempt at cartooning (okay, not really, all the hard work was done by gifted cartoonist Brady Bonus ). hope you enjoy it! First posted this morning on It's All About Revenue : Tags: Social media Content

Can Marketing Really be a Revenue Engine?

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It's a key question in today's business environment - can marketing really be a revenue engine, or is this current energy around marketing driving revenue just a fad that will blow over. I was truly honored to host a panel at Dreamforce to discuss that question with three of the very best in the field. Revenue Performance Management marketing analysis marketing dashboards Revenue Engine

Marketing Dashboard: Passive Discovery

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We spoke recently about various ways of looking at marketing benchmarks and how to better dashboard and analyze the entire revenue performance management process. This thinking needs to be applied to all areas of the revenue engine, and each has its own unique challenges. Building an understanding of how your messages are being passively discovered is an interesting challenge.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Expect from Marketing Automation

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Marketing automation is becoming a vital tool in today’s B2B space, as more marketers need to gain a better understanding of their customers’ buying cycles and increase their ROI from every campaign. If you focus on the technology over the planning, you won’t have the backbone necessary to support your marketing automation efforts and convert more leads into sales. Define buyer personas.

Evaluating Marketing Automation - 10 Questions To Ask

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The market for marketing automation software is doing very well these days. This has lead to an unprecedented variety of options for marketers to choose from, and the range of options can be dizzying. While many of the discussions can focus on software and feature/function comparisons, this is only one element of success. What mistakes can be avoided? How are leads routed to sales? Area code?

The Results: Is B2B Content "Likeable"

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A few months back, with Facebook’s announcement of a “Like” button for the web, I decided to run a quick, highly unscientific experiment to see if B2B content was “likeable”. Put more simply, is B2B content as likely to be shared in the social atmosphere of Facebook as it is to be shared in the more hybrid social/business atmosphere of Twitter.

Calculating the Value of a B2B Marketing Campaign

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It’s the ultimate question in marketing: What effect did this campaign have on revenue? In short buying cycles, where the buyer generally understands the category of the offering, and the transaction is quick and simple, this can be measured relatively easily. marketing campaign results in a website visit, a product is added to the visitor’s shopping basket, and the transaction is completed.

Four Reasons for an Information Concierge

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There is a role in modern sales and marketing that is just starting to form. call it the “Information Concierge” , but I suspect a similar role is called many things in many different organizations. This role bridges the gap between potential buyers and the information we have that is of value to them. So why not search? Does anyone in your organization currently perform this role?

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Buyer Roles, Buying Stages, and Perception Challenges

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We looked earlier at the evaluation of existing content assets that can be done at each stage of the buying process, and for each buyer role involved. similar exercise needs to be done to assess where the need for content is greatest. For each stage in the buying process, and for each role, a list of the perception challenges we face in the market can be created.

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Marketing Dashboard: Active Discovery

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One of the most valuable areas to gain an understanding of is the current state of how your prospects actively discover your company and your solutions. The richness of insights that can be gained with a deep understanding of how buyers are using search is nearly without parallel. These are the main search terms that would ideally lead prospective buyers to your web properties.

Trust, Reputation, and Inside Sales

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There is a significant shift underway in how we establish and build trust. Craig Newmark (of Craigslist fame) discussed this transition in quite some detail in an article on GigaOm that's worth a read. The shifting of how trust is built has numerous profound implication for society in general, but more specifically, it is causing significant shifts in the way that people buy.

Is B2B Content "Likeable"?

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With all the discussion about Facebook's new "Like" (or "Recommend") button for the web, I thought it would be worthwhile running a small experiment to answer the following question: Do the readers of B2B content share more on Twitter or Facebook? However, in the interest of science, I thought the experiment was worthwhile. What have you seen for B2B content? Does it become shareable on Facebook?

CEOs and Marketing Metrics

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CEOs may not be involved in the day to day challenges of the marketing department, but they can strongly influence its evolution through the questions that they ask and the metrics that they track, both in the marketing and sales teams. Done well, this structure and encouragement can facilitate a transition to a buyer-centered, efficient marketing and sales organization.

How a 99¢ iTunes Download Can Change the B2B Software Industry

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GigaOM Pro recently forecasted that the market for apps is expected to grow from $183 million in 2010 to $8 billion by 2015. If you’re wondering how this model has affected sales of a fully featured software product, read the results of The Great 99 Cent Software Experiment of 2010. (this post originally appeared on the "It's All About Revenue" blog) With the popularity of iPhone apps, common software price points have dropped from $39.99–$59.99 to $0.99–$1.49. This trend currently dominates the consumer market, but as a B2B software marketer, you should take notice.

Marketing Automation and B2B Marketing Predictions for 2010

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Marketing education likely won’t change in this regard during 2010, but the initial discussions will start. 4) Mobile Thinking vs Mobile Devices: Every year in living memory has been talked about as the year that mobile will become big. 2010 will see aggressive adoption of basic listening techniques by marketers in order to understand where they are falling short. Sort of.

Building Benchmarks - 3 Main Approaches

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In order to build a high performance revenue management process , not only must it be instrumented and measured to allow you to understand current state, but it must be continually improved. As the market, technologies, competitors, and your own capabilities change, you must continually adapt, learn, and optimize. Over the next few posts, we'll look at ways to think about building these benchmarks.

5 things to do to get ready for coming communication shift

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A while ago, I wrote a piece on the next transition in communication that sparked a number of conversations. The idea explored in that article (and the explanation for the diagram on the right) was that the major search engines will next apply their computing and analysis horsepower to understanding who is talking to whom about what.

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Influencers

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One of the most important ways to "get the word out" and have your message discovered is to have good relationships with key market influencers. However, while this is important, it can be notoriously difficult to measure. We need a new way of measuring how engaged we are with each influencer in the market. Measuring this effort, however, can prove challenging.

Brand Choice: “vision of perfection” or “perfect visibility”

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A "Goof-up" can be a great social media marketing opportunity. The transparency required of us in a social-media led world causes a number of fairly wrenching paradoxes. One of the clearest of these is the difference between marketing’s goal of being a “vision of perfection” and social media transparency’s goal of “perfect visibility”. What is the Goal of Transparency? Every organization does.

The Sales Team as a Content Testing Crucible

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It's been a while since we've talked much about the topic of sales enablement , so I wanted to loop back to some interesting peripheral points. Marketing teams generally work hard to provide not just content and messaging that is available online, but also content and messaging that can be used directly by sales teams as they guide buyers through the buying process.

4 Quick Steps to Understand Search Discoverability

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We are not all natural search experts, nor should we be. There is a lot of art and science to the field that makes it worthy of having a specialist on your marketing team focus on consistently. However, that does not mean understanding how well you are performing is outside of the reach of non-experts. Here are 4 quick steps to understand how well you are performing. Step 2: Where Are You Ranked?

5 technology trends every software marketer needs to know about

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You don’t build products, write code, design architectures, or fix bugs. So why on earth should you want to be aware major trends that are happening in the software development space? Because these current trends are big, transformative, and are changing the nature of how software is built, delivered, and sold. This is not a “back in my day” rant, it’s just the nature of the business.

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6 Ways For Marketing to Help with Social Media

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I can almost hear the comments already - shouldn't Marketing be "doing" social media, not "helping" with social media? Sort of. But there's more to it than that. The problem is that in many marketing teams, there's "marketing" and then there's "social media". The "social media" person manages the Twitter handle, the Facebook page, and the blog. So what can be done?

Friends, Avatars, Countrymen, lend me your ears

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David Meerman Scott had a great post the other day on “ I do not friend logos ”. Very well put, and I agree with him. As you know we’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with the best way to apply social media in the B2B marketing realm , and David’s post hit on one of the biggest challenges we’re all facing – what to do about Facebook as B2B marketers.

LinkedIn as Facebook for the Business World

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(note, this post was cross-posted on It's All About Revenue last week) I've long been a bit skeptical about the use of Facebook for sharing business content. It is a great medium for personal sharing, and works well when businesses hit on the rare, but brilliant creative campaigns that go viral because they are cute, funny, or whimsical. However, for content like whitepapers, it just does not work.

Personalization and the bottom end of the scale

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I'm a big fan of increasing relevance through carefully personalized content. The more that is known about an individual with whom you are going to communicate, the more you can target a message that captures their attention and pushes them forward. However, in doing so, it's critical to set things up for the bottom end of usage that recognizes lack of usage as a pattern, and caters to it.

Content as Advertisement

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Content has long been a key driver of success for great B2B marketers in today's world. That's nothing new, and we've talked about related topics such as the content gap and the need to get more subject matter experts involved. However, one challenge that remains is how to draw attention to your content. That's a great way to build an audience, but it is NOT a fast way. Did it work?

Behavioral Targeting and Large Populations

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I'm a big proponent of marketing measurement and careful analysis, but it's worth a cautionary tale as sometimes measurements can lead one astray. The more finely tuned your messages are to the interests of the buyers, the more they can cause analysis confusion if not approached correctly. The core of great B2B marketing communications is relevance. The results might be surprising.

Discoverable Messages and Direct Marketing

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As marketers, we often think of there being a fundamental difference between the two ends of the media spectrum; on one end, direct, where an individual’s contact information is known and a message can be delivered directly, and on the other end mass media, where a broad audience is targeted based on demographics or audience characteristics. No longer are these purely mass audiences.

The Flywheel and the Lightning Strike

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There seems to be a bit of schizophrenia in B2B marketing these days. The excitement and interest in social media, and all it can do, is palpable. However, the number of companies that are making significant hard dollar investments in social media as a marketing initiative is not as large as one might expect. Most B2B marketing teams appear to be experimenting, rather than heavily investing.

Event Marketing and the Information Concierge Concept

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I was down at IMS in Atlanta recently, spending time with a lot of very interesting and creative marketers. The interesting thing about marketing events for the marketing field is that you see many interesting new ideas experimented with. One of the techniques that caught my eye this time came from Jamie Turner and the team at BKV Digital. They are looking for insights, ideas, and great content.

The Flywheel Effect

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I'm back to blogging after a rather spontaneous, two-week hiatus. My wife were expecting our daughter to arrive at the end of April, but were surprised and thrilled to welcome a happy and healthy Sejal Anya Woods, to the world on April 2nd, a full four weeks early. looked at the analysis of blog traffic for the two weeks that I was inactive, I saw an interesting result.

The Next Transition in Communication

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Over time, the way in which communication happens has gone through some very interesting transitions. Each of them resulted in profound changes in information flow, and with that, significant changes in the discipline of marketing. We’re about to see the evolution of a fifth form of communication, and it will have an equally interesting effect on our lives. 1. Conversation Discovery So what's next?

Is Foursquare Relevant for B2B Marketers?

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Recently, I’ve been playing around with foursquare to get a better understanding of it, and think about how it might have a significant impact on B2B marketers. Whereas I’m far from a power user, I have unlocked a few badges (sadly, one of my first was the “Jetsetter” badge that is given for checking in at 5 airports), and I’m in strong contention for the Mayorship of Eloqua.

Information Will Find Me

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As the way that we find information becomes increasingly driven by social influence , it’s interesting to look at where this trend goes in the longer term. The logical extension of this trend is that the consumers of information – our prospective buyers – will expect that the information they should be interested in will find them, rather than them finding information.

Membership has its Privileges; Best Practices IP vs. Social CRM

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I wrote recently about our decision to expose our pricing publicly on our website. It was one of the most commented-on posts ever on this blog, as it seems to have connected with a number of people in the same situation. The intersection of theory and reality in the world of social media always spurs some interesting debates. We all agree that transparency is great and noble. We believe it will.

Email as a Discoverable Medium

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I wrote on Tuesday about the difference between messages being "delivered" and messages being "discovered". Today, it's worth looking at that difference in approach via a very tangible marketing example. As one of the most commonly used marketing mediums, email is worth using as an example. We each receive more email on a daily basis than we are able or willing to read.

Message Delivery vs. Message Discovery

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The most obvious change in marketing that we are seeing lately comes down to how our messages reach their intended recipients. This is driven, of course, by changes in the behavior of our audience of potential buyers. The information “filters” we use are shifting from being economic filters, driven by publishers, to social filters, driven by the relevance of individuals and their messages.

TV is Dead. Long Live TV.

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A great post by Brian Halligan at HubSpot, on a dinner he had with a group of Madison Avenue folks , got me thinking about some possible futures for Television. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom, I don't think that Television is about to suffer the same fate as newspapers as information becomes free. Here's why - we're lazy. For that, I watched a few ads. Probably. For that, 99c is worth it.

Social media analysis moves mainstream

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Last week, Webtrends announced that they had extended their customer intelligence capabilities into Facebook. In this new integration, there are two things happening that are worth commenting on. In exploring the Webtrends solution, you can see this evolution taking place. Facebook, as with almost all social media efforts, has a “flywheel” dynamic to it. What do you think?