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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

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?

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.

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?

Sales Handoff and the Net Quality Score

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One of the most controversial and challenging areas of any revenue engine is the hand-off process from marketing to sales. It is this transition that bears the brunt of all the inter-organizational process differences, motivation differences, and politics. This makes it a vital area to focus on in building the benchmarks and dashboards that will help optimize overall performance.

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The Changing Dimensions of Lead Flow

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One of the more interesting ways of assessing the revenue performance of an organization that we looked at in thinking about revenue benchmarking was via an overall plan (whether just an adjustment of historicals, or a forward-looking revenue projection). Depending on what is being sold, this is associated with an annual contract value, total deal size, or other measurement of bookings. company?

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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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?

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.

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.

Four Interesting Trends from Dreamforce

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Last week I had the pleasure of wandering the floor at Dreamforce, Salesforce.com ’s annual conference. As the SaaS conference of the year, it’s a great time to get a pulse on how everyone is thinking about the next few years. This year, I spent a lot of time talking with the exhibiting ISVs, both large and small, and as I did so, I found a few key themes that resonated.

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.

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.

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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.

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?

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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Interview with David Meerman Scott

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I had a chance to chat with David Meerman Scott recently on a wide variety of topics. As one of the leading thinkers on social media in a business environment, his ideas, examples, and perspectives are fantastic to hear. In this interview, we talked about why B2B marketers are so hesitant to embrace “ fun ” as an element of their marketing, and why we need to think about selling to people, not amorphous businesses. As part of that transition, we need to focus on creating a steady flow of rich, interesting, shareable content.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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?

Calculating the True Cost of an Email Campaign

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Since the advent of email marketing in the mid-1990s, companies have embraced the misconception that email is virtually “free” as a marketing medium. This false impression often leads to over-communication, which, in turn, triggers diminished response rates, spam complaints, and unsubscribes. To understand true cost, you need to first understand your marketing database a little better.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Publicly Available Pricing: Theory and Practice

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A lot of what I write on this blog has to do with the changes that have happened as a result of buyers’ increasing access to information. Often, these changes are looked at from a general perspective. Today, I want to look a very specific example of how this overall market transition affected us at Eloqua. It’s a very representative, specific, example of what’s going on in the market in general.

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Passive Discovery vs Active Discovery

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In looking at the messaging architecture you put together for each buyer role and how they progress through their buying process , it’s important to think through how the message you need to get to the buyers will be discovered. Some will be "actively discovered", and some will be "passively discovered". Story-Telling and Passive Discovery The use of the idea of stories is deliberate.

6 things the iPad means for B2B Marketers

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Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced Apple's latest device, the iPad. A 10 inch, touch-screen tablet with Wi-Fi access, and an extension of the iPhone/iPod platform for both application development and media purchase. It's a beautiful device, as is expected from Apple, and will surely see plenty of uptake over the coming year. What are your thoughts on these trends? Any I have missed?

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Dynamics of Influencers

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One of the most important uses of social media in a B2B environment is to build and maintain relationships with influencers in your space. There is much agreement with that, but there is also the sense that this is somehow new within the world of social media. Influencers in a Social Media World In today’s world, this core dynamic is still there.