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Customer references and solutions marketing: Building blocks for business impact

Reputation to Revenue

B2B marketers focused on high value solutions know that customer evidence is like gold. But when you're asking business buyers to invest serious money in a complex solution, typically involving a customized mix of products and services, they need to know you've done it before and that other customers have derived real business benefits. Benchmarking the Best.

B2B marketing as media: Six ways to think like an editor

Reputation to Revenue

customers, prospects, and other stakeholders) with interesting and useful material on a regular basis as the starting point for creating and sustaining interest in our products and solutions. How can you become one of those few trusted sources that your customers rely on amid their ridiculously busy schedules? We have to focus on providing "readers" and "viewers" (i.e., Who's Right?

Four levels of B2B content sharing: Publishing isn't everything

Reputation to Revenue

As  Chris Iafella  reminded us in a post on  content curation for pharma  the other day, though, creating fresh original content is not the only way to provide value to the customers and others with whom you're trying to connect. . Indeed, there are four levels of content sharing that B2B marketers should include in their social media mix. Four Levels of Content Sharing. Do you agree?

Sustainability best practices can guide social media too

Reputation to Revenue

By and large, however, what does matter most to B2B firms is using social media to deepen customer and market insight, improve internal collaboration, and strengthen engagement and trust with key customers and partners. . Yet quick wins are certainly possible, especially in areas including market insight, internal collaboration, and customer engagement. . Focus on what matters.

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

for customer service. Customer service teams are the experts on customer pain points. president of global creative and content marketing. “It’s customer-first thinking. A lot. Business Goal Content Objectives KPIs Customer. customers Customer service • Number of service issues resolved using. become customers. Content. Methodology: A Best.

Strengthening thought leadership marketing: Five steps to excellence

Reputation to Revenue

The submissions in this year's awards program reflect a substantial increase not only in spending but, more important, in the programmatic discipline that is necessary to make a serious impact with customers and market influencers. But when you're dealing with high level customers facing serious business challenges), the scattershot approach provides little value. Invest in expertise.

Marketing to key accounts: It's all about the relationships

Reputation to Revenue

I was interviewing a Key Account Manager for a large tech firm the other day, and was struck by her comment that she wanted the firm's marketing people to be much closer to her customer. This is a large global account we're talking about, with a big account team and numerous multi-million dollar deals worldwide. Sales people tend to be extremely protective of their accounts. That's a no-no.

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Social media and thought leadership: The virtuous circle for B2B marketing

Reputation to Revenue

Ponder big thoughts, maybe do some research, put together a presentation or white paper, and then release it to the world and wait for the acclaim and customer inquiries to come rolling in.  Customer and market insight: Tapping social media and networks to dig deeper (and often faster) into the issues your customers and prospects really care about. Make sense?

HP backs solutions rhetoric with org change and investments

Reputation to Revenue

They don't invest in new mechanisms to work across business units, new ways to connect with customers, and new skills for selling higher value offerings. As a result, we see companies promoting "solutions" that are really just bundles of existing products and services, launching marketing programs that neglect real customer needs, and falling back on the old feature-function approach to sales that customers long ago rejected.  . Everyone talks about "solutions" these days but few seem to invest in the changes necessary to move beyond the rhetoric. Walking the Walk.

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Evangelizing a Content Marketing Program

percent of American pay TV custom- ers overall, including the 25–34 demographic. as sales, employee advocacy, customer service, audi- ence engagement, thought leadership, and hiring. CUSTOMER RETENTION & LOYALTY The “always-on sales funnel” is a mod- ern marketing cliché for a reason. customer. All rights reserved. Introduction 4 II. Why This Guide 6 III. Instead, most.

Why is customer-centric marketing still more talk than action?

Reputation to Revenue

Michael Shrage’s recent Harvard Business Review post, Great Customers Inspire Great Innovations , got me thinking: Why, amid so much evidence of the power of customer-centric business, are so many companies still mired in inside-out operations? Shrage’s post reminds us that behind most great innovations lie customers and clients that made those innovations possible.

Four steps to strengthening B2B customer connections

Reputation to Revenue

  IBM's hot-off-the-press 2010 CEO Study confirms again what solutions marketers already know: getting closer to customers is a strategic priority. An overwhelming 88% of large enterprise CEOs told IBM that getting closer to customers is a top business strategy for the next five years, placing it at the top of the list. Isn't this just Marketing 101? Well, sort of. Provide incentives.

Editorial strategy: Why do B2B customers need your information?

Reputation to Revenue

Several months ago, I wrote about Marketing as media: Are you in the top five?  My suggestion then was that given the incredible time constraints under which our customers and prospects operate, we need to think about being a "top five" information source. But beyond that, where do you fit more specifically for your customers? But they also differ greatly from each other."

Rite Aid impresses with active customer service

Reputation to Revenue

But how many companies are reaching out and touching their customers in a a true service-oriented fashion, not to sell new products or services but simply to improve the customer experience?   Yes, the better companies bend over backwards to respond to problems (although most companies still don't). Little things really do add up. Today, though, I caught the next wave.

The four engines of B2B marketing success

Reputation to Revenue

This includes thought leadership content to help build reputation and interest, educational content to support lead generation and nurturing, solutions and customer success content to support sales conversations, and, of course, social media content to support ongoing connections with customers and others. Four Engines for B2B Marketing Success . What do you think?

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

And instead of relying on disruptive banner ads, brands are start- ing to get smart about targeting customers with original content. their most important marketing goal, lifetime customer value and. Copyright © 2015 Contently. All rights reserved. contently.com By Jordan Teicher Study: How Much of Your Content. Marketing is Effective? What’s working—and what’s not—for over. content.

Two cheers for Eloqua's Content Grid

Reputation to Revenue

Yes, inbound marketing is critical, content marketing is critical, and we all need to keep shifting budgets away from the old push promotion stuff that doesn't work toward educational pull materials and conversations with which our customers and prospects might actually engage. Nice job, folks! My small beef is with the definition of "content marketing" that underlies the grid.

Lessons from IBM's CIO community program

Reputation to Revenue

Deliver on IBM's belief that customers play a key role in driving new ideas and innovation. Most of all, it means truly putting customer interests first, something we all talk about but all too often fail to deliver.   . Everyone selling high value solutions wants to engage C-level executives.  They're the ultimate decision makers. They CIO Leadership Exchange (200+ CIOs).

Marketing lessons from the Grateful Dead

Reputation to Revenue

The lesson here, of course, is to open up the organization, encourage your experts to connect freely with customers and others, and tear down the registration walls that require detailed business information in exchange for simply downloading a white paper or subscribing to a newsletter. . Put your best customers first. Lots of people never liked them, and that was fine.

Aligning marketing and sales.with what?

Reputation to Revenue

Globalization, transparency, ecosystem collaboration, the demand for custom solutions, and more are wreaking havoc with the traditional sales process just as they are with marketing. Of course marketing and sales need to work more closely together, but most of all they need to figure out how to collaborate in serving and attracting customers when their customers are: .

Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

customers to reimagine GE on the cutting edge, which. they end up becoming customers of Moz, that’s great, too, but that’s a side benefit. list that could include: its own investment trends data, data and queries gathered at its customer call center, the expertise of its financial advisors and other internal. Playbook No. 2: Strategy and Roadmap Copyright © 2015 Contently.

Master narratives and framing the debate with B2B marketing

Reputation to Revenue

To what extent does that idea currently drive the larger industry dialogue around a key customer concern? Years ago, when I was a lowly graduate student at MIT, I learned an essential lesson about communications while taking a course on "framing" the news. Politicians understand this the best. It's critical with B2B marketing, too. IBM did this recently with its Smarter Planet initiative.

The urgency of B2B content marketing

Reputation to Revenue

 Yesterday I wrote about "marketing as media"  in B2B and the challenge of becoming a top source of information and ideas for your customers and prospects. Today's new s from American Business Media adds another note of urgency: Business magazine revenue was down another 24% in 2009 from 2008, and total pages declined almost 29%.and and 2008 was a pretty bad year! Photo credit: back_garage.

Marketing as media: Are you in the top five?

Reputation to Revenue

But are we good enough yet that our customers and prospects would include us as a top five information source? Do you have one of those top trusted sites for your customers and prospects?  B2B marketers are getting used to the idea that we have to think of ourselves more as media organizations and publishers than pitchmen and promoters. Now that's a challenge!

TL in 4D: Four dimensions for thought leadership success

Reputation to Revenue

If we can produce interesting and useful content, and use social media and other platforms to spread the good word, we at least have a chance of getting into the conversations that our customers and prospects actually want to have.  Content tends to overemphasize company promotion and underemphasize customer and market evidence. . We're still learning, too.    .

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

platforms, and customer relationship management. Copyright © 2015 Contently. All rights reserved. contently.comBy Jordan Teicher Content. Marketing. 2016 STAFFING, MEASUREMENT, AND. EFFECTIVENESS ACROSS THE INDUSTRY 2Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness Across the Industry I. Introduction II. Methodology III. Key Findings IV. Results and Analysis V. But brands.

More evidence that give-to-get is the key to success

Reputation to Revenue

You provide customers and prospects with new ideas, new experiences, and new connections in order to earn their attention. You see it in the cutbacks to customer research and insight (how can you "give" something of value to customers if you don't even pay attention to what they're facing?).  It's pretty much a cliche to say that marketing today is all about give-to-get.

Bad service blowback - United Breaks Guitars

Reputation to Revenue

million views later, United is rushing to make amends and even saying they'll use Dave's video for internal customer service training. And the main lesson here is not actually about social media, it's about customer service. Lots of companies are still nervous about participating in social media; they fear negative comments, among other things. Obviously the damage is done.

Marketing as service: Samsung and Best Buy put customers first

Reputation to Revenue

The most popular question during the test was, "Can I hang this TV on the wall?" I love this for three reasons: It's all about helping customers make better purchase decisions. It demonstrates the confidence that both partners share in testing new ideas and opening their doors to put customers first. Tags: Collaboration Innovation Sales Social Media Bazaarvoice BestBuy customer-centric innovation marketing Samsung socialmedia I love this new effort from Samsung  to generate helpful user questions and answers on the BestBuy.com. Samsung" appears.

FAQ 2

The hard questions about social media for B2B solutions providers

Reputation to Revenue

It's still pretty new for a great many companies, but the combination of legitimate success stories, overwhelming hype, and the desperate search for new ways to reach customers when the old ways work less and less has convinced all but the most recalcitrant among us that social media is at least worth a try. The skepticism about social media for B2B is pretty much gone by now.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

And they expect an optimized customer experience from end to end. Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. always make more content, their customers can't make any more time. will be forced to value "fit" over "reach" where they target the customers that fit. or current customer is. B2B Marketing.

New research and paper on "Four Steps to Solutions Growth"

Reputation to Revenue

Enhancing customer connections. For example, we see that companies are looking mostly to develop more packaged and "mass-customized" solutions rather than relying mainly on fully customized, one-off solutions. Only 16% of the companies surveyed are looking to increase the number of highly customized solutions. Reorienting value propositions and messaging.

Permission marketing turns ten

Reputation to Revenue

Along with Cluetrain Manifesto , Godin's first book captured perfectly the seismic shift in marketing that was just then (1999) beginning to be understood: markets are conversations, interruption marketing is dying, buyers are in control, marketers abuse customer trust at their own peril, the Web opens up everything. Thanks Seth!

Put everyone in marketing? Yes, and with a social spin

Reputation to Revenue

Increase customer contact and communication. Isn't it time to accelerate efforts to connect with customers through social networks and communities, and tap employees around the organization who are already active to lead the charge? All employees should be looking for new uses of existing products and new areas for potential customers. Great. Start looking for new markets now. 

The continuing rise of Account-Based Marketing: Four keys to success

Reputation to Revenue

Externally, ABM can generate substantial improvements in customer relationships, brand perception, solutions proof points, revenue, and profitability. Internally, ABM can help prove the value of marketing, improve relationships with Sales, and strengthen focus on core customer challenges and potential solutions. The client knows you're serious about investing real time and resources in understanding their needs and crafting customized solutions. It is, after all, a pretty labor-intensive approach, and it requires a lot of negotiating with sales and account teams.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

And they expect an optimized customer experience from end to end. Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. always make more content, their customers can't make any more time. will be forced to value "fit" over "reach" where they target the customers that fit. or current customer is. B2B Marketing.

Can corporate journalism work?

Reputation to Revenue

Even before social media, smart companies have worked to bring  their message directly to customers and others through thought leadership and other publications without the filter of earned media. Even more, I believe that companies, customers, and other stakeholders could all benefit if companies shifted substantial marketing resources away from their minimally effective promotion efforts toward more thoughtful and independent coverage of the industries and issues their customers really care about. To some extent, this isn't that new. Can this really work on a large scale?

Winning with thought leadership: Six lessons from IBM and Deloitte

Reputation to Revenue

Absent something interesting to talk about related to core customer issues, would-be buyers pay little attention to straight-on sales pitches. Innovative beyond customer imagination. Lessons Learned Stepping back from the specifics of these two initiatives, I see six general lessons for thought leadership marketers at any level: Put Customers First. What do your customers and prospects really are about? Why should customers listen to your version then they've already heard it before -- or if you're only telling them something they already know. Stick with It.

Six steps to differentiating your solutions

Reputation to Revenue

Your customers are inundated with shiny new offers every day of the week, and they pretty much tune them all out. We get so caught up in cranking out the stuff of the launch process that we fail to step back and methodically work through why our solutions are better than those of the competition, and how to connect those differentiation dots to the issues our customers care about the most. Aargh! Six weeks to launch, and so much to do. Oh yeah, and all the social media stuff, too: some blog posts, tweet schedule, maybe a few videos. .

Confusing Customer Segmentation, Buyer Profiling, and Buyer Personas Harms Marketing

Tony Zambito

Compounding the issue today is the prevalent use of the term buyer persona to describe customer segmentation and buyer profiling efforts.   The issue I am referring to is the confusion that can surround distinguishing between customer segmentation, buyer profiling, and buyer personas today. Customer Segmentation. Confusion by Adam Gale. Professions. Roles. Firmographics.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

And they expect an optimized customer experience from end to end. Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. always make more content, their customers can't make any more time. will be forced to value "fit" over "reach" where they target the customers that fit. or current customer is. B2B Marketing.