What Works - What Doesn't

Pulling Case Studies Out of Customers

What Works - What Doesn't

One of the more predictable, and sadder, moments in my work with clients comes when I ask for a customer case study to help illustrate all the good things their hardware, software or services can do. There are many reasons customers don’t want to help you create a case study.

Do You Want Sales or an Audience – or Both?

What Works - What Doesn't

Uncategorized content marketing Content Marketing World customer loyalty lead generationGive clients “real business metrics,” says, Joe Lazauskas of Contently.

Five Ways Storytelling Goes Bad

What Works - What Doesn't

You have to tell stories to get customers emotionally involved in your brand. Doesn’t tell the customer what they need to make a purchase decision. Wherever you go in the content marketing industry, people are talking about brand storytelling.

What We’re Doing Wrong in Blockchain Marketing

What Works - What Doesn't

It’s reasonably clear that this company is offering tokens, on its blockchain-based platform, that customers can exchange for their consulting services. The mention of the stock exchange as a customer (right after the company said “we aren’t selling securities”) is needlessly confusing.

Empathy: Your Lead Generation Superpower

Speaker: Brian Carroll, CEO & Founder of markempa

There has never been more marketing channels to reach potential customers. That's why we need to go beyond rational-logic based marketing to understand how our customers feel. The single biggest issue for B2B growth is effective lead generation: increasing lead quality and quantity.

No Robot Overlords at MIT CIO Symposium

What Works - What Doesn't

Eventually, he hinted, it might get into the business of running its customers’ packaging equipment, “selling” a certain number of packed cartons guaranteed to meet their freshness, sterility and cost needs rather than just equipment and packing materials.

12 Quick Content Marketing Tips and Trends

What Works - What Doesn't

7) While HubSpot uses both channels to promote itself, it gets a lot more paying customers from LinkedIn than from Twitter.

787 Lessons From Boeing For Content Marketers

What Works - What Doesn't

Boeing can’t deliver them to customers (or get fully paid for them) until they perform more than 140,000 fixes. Head out to Paine Field in Everett, Washington, and you’ll see 20-25 brand new, nearly finished 787 airliners sitting on the flight line.

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If You MUST Write A Press Release, Do It Better

What Works - What Doesn't

Write instead about what’s in it for the reader (whether that’s a reporter, customer, industry analyst, or investor.) Adding HP products to the existing IBM and HP offerings it can provide customers, Joe’s Regional Geek Services today announced it has become an HP Silver Solutions Partner….

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Seven Things Marketers Need to Know About Lead Generation

Speaker: Douglas Burdett, Host of The Marketing Book Podcast, Founder/Principal of ARTILLERY

Instead of finding customers with mass advertising and email blasts, marketers must now focus on being found and learn to build continuous relationships with buyers.

Why Marketing Automation is Floundering (Amen!)

What Works - What Doesn't

But the two that strike closest to home are lack of customer education and making the whole process too complicated.

How We Can Help

What Works - What Doesn't

Working from raw copy provided by a multi-national team of subject matter experts, I helped ensure a consistent, professional response that reflected the strategic needs of the customer, as well as my client’s unique strengths. .

RFP 2

787 Lessons From Boeing For Content Marketers

What Works - What Doesn't

Boeing can’t deliver them to customers (or get fully paid for them) until they perform more than 140,000 fixes. Head out to Paine Field in Everett, Washington, and you’ll see 20-25 brand new, nearly finished 787 airliners sitting on the flight line.

B2B 2

eBook: Content Marketing: Where To Place Your Bets

What Works - What Doesn't

IT customers today are overwhelmed with promotional information – emails, newsletters, Tweets, blogs, Webinars, podcasts, YouTube, Slideshare and even Facebook updates. Click Image To Download.

About Us

What Works - What Doesn't

We are veteran IT trade press journalists, IT marketers and public relations professionals who are dedicated to not only producing superior marketing content, but using that content to find and nurture prospects until they are ready to become customers.

Developing a Conversational Approach

Speaker: Carlos Hidalgo, CEO & Founder of VisumCx

B2B buyers are more sophisticated than ever before, from the customers’ initial discovery, to the moment they commit to buy. With information at their fingertips, the chances are that potential customers have already met you, judged you and have a firm impression on your company and products.

How Much Rope Should You Give a “Corporate Reporter?”

What Works - What Doesn't

I found a really, really smart customer doing some leading-edge marketing automation -- but with a competitor’s product. I need the CEO or CTO to respond honestly and thoughtfully to a big announcement, but they’re busy talking to customers.

Maintenance Fees, a Cash Cow for Vendors, Under Attack From Users

What Works - What Doesn't

Some customers are pushing back on software maintenance agreements, threatening vendors with the loss of their most predictable, profitable continuing revenue stream. Another consultant told me that support from major vendors isn’t that good unless the customer pays more for a premium plan.

Can PR Firms Find Gold in Marketing Automation Services?

What Works - What Doesn't

The types of services customers need are well suited to what PR can provide.

B2B 2

Finding the Mythical C-Level Exec

What Works - What Doesn't

This customization is worth it if, having gone to the trouble and expense of getting their attention, you want to keep it and make your pitch.

Toyota Ad Shows Need For Outsider's Eye on Marketing Content

What Works - What Doesn't

So they’re developed something called the “ Star Safety System ” which they’re including in every car and truck they make, and telling customers about it in full-page ads.   But the customer doesn’t know or care enough to learn more.

First Rule of Content Marketing: Don't Say Anything Dumb

What Works - What Doesn't

Better to give specific examples from customers. Give a brief example of how you sold a customer ONLY what they needed. OK, maybe some people are so dumb they don’t know a heater gets hot.

Selling Your Weaknesses in B2B Content Marketing

What Works - What Doesn't

That transforms what seems like an exercise in humility into an opportunity to educate and engage customers and prospects. If integrated into customer service and product development, the post suggests, social media could instead “be an important factor for organizational improvement.”.

Using Online Games To Sell Complex B2B Software

What Works - What Doesn't

  In Innov8 players are presented with multiple scenarios (tweaking a supply chain or improving customer service) and get to see how business process automation helps the business.

Time to Kill the Press Release?

What Works - What Doesn't

The obligatory quotes from the CEO, the customer or the new business partner saying how happy everyone is with each other don’t, I would guess, wind up getting much play. While writing a press release for a client the other day, I got to thinking about what I was doing.

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First Rule of Content Creation: Don't Say Something Really Dumb

What Works - What Doesn't

Better to give specific examples from customers. Give a brief example of how you sold a customer ONLY what they needed. OK, maybe some people are so dumb they don’t know a heater gets hot.

Real Editors Don't Just Retweet

What Works - What Doesn't

“Content marketing” – using material such as white papers, podcasts and videos to sell to customers – is the latest buzzword as companies try to grab market share in the recovering economy. Their “beats” are the technology they work with and the customers they talk to.

RSS 2

Boeing Redesigns Web Site Around Features. And the Business Case Is?

What Works - What Doesn't

In short, it looks and feels much like the glossy corporate publications companies did when they had fatter marketing budgets, and customers had more time to read.

Skill Set For Content Marketing: Number Crunching and A Gut Feel

What Works - What Doesn't

There were plenty of MP3 players and smartphones before Apple entered the market, but Steve Jobs and his team brilliantly saw what customers needed but couldn’t describe -- until they saw it.)

New Ways Around An Old Problem: Getting Reference Customers

What Works - What Doesn't

But while doing some research on customer retention for a client, I stumbled on Bill Lee, who blogs and Tweets on the very specific topic of how to get customers to serve as “references” – i.e., to be quoted, interviewed, cited, etc. With every customer source doing two to three jobs, and with legal and PR types more nervous than ever about anyone saying anything , it’s getting harder and harder to get reference customers.

Who We Are

What Works - What Doesn't

Veteran IT trade press editors and IT marketers… with years of experience understanding the needs of enterprise IT customers… and of the hardware, software and services IT vendors offer those customers… …and of the marketing automation tools to reach them. Who We Are.

What Is Content Marketing?

What Works - What Doesn't

Sure, people have been doing “content marketing” since the first salesman left the first brochure on the first customer’s desk. The content can be anything from your existing product briefs and price sheets to custom-written white papers and “e-books” that demonstrate your “thought leadership.” Content marketing means using anything from spec sheets to white papers to case studies, Webinars or podcasts to keep prospects interested.

Software Consultancy: Why MA Is Hot

What Works - What Doesn't

Market analyst Lauren Carlson also had an interesting recent post about the major trends pushing customers towards marketing automation software , which tracks prospect behavior to determine which products they’re most likely to consider. I agree with her drivers, and would add another one: The decline of the trade press which used to be a source of trusted analysis and objectivity for customers.

Virtual Trade Shows for Mere Mortals

What Works - What Doesn't

SAP appears to have done a bang-up job with its combined physical and virtual customer conferences, according to B2B Magazine. Not only did it focus on getting customers to talk to each other, (VS. First, get the customers talking to each other and stay out of the way, unless you can really help. I recently helped “cover” a customer summit for a multinational services company and was amazed by the amount, quality, and candor of the interchange among customers.

Amateur Bloggers Jump Ship, Pros Taking Over

What Works - What Doesn't

That’s why, in at least some cases, you have to pay for quality content rather than leaving it up to your employees (who have other skills) or your customers (who have day jobs or may have other agendas.). A story in the current Newsweek says that interest in amateur (non-profit) blogging and contributing to Wikipedia is falling off rapidly as, frankly, people get tired of working for free.

Just Say No To "Social Media Press Releases"

What Works - What Doesn't

  The central problem is that this “Social Media Press Release” is still all about the vendor, which is why it doesn’t work in today’s world of “two-way” conversations among customers and vendors. As I argue in my post , the people you need to reach – prospects and customers – want far more candor, insight and context than you can deliver in a press release that’s been scrubbed of all three by PR, legal and marketing.

Looking for Good Content? Go for Brains, Not Titles

What Works - What Doesn't

These consultants help very large customers with very complex needs install very large, complicated software.   While rounding up sources for a new, online content marketing effort, my client laid down the law: The only sources I could quote were internal IT people at customers with internal IT titles. The thinking, I’m sure, was that potential customers want to hear from other customers, not consultants with an ax to grind.

Huge Jargon Slick Drifts Towards Readers; “Resources,” “Mitigate” Clog Brains

What Works - What Doesn't

The reader (or customer) will eventually learn what a government agency did and didn’t do, and what your product can and can’t do. Let’s say – let’s just say – you were a huge oil company, or a government agency, desperately trying to recover from a major blunder.   You’re not sure how bad things are or when you can fix the situation.

Find Trend Pitches In Your Earnings Releases

What Works - What Doesn't

That’s when Voltage says one reason for its success is that many customers are using Voltage’s encryption products to reduce the size of their PCI (Payment Card Industry) audits. It’s good news these days to see a company whose revenue grew more than 70% year over year, as encryption vendor Voltage Security announced today. They’re even profitable, more to the point.)

What B2B Readers Want, Circa 2010

What Works - What Doesn't

I’ve had a great opportunity recently to learn what B2B customers want in content by – shock of shocks – asking them. I’m saving the best stuff for my client, of course, but some initial findings that might help you decide what and how to publish for your customers. So there it is, a grab-bag of sundry insights about how B2B customers want their industry news cooked up.