Archive for the ‘Archive 2011’ category

Direct Marketing and SPAM: If you are not an approved IP address, you can’t message to this server

June 8th, 2011

Email email email Its amazing how many BtoB marketing communications, direct marketing,and demand generation firms claim that they do social marketing as well as the 50 other things that they drop on their list of “specialities”; “We do SEO, website building, marketing automation, demand generation, telemarketing, lead qualification, marketing analytics, web content development, and SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING.”

Ok, after reading 50 of these websites, I am not even sure what social media marketing is…. I gather that they think it is Linkedin, Twitter, and throw in Facebook for good measure. Oh, throw in videos, blogging, podcasts, and webinars to be safe… Oh, also throw in our standard suite of services and something about ROI. Then let’s connect to everyone like crazy on twitter and make sure that we blog on a regular basis, show up to a bunch of marketing events, and put out a couple of press releases.

In truth, most of them don’t really know how to create inbound lead generation from social marketing. It isn’t easy, actually in many ways much harder than traditional marketing. It is a lot easier to load up a database, create a newsletter, and watch the “opens” rate and the hits to the websites. Oh, and add the ubiquitous, connect to us on (pick your platform) widget at the bottom next to the “do not contact” link.
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The Value of Old-Fashioned Tradeshows Without the Headaches

June 7th, 2011

Social marketing is a better bridge between brand marketing and sales than direct marketing. More effective for targeting and qualifying “Likely” buyers than:
• Web Marketing / SEM/PPC
• Lead Generation / Telemarketing
• Marketing Automation /Email Marketing / Newsletters
• Webinars / Tradeshows / Events

Think of Social as the new version of a “Old-Fashion Tradeshow in the Cloud” without the headaches; I can sit in on presentations from experts, I can connect with my peers, I can get the latest news, and I can browse the vendors to see what is new. Buyers used to self-qualify their interest by taking the time and money to attend. Now, you can self-identify based upon what groups you join and how you participate online.

Tradeshows were great (now just ok), but you had to get on a plane and spend a few days to get the value. The web disinter-mediated a lot of this, but vendors got savvy in web marketing which is now killing the value as everyone is creating a huge amount of noise that makes it hard to get good, unbiased information. Now, add email marketing and marketing automation and it takes it a step further; allows them to drop all of their marketing stuff into your email box. As a result, buyers are insulating themselves from all of the noise and extraneous vendor marketing and sales approaches; not answering phones, emails, etc. Some companies are even taking it to an extreme and now banning sales people from calling on them.
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Sales and Marketing Punch to the Gut

June 1st, 2011

I am the SVP of Sales and Marketing, which means I am more sales than marketing. I am responsible for hitting our revenue numbers and someone else is responsible for operations, delivery and whatever else we need to make the customer happy. My job is to get us in front of customers and close them on our solution. Our offering is highly complex, very technical, and really a niche within a larger market.

My customers take a long time to purchase, bring everyone around the table who could possibly have an opinion, and require lots of customization. In short, our average sale cycle is greater than 12 months long, sometimes 18 months and the average price tag could be anywhere from $200K to $2-5M, though our largest projects could be in the $10-20 million range.
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The CMO’s Four Envelopes

May 18th, 2011

There is an old joke about CEOs, this is the CMO version…

A newly hired CMO arrives on the first day to find four numbered envelopes on the desk with a note that says “open in case of emergency” left by the last position holder. Bizarre, but soon forgotten in the hum of the first day and subsequently buried in the piles of stuff over the following months. Those months are a blur of activity, getting up to speed, assessing the team, evaluating the activities, working with the executive team, etc.

After a few more months, the honeymoon period wanes as things start to solidify and the CMO begins to feel the pressure to produce immediate results. Sales have been flagging, sales is complaining, the board is restless, and the CEO is less patient. The CMO remembers the envelopes and finds them buried under stacks of papers on the shelf.  Now, unsure that this point constitutes an emergency, but the CMO remembers the grilling in the last senior management meeting and thinks “now or never”. Upon opening, there is a single line, “Fire the Agency and Rebrand”.

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