Why You Need Podcasts in Your Marketing Mix

podcastThe American Marketing Association recently wrote an article about the opportunities for podcasting. Some of their more riveting stats? “Each month, 4,000 podcasts are added to iTunes. Forty-two million Americans listen to an average of five episodes a week.” The article cited an underwriting frenzy by advertisers to gain access to this “affluent” community. It got me thinking: If consumer podcasts are experiencing exploding subscriptions and advertisers are following, what can we as B2B marketers do to gain opportunities with our prospects and customers using podcasts?

I found a blog by Pardot in which they lay out a pretty simple formula for creating B2B podcasts. They covered obvious steps such as creating groups of topics, deciding on length (industry brief vs. a virtual classroom sharing thought leadership) and creating podcasts to be available in exactly the way most listeners are accessing them.

Let’s say you’ve nailed down a strategy according to the Pardot blog. What’s next?

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You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs…to Find the Right Sales Rep

A recent Manpower study revealed that the most difficult position to fill is a Sales Representative and that is especially true in 2017. Why is finding top performing sales talent so tough?kissing frog prince

When recruiting the best salespeople, it is all about the details. Your “gut feeling” about an applicant is no guarantee of success. Carefully defining what you want, asking the right questions, and listening critically for the right answers is the key.

The stakes are too h

igh to fill an open sales position with the wrong person. On average it takes three to four months to find the “right” salesperson. It may take another three to six months for the new salesperson to be trained and begin producing. If the salesperson does not perform, it may take another four to six months to identify the problem, document poor performance and get them out the door.

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The Marketing Ops Audit: Why It Matters and How to Do It Well

Marketing Operations (Marketing Ops) is a well-established function. Whether performed by one person in a small company or a large team in a billion-dollar business, it is present in 70% of Marketing organizations overall and in 82% of Best-in-Class (BIC) Marketing organizations. Best-in-Class Marketing organizations are those that earn 90 or greater out of 100 from the C-Suite for their ability to prove their value, contribution, and impact to the business. These are the Value Creators. Sales Enablers are the middle of the pack, and Campaign Producers the back of the pack.

Presence of Marketing Ops by Persona

Source: Cook Up Your Best Marketing Performance, 2017 MPM Benchmark Study, VisionEdge Marketing, Hive9, and Valid USA

Marketing Operations: Is It Worth the Money?

Before we can answer what is different about the Marketing Ops of the BIC, we must first define the term Marketing Ops.

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Social Media Etiquette in the B2B Marketplace

When brand equity trumps your impulses

These days the tweet is ruling the news cycle. But B2B businesses do not have the freedom to speak our minds without consequences on Twitter and other social platforms. Setting a businesslike tone that builds your brand; is not too “cutesy” or stridently salesy; and is consistently pleasant to encounter requires planning and consistency. Here are five areas to watch to make sure that you are following social media etiquette in the B2B marketplace.

1) Bump up Your Brand. Start with your branding. This will not only inform what you’re posting, but who you reach out to, and why. It’s poor form and poor brand management to silently friend and follow without telling people why—it could be as simple as “I liked your photos” to “we went to the same college” to “it looks like your company might need our services and I wanted to say hi but don’t worry, you won’t hear from me again.”

The other thing to do to protect brand equity and avoid potential gaffes? Don’t go somewhere you don’t belong. Most B2B widget makers don’t belong on Pinterest (but fabric softener companies selling to consumers and recipes most assuredly do). And if a huge prospect or big client accidentally finds you there, they’re going to think, “Why?” and assume you’ve got bad judgment. The one exception I’ve run into was when we were doing content work for a firm marketing a wholesale website to professional interior designers and architects. Those folks are on Pinterest sourcing materials so our client needed to be in that community, too.

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The Bottom Line: Action is at the Heart of Marketing’s Productivity

In a recent article, David Dodd wrote the innovations in Marketing “have promised to improve marketing effectiveness and efficiency, and numerous research studies purport to show that they are delivering a wide range of benefits. But have these innovations really improved the bottom-line productivity of B2B marketing? Can we show – in a credible and convincing way – that B2B marketing is more financially productive today than it was 10 or 15 years ago?” He concluded that it is not. Why is that?

Marketers in general believe they are working harder than ever. They are measuring and reporting more often and with more detailed data. They have made technology and skill investments designed to make and prove that Marketing activities and programs add economic value for their organizations. I believe the lack of improvement in productivity has to do with understanding the difference between activity and action.

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How to Gain Insights Designed to Accelerate Growth

Sales GrowthAfter years of focusing on controlling costs, growth has moved to the top of the priority list for many companies. Despite 93% of the 900 senior executives surveyed by KPMG indicating that their companies are “at some stage of undergoing or preparing to undergo a transformation,” designed to propel growth, the same survey’s results suggest that few succeed. Naturally, the results beg the question, “Why?” While there are many underlying reasons, organizational complexity is considered the biggest barrier to transformation success.

To help lower this barrier, a McKinsey study found that successful transformation for growth requires companies do four things:

1. Excel at the basics by creating clear stretch targets and defining a clear structure.

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The Big Difference Solution-Selling Can Make

customer pain points-company tailor made solutionAt first glance, the difference between selling a product or service and selling a solution may not be very apparent. After all, aren’t all products and services created to provide a solution to solve a customer’s problems?

Most businesses create a product or service that is a “one size fits all” solution. Rather than designing an offering to fit an individual customer’s needs, most businesses prefer to produce a product or service to appeal to a wide audience. As such, they are just good enough for most consumers.

In solutions-selling, the product or service is not a one size fits all solution but is designed to help the customer along their journey and address a specific customer’s unique problems.

When it comes to solutions-selling, instead of pushing a product or service, the business must create a genuine connection to the potential customer. The solution-selling methodology endeavors to create a lasting relationship with clients in which the goal is always to find new ways to help.

To get your head around this idea, think of sales as if it was customer service. Customer service implies spending more time listening to and trying to anticipate the customer’s needs to better understand their issues and challenges.

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6 Subtle Ways Social Media Impacts Client Experience

Pexels.com

Pexels.com

Millions of businesses use social media as a marketing tool to engage with others and promote their brands online. B2B companies are no different, and should be working hard on their social media strategies to boost profit margins and give clients the best possible experience. This very minute, around 30 million Facebook messages are being sent and 350,000 tweets are being published. This shows just how important social channels are in our lives right now. Social media is changing how we do business, so it’s important to build a strong brand presence online to meet your clients’ needs. Find out how social media impacts your clients’ experience of your brand, and ways in which you can master your social strategy for the best possible results.

1. Social Media as a Point of Contact

Just like in our social lives, social media keeps the business world connected. And for those working in a B2B market, social media is a core component for remaining connected to clients, even outside of work hours. Social media has an organic feel to it that many other mediums cannot compete with: it shows your client that you are authentic and trustworthy (depending on what you put out there).

Aside from your website, social channels such as LinkedIn are one of the first places that new clients will look before they get in contact. As a B2B company, your social media game needs to be strong in order to positively impact client experience.

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How to Raise Your KPIQ: Key Performance Indicators and Your Marketing IQ

Digital Marketing

You’re driving. You need to know what speed you’re traveling at, how many miles you’ve traveled, how much gas remains in the tank, and what temperature your engine is running at.

Now imagine how much it’d slow you down to go to four separate places to get that information. You’d have to stop and restart your journey each time you check one of those numbers.

Sounds ridiculous, right? That’s why your car’s equipped with a dashboard, and why automakers keep updating dashboards to make them into more powerful tools that deliver more information at a glance.

This now concludes our metaphor.

Now, let’s get to the point: Marketers need dashboards, too, else they burn time in pursuit of the numbers they need. And that’s no way to optimize your mileage (well hello again, metaphor).

Seriously, though, serious digital marketers are masters of measurement:

  1. The good ones simplify decision-making processes by examining marketing metrics.
  2. The better ones simplify the examination process by establishing a manageable set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to review regularly.
  3. The best ones simplify their KPI review process by consolidating their analytics sources in one place.

I call this phenomenon “KPIQ.”

Seeing as how I’ve been doing digital marketing since it got its start, I feel qualified to make up my own terms now and then. So I ask you to indulge me as I present…

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