Category Archives: Business

How to Make B2B Content More Shareable

See on Scoop.itKnowledgence: Marketing and Sales

When it comes to creating content for a company blog smart social media promotion of your content is key. Here’s how to do it.

Lisa Dennis‘s insight:

Creating the right content has its challenges – and if you manage to deal with that, make sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot by making it hard for your audiences to share it.  Part of creating good content is including in the design of the piece how it will be consumed and to offer a set of options for sharing to increase its reach. 

See on mashable.com

Marketing and IT – Putting “Relation” Back into Relationship

There is such a gap between “need” and “want” – and the relationship between Marketing and IT sits squarely in the middle, driven in no small part by the onslaught of Big Data.

Take a look at this week’s CIO magazine article, “Building a Productive Relationship with Marketing”.  It offers 4 tips for IT to engage the marketing team that are worth considering, irrespective of which side of the fence you are on.

While I think improving this relationship is crucial to success, I’d suggest considering a 5th tip that applies to both teams. Start with the customer/prospect and work backwards into marketing and IT systems and approaches.  Instead of focusing on the internal gap, align around the needs of your target audience and work together to close that gap.  How does the buyer engage in the purchasing process, and how do the marketing/IT systems provide buyer intelligence that can inform marketing and sales strategies?  Joint pursuit of the answers to those questions will move the relationship between Marketing and IT into high gear.

— Lisa Dennis

Making the Choice: Marketing and Sales Alignment or Buyer Alignment

Two Hour Workshop by Lisa Dennis, President, Knowledgence Associates, and co-author of 360 Degrees of the Customer:  Strategies & Tactics for Marketing, Sales and Service

AMA Marketing Workshop

In the quest for new and repeat customers, the marketing and sales professionals in your organization have been in a push-me, pull-me struggle to align their processes, tools, approach and philosophies to get better revenue traction.   This ongoing challenge is gaining in urgency given the increasing propensity of buyers to take over the early sales process and leave us out of it.  There is an alignment choice to be made here, but it isn’t really about aligning marketing and sales with each other.  The increasing demands of prospects and customers alike all point to the critical necessity of alignment with the buyer.  The real choice for marketing and sales is about whether to align from the inside-out, or from the outside-in.  The highest performing organizations align from the buyer-in and keep the focus on engagement.

This workshop will walk you through how to build a buyer relationship framework to drive alignment within your marketing and sales teams. This modular and customizable approach will provide the road map and steps to integrating marketing and sales across all the key areas that drive new business.

Topics include:

  • Charting the Buyer Journey in your Key Markets
  • Building the Relationship Framework & Stages
  • Redefining the Buying Cycle & Pipeline Process
  • Identifying & Delivering  Tools that Drive Internal Engagement
  • Charting the Buyer Alignment Course Forward

Leadership Interview with Dan Pink

Six New Pitches for the 21st Century

From Dan Pink‘s new book, To Sell is Human

6pitches-3

Social Selling

One of the bigger challenges facing sales people these days is the fact that buyers are not connecting with sales people until later in the sales cycle.

Frankly, they can self-serve and don’t need us for education and awareness any more.  So what does that mean for us sales types?  Social Selling.

Check out this great article in Forbes.  

Inbound Marketing: The Funnel is There for a Reason | Business 2 Community

See on Scoop.itKnowledgence: Marketing and Sales

When getting started with Inbound Marketing, it’s tempting to try to jumpstart your efforts by communicating every product, service and special offer your firm has. Fight the temptation! In Inbound Marketing, the funnel is your friend. Made up of top, middle and bottom of the funnel offers on a limited number of topics, the funnel is designed to keep your efforts focused and allow you to work prospects through to the sale.

See on www.business2community.com

Hey, Get off of My Property!

I am amazed at some of the shenanigans that businesses that should know better try to pull.

Today, I received an email from Don Draper.  You know, the studly advertising exec on AMC’s TV hit, Mad Men.  But the email didn’t originate from AMC.  It came from MarketingProfs, an otherwise great resource for marketing and social media content and information.  It was somewhat clever, in that Mr. Draper, who is known as an old-school ad man grappling with the changes in the world occurring in the early to mid-1960’s, stating his reasons for NOT attending MarketingProf’s B2B Forum 2012.  You know, because this forum will be touting new ideas for marketing, and Don is a dyed-in-the-wool (or grey flannel) old school marketer.  Get it?

But to me, this kind of thing does HUGE damage to MarketingProf’s reputation!  I mean, is this what we’re supposed to do now?  Just help ourselves to other business’ intellectual property, because the fame of another business’ creation might somehow boost our own sales?

You know, it’s one thing if a small, bootstrapping organization does something like this out of ignorant exuberance.  But when a business that makes its money by providing marketing advice and services does it, it just blows my mind.  I am no intellectual property expert, but I did spend a good portion of my career in a business that provided IP research to law firms and businesses interested in protecting their IP rights.  There is the concept of Public Domain, where creative works are open to use after a certain period following the death of the work’s creator.  But Don Draper is a current – and hugely popular – work of fiction, and it seems to me that use of his name and persona should be the exclusive right of the business that created him, and made him so popular.  I would have been a lot more comfortable with this zippy little email if it had “The character Don Draper is owned by AMC, Inc. and is used with permission” written at the bottom, even in the tiniest type.

— Chuck Dennis

Devil in the Details

This morning, I received an automated business email from an organization that a colleague had once referred me to, as a source of a potential project.  After reaching out to the CEO – a good friend of my colleague’s –  several times about this opportunity and never hearing back from him, I simply dismissed the whole thing as something that was just not meant to be.  No harm, no foul.

However, I had been placed on the company’s mailing list, but since I get roughly 8 zillion emails a day, I didn’t bother to remove myself from it.  Who knows, maybe the project opportunity I was seeking might rear its head again.

So this morning, I noticed the email from this company.  They recently modified their business name, and started utilizing a spiffy new email application to communicate with their audience.  Since email marketing is one of the services I provide, I opened the email to see what how they were doing with it.

Now, the whole reason that email marketing applications like Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc. have a process for “personalizing” the email greeting is that, on a psychological level, recipients feel a little more comfortable receiving and reading an email when it is addressed to them by name.  It gives the impression, or illusion, that there is a relationship of sorts between the emailer and the emailee.

However, this warm & fuzzy illusion is completely blown, right from the get-go, when your email begins “Dear Dennis, Chuck,”.  My name is not Dennis, Chuck.  No one calls me Dennis, Chuck – at least not anyone who knows me.  Certainly, our mutual friend does not refer to me as Dennis, Chuck.  If this sounds like I am just being grumpy about having my name messed up, that misses the point.  I really don’t care about that.  But as a businessperson who has chosen to utilize electronic communications to engage his customers and prospects, this CEO should care a lot about this.  And you should, too.

Too many businesses shoot themselves in the foot by overlooking or dismissing details like this.  Your mailing list is one of your business’ most precious assets; it warrants your attention to detail.  It should be reviewed for accuracy and formatting.  If it is not, it sends the message, loud and clear, that your business does not care OR it is simply incompetent when it comes to communicating with its intended audience.  Neither impression inspires customer confidence.

— Chuck Dennis

Relationship with Innovators

Looking at customer lifetime value is an important metric in applying and measuring the success of relationship marketing efforts for a key account.  Vetting those accounts to see which perform better than others when relationship marketing is applied can help you hone your strategies and tactics.

Taking it one step further – if you look at the highest stage of a relationship, one that I will call “Innovator,” you should consider applying the same life-time value principle with a twist.  When a relationship is at the Innovator stage, that means they are literally co-creating with your organization and building each other into each respective company’s strategy.   Check out this blog post by Braden Kelley of Innovation Excellence: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2012/07/22/innovator-lifetime-value/

Being able to measure the performance of innovator-lifetime-value makes sense so you can gauge and manage these crucial high-end customers and give them the right kind of attention so you can keep and deepen that relationship your company worked so hard to gain.

Lisa Dennis

%d bloggers like this: