3 Major Marketing Fails, Risks, and Fixes

ID-100261902He was wearing a robe and slippers, day-old stubble, jeans, and a dirty T-shirt. A cigarette dangled from his lips as he leaned underneath the “No Smoking” sign and muttered: “You hiring?”

“Why, where have you been? You’re exactly what I’m looking for!” (Not!)

As business owners, we can’t help but look outside and wonder “what in the world are people thinking?” when they unsuccessfully market themselves as employees.

Before we cast judgment, though, let’s talk about how difficult marketing our own businesses can be (and the ways it can go just as badly). Read the full entry

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – Avoid the Heartburn and Re-Engage Your Audience

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation - Avoid the Heartburn and Re-Engage Your AudienceAs most of you have heard, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is taking effect on July 1, 2014, affecting all email marketers with an audience in Canada. The law was implemented in order to “help protect Canadians while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.”

Yes, the laws are getting stricter for sending marketing emails in Canada. Yes, you need to ensure your recipients are opting into your subscriptions for promotional emails and texts. And generally no, you cannot send misleading emails, collect personal information electronically without permission, or automatically install computer programs without the express consent of the owner. Read the full entry

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Email MarketingEmail is one of the most popular forms of direct marketing. According to iContact, 15% of marketing dollars are dedicated to email, yet many businesses waste dedicated resources due to ineffective email copy (Tweet This!). To create a successful B2B email, you first need to make sure you have direction. A clear brief outlining the key message and calls to action (CTA) of your email acts as a guiding beacon for your journey to effective email writing.

Related: The Email Marketer’s Project Brief Template

With a clear brief in mind, you can then supercharge your copy with the six following tips: Read the full entry

The Email Marketer’s Project Brief Template

The Email Marketer's Project BriefProject management is part art, part science – and not everyone has the foresight and intuition to sense roadblocks or anticipate every detail ahead of time. As marketers, it’s easy to get caught up in the creative concepts, then jump straight to how we will measure success (because after all, our campaigns are sure to succeed). Read the full entry

Why Gmail’s New Grid View Isn’t the End of Your Email Strategy

GMail's New LayoutIt seems like just about the time you figure out all the changes with Gmail, Google goes and changes it again. As a user, the added functionality is cool, and often makes life easier. But as a marketer, it’s just one more thing to test against when creating your email campaigns. At Tech Marketing 360 in February, CMO of Mashable Stacy Martinet said, “Live in the stream.” Gmail is definitely jumping on that boat.

Read the full entry

In the Professional World, It’s Time to Get Personal

In the Professional World, It’s Time to Get PersonalFor today’s businesses, professional connections start relationships, but personalization deepens it. You may be thinking of sales, but the same is true for online marketing. In a recent study conducted by Neolane and the Direct Marketing Association, researchers took a look at how marketers are embracing, or shying away from, real-time marketing and consumer personalization. The top findings can offer your business some insight into how it can become more personal and more successful. This post breaks down what those are and suggests a few steps you can put into your strategy today. Read the full entry

Behavioral Marketing: Best Practices for B2B Marketers

b2b marketing buyer behaviorWe know the purchase process has changed – that information isn’t new. Today’s buyers have more control over their journey and marketing has become more involved in the selling process for many businesses for this reason. Sales, they’re a top priority for all businesses and return customers are what keep those numbers growing. One recent study from Llloyd’s found that customer loss is the second biggest business concern for C-suite and board level executives around the world. While product enhancements and better customer service can contribute to customer retention, your business can make a few simple tweaks in its behavioral marketing strategy to see greater success in terms of ROI, marketing revenue and customer loyalty. Read the full entry

Feeding the Flames of Email Marketing Success

Feeding the Flames of Email Marketing SuccessEmail continues to adapt, even as some continue to disregard its long-term success. As the purchase process of customers has evolved, marketers and email software programs are evolving to meet their needs. B2B businesses are becoming more reliant on email as a means of generating content marketing leads and, according to a recent study, content is what feeds the flame of success. According to BtoB’s “Email Marketing: An Established Channel Evolves,” 47% of marketers said improving their email programs is dependent on increasing their ability to deliver content relevant to specific segments of their audiences (Tweet this stat!). This post takes a look at what modern marketers think about their email efforts and provides tips on how you can be more successful with your own email campaigns. Read the full entry

Triggered Emails: A Case Study on Timely Content

Man Checking Emails on TabletMarketing automation is a hot topic for modern marketers. Businesses, sales pros, and marketing teams are all looking for ways to reach more of the right people in a more efficient way than they have in the past. Automated emails can be a thing of beauty – but only if your business does it right. It’s all about timing and relevance and if your business can get these two things figured out for its target audience, you’ll be more successful. We took a look at a case study released by BtoB online of how one business was able to turn its email marketing efforts around with a timely, tailored new user campaign. Here’s what the company achieved and what your business can take away. Read the full entry

Three Trends in B2B Lead Generation You Need to Know

According to DemandGen reports, the B2B buyer behavior has been changing dramatically over the last few years as buyers find new ways to gather information online and via social media. In fact, 90% of business buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. A 2013 lead generation survey from Holger Schulze asked B2B marketers questions about their budgets, challenges and how they measure success and campaign ROI. Here are 3 key trends to take away from this research.

Generate High-Quality Leads

The number one challenge for B2B marketers is generating high-quality leads. The most effective lead generation tactics used by marketers are their company website, email marketing and SEO. Getting leads isn’t always a challenge, but getting a qualified lead is. A lead generation company, such as Business.com, can help small or medium-sized businesses connect with decision makers who are actively looking to make a purchase. Immediate and consistent follow up with emails and phone calls is critical for achieving optimal close rates.  Making 6 calls leads to a 90% increase in sales, but 78% of leads are contacted only once. Not all leads are ready to make a purchase, but studies (including one from Gartner) have shown that most will purchase within the next 12 to 24 months making these leads potential customers you can’t ignore. Nurturing leads with effective follow-up is a key factor in attaining high-quality leads. B2B email and lead nurturing success come from providing compelling content for each stage in the buying process to move buyers from first tough to purchase.

Break Down Lead Generation Barriers

According to a study conducted by Schulze, the greatest barrier to lead generation success is lack of resources, including staff, budget and time. Breaking down these barriers means making the most of the leads and resources your business has. Autoresponse emails can save your team time right off the bat. While many indicated budget as a barrier in their lead generation success, the survey also found that lead generation budgets are going up for nearly 50% of B2B marketers. Budgets are staying the same for 44%  of respondents. Lead generation programs receive the second biggest marketing budget allocation, second behind conferences and tradeshows. In order to break down the barrier of a lack of resources, reevaluate your marketing processes and whether money is being spent in the right place.

Measure Marketing Efforts

Businesses are about the data, the numbers and the ROI. Marketing departments are no different. B2B marketers’ top metrics to measure marketing ROI are lead volume, cost per lead, revenue and cost-per-acquisition. Marketing automation software is one way B2B marketers measure their efforts. The survey found that most B2B marketers (43%) use marketing automation software for reporting, analytics, and dashboard capabilities, followed by campaign tracking (42%).

Look for a marketing software solution that integrates with your CRM and campaign tracking easily. More and more, marketers in all industries want to see whether their efforts are yielding a positive ROI and are worth the time and investment they are dedicating to different channels and strategies. Measuring marketing efforts is one 2013 trend that isn’t going anywhere but up.

Lead generation is an area that many B2B businesses are familiar with. Many are having the same struggles when it comes to quality, allocation of resources and measuring their efforts. However, the increase in dedicated lead generation budget for nearly half of B2B marketers also indicates that businesses are seeing success with their lead generation efforts. According to this study, three trends B2B marketers need to pay attention to are how they can generate high-quality leads, break down barriers that arise due to a lack of resources, and measure their marketing efforts more effectively.

How does your business measure its lead generation success?