Posts Tagged ‘Scott Frangos’

33 (of the) Best Marketing Strategy Guides and Insights of 2010

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Sometimes it’s essential to step back from everyday marketing tactics to ask the bigger questions: not just “how do we get more people to `like’ us on Facebook?” or “what apps should we be adding to our Facebook page?” but: why do we even have a corporate Facebook page? What are our key objectives for social media marketing? What conceptual models are we basing our marketing assumptions and practices on, and what new models should we be thinking about? Which emerging trends do we need to keep an eye on? Do we really understand why our customers buy from us? As we shift resources from traditional outbound marketing to inbound attraction marketing, how should we (re)organize to support that? As we rely more on all of our employees (not just marketing and PR) to represent our company through social media, how do we train and motivate them to do so effectively?

Best Marketing Strategy Guides and Insights of 2010While you won’t find much in the way of “tips and tricks” in this post, you will find guidance on answers to these big-picture marketing questions and more here in some the best marketing strategy guides and insights of the past year.

5 principles of breakthrough success in the “Relationship Era” by iMedia Connection

Doug Levy contends that marketing has passed into its third major era—as we’ve moved from the primacy of product information through consumer persuasion to a new focus on sustainable relationships—and lays out five principles for success in this new realm.

Big Ed’s Top 10 B2B Marketing Trends For 2010 by Marketing-Gimbal

C. Edward Brice pretty much nailed the significant b2b marketing developments for 2010 (e.g. mass adoption of social media, but no clear way to measure ROI from it) in this predictive post. Was he prescient or just playing it safe? You decide.Social Network Ad Spending Trends

2010: Social Network Advertising and Marketing Outlook by Brian Solis

Citing research from eMarketer, Brian Solis documents the continuing shift from interruption-based advertising to earned media engagement as the primary mode of marketing, as well as shifts within the social media landscape (e.g. from MySpace to Facebook). Remember when Facebook had “only” 350 million users? Yeah, that was one year ago.

Why Content is King No More… by Webfadds

Scott Frangos believes that content is no longer the “king” in online marketing strategy, but rather is now more like the “queen” with social media connection—your ability to share content and interact with readers—now playing the role of king.

The 3 Reasons That Motivate B2B Buyers to Buy by The Marketing Melange

Mike Frichol notes the disconnect between b2b technology vendor messages focused on features, innovation, technology leadership or competitive advantages and the three factors that actually motivate b2b buyers to make a purchase.

3 must-have marketing tools for small businesses by iMedia Connection

Eric Groves explains why low-cost, easy-to-use email marketing, online survey and social networking tools are essential marketing components for smaller companies.

Re-Architecting the B2B Sales and Marketing Process for a New Decade by Reflexions

“Sales organisations are reporting extended sales cycles, declining win rates, and that a growing number of apparently promising opportunities are ending in ‘no decision.’  At the same time, they observe that their prospects’ budgets appear to be shrinking, that more players are involved in the decision making process, and that their buyers are exhibiting increasingly risk-averse behavior.” What’s a sales executive to do? Bob Apollo suggests a three-phase plan to re-architect the sales and marketing process to better reflect today’s business buying process.

The Truth About Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing by Kuno Creative

John McTigue presents four reasons why both inbound and outbound tactics should be included in any b2b marketing strategy. For example: “unless you already have a well-known brand, it can take many months to build up a loyal following (in social media)…blending targeted outbound marketing into social media marketing campaigns can accelerate awareness and growth.”

5 Steps to B2B Marketing Success by Everything Technology Marketing

According to Holger Schulze, “major shifts are taking place in B2B marketing…buyers and decision makers don’t want to get interrupted by a product promo email or a cold call that likely doesn’t come at the exact time they have a specific problem the caller can help with. And today’s customers are busier than ever. They want to be able to engage with a vendor when they are ready and actively seek out advice, often very late in the buying cycle, and have the vendor guide them through a complex buying and problem solving process.” He offers five steps, from understanding your buyers to investing in marketing automation systems to address this new reality.

Best Practices Produce Mediocre Results by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
In this must-read strategy guide for 2011, the brilliant Rob Rose argues that “We follow ‘best practices’ because they’re safe.  These are maps for us to follow to get the same results as those that went before us.  In short, they are the marketing equivalent of sitting down at the restaurant and saying ‘I’ll have what she’s having.'” Making the case for valuing bold experimentation over the tried-and-true, he concludes: “We need to blow some shit up.”

In this must-read strategy guide for 2011, Rob Rose takes a hard look at “best practices” and concludes that “We need to blow some shit up.”

Framework and Matrix: The Five Ways Companies Organize for Social Business by Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang

Jeremiah–the only social media guru popular enough to achieve single-name status–presents five models of organization for social business (Organic, Centralized, Coordinated, Dandelion, and Honeycomb), along with the advantages and drawbacks of each, then asks executives to identify where their organization is today, and where they’d like it to be.

4 ROI Myths by Digital Tonto

Greg Satell identifies the four most damaging ways in which companies try to measure marketing ROI, then suggests an alternative approach that is more complex but also more comprehensive.

Abracadabra Moments, the Opening Line You Should Never Use, and 10 More Ways to Sell Ideas by Fast Company
***** 5 Stars
Sam Harrison offers eight smart tips for selling your ideas to any audience, among them: truly collaborating with your clients (team, co-workers, customers or whomever), one opening line to never use and ditching the handouts—”people follow handouts about as well as cats follow tour guides.”

Marketing ROI Should RIP by iMedia Connection

Another outstanding piece from Rob Rose, this one demonstrating why software tools and marketing tactics, important as they are, don’t deliver value in and of themselves—it’s the marketing people and processes that make these things work (or not). Accountability, yes, but ROI is hard to apply to marketing investments. “Have you EVER gone back after purchasing a piece of software and calculated whether or not you generated more money from that tool than what you spent on it? No,  of course not.”

10 tiny signs of great leadership by My Venture Pad
***** 5 Stars
This very concise (<250 words) post should be required reading, and re-reading, for every executive. Les McKeown briefly yet brilliantly contrasts the attributes of great leaders with those of “tiny” leaders, e.g., “(great leaders) want to find the smartest person in the room. Tiny leaders want to be the smartest person in the room.”

Crucial Components for B2B Social Media Success by acSellerant

Bob Leonard details 14 key factors for developing an effective b2b social media plan, among them: include input from sales, develop target personas, have a realistic content development plan, and build in analytics.

Are B2B Marketers Missing the Point? by Marketing Interactions

Ardath Albee reacts to MarketingSherpa research indicating that a third or more of b2b marketers assign basic lead management processes like having systems in place for lead scoring and nurturing non-sales-ready leads to the “back burner.” It’s crucial, she writes, for marketing to align its processes with sales to agree on the definition of a “sales ready” lead and hand leads back and forth based on where the prospect is in their buying cycle.

Trying to Sell on Features vs. Benenfits

8 marketing blunders to avoid by iMedia Connection

Jim Nichols delightfully details marketing blunders to avoid, richly illustrated with graphics and examples, such as trying to outcool Apple, vowing to make up for it in volume, and marketing on attributes versus benefits.

The Best TED Talks To Make Use Of Social Media by MakeUseOf

Angela Alcorn presents 10 of the best TED videos from leading thinkers in social media, including Seth Godin on “Tribes,” James Surowiecki on social media news gathering and the wisdom of crowds, Matt Ridley (“When Ideas Have Sex”), and Gordon Brown (yes, as in the former British Prime Minister).

B2B marketing without creative has no punch by The Social CMO Blog

Defining “creative” broadly, Billy Mitchell asks and answers a series of questions that demonstrate the importance of creativity in b2b marketing processes, that it is most definitely not simply “fluff,” and concludes with 10 ways to inject creativity into b2b marketing programs.

Remember, Sometimes The Choir Can Use Some Preachin by iMedia Connction

One more from Rob Rose, this time reminding marketers that one of their most important audiences is the coworkers inside the organization: “Employees want to be motivated—and they desperately want to be on your side.” Just as with external marketing campaigns, it’s imperative do things like speaking the right language for your audience (even if your topic is the same, it’s important to use different words when talking about marketing with the IT group than with finance types), setting goals, and measuring results.

15 Inspirational Quotes About B2B Marketing by Modern B2B Blogs

Maria Pergolino shares a thoughtful collection of quotes from leaders like Valeria Maltoni (“Your writing doesn’t have to be boring just because it’s for other businesses. Businesses have people who read stuff.”) and Dave Jung: (“While an awareness of the customer’s use of your product is important, repeating what they already know obscures the real information they want. And that’s what B2B marketing thrives on … information.”).

The four engines of B2B marketing success by Reputation to Revenue

Rob Leavitt maps out and explains the four key “engines” that drive b2b marketing: content, relationships, lead development, and solutions development (combining products and services to produce “higher value solutions that respond more specifically to individual customer needs”).

Four takeaways from Marketing Sherpa’s B2B Summit by Marketing in a Downturn

Lawrence Mitchell shares lessons learned at MarketingSherpa’s October event about optimizing the marketing funnel, scoring and nurturing leads, and using advanced analytics to increase the ROI of marketing activities.

Six Secrets of Breakthrough Companies by The Six Disciplines Blog

Skip Reardon reports the key findings of Keith McFarland, a former Inc. 500 CEO who spent years researching thousands of private companies and interviewing their leaders in an attempt to identify the secrets of “breaking through.” Among the findings, which should come as no surprise but apparently do to a disturbing number of corporate executives today: Happy employees make successful companies. Money doesn’t solve everything. And “stick to the knitting” doesn’t always work; change matters.

15 Tips to Stop Random Acts of Social Media and Build a Business Platform by FruitZoom

Pam Moore advises businesses to avoid RAMMIES—”Random acts of marketing…that are not integrated, funded or properly planned.” She explains why they are bad, how to spot them, and how to deal with them (Step 1: “Get the RAMMIE planned, funded, measured and integrated. If this isn’t possible, then KILL IT!”)

Lead generation: Real-time, data-driven B2B marketing and sales by MarketingSherpa Blog

David Meerman Scott contends that marketers need to adopt real-time platforms and practices for lead generation, much like Wall Street traders have done in the financial markets. He explains how such systems can work and what marketers can do today to get started down this road.

The unique benefits of 5 marketing platforms by iMedia Connection

Gordon Plutsky describes how to use five marketing platforms–website, email, custom content, social media and mobile–in tandem to create an effective and comprehensive marketing media channel.

7 Steps to Creating a Sure-Fire Marketing System by American Express OPEN Forum

Contrary to the beliefs of business owners mystified by the “voodoo” of marketing, frequent best-of contributor John Jantsch argues that “marketing is not only a system, it may be the most important system in any business.” He then lays out a series of steps that lead to a “simple, effective and affordable approach to systematic marketing.”The Marketing Hourglass

7 Little Words That Sum Up the Entire Marketing Machine by Duct Tape Marketing

Following up on the post above,  John Jantsch contends that “Marketing is essentially getting someone that has a need to know, like and trust you…the entire practice of marketing (can be) summed up in seven little words that make up what I call The Marketing Hourglass,” illustrated in this helpful diagram.

10 Marketing Blunders Many Small Businesses Still Make! by Masterful Marketing

Debra Murphy advises small business owners to avoid common pitfalls as they plan for 2011, among them not clearly defining the target market; delivering inconsistent marketing messages; and focusing too much on internal messages (OUR company, OUR capabilities) rather than on solving problems in the customers’ world.

50 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Nettuts+

Carl Heaton provides more than four dozen tips for building traffic to your website, ranging from the obvious (write fresh and catchy content, listen to your visitors, submit your site to online directories) to the obscure (send seasonal e-cards, sponsor a college project, or “Hide a Konami Code Easter Egg”).

Beyond Paid Media: Marketing’s New Vocabulary by Forbes

David Edelman and Brian Salsberg write that “While traditional ‘paid’ media—such as television and radio commercials, print advertisements and roadside billboards—still play a major role, companies today can exploit many alternative forms of media,” and advise marketers to think in terms of paid, earned and owned media.

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The Social Media ROI Debate

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Can the financial return on expenditures for social media business activities– in marketing, PR, customer support, HR, product development or other areas — be accurately measured? Can social media costs be justified on the P&L, so that as belts get ever tighter in this stagnant economy, these projects and tasks can be spared the budget axe?

Social Media ROI Debate? Not ExactlyAmong social media pundits, the debate rages on. The “yes” crowd argues that of course social media can be measured, and must be in order to demonstrate value to the business. You wouldn’t buy a new machine tool or enterprise software application without an ROI analysis, so why should social media be any different? Executives don’t care about shiny sparkly things or the latest fads or buzzwords; you’d better know what you want to accomplish, be able to quantify both expenses and revenue, and have the analytics in place to track results before even murmuring the words “social media” in the presence of C-level types.

The “no” group will counter that the metrics and tools haven’t yet matured, or that social media is too amorphous to even be measurable, or that it is rapidly becoming simply part of the plumbing or wiring of a modern organization, making ROI immaterial.

My own thoughts (for what they’re worth) on the matter are that:

  • • It’s challenging to measure the true ROI of social media activities with any precision because social media is as much (if not more) about influence than direct action. For example, if John Doe clicks through to your website from a tweet and buys something, that’s easy to measure. But if John Doe is influenced to buy from you based a tweet—but completes the purchase through another unrelated channel—there’s no way to assign the value of that sale to Twitter.
  • • That said, there are many aspects of social media that can and should be measured, both to show results and to help guide future activities (e.g. determining which topics generate the highest traffic and comment activity on a company blog, what time of day is most productive for tweeting, etc.). In other words, the statement “ROI is challenging to measure accurately” shouldn’t be confused with “don’t bother trying measure anything.”
  • • Metrics can be useful to help determine what to do more of, less of, or differently, but should not as the basis for whether or not to engage in social media. At this point, the adoption of social media tools is so widespread as to constitute just another communication channel. It makes no more sense for a business to shun social media until ROI can be demonstrated than it does to demand an ROI analysis for installing phone lines or email.

So much for my thoughts. What do other pundits have to say? Below are summaries of a variety of posts on the topic of social media ROI measurement from luminaries such as Danny Brown, Brian Solis, Erik Qualman, Michelle Golden and Sharlyn Lauby divided into their respective camps: yes, no, and maybe.

Is social media ROI measurable? Yes.

The Real Cost of Social Media by Danny Brown

This isn’t strictly speaking an ROI article, but Danny does dive into the “I” part of that measure, detailing the true costs (investment) of social media participation.

20 Metrics To Effectively Track Social Media Campaigns by Search Engine Land

Chris Bennett lays out the list of metrics he uses to analyze, track and “prove ROI’ from social media marketing. Compelling piece except for his use of the phrase social media campaign (argh).

Social Media ROI – How 3 B2B Technology Companies Are Achieving Revenue Results by MarCom Ink

Kim Cornwall Malseed summarizes the social media wisdom and ROI results gleaned from a panel of b2b marketing pros including Holger Schulze of SafeNet, Frank Strong of Vocus and Susan Cato of CompTIA. She reports on the revenue achieved, social media strategies used and measurement systems employed for tracking.

ROI: How to Measure Return on Investment in Social Media by Social Media Today

In this long but worthwhile post, Brian Solis reviews the evolution of social media measurement forms (e.g. “return on engagement”), the disconnect between social media marketers (most of whom can’t measure ROI) and CMOs (most of whom expect it), then offers his recommendations for improving the measurement of business objectives from social media.

Sexy Numbers: Measuring ROI in Social Media Campaigns by ReveNews

While acknowledging that tight precision is impossible because the same measures from different tools rarely match exactly (and multiple tools are still needed to end-to-end social media tracking), Angel Djambazov nevertheless makes a strong case for developing ROI metrics for social media campaigns. Quoting Brian Solis and others, Angel points out that particularly in this economy, even great ideas without a hard-number rationale are likely to get slashed; ROI measurements are needed because CMOs demand them. The post also includes some strategies, tactics and tools to assist in social media measurement.

Social Media Monitoring Techniques by WebFadds

Scott Frangos presents a concise but clear outline of basic social media ROI measurement objectives, tools and analytics.

Counterpoint: Why you can calculate an ROI in social media – and why you should do it by iMedia Connection

Uwe Hook responds to the post from Ben Cathers (in the “No” section below) on why social media ROI can’t be measured, laying out a roadmap using metrics such as frequency, yield, sentiment analysis, NetPromoter score and customer lifetime value.

Socialnomics: What Social Media Success Looks Like by Fuel Lines

Michael Gass shares a social media ROI argument in video format. “Socialnomics: Social Media ROI showcases what social media success looks like. Social Media ROI: Socialnomics is by Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business author Erik Qualman. This video highlights several Social Media ROI examples along with other effective Social Media Strategies.” Though a few of the examples are vague or misleading, most are compelling. However, after showcasing companies that have achieved remarkable, quantifiable results through social media, Qualman provocatively asks, “Why are we trying to measure social media like a traditional channel anyway? Social media touches every facet of business and more an extension of good business ethics…When I’m asked about the ROI of Social Media sometimes the appropriate response is…What’s the ROI of your phone?” He seems to suggest that while ROI is measurable, it’s immaterial. Hmm. You can find more of Eric’s insights on his Socialnomics blog.

Making sense of social-media ROI with Olivier Blanchard by SmartBlog on Social Media

Rob Birgfeld talks with Olivier Blanchard, introduced as “perhaps the most sought-after expert for those looking to connect the dots between social media and return-on-investment.” Perhaps. Blanchard contends that most self-proclaimed social media “experts” have difficulty articulating ROI because they have no business management background (agreed, I’ve seen these types — which is why our agency has an MBA who helps clients with social media). With that background, he argues that “the question can be answered in about three minutes. All it takes is someone on the social-media side of the table who understands how to plug new communications into a business from the C-suite’s perspective.” He also makes the case that being able to prove social media ROI is essential. The post just doesn’t specify how to do this.

Social Media ROI — No.

Social media (finally) returns value by The Communicator

Peter Schram doesn’t come right out and say that social media ROI can’t be measured, but rather that organizations should “focus on five key areas where social media will create actual value” that aren’t strictly about sales ROI, including corporate reputation, employee engagement and customer service.

“What’s the ROI of Social Media?” Is the Wrong Question by Golden Practices Blog

Michelle Golden makes a compelling argument that ROI calculations apply only to discrete projects with a beginning, middle and end, such as a direct mail campaign. Social media is a tool, not an event, so such calculations don’t apply.

5 Problems With Measuring Social Marketing by Web Worker Daily

Aliza Sherman articulates some of the frustrations with any social media measurement, much less something as precise as ROI, including the fact that the term “social media” is nebulous and that many traditional marketing concepts (e.g., “reach,” “promotions” and “campaigns”) simply don’t apply to social media –and the industry hasn’t yet developed widely accepted new measures (though Daniel Flamberg attempted to answer this last challenge in 4 Social Media Mining Metrics).

Why you can’t calculate an ROI in social media – and that’s okay by iMedia Connection

Ben Cathers argues that, because the advanced analytics tools that would be required for such measurement have not yet been developed, “In many forms of digital media, you can spend 1 dollar knowing you will earn 1.30…Unfortunately, you cannot do the same in social media, just yet.” He suggests instead that marketers estimate the payback on social media by assigning a value to metrics they can track, such as each follower, each retweet, each “like” of an item, etc.

CEOs Love Pie: The B2B Social Media Case Study, Part 2 by iMedia Connection

In this follow-up post to Conversations that Aren’t about Mel Gibson: the B2B Social Media Case Study, Part 1, Eric Anderson writes that “today you can’t throw a virtual rock without hitting five blog posts about how we all need to simmer down about ROI,” and places himself firmly in the “simmer down” camp. He recommends instead serving them pie, as in pie charts showing measures like “the proportion of their paid impressions that can be replaced or augmented with free impressions. PR agencies have long been selling the value of this pie as earned media or ‘ad equivalency value,’ so CEOs are used to seeing it. They get it. Once you’ve done your social media market analysis, it’s relatively easy to project how big that social media pie wedge will be.”

Social Media ROI…Maybe.

Quantifying Social Results by eMarketer

eMarketer reports that while marketing pros generally agree that quantifying the benefit of social media marketing is important, they are split on whether it is possible. Measuring certain types of activity or behavior is easy; translating those measures into ROI, not so much. As this article notes, “There is a leap, however, between finding appropriate metrics and monitoring them on the one hand, and quantifying results on the other. Marketers must tie the social metrics they settle on directly to business goals, such as increased sales and leads, before social media return on investment can be quantified.”

A call for more accountable social media marketing by iMedia Connection

After acknowledging that “ROI is difficult, if not impossible, to measure with social media. An astounding majority of professionals do not even try to take it into account.  According to a survey late last year from Bazaarvoice and the CMO Club, 72 percent of CMOs did not attach revenue assumptions to social media in 2009,” Jerry McLaughlin goes on to say that marketers must do it anyway. For example, one of his recommendations is to “reach specific social media goals with a tangible ROI, such as tracked discounts or coupons.” While that’s certainly not a bad suggestion, it covers only one very limited aspect of what social media marketing can do.

5 Ways To Set Goals & Measure Social Media Marketing Success by Smart Insights

Danyl Bosomworth summarizes a Jason Falls presentation on various ways to measure social media outcomes. While the post seems to suggest that measuring ROI is easy (measurement #5 casually includes “generation of sales and leads from blog visitors and from social interactions”), it also points out several other benefits that unquestionably have value (e.g., product innovation, branding and awareness, links for SEO benefit), though that value may be difficult to quantify. The message seems to be that if you can directly measure sales and leads then by all means do so, but recognize that social media can provide many other important though less quantifiable rewards.

Marketers Use Varying ROI for Social Media by Marketing Charts

According to a new study from King Fish Media, Hubspot and Junta 42 summarized in this post, most marketers perform some type of social media measurement (e.g., website visits from social media referral sites, new fans/followers, number of links shared, etc.). However, nearly half (43%) admit that they aren’t even trying to measure ROI. And only 29% say “they will have to show positive ROI to continue their social media programs.”

How CEOs are Using Social Media for Real Results by Mashable

Though Sharlyn Lauby shares numbers here from two CEOs able to correlate hard sales data with their social media efforts, she also points out that “even when there might not be data supporting a direct relationship between social media activity and sales, sometimes other metrics point to the connection” such as exposure, branding, customer satisfaction, recommendations, even employee recruiting. The conclusion seems to be that ROI may or may not be measurable, depending on a company’s specific circumstances — or at least that not all of the benefits of social media can be captured in precise sales and ROI figures.

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