June 16th, 2014
Author: Guest
B2B Decision-Making: The Proof Is In the Influencers

Guest post from our U.S. partner Text100 and its Hypertext blog. Insights for this post were taken from the Text100 Influence Index: Paving the Path to AdvocacyAuthored by Rowan Benecke.

 

Text100 Influencers PostA major goal for B2B companies is reaching decision-makers to keep their product top-of-mind and ultimately result in sales. However, given the proliferation of content and general noise in the B2B industry, it’s hard to keep track of who is actually influencing buying decisions. Based on surveying more than 1,900 decision-makers, our Influence Index revealed the major influencers impacting business decision-makers and what they purchase.

In order to make the right choices regarding who to target to ensure your brand is part of the product buying conversation, decision makers (unsurprisingly) turn to sources they trust, who are highly influential in the decision-making process. Typically, these influencers fall into three main buckets:

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May 23rd, 2014
Author: Jennifer Rideout
Why it’s time to align online marketing and sales, and the surprising stat you didn’t know

b2b marketing

If we go back 60 years, salesmen were responsible for the majority of a company’s sales (save those generated from advertising). Literally men travelled door to door selling products, speaking directly with consumers.

Not anymore. The reality is that today, nearly 60 per cent of B2B purchasing decisions are already made before customers contact your company, as recently revealed by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB).

The tide has turned, and the way customers move through the buying cycle has evolved to a ‘self-service’ model to research and decide for themselves whether they want to purchase before speaking with anyone. Read More

 
January 7th, 2014
Author: Guest
Even in the social media era, press releases still matter

press release

The death of the press release is a favourite topic for media and communications professionals. Recently, it flared up again when Alex Aiken, executive director of US government communications made the (bold?) declaration that, yes, the press release is dead. 

Aiken’s argument, as described by PR Week is that public relations pros should be content producers. Here’s the quote:

“You should not start with three pages of A4, but a tweet, an infographic or a video. If you are writing more than 200 words on any subject, you’re probably in the wrong place.”

I understand where Aiken is coming from. Social media has changed the way we get our messages out. I would argue no profession knows that better than journalists, who not only use Twitter and Facebook (and others) as a listening tool, but perhaps more importantly as a platform to project their content.  Read More

 
April 16th, 2013
Author: David Bertling
Top tips for successful branded utility

Branded Utility

It’s a crowded world out there with marketers competing fiercely for the dwindling attention spans of customers who are much more savvy, informed and cynical about marketing.  There’s too much advertising, too many messages and too little time for customers to sort through it all.

Ironically, these modern-day marketing challenges also present a solution.

If your customers are deluged with too much information, help them find what they’re looking for. If they have too little time, help them save time. It’s called branded utility and it’s about providing your customers with something that is useful to them.  Read More

 
March 20th, 2013
Author: Pedro Cabezuelo
How technology has changed PR
How technology has changed PR

How technology has changed PR – remember sending press releases by fax?

I first entered the madcap world of PR back in 1999 where I remained for five years before taking a career break in 2004. As it turned out, the break was far from permanent and in 2011 I was drawn back into the fold.

Like Rip Van Winkle, I awoke from my seven year sleep slightly bewildered and anxious to see what changes had been made in the communications field. I was immediately struck by two things: nothing had changed and everything had changed. That is, the actual objectives of public relations and the fundamental strategies used to implement those objectives, remained the same. However, the actual tools used for the job had changed drastically. Let’s look at how technology has changed PR.

Now, for those of you who weren’t working at the turn of the century, I don’t want you to think we used to work hunched over small desks, writing our news releases longhand with quill pens by candlelight. No, we had computers (though laptops were rare) and Internet connections and e-mail. But it was still common to fax in releases for distribution and the coverage sent to us by media monitoring agencies were physical newspaper clippings, which had to be sorted, paper clipped and filed away in mammoth cabinets. I also remember working late into the night preparing media kits for an event taking place the following day: printing endless copies of news releases, bios and fact sheets, stapling and struggling to slot everything into flimsy company branded folders (and heaven forbid you find a typo after the fact because then you had to go through the whole process again). Read More

 
March 5th, 2013
Author: David Bertling
The content marketing renaissance

content marketing

Content marketing is a popular term that’s been picking up steam for a while now.

Oftentimes a trendy marketing term is just a fancy new name for something that has been around for long time (we are marketers, after all), so I couldn’t resist looking for a definition online. As you might expect, there are myriad definitions, and I was delighted to find that Heidi Cohen had done the research for me in her informative blog post that collates 21 different definitions of content marketing.

If you take the time to read even a few definitions, many of you may be thinking to yourself that content marketing is not new. Look at Kraft for example: It has been producing cookbooks related to the use of its products for decades, and it’s still blazing a trail in the digital age with sites like Kraft Recipes, which offers recipes, tips and a community portal that allows fans to share ideas.

We believe what’s driving this new content marketing trend is, in a word, digital. Read More

 
December 4th, 2012
Author: David Bertling
Start with the idea….the rest (including digital) will follow
how to create digital content

Start with your audience first

In today’s fast-paced, ‘new media’ marketing environment, there are myriad digital technologies that allow marketers and communicators to create campaigns that really stand out – video, web apps, mobile, social media apps, interactive charts, infographics and on and on. Done well, these digital content methods enhance the story being told, keep audiences engaged and even entertain them. However it’s easy for even the most experienced marketers to get caught in the headlights of ‘shiny new tool’ syndrome – using digital to create something that looks good or behaves in a cool way, but doesn’t complement the story — or worse, confuses the intended message.

At best, a poorly thought out integrated digital campaign will simply have little impact and ultimately not meet your intended objectives. At worst, you’ll alienate your audience and damage your brand.

Take QR codes as a simple example. Their increasing popularity means they are now popping up everywhere, but are they always needed? In this blog post from eConsultancy, there are some excellent examples of getting it wrong. Read More