Modernize or Fail

Just Media sponsored an excellent marketing event at Google campus “Modernize or Fail: How B2B Marketers Should Overhaul Their Digital Presence to Drive More Business Success.”

Curiously, Dick Reed mentioned somewhere at the beginning of his presentation clients who define “awareness” as an objective and measure campaign success by the number of leads generated.  And then surprised by high cost of lead.  Seriously.  He showed a very clear set of metrics by the stage, including ABM, what, I think, is just starting to emerge in marketing community.

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Content can also be sorted into the stages of awareness and demand – one more version of the content approach, which addresses the difference in metrics.

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Another interesting point – evolution of the approach to nurture.  As many of us, marketers, were trying in the past to “lead the prospect through the sales cycle” with our campaigns, the approach changed to what Just Media called “self nurture,” or a “connected experience” across company’s presence in the marketplace.

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  • The term “landing pages” becoming “landing experience”
  • Demand Gen: “If you have a fancy new white paper with the conversion rate 50% of the old one, return the old one!”
  • Mobile vs. desktop: technical decision makers prefer desktop; business decision makers do research on mobile devices after 9:00 pm 😉

Hilarious video from Slack (b-to-b 🙂 ).

 

Buyer thought process applied to the purchase cycle – very clear perspective to organize materials.
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Another interesting point: a different impact of short-term demand-focused programs and long-term brand programs.

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As Google is trying to move to “mobile first” approach, significant emphasis has been given to encouraging marketers to improve usability of their mobile web presence.

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Ah, mobile issues (and possibilities of penalties from search) have been discussed by the industry for a few years.  In many cases, enterprise web sites are not quite there yet.  However, this issue is very common, and as large organizations are struggling to adjust, so do all their competition.  It would be interesting to see how the situation changes in the future.

BMA – Return on Marketing Investment Using a Data Science Approach

10.pngFantastic presentation!  It exposed the audience to the depth of data science in marketing, including unfamiliar terms and concepts.  From one side, the event reminded to some of us in the audience “how much we do not know,” from another side, the presentation reassured us that the entire industry is struggling to understand the new marketing reality.  Scary, but exciting!

The most common conversation thread in data science realm: “This is not the report I wanted…”

Currently, data scientists spend more time “getting the data” than analyzing it.

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Interesting: data scientists typically find something what was not requested and that finding becomes the most important for the business.

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Slide above shows spike in transaction at the point of lowering the price, but not that dramatic impact on revenue.

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Slide above helped to identify a “sweet spot” of customers in about 50K+ range.  These customers purchased faster than customers with lower deal sizes.  The company executed a very successful campaign to target this segment.

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manifesto.pngGrover Righter also recommended The Cluetrain Manifesto to understand fundamental industry changes.

Interesting: email is considered the best medium for A/B testing.

Survey emails are popular: people like answering surveys, as they are perceived as industry experts, they can receive the result of the research, and they have a chance to win a gift certificate.

For “freemium” industry the most popular download is “Why to pay for something that can be available for free?”

The session informed and clearly explained the need for an expert in the filed.

Book – Under New Management

new-management.pngAn insightful book encouraging us to challenge established management practices and traditional conventions.  The analogy at the end of the book was particularly interesting: an efficiency of a typical internal combustion engine is about 30%.  We know that the engine is reliable and widely used, but finding a method to increase the efficiency above 30% would create a significant benefit.  As our organizations are a combination of resources and people, increasing engagement of the people with non-traditional management approaches might make significant difference in success of these organizations.

The book mentions several already popular approaches, including sabbaticals and careful hiring, and some of new approaches are better analyzed to question conventional wisdom.

The author  references Service-Profit Chain, which is gaining more attention in recent publications.chain.png

The author also refers to “Employees First, Customers Second,” a book that would seem revolutionary a decade or two ago.  It is a pleasure to see how this approach becoming more main stream.

Interesting concept of “pre-hiring” vacation: an arrangement when the company gives two weeks of paid vacation to a new hire before the start day to assure that the new person enters the company well-rested and eager to learn.

A perspective where “sunk costs” can actually be beneficial: as companies offer “quitting bonuses” to encourage unsatisfied employees to leave, the idea of not taking the offer has an additional benefit.  As people who did not leave the company “lost” the money, they consider the amount an investment into current job and “sunk costs” that are psychologically difficult to ignore.  “If I did not take these money…  I must really like that job…”

Research in office email and productivity – Some Companiess Are Banning Email and Getting More Done.

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The company has reduced overall email by 60 percent, going from an average of 100 email messages per week per employee to less than 40. Atos’s operating margin increased from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent in 2013, earnings per share rose by more than 50 percent, and administrative costs declined from 13 percent to 10 percent. Obviously, not all of these improvements were the result of banning email, but the correlation is certainly strong. So is a growing body of research on the effects of email.

Research suggests that just limiting checking of email to certain time during the day would be helpful.

Another new point of view on a popular approach was a chapter on open office.  Based on research, the main benefit of the open office is real estate cost saving.  That is it.  Open office has its own shortcomings, including noise, what may actually reduce creativity and productivity rather than encourage it.  Open office can be as effective as a traditional one if employees have enough control (and enough space) to use the environment.  Interestingly enough, information of success of open office experiments is more widely known than failures, resulting in return of the company to a more traditional office environment.

Excellent book to ponder “rules of business” that might not be as effective as we believe they are.