Jep Castelein has written an excellent post, “7 Reasons Why Marketing Automation projects fail” on his Lead Sloth blog. Some of his points are to be expected e.g. No. 1, know who you’re trying to target and ensure your marketing is relevant to them, No. 6, don’t try to sell the wrong products to the wrong people. He also cites “Lack of Expertise” i.e. you may need to get help to get the most out of your marketing automation system. The blog reinforces some points from the recent DemandGen report on Marketing Automation,which also highlighted that ease-of-use is a big factor in success or failure, and that you need to clearly define your objectives and processes in advance of adopting a solution.
The SEOMoz.org blog has announced their biennial Search Engine Ranking Factors. This is a survey of 72 Search Engine Optimization specialists to gather the latest views and data on which factors most influence search engine ranking i.e. the factors that determine how high up your web-site is placed on organic search results. The links you attract to your site continue to be a huge influence, and of course that in turn will be dependent on the content you have on your site – what information do you provide that others would like to link to? The most important factor is the ‘Trust Authority of the Host Domain’, next is ‘Link Popularity of the Specific Page’ and third is ‘Anchor Text of External Links’. Read the full survey results here.
A great video from SEOMoz.org’s Rand Fishkin describing how raising funds from VCs is like dating. It isn’t specifically to do with marketing, or PR, or lead generation ….. but it kind of is. First, like the “WTF is Social Media” slidedeck by Marta Kagan, his presentation is a great combination of text and images (and in this case speech) to communicate ideas. Secondly, if you can create fluent, interesting, entertaining, informative content like this people will come back for more, which is the essence of online marketing.
One of the main purposes of any B2B Marketing organization is to generate contacts who may have an interest in buying your company’s product or service. You generate these contacts from email campaigns, search marketing, tradeshows, direct marketing and a range of other sources. Then you should decide which ones you hand over to your sales team as ‘leads’, which ones you will progress with yourself and which ones are to be discarded. Handing every contact over without some screening will drive your sales team nuts – a lot of the contacts will not be in buying mode and some may be invalid for other reasons. It’s better to filter the leads in marketing first so you sales staff can devote their time to pursuing the best quality leads rather than qualifying out low grade contacts. Your marketing team can carry out this pre-qualification to sort out ’sales ready’ leads from ‘marketing leads to be followed up by us’ by using a structured process. First, define (with Sales) what consitutes a ’sale ready lead’, then define what is a ‘Marketing Lead’, and finally define what characteristics indicate that a lead is definitely not of interest. Use this definition to screen all incoming contacts, passing the best ones straight to sales, holding some for further processing, and removing those that are deemed unusable.
Brian Carroll from InTouch has a great post on some of the steps you should take to screen the leads, and suggestions on what marketing can do with leads that are not yet ’sales ready’ but which you should ‘nurture’ until they’re ready to buy.
A good post by Michael Gerard of IDC on the potential uses of social media within B2B marketing organisations. His suggestions include:
- Establish a direct, relevant connection with your customers as a source of voice of the customer for new product development (e.g., through an on-line community)
- Improve customer satisfaction (e.g., enable customers to share experiences on-line by creating a self-running community where customers can interact with and learn from their peers)
- Increase the speed for troubleshooting and R&D by reducing the distance between customers and engineering
- Join the on-line technical conversations about your products that your customers are already having, by either leveraging your own community or listening to and participating in other companies’ communities
Read the full post at Michael’s technology marketing blog