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Social Media ROI: What Do You Measure?

image“Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it’s finally done there is surprise it’s not better.” -- Avinash Kaushik -- Analytics Evangelist, GoogleWhy is that? One factor may be that traditional measures and metrics are not easily applied to social media. Traditional measurement goes something like this:Marketing Investment = $30,000# of Leads Generated = 1000Cost per Lead = $30Social Media Measurement can look something like this:Blog Comments + Conversation + LinkedIn x Twitter = SuccessYou’re probably thinking…”uhmmm… What?! How can you possibly measure a conversation?” Social media requires a tweak to the way we think about marketing measurement. We need to consider that indirect influence generated via social media can often lead to sales. It’s just a different sort of measurement. So here’s the question -- What do you want to measure? The “social” more qualitative aspect or the “media” which provides the quantitative metric. My answer is measure what is important and relevant to your business goals. Following are some examples, but first some recommendations on setting and using what you will measure. Read More »

Executives are Evolving. Is Your Marketing?

imageMy original intent this week was to do a post on the ROI of social media and how we have to change our perspective on what we measure. After all, how do you measure a conversation? But, I came across a recent Forbes|Insights report, “The Rise of the Digital C-Suite”, and thought this could provide insight on the growing importance of inbound marketing and social media. I’ll get to the ROI question in a future post. For now, read on and download the The Rise of the Digital C-Suitefor complete details.Here are the findings that really stuck out for me and my $0.02 on why marketers should care:• The Internet is the C-suite’s top information resource. Executives find it more valuable for locating business-related information than references from colleagues, personal networks, newspapers and magazines, TV and radio, and conferences and tradeshows. Importance for Marketing: Marketers need to fish where the fish are. If you are targeting C-level executives, VPs and directors, then you need make sure that not only is your content relevant to the C-level, but it’s easy for them to find you.• Contrary to popular belief, executives search for information themselves. More than half of the C-level respondents to the study said they prefer to locate information themselves. The immediate access to information means executives can make faster and more informed decisions. Importance for Marketing: You can reach critical decision-makers online, engage in conversation and cultivate relationships. Important relationships that can ultimately turn into sales. Read More »

Content – Why is it Important to Marketing and How to Get it?

imageRecent posts on this blog have centered around lead nurturing and social media. Mostly because I’ve been talking with many Cisco partners about how lead nurturing and social media fit into a larger marketing strategy. One thing that has become increasingly clear to me through these conversations is that content is the foundation, the enabler, the glue (pick a metaphor) for all marketing regardless of the marketing tactics used. I would go so far to say that the importance of content is magnified today given the myriad of social media tools that allow you to get your story out to the world with the simple click of a mouse.Your content is your differentiator. It can establish you and your company as an expert, a thought leader. Good content, used effectively, can turn your expertise, insight, advice into marketing campaigns that influence people (your target customer) and motivate them to take action. Read More »

The Importance of Customer Data: What’s in Your Database?

imageBusiness data degrades at the rate of 3% to 6% per month. Translation: One third of your information on business buyers and prospects may be inaccurate and ineffectual for sales and marketing use by the end of every year. These statistics from D&B are further indicators of the volatility of business data:• A new business opens every minute.• A new business files for bankruptcy every 8 minutes.• A business closes every 3 minutes.• A CEO changes every minute.• A company name change occurs every 2 minutes.Add to this the additional complexities of a B-to-B database, where not only do you need basic information like postal address, phone and email addresses, but data on multiple contacts within a company -- purchase decision makers, influencers, purchasing agents etc., company site information, not just an headquarters address and more. And this doesn’t account for other valuable data such as purchase history, competitive product installed etc. Your customer and prospect lists are the foundation of your marketing efforts. 50-70% of your marketing campaign success is dependent upon your list quality. How can you be sure you have good quality customer and prospect data? Read More »

Guest Post – 4 Steps to Lead Nurturing: Walking the Buying Path with Your Customers

imageThe following is a guest post from Brian Carroll. Brian is CEO of InTouch Inc. and author of the popular book, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and the B2B Lead Generation Blog. Brian just spoke to our Cisco partner community on how to develop effective lead generation and nurturing campaigns. Read his post below for more insights and actions you can take today to build your nurturing programs.Get out your walking shoes. This ain’t no walk in the park. Lead generation can take you on a long hike. The one thing I can guarantee you about the journey is that more is not better if you don’t know how to nurture. I define lead nurturing as that consistent and meaningful communication with viable prospects (those that are “a fit” for your solution) regardless of their timing to buy. It’s NOT “following-up” every few months to find out if a prospect is “ready to buy yet.” True nurturing involves a sometimes long and circuitous path but along the way you you’ll be building long, meaningful and trust-filled relationships with the right people. A recent study of business-to-business buyers shows that sales people who become trusted advisors and understand the needs of economic buyers are 69% more likely to come away with a sale! So, the first step on that path to success is to start thinking like a customer.Step 1: Walk IN your potential customers’ shoes. Consider the questions that customers have in mind before they make a buying decision: • How will this product/service help my company? • We’re doing okay, why do we need it? • Is there another company out there that is better? • Will their solution really work? Can they prove it? • Is the company credible? • Can we afford it? Help prospects find the answers to these questions, and you’ll remind them of the benefits of working with you. You’re creating value by giving them useful information in digestible, bite sized chunks. Read More »