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Lead Nurturing & Lists: Let’s Get Started

imageLead generation and lead nurturing are top of mind for me this week. Ok… this is usually where my head is at anyway, but this week is different. This week, we have Brian Carroll, CEO of InTouch, and author of “Lead Generation for the Complex Sale” and the B2B Lead Generation Blog, presenting to our partners on how to develop high quality lead generation and nurturing campaigns. Why is this so exciting? Well… Let’s take a look at what lead nurturing can do for your business.According to a CSO Insights report, companies with good lead generation and nurturing programs have:• 7% higher win rates• 9.3% more sales reps making quota• 16% better conversion from lead to first meeting• 62% have shorter sales cycles versus 42% of other companies• 10% shorter sales ramp up timeNow that’s something to get excited about. But keep in mind that good lead generation and nurturing requires some time and effort… not to mention a list of prospects to nurture. Read More »

Social Media Leads Interactive Marketing Spending

It’s always interesting to hear what analysts have to say about new trends in marketing and think about how our own marketing strategies have or need to evolve. A few weeks ago, Forrester released its five year forecast on marketing spending showing social media ahead of all other forms of interactive marketing spending with a CAGR of 34%. Mobile marketing is the second fastest growing budget item. Email and display advertising are expected to grow more slowly. Check out the chart below for details. imageForrester will issue the full report later this Spring. Until then, what are your thoughts on this evolution of marketing?

Impressions from the SF Inbound Marketing Summit

imageLast week, I spent two days at the Inbound Marketing Summit , an event focused exclusively on online marketing and social media. Chaired by Chris Brogan, David Meerman Scott, Paul Gillin, and Justin Levy -- some of the best known thought leaders on social media -- the event was a rapid fire series of 20 to 30 minute presentations. Made my brain hurt, but in a good way! There was so much information presented at this event that I am still trying to digest it and put it in some context to help Cisco partners market more effectively. Here is a small sample of the things that resonated most with me:The Value of Social Media:“Every marketer is now a publisher. Every publisher is now a marketer. Every consumer is now both. To succeed, companies must leverage digital media to start and join conversations.” (John Battelle, Federated Media Publishing)For those of you that think that engaging in social media is a risky endeavor, consider this: “Social media didn’t invent criticism, it was happening anyway and people ask, what’s the value of social media? So, what’s the value of taking someone out to play golf? It’s about building relationships” (Amber Naslund, Radian6). Think about that for a minute. Criticism is going to happen. Social media allows you to address any criticism directly and potentially turn a negative perception into a positive one; to develop a relationship with a potential customer. That’s incredibly powerful. Read More »

Event Ambassadors – Let Your Customers Do the Talking

imageIn-person events are one of the most, if not the most, popular marketing tactic within the Cisco partner community. Although, we’ve been talking a lot about social media marketing in this blog, it’s important to note that social media and traditional marketing can live side-by-side and effectively complement each other. And let’s face it -- our sales teams love to be in front of customers. So, I wanted to take a minute and suggest an event format idea that I hope you find interesting and valuable. We all recognize the value in creating customer success stories whether in print, video or podcast format. What if you could take customer successes and turn them into something more? What if your customers could become true ambassadors for you in the sales process? Read More »

Your List – If You Build It, You’ll Be More Effective

imageThe inimitable and immortal words of Shel Silverstein say it best:”Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,Eddie touched a troll,Laurie danced with witches once,Charlie found some goblins’ gold.Donald heard a mermaid sing,Susy spied an elf,But all the magic I have knownI’ve had to make myself”Nowhere is this more true than when you are talking about obtaining a list of high quality prospects (This is also more evidence that all I need to know I learned in kindergarten ). Lists are the heart of your direct marketing efforts and it takes work to effectively develop and manage your direct marketing list. In an earlier post about list procurement, I offered up 13 rules for working with lists. As a follow up to this, I wanted to provide some very tactical recommendations and ideas specifically around how to build your own list. In B2B marketing, the very best mailing lists are the ones you build yourself. Self-compiled mailing lists are created by combing through public sources, like trade association member directories, web sites, industry directories and your own company’s prospect databases. Read More »