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Email Marketing: Why is Content Important?

imageEmail… as marketers we love it. It’s inexpensive, trackable and provides a decent return on investment. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, every dollar spent on email marketing in 2008 generated $45.06. This is slightly down from previous years, but the ROI on email will continue to outpace that of other marketing vehicles for the foreseeable future. MarketingSherpa has been studying email trends for a long time focusing on the relationship between email practices and success. They recently posted this chart highlighting email trends from 2001 through the present. Read More »

The Correlation Between Social Media & Revenue

imageAs marketers, driving revenue is our ultimate goal and being able to track marketing efforts to actual sales is nirvana. Money talks, after all. But what about social media? In the past, debates have raged about the value of putting resources, time and effort into social media, when its impact was unclear. Even today, when most companies acknowledge that social media should be part of their marketing strategy, there is still the question about the value. What impact can social media have on your business? Does it help to drive revenue? Is the investment worth it? According to new research from Wetpaint, a social media platform, and Altimeter Group, a digital strategies consulting group, there is significant correlation between a company’s social media engagement and their revenue and profit. Read More »

Patience is a Virtue When It Comes to Telemarketing

imageTelemarketing is one of those “old school” marketing techniques. Worse, it’s probably one of the poster children for interruption marketing. No one is overly excited to get a call from a telemarketer. But, it is also an essential part of any integrated campaign focused on demand generation. It is especially important as a component in lead nurturing. More information on this can be found on Brian Carroll’s B2B Lead Generation BlogIf you’re a Cisco partner, you know that Cisco offers many marketing programs that are telemarketing based or have a telemarketing component. If you’re not utilizing these programs, you are likely doing some form of telemarketing whether it is a custom program you have set up with a vendor or with in-house resources, if you’re lucky enough to have people on staff. Regardless, of how you are doing telemarketing, it may be time to re-evaluate. The standard rule with telemarketing has been that three attempts to contact a prospect was sufficient. Any more than three times was thought to result in diminishing returns. Times change. Read More »

Changing Information Sources for Buyers of Complex Solutions

Being aware of changing buyer behaviors is critical to marketers. This knowledge allows better alignment between the selling process and the target customer’s buying process; improving marketing effectiveness. A recent MarketingSherpa survey found that the sources of information relied upon for making large and complex purchases are changing rapidly. imageKey findings include:Virtual Events Are In: Many buyers shifted from face-to-face events and tradeshows to virtual formats for product, service and vendor information primarily due to cutbacks in travel budgets.• Social Media is Emerging as a Key Resource: Blogs and social networks are emerging as important resources due in large part to the objectivity of their content. Third-party social sites are favored for their impartiality. Vendor branded blogs and discussion forums on vendor branded social sites provide a mix of subjective company information with moderated commentary and peer discussions. Read More »

Direct Mail: Something Old Becomes Something New

imageI have been scrutinizing my mail lately. You know… the kind delivered by the US Postal Service. We are living in an age of consumer empowerment where customers decide what they want to receive, when they want to receive it, and have the ability to weigh in on the value and experience associated with our marketing/products/services. Social media has had a lot to do with that. I’m curious how this expectation of personalization and empowerment has crossed over to more traditional marketing such as direct mail. Case in point, week before last I was chatting with a colleague while she opened her email. She came across an invitation to a seminar where Jack Welch was the keynote speaker. The cover letter was addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam”. Without reading further, my colleague promptly tore up the invite and tossed it. (Sorry Jack…). Seems there may be a personalization threshold that must be met in direct mail, at least. What are some of the ways that direct mail is changing to meet this expectation of personalization? Read More »