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April 2009 Archives

5 Things to consider when crafting a lead nurture program

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Interesting post on what to consider when developing a nurturing campaign using marketing automation technology.

There are also some useful resources below to help you both optimise email marketing as part of the lead nurturing process as well as focusing more on improving the sophistication of lead scoring which is really at the heart of any lead nurturing programme.

·         Optimizing email marketing for Lead Nurturing:


Lead Scoring:



Digital Body Language

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Good interview with Steve Woods, teh author of a new book entitled 'Digital Body Language'. Steve helps demystify some of the jargon around marketing automation tools - something which is proviing invaluable for all the businesses that are embracing it - many small businesses in particular are investing in marketing automation software which enables them to communicate on a very frequent basis with their prospects and then determine when to invest more time in the sales process. In bigger businesses where sales and marketing are seperate departments, the automated software helps marketers nurture leads and pass the best prospects to sales. Nurturing is 'the art of maintaining permission to stay in frpont of a person with high value information'. Scoring determines whether to nurture or pass onto sales and what type of content to send. Steve provided a few practical steps to help marketers or entrepreneurs make the most of marketing automation software:

1. Think of everything from a buyer's point of view - ie map out the buyer's process, rather than the selling process

2. Program the system to score based on whether it's the right person, whether they are interested enough and whether they are at the right stage of the buying cycle - this will help to understand which message to send out out which point and when to engage sales

3. Analyse funnel on a quarterly basis

Here's the full interview:

IDM Conference on Surviving & Thriving in challenging times

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The 2009 IDM B2B conference highlighted several other important considerations for B2B marketing in a recession. In an era of radical and irreversible change, what our customers say about our products is more important than what we as marketers say, and peer recommendations carry more weight than expert reviews. Influencer Marketing was a recurrent theme of the 2009 IDM B2B Marketing Conference. It's as imperative in B2B as it is in B2C, and it's here to stay.

Here are some video highlights - including yours truly

Seven strategies for survival

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Seven strategies for survival.pdf

Useful practical strategies that you can follow

What not to do in a recession?

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Some practical tips on how to use email more effectively in a downturn. The key point is that email is a valuable direct response channel and is particularly valuable in these challenging times if you focus on the elements that are most important.



Content Marketing

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Good piece on content marketing - complete with some useful resources to incorporate 'Content Marketing' to acheive direct responses from marketing communication. I quite like the slogan for Content Marketing: "Don't pitch. Don't sell. Don't interrupt. Educate, inform and provide value to customers and prospects. Your business will grow" - quite a different way of thinking!

You can see the full article here:

Online conferences

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One creative idea to spread thought-leadership knowledge directly from a desk-top is to collect together examples of the best free presentations around a subject and offer them to the world. Here's an example:


Marketing in a recession webinar

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The power of integrated media campaigns

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Useful piece supporting integrated, customer-centric media campaigns:

* In this recession, it is more important than ever for publishers to convince advertisers of a Fundamental Truth: cross-media and combination method (branding plus direct action) campaigns generate the most engagement, the highest conversions and the highest ROI. Advertisers who ignorantly drop back to just search campaigns are lowering their ROI.

Important Details: The tough economy is pushing some advertisers to a belief that measurable pay-per-click (PPC) ads are the safest way to spend their shrinking marketing spending pools while pulling money out of branding campaigns. The display ad market was reported [1] to fall 5.6% in the first nine months of 2008, even before the bottom fell out of the economy in October. This is occurring concurrent with Incisive Media's announcement [2] that its Search Engine Strategies London 2009 Conference & Expo organisers have seen an increase in attendance of 11% compared to last year, consistent with growing interest in search advertising.

Implications: In this recession it is more important than ever for publishers to accelerate their use of tracking studies and analytics to convince advertisers of a Fundamental Truth: cross-media and combination method (branding plus direct action) campaigns generate the most engagement, the highest conversions and the highest ROI. When ad budgets are being cut, higher ROI is key to extracting more return from advertiser spending.

The stampede to PPC at the expense of all other methods and campaigns is happening in spite of a growing body of studies that unanimously show the power of cross-media and combined brand-building and action-based campaigns (PPC and opt-in).

* Outsell studies of advertisers show that 54% of advertisers spend on three or more types of media;

* A comScore study of 175,000 panelists published in July 2007 [3] compared the retail goods purchasing behavior of those exposed to online advertising with the behavior of those who were not exposed. Two of the key findings

* Integrated display and search campaigns have maximum impact, resulting in deeper engagement and leading to increased sales;

* Almost 90% of the incremental sales generated by online advertising take place offline in stores.

* Hearst consumer magazines reported [4] that 1.6 million new paid print magazine subscriptions were generated specifically from web campaigns. Not only were 90% of these subscribers new to Hearst, but the demographic was 8-10 years younger than the company's existing print subscriber base.

* 67% of online search users are driven to search by some offline channel from a 2007 iProspect/JupiterResearch study of 2,322 people [5] randomly selected from an online consumer panel. Results showed that offline channels clearly influence a significant percentage of online users to subsequently search for the company name, product/service name, or slogan that appears in the offline channel's messaging.

* A 12-month study [6] backed by comScore showed a 155% increase in search activity from consumers exposed to display advertising. Those exposed to display ads were more likely to search for brand terms (i.e. automotive manufacturer), and segment terms (i.e. vehicle class), than unexposed consumers.

Users, the ones who buy products and services, swim in a virtual soup of messages that surrounds and affects them everywhere and during every waking hour. Display ads, sponsorships, opt-in email newsletters, events, social networks, print, outdoor, TV, radio all strengthen the stimulus to initiate a search, and affect which search listings user choose to click on.
Publishers need to arm their marketing and sales efforts with these study results, and sponsor more of them, and continually whack away at advertisers' overblown infatuation with search. Advertisers who ignorantly drop back to just search campaigns are lowering their ROI, period.
Publishers offer the sea, air and ground support that softens the beaches for successful search attacks and other sales appeals.

Optimising Email - how good should you be?

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Some useful benchmarking data to help optimise an improve email response rates. One big supplier, Dreamail did some analysis based on millions of emails delivered by their clients in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) for a two year period: Q4 2006 through Q4 2008, from a range of countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, South, Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. The email performance metrics reported averages across all companies in a category - an unweighted average, irrespective of mail volumes by a particular company - to provide a measure of "average company performance."


EMEA - Quarterly trend                                   Q407/Q408 % Change

Delivered/non bounce rate           95.4%               +1.4%
Open                                        21.7%               -5.7%
CTR                                          7.6%                 -12.6%

UK - Quarterly Trend

Delivered/non bounce rate           95.7%               +2%

Open                                        20.2%               -3.3%

CTR                                          7.5%                 0.0%

Trends by Industry



 Industry Category






 Trend Data


 Publishers and broadcasters

 Lifestyle, business, scientific

 Delivered 96.1%

 Opens    21.4%

 CTR       8.7%


 Marketers of consumer   and business products

 Packaged goods, health & beauty, household products, software, consumer electronics, apparel

 Delivered  95.5%

 Opens     22.6%

 CTR        8.4%


 Marketers of consumer and business services

 Consumer lifestyle, telecom, Internet services, travel,   financial services

 Delivered  95.0%

 Opens     20.6%

 CTR        6.2%




·        Definition: # of emails sent minus # of bounces and filtered messages


·         Calculation: # of emails opened divided by # of html & multipart emails delivered

·         Caveats: Having preview pane open means emails are considered open, so this can overestimate open rates but only if images are downloaded. Image blocking also blocks the open rate tracking pixel, which leads to underestimating open rates. Therefore open rates can be misleading. But they're still a valuable metric that we use as relative measure, a guideline for consistency or a clue to deliverability or content blocking problems.

·         Drivers: Your newsletter is targeted correctly; your brand is trusted and valued and you have a branded "from" line; compelling subject line. Keep the subject line shorter than 50 characters. Optimise autopreview

·         Note: As inactives are removed from your lists ORs will automatically improve


·         Calculation: Total clicks divided by emails delivered

·         Drivers: Preview pane optimisation; captivating and relevant headlines and abstracts. Increased number of hyperlinks leads to increased CTR's.

·         Please Note: As inactives are removed from your lists CTRs will automatically improve


·         Calculation: Total clicks divided by emails opened

·         A measure of active interest in your newsletter and the quality of its content. The CTOR measures how effective your email message was in motivating recipients who opened it to then click the links.

·         Drivers: Compelling, relevant, engaging content, incl. tactics, e.g. whitepapers/downloads, how-to articles; captivating headlines and abstracts; good design and flow

Small is beautiful

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Another interesting insight from Outsell - whilst the downturn is putting pressures on sales and cashflow, small companies (with 1 to 100 employees) seem to be more positive according to Outsell than large ones (over 1,000 employees). Large B2B suppliers tell Outsell that they plan to decrease their total marketing spending 9.7% in 2009, while small firms expect to cut back only 0.4%. Over one-fourth, 26%, of small firms plan to increase their marketing spending in 2009, contrasted with only 13% of large firms forecating increases.

For b2b marketers, the implications are to focus on building a customer base from smaller organisations. In B2B publishing for instance defining simpler, perhaps self-service propositions aimed at the huge numbers of entreprneurial firms or SMEs who don't want to cut back on marketing and are keen to benefit whilst larger companies are cutting-back.


Funnel images

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I've seen many different funnels over the last few years - II like the one below which I've taken from: in a simple way,  it demonstrates how the top of the funnel is simply an extension of the whole sales process. In terms of helping the funnel run smoothly, there's also a good thought leadership piece on the right metrics to look at here:



What can be achieved in 10 Weeks?

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I was interested to read the account of waht one guy managed to achieve in 10 weeks: created a website, narrated a book and got someone in India to type it; used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the like to promote it; Got 12,232 downloads who all joined his marketing list - all for free; asked those 12,232 what they wanted to learn; 1600 wanted to learn how to buy and sell businesses; created a seminar; shot some videos; sold 100 spots at £5k a head; recorded the seminar and turned it into a home study program; asked other people if they were interested to learn how he did that - they said yes, so he created a coaching programme over 12 months to teach them...

..I don't know what the quality was like, but it's an impressive achievement.

Don Tapscott lecture

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Great lecture by Don Tapscott at a lunch organised by the IDM. He's the author of 'Wikinomics' and I like his example of how his son set up a Facebook Group and built a community around around advanced chapter content.

Small companies are increasing budgets to win share

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I read another interesting paper from Outsell this morning - this one looking at where advertising and marketing budgets are predicted to go this year in the US. Overall 48% of small companies are saying they're keeping spend flat, whilst 26% are planning to increase and a further 26% planning to decrease. The picture is different for large B2B companies - here 47% are planning to keep the status quo, only 13% are planning an increase - whilst 40% are planning a decrease.

In terms of media - online is the only category where marketers are planning to increase spend. Again, the % increase varies by size of organisation, with smaller companies planning an 8.2% increase and larger companies 0.4%. Most other media types are looking at reduced spend - events, print, TV, Radio.

With online marketing spend forecast to grow in both small and large firms, the data shows that the largest single recipient of online spending by a factor of 4 remains spending on companies' own websites, which receive 59.1% of total online budgets. Publishers are well positioned to offer marketing services to these companies.

Another category which is ranked highly is E-mail marketing whcih is popular for lead generationa and customer acquisition activities.

With spend on real-world events predicted to fall, more money is being invested in virtual events such as webinars.


5 tips on email marketing in a recession

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B2B Marketing published a number of tips to help improve the effectiveness of email marketing:


Cross media campaigns boost response by 28%

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Logic tells you that if you run a campaign across media platforms, the results will be far better than if they run in just one. With this in mind, I was interested to read the results of a piece of research from Outsell which polled 400 B2B advertises and found that small advertisers (1 to 100 employees) reported 29% higher lead generation effectiveness for cross media campaigns and large firms(1,000+ employees) reported 28% higher. These are impressive results as can be seen by the attached chart: Cross Media.ppt

Whilst Outsell acknowledges that selling cross media campaigns in the current economic climate is "swimming against the tide", they point out that "a 27% to 33% boost in campaign effectiveness is an overpowering reason to hold one's nerve and maintain a mix of media that will help achieve commercial objectives.