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April 2011 Archives

Realising the promise of online display ads

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I read a useful piece in 'B-to-B', a US-based magazine aimed at b-to-b marketers. The headline: 'Realising the promise of online display ads' grabbed my attention as, working for a large business publisher, display advertising is something close to my heart.

John Obrecht, the author of the article points to a recent study by Forrester Research to argue that whilst most consumer brands have coherent and coordinated campaigns across display media, b-to-b marketers haven't caught-up yet. More to the point, the Forrester report points out several shortcomings with the b-to-b marketer's current approach.

The five opportunities recommended include:

1. Focusing on product promotion and thought leadership, rather than generic branding.
2. Driving prospects towards white papers, webinars and other content offers to nurture leads.
3. Not rely solely on short-term metrics, such as clicks and impressions to judge a campaign's effectiveness.
4. Using specialist b-to-b media & ad networks to better pinpoint target audiences.
5. Targeting prospects at the top of the funnel.

Further information

Dowload full article from 'B-to-B Marketing'

What Works Online  - more about how you can use online display as part of your marketing communication mix

Technology: How to get the most value

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Picture the scene, five people in a room trying to figure out how we can use the resources at our disposal to measure more precisely the flow of leads from channel right through to customer. We're all looking at an interesting chart with a range of boxes, describing the journey our prospective customers travel from first engaging with a brand to becoming a customer. I'm sure many of you have been in similar meetings many times before. This isn't a new problem. Marketers have always wanted to understand how they can acquire more opportunities cheaper and have invested in technologies in an attempt to make it easier. The whole process is dependent on sales and marketing teams working together with technology as an important resource in the team.

Hubsport recently highlighted five tips that can help sales and marketing teams work better together.  The points cover initatives such as 'communicate campaigns'; 'share results' and 'ask for feedback', most of which could be achieved without clever technology. Our question now though is how can we 'optimise' the technology we have invested in to increase the visibility of the sales and marketing pipeline and the volume of outcomes that we're all focused on?

There isn't a simple answer.  It's a given fact that sales and marketing teams need to work closely together to fill the pipeline of prospective customers.  However, as well as marketing and sales needing each other, both also need technology and people who understand systems and data.  These people can help make this whole complex process work well so that we can answer important questions such as 'what is your cost per opportunity?'; how does it compare per channel?'; what is your cost per sale?'  These are simple questions to ask, but in large, complex business environments with multiple teams and sophisticated technologies, they may not always be as easy to answer as we'd like.  When it comes to metrics, the easiest to do are very rarely the most valuable.  


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