Tag Archives: marketing

What does viral marketing look like?

When mixing marketing and social media you never really know what you’re going to get. The response look like just another drop in the ocean or as overwhelming as a tsunami.

I came across the video below at Jason Keath’s blog, the evolution of media, in a post that compared dancing to viral marketing. How does a dancing man at a concert relate to viral marketing? Well, you’ll just have to watch to find out.

Keath sums it up perfectly in his post:

The lesson? Be remarkable and passionate about what you do. If it is genuine, others will watch, some will join in, and the movement will grow.

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Email spending up, but watch for signs of overload

U.S. marketers are predicted to spend $2 billion on email marketing by 2014, amounting to an almost 11% compound annual growth rate, according to the latest forecast by Forrester Research.

Falling CPMs and high ROI are giving marketers more reason to rely on email as their primary direct marketing outreach, according to the “U.S. E-mail Marketing Forecast 2009 to 2014” report.

A major challenge for marketers to be on the lookout for is the use of email in social networks. Marketers will have to find a way to leverage social sharing tools in the same way they once used social and traditional inboxes.

But just because everyone’s doing it and spending a lot of money on it, doesn’t mean that this is the time for everyone to go into email overload.

You may be looking at email as an effective way to boost sales while your budget is feeling the pinch, but turning up the volume of emails you send customers could backfire in a big way.

“E-mail is such a low-cost channel to send that people have the impression they can keep pulling that lever,” said Aaron Smith, principal and co-founder of Smith-Harmon, a Seattle-based e-mail marketing, strategy and creative services provider.

“There’s a saturation level in the inbox that is unprecedented right now, and you are far more likely to oversaturate your customer base, upset them and turn them off.” (BtoB Magazine)

When you’re feeling the pressure to push out more emails, Smith offers some strong arguments on why it could be a bad idea in a recent BtoB Magazine article.

Why email overload can be a bad idea:

  • Lower lifetime value. The average value of an email address is $118. When subscribers start ignoring your messages or unsubscribe from your emails, that value quickly diminishes.
  • Higher spam complaints. Even if you’re sending to subscribers, they will start marking your emails as spam if you’re loading their inbox with more, but worthless messages.
  • Brand damage. It’s possible that a person can get so fed up with the amount of messages they receive from you, that they block you out entirely. Once they’re gone, it’s tough getting them back.

We’ve all had the joy of dealing with email overload in our personal inboxes. Turn those negative experiences into a chance to improve your marketing at work.

Improve your email marketing by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What standards do you have for emails subscriptions?
  • What motivates you to open an email? To click through in an email?
  • Why do you unsubscribe from mailing lists?

Understanding why you choose to subscribe, actively participate or unsubscribe from emails can give you an added insight into why your customers do the same.

Business success in four minutes flat

Why do so many people reach succes and then fail?

Analyst Richard St. John took the lessons he learned in business, both successes and failures, and put them in this advice-filled, honest four-minute presentation.

Take a quick break and listen to some awesome advice:

Eyetracking study reveals enlightening online tactics

Enlightening eytracking study

Enlightening eytracking study

Want to know whether your homepage layout is effective? Or if readers prefer short paragraphs over long ones? And if your ads are in the best place to be noticed by your audience?

Take a few minutes out of your day and read over the latest findings from Eyetrack III (via ProBlogger and the Direct Creative Blog). Their research could give your team a better idea of where to start and what to fix when it comes to your Web site design.

You can check out the full article for a complete overview of their findings, but here are some of the main points:

Headlines first, then pictures. When people first land on a page, they tend to look at dominant headlines before looking at pictures. Headlines located in the upper left of the page got the most attention.

The first few words in a headline are most important. A headline will grab less than a second of a visitor’s attention and it appears that the first few words need to be the most eye-catching. People scan the first couple words before deciding to read on.

Use large type for scanning, small type for closer reading. Smaller type is harder to read, so visitors have to focus when they want to find out more. As always, large type should be used for headlines to allow for easy scanning.

Short paragraphs have a better chance of being read than longer ones. Long paragraphs, especially on the Web, look difficult to read. Short paragraphs are more appealing.

Ads in the top and left portions of a homepage get the most attention. Our eyes tend to look at the upper left of a page when we first arrive on it.

Bigger ads are better. Bigger ads have a better chance of being seen. When ads are also placed next to popular content they’ll generally get more attention.

More B2Bs taking business online

Surpassing all other business-to-business media categories, online revenue had the most impressive growth in 2008, according to a recent report by The Jordan, Edmiston Group.

In 2008, the online category increased 15.1%, a shift mainly credited to the shift in ad dollars from magazines to online channels. Magazines have been declining in revenue over the past few years, showing an 8.4% annual decline in 2008.

“Advertising dollars continued shifting from print vehicles to online outlets, as magazine net ad revenue declined,” said Richard Mead, Managing Director at Jordan, Edmiston.

Where are most B2Bs putting their money? In online display and search advertising.

Online display and search advertising account for more than 50% of total online revenue and gained more than 12% year-over-year in 2008.

B2B buying behaviors, more irrational than we thought

If you’ve ever been searching for research on business-to-business buying behaviors, it can seem like you’re stuck in a maze full of an overwhelming amount of information on consumers around each turn.

To ease our frustration, Marketo and Enquiro Research teamed up to perform some research of their own to discover exactly how businesses make complex purchases.

Yesterday, Jon Miller shared some initial findings from their research at the Marketo blog. Here are a few highlights:

Despite popular belief, business buying is not rational. B2B buyers are self-taught and use a trial-and-error process in their decision making, helping to simplify complex decisions. Instead of dealing with just one irrational decision maker, marketers must deal with an entire group of irrational decision makers, making the buying process that much more complex.

Emotions play a big role. After a purchase, a B2B buyer may not experience the full benefit of their purchase directly or may not be recognized for making the decision and making a poor decision can put that buyer’s job security at risk. Fear drives most B2B buying decisions. “B2B buying is all about minimizing fear by minimizing risk.”

So, it turns out that what we once thought was a strictly linear buying funnel is actually a buying process that may not be logical or rational at times.

Check out the full post for even more great information, including Enquiro’s advice for managing B2B buyer’s perceived risk.

Half of HR vendors rank poorly online, where do you stand?

Since their launch of the SEO Center at HR Marketer.com, the company has been witness to some interesting statistics when it comes to how well HR vendors are managing their SEO.

HR Marketer’s data shows that not many have the hang of it, with only half of HR vendors ranking on the first few pages of major search engines for their top keyword strings.

After analyzing hundreds of HR vendors using their SEO Center, HR Marketer found that:

  • About 20% of HR vendors don’t show up on the first 10 pages (100 rankings) of top search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN).
  • Another 30% of HR vendors ranked on just one or two sets of keywords, but after the first two or three pages of search results.
  • Only about 15% had “exceptional” SEO, meaning they landed on page 1 of search rankings for at least two or three keyword strings.

On a positive note: What their data reveals is that about 50% of HR vendors do “get it” and are ranking on the first few pages of major search engines for their top keywords.

According to HR Marketer’s Mark Willaman, the data showing how many B2B companies are using SEO effectively to improve their search rankings should be a wake-up call for the other half of marketers out there.

“These are the companies being found first. So if your competitor ranks and you don’t guess who is getting the leads?” Mark asks.

Does your company “get it” when it comes to SEO and search rankings? What have you found that works or doesn’t work for your B2B that could be useful for others out there? Leave a comment and let us know.