Tag Archives: new marketing ideas

Stop wasting marketing dollars and start getting creative

To get a clear picture of how much money marketers waste each week all most people have to do is simply take out the trash.

Every week marketers send out thousands upon thousands of pieces of direct mail. If they’re lucky, some will get a quick second look by their recipients before they end up in the garbage or recycling bin. Along with the money, marketers time and effort are also being taken out with the trash.

When most people find direct mail in their inboxes, the immediately classify it as “junk” and quickly dispose of it. To really catch your audience’s attention, you have to find a creative way to get noticed and make people take a second look.

Because we all receive multiple pieces of junk mail daily, it takes a truly creative approach to stand out from the crowd. Will V. at The Better Response Blog recently tacked the issue and shared some ingenious examples of direct marketing that isn’t a waste of money.

Two dollar bill DM campaign, The Better Response Blog

Two dollar bill DM campaign, The Better Response Blog

The first example is of a piece by the Seattle Art Museum to promote the Life Liberty and Pusuit of Happiness exhibit. The marketing piece took the form of a two dollar bill, something most people don’t see everyday. Will admitted he’d likely read it before throwing it away. At least it’s a step up from landing directly in the trash, without so much as a slight glance.

“The point I am trying to make is we should always try to create a piece that no one else is creating. Part of marketing is to stand out and not be typical. Being typical will not catch any attention and is a waste of money. This may be a thought that is always in the back of our minds, but we don’t always factor it into our marketing initiatives,” Will says.

Will showed another good example of a direct mail campaign that not only stood out from the crowd, but was “highly personalized.” As part of a sensory-based direct mail campaign, Proximity London crafted a letter made entirely out of chocolate. Yes, real chocolate.

I don’t know about you, but receiving a chocolate letter in the mail would catch my attention close to 100% of the time. Before I devoured it, you could bet that I would also be spreading the message and showing the piece to everyone in the office.

We’re not expecting you to go out and print your next direct mail piece on chocolate, but if you do just make sure I’m on the mailing list. What we’re saying is that it’s time to start getting really creative with your marketing.

“Do not send out postcards because your competitors are sending out postcards. Send out something you know your competitors will not be sending out. Remember, you are not just competing with your competitors’ pieces, but with the 50 gazillion other pieces who are not even from the same industry,” Will adds.

Ask yourself truthfully if you would stop and read what your company is mailing out. If you think it’s going to land in the trash, it’s time to rethink your idea. Stop wasting your marketing dollars and start grabbing people’s attention.

What creative techniques have you used recently in your marketing to grab your audience’s attention? Or, have you been the recipient of a cool piece of direct marketing? Let us know about it …

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B2B’s bread and butter: The white paper

White papers, B2B's bread and butter

White papers, B2B's bread and butter

InformationWeek recently released an insightful report on how to maximize the power of white papers in B2B marketing.

Researchers surveyed 542 IT decision makers and how they use white papers. The survey results show that white papers are still considered an important tool in persuading and engaging customer decisions.

You’ll have to register with InformationWeek to download a full copy of the report, but here are some highlights:

  • 76% of respondents use white papers for general education on a specific technology topic or issue
  • 74% percent use white papers to investigate possible technology solutions
  • 83% use white papers just as much or more than they have in the past
  • 93% pass along information they find in downloaded white papers to colleagues

While the survey dealt specifically with IT buyers, the results of the survey are easily translated across all areas of business to business marketing.

The survey also asked for feedback on what readers want from white papers, information that anyone within the IT industry or not can put to good use. Respondents revealed the top features of a good white paper include:

  • A concise abstract
  • Transparency/minimal marketing
  • Case studies
  • Product information with specifications
  • Technical diagrams
  • Downloadable PDF version

Survey respondents also revealed some eye-opening statistics on the impact white papers have on readers. Among the survey respondents:

  • 54% contacted a vendor for more information as a result of reading a white paper
  • 36% made a purchase after reading a white paper
  • 32% included a white paper in a case to support a purchase.

As new media struggles to show its growing value, the tried-and-true methods like business to business white papers prove that they still can have powerful results.

Three types of people in B2B sales, who are you?

According to marketing guru Seth Godin, There are only three kinds of people in business to business sales:

The “Stallers”
– These people make up the majority of the population and are “empowered to stall.” They’ll ask for so much more information that you’ll feel like you’ve been sent “after the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west.”

The “No” People
– Those that have the ability to stall, but also possess the authority to hand you a big, fat “no.”

The “Yes” People
– This group is the smallest of the bunch, but full of those with the power to say “yes” to your offer. They may participate in stall tactics, but just for the fun of it.

If you’ve ever been part of a business to business sales team, most of your experience comes from dealing with “stallers” and “no” people. It’s a great day when you get to deliver your pitch to one of the “yes” people, but it may only happen rarely.

“You have no chance (zero) of moving someone from one category to another. The reason this system evolved is straightforward: the yes people are rare in a typical organization, because they have responsibility and power. So they are busy and need to be protected. The no people are easy to train at saying no, and they’re waiting to be promoted to yes people. And the stallers? They represent the dip, the barrier salespeople have to get through to show that they are serious.”

Instead of trying in vain to move someone from one category to another, Seth says to get up and start playing offense if you want the best deal.

“The opportunity for marketers in search of media is not to play defense, to stall people with clever ideas or small platforms, but instead to stop stalling and start looking. The bargains are there, just waiting.”

It’s a great post that hope everyone had a chance to read, visit Seth’s blog for even more great advice.

So, who are you? “Staller,” a “no” person or a “yes” person? Leave a comment and let us know why.

Marketing in a recession, beware of zombies

Todd Defren, author of the PR-Squared blog and a principal at SHIFT Communications, posted an insightful slide presentation last week on how we’re all going to survive through this recession.

The presentation is all about marketing in a recession and offers some great ideas that any B2C or B2B marketer can put into practice. As an added bonus, the presentation features advice from a brain-eating zombie. Yes, a zombie.

Check it out for yourself:

Who says B2B videos have to be boring?

There’s been a debate going around recently that business to business marketing has no place in social media. For everyone who questions whether B2B viral videos can be successful, we’ve found another example of how they can.

Since Cisco posted this video on January 29, it has had more than 140,000 views. Find out how you can show your love through Cisco in this funny B2B marketing video:

Fun with B2B marketing videos. Yes, fun.

When you start talking about B2B marketing videos, many people stop listening. In the past, B2B viral videos were cheesy and a mediocre attempt at getting the same kind of attention B2C videos would typically get.

But today, marketers are getting more creative and exploring the opportunities for innovation that video marketing presents. Though it does have its challenges, B2B marketing videos can be successful, effective and even funny.

Recently we came across a set of videos from Vital Smarts that clearly demonstrate how it can be done. Below is just one video to take notes on, but we suggest you check out their full collection for some interesting B2B marketing ideas.

Improve product visibility with Google Base

Google Base is a free service from Google that allows you to submit information about your company’s products and services, along with keyword descriptions to help improve your online visibility.

The cool part is that you don’t necessarily need a website in order for Google Base to work for you. Anyone can list their products and services whether they’re sold online or offline.

Improve product visibility with Google Base

Improve product visibility with Google Base

The service functions just like a regular Google search. Depending on how relevant your product is to a person’s Google search, your product will either show up in “Google Product Search” or it will come up on the main search results page.

Google Base is easy to set up. First you need a Google account, which is free and takes minutes to create. Once you have your account, go to Google Base and login. You can either start adding your products and services one by one, or upload the information using a spreadsheet or XML file.

Similar to the way you optimize your web pages, there are ways to improve the chance of your products showing up at the top of Google Base results pages. Success mainly depends on your product descriptions and images.

Make sure that the titles and descriptions of each item are valid. Avoid using salesy descriptions or anything that sounds spammy, it will only hurt your rankings.

Upload a high-quality image for every item you list. Images increase the chance that people will click on your item to find out more information.

Google Base is an interesting tool that is definitely worth trying. Even if you don’t have a website, it’s a great way to boost your product visibility online.