Wired Pursuits

Archive for June 2008

­According to a recent study by MarketingSherpa, there seems to be a disconnect between what marketers feel is valuable to their buyers and what buyers say has value.  In order to determine what content had the most value, MarketingSherpa asked B2B buyers and B2B marketers to indicate which types of content they felt was worthy of registration.

Where they agreed:

  • Both marketers and buyers felt whitepapers still had the most value (assuming the content is good of course).
  • There was also agreement on the perceived value of analyst reports.  But that’s where the agreement ended.

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Where they disagreed:

  • Marketers placed a heavier value on demos, podcasts, and online videos than did their buyers.
  • Buyers placed a heavier value on case studies, product literature, and archived articles than their marketing counterparts.
  • One of the most striking differences was in the perceived value of demos, webcasts, and podcasts.

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So why the big differences?

It makes sense that marketers would place a heavy value on rich media assets like webcasts, podcasts, and videos because they tend to cost more and take more time to create than other types of content.  It may be that in marketers’ minds, their value can’t be detached from the time and effort it took to create them.

From the buyers’ perspective, they’re looking for information that helps them make an informed buying decision.  They want product details (e.g., literature), insights into why your solution is better (e.g., whitepapers), and comfort in hearing how others have succeeded using your solutions (e.g., case studies).

They also want to get a good idea of what your product does early on in the decision process (e.g., demos).  Since this is a key factor in helping them understand what you have to offer, they likely expect to have access without registration.

What does this mean for me?

The take away here isn’t that you should add registration for product literature and case studies (whitepapers yes).  Or, that podcasts and webcasts have no value.  Instead what’s revealing is the type of content B2B buyers value.

According to what they said, whitepapers, case studies, analyst reports, and product literature are at the top of their list (in that order).

Armed with that knowledge, take a fresh look at your site and your content from your buyer’s perspective.  Do you have what they want?  Is it easy to find?  Are you promoting the most valuable content across your site?

(Charts from MarketingSherpa, 2008-09 Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide).

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Are you addicted to social media or at risk for addiction?  Would you recognize the warning signs?

Social Media Addiction (SMA) is a physiological dependence on social media and user generated content.  If left untreated it can lead to sleep deprivation, mental and marital problems, and Learned Attention Deficit Disorder.

Once an individual has been exposed to social media, they may be unable to predict or control the extent to which they will continue its use.  Social media is one of the most addictive habits that has been devised so far.  Social media addicts must have more and more social media to sustain their “high” and avoid the intense “crash” and anxiety that occurs when they’re “out of touch” for any length of time.  Social media addicts become physically and psychologically dependent on social media after only a few exposures.

No one is ever “cured” from SMA, but symptoms can be managed.  SMA is often characterized by frequent periods of remission and relapse, so it is important to monitor the patient closely while in treatment.

10 warning signs you may have a social media addiction.

If you think you, or your loved one, is suffering from SMA, take the quiz below.  Just answer “true” or “false” to each statement.

  1. You find yourself accessing social media sites first thing in the morning, and last thing before you go to bed at night.
  2. You become angry or agitated when unable to access your social media sites.
  3. You regularly spend time on social media sites while alone.
  4. You’ve been woken up late at night more than once, not in your bed, by the faint glow of a social media site.
  5. You check the number of “friends,” “followers,” or “connections” you have more than once a day.
  6. When you hear about others experimenting with new social media tools, you are unable to continue what you are doing without stopping to experience them yourself.
  7. More than once, you’ve had conversations with people online who are within your line of site.
  8. At family and/or business gatherings, you’ve hidden the fact that you’re looking at a social media site from others in attendance (also know as the “under the table, handheld look-up quickie”).
  9. You’ve lied or withheld information about the amount of time you spend on social media sites.
  10. Your family has asked you to stop, but you can’t.

If you answer “true” to one or more of these questions, you may be suffering from SMA.

To see comments, go to original post on Erickson Barnett Blog.

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Title: The New Rules of Marketing & PR

Author: David Meerman Scott­

Pub Date: June, 2007

marketing_pr.jpeg The best book I’ve read that deals with the blurring lines between marketing and PR.  Scott speaks from knowledge based on a long a history of breaking the rules when it comes to reaching his buyers.

Scott’s number one focus is connecting with the buyer and his book is full of examples and great advice that’s easy to digest.

Some tidbits:

  • “Content drives action.”
  • “Don’t tell journalists [and bloggers] what your product does. Tell them how you solve customer problems.”
  • “The web has changed the rules. Today, organizations are communicating directly with buyers.”
  • “You are what you publish.”

Best piece of advice:

“Do not write about your company and your products.  Thought leadership content is designed to solve buyer problems…”

Scott recommends developing personas through research and interview with your buyers to help identify their needs, the language they use, and what they’re looking for from your company.

Business take-away:

The web has opened a whole new world for both companies and buyers.  It doesn’t eliminate the need for PR and marketing but it should change how you go about communicating with your buyers.

  • Use personas to understand your audiences’ needs.
  • Look for ways to shift from one-way to two-way communications.
  • Use the web to give your company a voice and create a direct, personal connection with your buyers.
  • And finally, look for agencies who understand and embrace this new world.  Ones who can help you navigate and leverage it to your advantage.

Scott is speaking at the MarketingProfs B2B conference, up in Boston June 9 -10.

Think about the last time you were at a cocktail party.  Think back to the people you met there. They likely fell into one of 3 types:

  • ­Blah Blah Barry: Barry didn’t make a connection with you in any way.  You know you interacted with him but you don’t remember anything about the experience.  You have a faint recollection of what he looked like but you don’t remember what you talked about, or what he said.  The whole conversation reminded you of that Far Side cartoon with Ginger the dog.

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  • Ima Important: Ima talked incessantly about herself.  She prattled on and on telling you her complete life story and all the great things she had accomplished.  At some point she even asked for your name and email so she could keep you updated on her latest “venture.”  You found the first opportunity to bail out of the conversation and spent the rest of the evening avoiding her along with everyone else.
  • Breath of Fresh Aaron: You had an immediate connection with Aaron.  He spent most of the time asking you questions about yourself and making insightful comments.  He seemed completely engaged and interested in every word.  At some point in the conversation he gave you an great tip that you can’t wait to try out tomorrow at work.

Now think about your web site.  What personality does it have?  When potential buyers engage with it will they feel like their talking with Barry, Ima or Aaron?


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