Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

B2B Marketers still struggle with lead nurturing

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

I thought it was widely understood by now that staying in touch with a prospect who has shown some interest in your product or service can triple, even quadruple, lead-to-sales conversion rates. (more…)

Integrating Awareness and Demand Generation Marketing

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Last month, I explained how I help executives descend a common learning curve, to get them to buy into outside-in marketing. Most executives from traditional marketing backgrounds build branding campaigns and drive eyeballs to them through advertising. I explained how this model doesn’t work especially well in digital, where the target audience is more skeptical and proactive than in traditional media. Rather than being pushed passive messages, the digital audience needs to be pulled into active engagements.

How targeted is your approach to marketing?

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

This post is all about targeted marketing and why YOUR marketing needs to be targeted, if you are serious about developing your business.

Here’s a great example of targeted marketing for you. I am around 99% certain that you are a business owner. In fact, I believe you either own a business, or are a consultant or a freelancer.

I was spot on or pretty close, wasn’t I?


Comparing Marketing And Real Customer Value

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

I was in London a couple weeks ago, and was reminded how I always like the simple phrase that asks you to be careful as you step from the Underground subway car to the platform, “Mind the Gap.” But I think marketers need to mind a different gap, the one between the frills of image marketing and real customer value. And guess who is there to teach us that lesson today? The Gap. Yeah, that Gap, the one that sells jeans and other casual clothing in just about every mall near you.

The big story about The Gap (you might call it “The Gap Flap,” although of course I never would) is how a fierce outcry in social media forced The Gap to take down its new expensive logo in favor of the old one that its customers love. You can take a gander at both below to see what everyone is up in arms about.


Now, what I know about logos fits snugly in a thimble, so this is the last place that you should expect me to wax poetic about the pros and cons of either logo. I sometimes shop at The Gap and I can’t imagine that the logo has anything to do with that, although I suppose it would probably be something I was unaware of. But this isn’t about the logos.

No, you say, it is about the power of the social media, right? Well, perhaps. But it’s more about what you get conversation about in social media. 99% of The Gap’s customers probably couldn’t care less about the logo, but a very vocal 1% do, and that is who you hear from in social media. Once those 1% start talking, then a lot of the 99% hear what they say (the 1% have framed the issue for them) and then some of them say, “Yeah, what’s wrong with that old logo that I love?”

And because it is just a logo, there is nothing wrong with it. There is nothing that you can defend as to why you changed it. You might have focus groups that show how more people are attracted to it and you might have research that show that it evokes a whole new image for the company and that sales go up 20% but how can you tell that to your customers? At best, they will feel like you are manipulating them.

So, I am wondering if the days of making well-researched changes to logos might be nearing an end, at least for businesses that inspire some level of passion about their brand. Or perhaps The Gap needed to involve the 1% in the process of changing the logo, rather than springing it on them after lots of secrecy.

No matter. What is important is that in an age of transparency, it’s harder and harder to tell your customers that you just sank millions into redesigning your logo instead of doing something valuable for them. Instead of making higher quality clothing, or lowering prices, or improving service, or increasing selection, or something else that many customers care about, you redesigned your logo.

By doing so, you annoy that vocal few that actually revere your brand in a religious way, and you can’t defend what you are doing to anyone without looking slick. The big story here is not that social media forced The Gap to revert to its old logo. The story is that social media forces companies to do things that help their customers, and changing the logo is probably not high up on any of their customer’s list.

Social media isn’t all that complicated, folks. If you change your logo, people are going to talk about your logo. But is that where you want the focus? Try changing something you want them to talk about and see what happens. So the next time you are considering a marketing change that is more about image than customer value, you might want to mind the gap.


Do We Sabotage Our Own Marketing Efforts?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I am old, so I remember the Walt Kelly comic strip from the ’60s called Pogo, of which the most famous line ever was “I have met the enemy and it is us.” In Internet marketing, it is so often true that we are our own worst enemies. I was reminded of that recently when I taught one of my many classes to veteran marketers looking to understand this Internet thing. Most traditional marketers have some amount of struggle with the Do It Wrong Quickly concept, but on this occasion I ran into one who was apparently so threatened by it that nothing was going to penetrate. And my diagnosis is that the fear she was grappling with was preventing her from moving forward—that she was literally her own worst enemy. And it happens to all of us sometimes.


Writing Content That Solves Problems And Attracts Customers

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Affiliate marketing is a tough way to make a living these days. The competition is fierce, the commissions are slimmer than ever, and the marketing costs higher than ever. All this was brought to mind for me when someone sent me a question on affiliate marketing. This question was from someone with a lot of experience in Internet marketing who is tired of working for other people and wants a business of her own, in an area that she knows about, such as fashion or beauty. But she knows this is a tough business, so she wants to know what she should do differently.


Writing Strong PayPerClick Text Ads

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Creating high converting text ads for search engine marketing is no easy task, but there are certain key factors that can help you create ads that both grab the attention of the searcher and lead them along through the conversion process.

Below is a breakdown of the sections of a text ad and certain items that should be contained within each section.


Marketing Your Site Pages To Get Users To Take Action

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Just finished listening to a webinar on optimizing landing pages put on by Flint McGlaughlin of MarketingExperiments. There was some great information in it–some I heard/knew, and some was new to me. Whether you’re looking to increase the leads your web site is generating or to sell more online, there was some sound advice when it comes to landing pages.


Adding Strong Marketing Success Through Helpfulness

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

We’ve talked in the past about helping vs. selling, and that the former approach takes you a lot further in the realm of social media and word of mouth marketing.

When I discuss this concept with companies, however, too often I hear something in the realm of “we don’t know what to provide our customers that would be helpful.”


Key Questions To Consider When Entering A New Market

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Easy Money Is BS

These multi-level marketing schemes aren’t limited to home parties for sex toys, BBQ accessories, and household cleaners, of course. They are rife on the internet. If you’ve spent any time in internet marketing circles, you’ll have seen hundreds, no doubt.

Worst business ever.

What Is Multi Level Marketing?

Multilevel marketing is where the salesperson sells items on commission – with a twist. The real “opportunity” – supposedly – is to be had recruiting a downline. A downline consists of other commission-only salespeople who try to recruit other commission-only salespeople. And so on. Some may even sell a few products!

Apparently you’re not allowed to refer to the triangular-shaped Egyptian icon anymore….

The Problem With Any Marketing Opportunity

One major problem with MLM, or any market opportunity, be it affiliate or otherwise, is the size of the market.

All markets are limited. All markets are limited because the number of people is finite. Some markets are significantly more limited than others. For example, the number of people who have $2K, or whatever, to spend on, say, a rapid-mass-cash-code-instant-money-generator is quite small.

That isn’t to say there isn’t money to be made, however the more people trying to flick products, or recruit a downline, and the more people trying to rank well in the SERPS, the less chance a paying customer will arrive via any one site. Claims about making a lot of easy money on-selling such products, therefore, should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Evaluating Market Size And Potential

Over-hyped marketing opportunities often fail because they attempt to sell commodity product into very saturated markets. Or, there may be very little demand for the end product. If there was a lot of demand, surely they’d invest money in experienced salespeople in order to grab market share ahead of competitors.

So how do you size up a market, MLM or otherwise?

If there was an easy way, well….life would be too easy :) Really, it all comes down to some educated guesswork.

Here’s one simple way of thinking about it:

Market size = the number of buyers in the market x quantity of product purchased buyers in the market per year x price per unit

You could get a rough idea of the number of buyers by looking at search volume against keywords you deem to have some level of buyer intent. Estimating the quantity they buy depends very much on the product. Does it need to be replaced often? i.e. a battery. Or is it a one-off? i.e. A house? When multiplied by the cost, you can estimate the potential size of a market.

There are a number of methods you can use. Some more complex than others. All involve guesswork. However, it’s important to have a rough idea when deciding where to best focus your efforts.

Quantifying the potential of a market is somewhat more difficult.

I could find out the size of the car market in the US using the above equation, but that doesn’t mean I could successfully enter that market. I would also have to evaluate my abilities, the level of competition, and the level of investment required.

This is often the mistake rookie affiliates/multi/level marketers make. They get suckered by the potential numbers, without stopping to think if those numbers make any sense. Even if they do, then does that mean the marketer can successfully enter that market?

Really, the marketing approach – be it MLM or otherwise – is irrelevant. The key questions to ask when considering any market are fundamental ones: how big is the market, how many competitors are there, and how can I compete?