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Best Business Books 2019: Marketing | strategy+business, 05 nov 2019
Why Not to Use a PR Agency | Business 2 Community, 05 nov 2019
SMS Marketing Is Making a Comeback | CMSWire, 05 nov 2019
What is a digital marketing strategy & why do you need one? | Business Matters, 04 nov 2019
Entrepreneurs, Don't Let Branding Become an Afterthought | Kellogg Insight, 04 nov 2019
How to Take a More Holistic View of Customer Experiences | Harvard Business Review, 04 nov 2019
Can marketing be a force for good? | The Economic Times, 02 nov 2019
Learn Digital Advertising Essentials and Stay Ahead of the Game | Entrepreneur, 02 nov 2019
Tech optimization: Fine-tuning approaches to healthcare analytics | Healthcare IT News, 01 nov 2019
The Advertising Industry Has a Problem: People Hate Ads | The New York Times, 28 oct 2019
Business to Business
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 sep 2019
Jeff Bradford, PR expert and President & CEO of Bradford Group, suggests that now it is imperative to think about business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategy the same way as thinking about building relationships. He says, 'We expect to gain something from our friendships or relationships. Potential customers have the same expectations. You need to prove your value. Tactics like targeted media exposure contributed content, influencer relations, social media, speaking engagements and website downloads invite potential customers into your company story as friends versus onlookers. A strategic B2B marketing approach builds a relationship with the customer by providing valuable, relevant and consistent content.' He provides 3 ways to build lasting customer relationships - (1) Get Social: According to GlobalWebIndex's latest report on social media trends 2019, more than one in three internet users revealed that they go to social networks when trying to find out more information about a brand, company or product; Share recent company news, media coverage and industry articles to keep a steady stream of content; Add CSR initiatives, videos and behind-the-scenes photos to enable deeper customer exploration of brand; Aim to win customer engagement and share content that encourages dialogue; Implement gated content. (2) Tell Your Story: Have a compelling story to reveal to potential customers, just as in new friendships; Each piece of content should invite customer to the brand; Highlight CSR efforts on social media and website; Welcome new faces to your brand by proving you have a clear vision and showing how they can be a part of it; Make sure to honor customer's time by using your social media, website and media exposure to explain how you can help solve your customer's problem, not simply sell your services. (3) Renew And Recycle: Extend value of content by updating and resharing to reach wider audience; Repurposing a blog post into a series of social media posts linking back to the blog, a YouTube video, an infographic or a pitch for a bylined article; Strike a balance between quantity and quality of content; Existing content can be a foundation to build more content. With all this done right will make marketing to businesses simple, making them brand friends and customers for life. Read on...
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 may 2019
Prof. David Dubois, who teaches marketing at INSEAD (France), explains that by customizing digital technology according to customer relationships can provide B2B companies competitive advantage. Marketing spend is not defining factor for success, but how well companies integrate technolgical solutions is. Prof. Dubois says, 'A company's digital investment does not necessarily translate into marketing return on investment (ROI). For that to happen the firm needs to build a digital marketing organisation – data-driven marketing capabilities around the customer. A pivotal and enduring dimension of success in B2B markets lies in the relationship a company has with its clients. Thus, identifying the type of relationships that you have or would like to have with your customers is an excellent starting point to select and embed digital technology into your strategy. And this process is increasingly important for B2B companies if they are to maintain growth even as digital disruption accelerates the shift from B2BigB to B2SmallB.' He suggests defining customer-centricity by relationship type. Susan Fournier of Boston University offers a useful framework by likening customer relationships to friendship and romantic relationships. Once this has been done companies should select a technology that matches the relationship. According to Prof. Dubois, getting customer-centricity right in the digital age involves three steps after the relationship is clearly defined - (1) Test and learn: Consider the technologies and communication channels that are adapted to strengthening each type of relationship. Companies would do well to test and learn strategies. (2) Match technology to client (3) Integrate tech and new practices: Understanding the customer relationship should be an ongoing process. One part of that solution is mining big data on social media and news outlets. Prof. Dubois points out, 'At a time when the giant markets of SMEs such as China and India offer unprecedented opportunities, the roadmap to customer-centricity has never been more relevant.' Read on...
Driving B2B Digital Transformation Through Customer-centricity
Author: David Dubois
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 nov 2018
For the success of businesses a solid foundation or strong core is necessary and then only innovative strategies, tactics, programs and technology that are applied will be impactful and bear fruits. Scott Vaughan, CMO of Integrate, suggests the focus on achieving the revenue marketing goals and provides five essentials that high-performing B2B marketing teams consistently focus on to drive high performance - (1) PRECISION - Accurately defining ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and identifying best account opportunities: Engage the right audiences; Avoid random marketing to general people; Identify smaller group of core audience; Use advanced tech such as predictive marketing and intent data modeling to identify more of the best accounts and buyers. (2) TRUST - Committing to permission-based marketing in an increasingly regulated world: Treat information with care; Ensure the understanding and fulfillment of data-privacy laws; Permission mindset builds trust. (3) HYGIENE - Generating quality, actionable data to drive performance and create experiences: Recent survey by DemandGen Report finds, on average, more than 35% of the data in existing databases is unmarketable. Use effecient data hygiene; Bad data wastes marketing and sales efforts; Audit data-capture processes and sources, and use data governance filters before data enters database. (4) SPEED - Increasing velocity makes everything perform better: Current processes and tech investments need to have a speed evaluation; Identify areas where data can be routed faster and action can be taken within an appropriate time; Watch closely 'pipleline velocity' (Time from when an opportunity identified and finally converted into a deal) (5) INSIGHTS - Measuring to understand the good, the bad and the ugly: High-performing marketing teams use insights with key ingredients like agreed-upon key performance indicators (KPIs), tools that can measure performance, easy-to-use shared dashboards for all stakeholders (marketing, sales, management etc). Read on...
5 essential strategies B2B marketers must master in 2019
Author: Scott Vaughan
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 aug 2018
It's critical for the marketers to understand the collective habits of the customers of a particular segment they want to sell. Engineers are one such segment that B2B marketers have to deal with while pursuing their campaigns. Patrick D. Mahoney, President and CEO of IEEE GlobalSpec, explains the IEEE GlobalSpec's '2018 Pulse of Engineering Survey - The Changing Work Environment for Engineers Today' and how industrial marketers can utilize the insights to formulate their marketing strategy. The survey of 2236 engineers and professionals was designed to gather measurable and actionable insight on what they think about their industries and work environments. The survey also includes exclusive analysis on two key segments of the engineering workforce: millennials and technical professionals in the electronics industry. Highlights from the research - PRESSURES: 55% of engineers say the pace of engineering is increasing; 53% are required to do more with less; 40% say that pressure to meet deadlines is putting product quality/rework at risk; Majority also say that designs are becoming more sophisticated and that design cycles are shrinking, while time-to-market pressures are increasing; 44% of companies have increased design involvement from external partners and vendors. MILLENNIALS: Marked differences between mindset of younger engineers vs veterans regarding information. Millennials are information hungry. Concerning information access, 24% of surveyed millennials say they are more likely to use video for educational purposes compared to a much smaller 14% of veteran engineers; While the majority (53%) of all engineers are willing to register on a website for access to specific documents, only 44% of millennials indicated such willingness; Younger engineers tend to believe all content should be free and openly accessible (52%). Read on...
A Look Into the Mind of the Engineer: For B2B Marketers
Author: Patrick D. Mahoney
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 aug 2018
According to experts, effective use of data is key to B2B marketing success as it offers precision targeting, better customer experience and personalization at scale. Bernard Tan, APAC Regional Marketing Director at Red Hat, doesn't consider marketing as just B2B or B2C, but prefers it to be 'business-to-all'. He says, '(Data) is transforming the way that we talk to whole markets...it's transforming the way that we can actually have one-to-one conversations in volume markets, and be much more efficient about the way we go to that market...All of us are consumers...We are now at this position where we are now able to start to drive engagement at an individual level and really focus on the customer.' According to IBM's 2017 Customer Experience Index study, APAC (31) scored lower than other regions when it comes to data-driven customer experience in the B2B space [North America (35), Europe (33) and Latin America (33)]. Jodie Sangster, CMO liaison lead of IBM Watson, says, 'Unfortunately in APAC, we are lagging behind in terms of meeting consumer expectations of how we are using their data and delivering great customer experience.' Read on...
Data is key for B2B marketers, but APAC lags behind
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 apr 2018
Business-to-business world have a different set of rules and dynamics than business-to-consumer when it comes to branding and how interactions happen with prospects and customers. Ryan Gould, VP of Strategy & Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing, explains how B2B world is fragmented, challenges related to inconsistency in branding and what can be done to improve, enhance and control it. He explains, 'The role of the B2B buyer has evolved along with the rest of the world, and importantly, power has gradually shifted to the hands of millennials. Despite 73% of millennials making purchasing decisions, we are still seeing the world of B2B approach these individuals as if they are the same buyer from 5, 10 and even 20 years ago.' Millennials are the new B2B buyers and B2B marketing had to evolve accordingly. Emphasis on branding and brand building becomes critical. Marketing efforts should be aligned, whether it is social media, email marketing, sales collateral, video etc, and focus on addressing the need of potential buyers and differentiate effectively from competition. Sales-driven nature of B2B sector still holds supreme with marketing becoming secondary to it. But with new buyers sales pitch is not sufficient and they seek better connect with brands they deal with. B2B marketers have to understand this dynamic to build strong business relations. B2B marketers also face challenges related to their budget and lack resources to accomplish all their tasks and had to shuffle between various roles. This gives them insufficient time to focus on brand strategy and to build an overall brand value. Fragmented nature of B2B business adds to the chaos with various departments working in silos. Branding consistency in this environment becomes a challenge and customers get confusing inputs. The brand in this scenario lacks uniformity in content, design and messaging. According to HubSpot, only 50% of B2B marketers are treating visual content as a priority. Marketers have to work on this and fully utilize the power of digital and develop creative strategies to have a better connect with millennial decision-makers. B2B organizations must prioritize branding as their target consumer market is sensitive to it. One statistics suggests that 23% of average revenue increases are attributed to brand consistency. B2B marketers should play their role accordingly - understand target audience, recognize the importance of branding, realize where brand is falling short and develop better brand consistency by using latest tools and solutions to have a connect with customers and establish trust. Read on...
Why is inconsistent branding so prevalent in B2B organizations?
Author: Ryan Gould
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 aug 2017
A research study by Strategy Analytics' AppOptix practice (AO) brings good news for B2B players as it finds that 50.4% of consumers use their personal smartphone for business purposes. Employees are using their personal smartphones to conduct business and installing public domain and company-sponsored apps for file sharing, data security, time sheets, expense reporting, and collaboration. B2B companies can identify these business users disguised as consumers to target their offerings. The study also found - 20.5% of business users utilize their personal smartphone over 50% of the time to conduct business; 20.8% of business users are compensated by their employer for their network/wireless operator charges. Author of the study, Prabhat Agarwal (Director, AppOptix), says, 'This research showcases and substantiates there are entry points for B2B players that are looking to offer business services to consumers...By analyzing combinations of apps, we can create probability profiles that identify likely users of business services.' Barry Gilbert (VP, Strategy Analytics), says, 'The business and enterprise user is a critical and lucrative market for mobile operators, device OEMs, and many enterprise software firms...' Read on...
50.4% of Consumers Use Their Personal Smartphones to Conduct Business, Finds Strategy Analytics
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 13 apr 2016
Businesses apply different set of strategies and tactics when they market and sell to other businesses or directly to consumers. Daniel Scalco, CEO of Digitalux, provides 5 important B2B (Business to Business) marketing strategies that should be considered to increase leads, ROI (Return on Investments) and finally sales - (1) Dig deeper when targeting your demographic: Use 'hyper-targeting' to narrow down audience. (2) Get feedback: Strategy should be data driven; Use survey process into marketing methods. (3) Extend your funnel: B2B marketing strategy cycle to go from a prospect, to lead to consumer is much longer than B2C; Nurture leads by extending funnel through better content, webinars and social media to engage with target audience. (4) Invest in an explainer video: eMarketer study found that B2B buyers consider video as top 3 most useful content for marking purchases; Inform potential customers through a story-based video. (5) Create goals and milestones: Break down the journey to reach marketing goals into smaller steps or milestones for effective execution. Read on...
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 mar 2015
The pharmaceutical industry in India and around the world is one of the fastest growing industry with a total revenue of about US$ 3 trillion. Indian pharma industry's revenue in 2013 was US$ 12 billion and is primarily driven by exports in the regulatory and emerging markets. India has 20,000 pharma companies and 60,000 distributors and large number of big and small retailers. Marketing is one of the most critical component of pharma industry. Continuously chaning business environment due to strict regulations, policies and guidelines have driven companies to adopt innovative ways to expand their customer base and stay ahead of the competition. Pawan Chaudhary, CMD of Venus Remedies, provides his perspective on the evolving aspects of the pharma industry, marketing strategies to survive in the dynamic and competitive environment and the future challenges that the industry faces. According to him, Patent Act of 2005 has shifted the approach of most pharma companies from merely generics to branded generics and towards R&D orientation. They generally spend 8-10% of their total sales on marketing related activities to properly position and promote their products. Due to highly specialized nature of his company's products, he explains the following tools that are used for effective marketing - Key Opinion Leaders (KOL); Webinars; Expositions; Conferences/Seminars; Social Media; Continuing Medical Education (CME) Programs. According to him the challenges faced by the pharma industry are - Rising costs of research and development with 8-10 years of time and US$ 800-1000 million investment to successfully develop a new chemical entity; Increasing regulations and drug policies like National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy (NPPA) to reduce prices of essential medicines. He suggests that companies now need more agile, smarter and smaller marketing teams and field staff. They have to focus on new drug development and competitive pricing strategies to provide best value to customers. Read on...
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 nov 2014
Digital marketing leverage can be accomplished by startups at low cost by clearly defining, creating and delivering the online message, utilizing the gamut of available technologies. These technologies have to be used effectively to target the audience, engage the customer and measure results. In their new book 'Taking Down Goliath', authors Kevin M. Ryan and Rob "Spider" Graham, provide the best strategy and tactics to accomplish this digital marketing leverage. The first step in the process is to create the perfect message and define it as selling solutions (not technology) to real customers with real needs and problems they want solved. Business-to-business (B2B) entrepreneurs should ask the following questions: (1) How does this solution solve an existing problem? (2) How does this solution provide a competitive advantage? (3) How does this solution make the customer a visionary/market leader? (4) How does this solution enable a significant value exchange? (5) How does this solution represent an exclusive opportunity? How does this solution increase performance and productivity? Effective marketing messages for business-to-consumer (B2C) audience, should stroke emotional triggers like sense of well-being, convenience, security, significance, exclusivity, positive social standing etc, that facilitate their buying process. Read on...
Digital Marketing Is A Great Equalizer For Startups
Author: Martin Zwilling
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 oct 2014
The recent study regarding use of content marketing by B2B marketers by Content Marketing Institute found that 93% of B2B marketers use social media for content marketing, up from 87% in 2013, while the use of blog and website based long-form articles has declined from 83% to 81%. Similar trend was observed in a Didit survey of top 100 social media influencers where only 34% of them maintained active blogs. These findings may not mark the end of traditional blogging for content marketing as it still have certain advantages over social media facilitated microblogging. Kevin Lee, cofounder of Didit, explains these benefits - (1) Control: Customized look and feel of the website and freedom to tweak and change (2) Ease of Measurement: Myriad metrics and analytics available to establish content marketing ROI (3) Page Rank and Domain Authority: SEO benefits like merit-based article rank and link worthy articles lead to enhanced domain authority. This improves the visibility of the content on website (4) Accessibility: Flexibility to provide mixed content categorized according to various topics and headings. Moreover he also suggests use of 'hub and spoke model' for effective content marketing, in which main content residing on a blog or a dedicated website can act as a hub while content can be shared in various formats on multiple social media platforms acting as spokes, driving traffic back to the main website in addition to exposure to specific social media audience. Read on...
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 aug 2014
The increase in the number of nonprofits in the past decade, up by 25% to more than 1.5 million in US, is leading to hightened competition among them to attract donors. They are utilizing innovative methods to efficiently market their cause to attract and retain givers. B2B brands are trying to act like B2C for customer engagements. But they can go a little further and try to emulate the nonprofits to nurture and cultivate passionate and loyal customers. Although the passion that exist for a nonprofit cause is hard to be imbibed in for-profit customers but businesses can learn few lessons from them and try to bring their customers closer to the brand. The four lessons that B2Bs can learn from nonprofits are - (1) How to market to donors (Effective use of social media and crowdfunding sites to get the message go viral); (2) How to build and use advocates (Use of brand advocates and trusted referrers); (3) The importance of transparency and public perception (More transparency and accountability leads to trust. Engagement in social causes and social responsibility creates positive perception); (4) The importance of personality and tone in communications (Nonprofits take on personality attributes to their branding & communication channels - trailblazer, cool, bold, innovative, friendly etc). Read on...
Four Things About Branding That B2Bs Can Learn From Nonprofits
Author: Rolf Wulfsberg
Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 apr 2014
According to the recent study by Google and CEB's Marketing Leadership Council, on an average, B2B customers are significantly more emotionally connected to their vendors and service providers than consumers. B2B marketers are trying to update their traditional practices to better connect with the business buyers that are evolving and behaving more like an individual consumer. The recently held 20th Annual ITSMA (Information Technology Services Marketing Association) conference's theme was 'The New Face of Marketing'. The four important observations, based on the presentations at the conference, that provide the current state of B2B marketing are - (1) Marketing is transforming from a cost center to a revenue-generator (2) Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is transforming to business-to-individual (B2I) marketing (3) Sales representative are becoming thought leaders (4) The new marketer is a Poogle (Merging of P&G's and Google's marketing skills) i.e. a composite of the old and the new face of marketing. Read on...
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