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Date posted: October 22, 2013

220px-William_of_OckhamIn a recent post on Avinash Kaushik’s wonderfully titled blog— Occam’s Razor— he puts forth a digital marketing and measurement model that is worth visiting for anyone involved in B2B digital marketing. He begins the post by positing the difference between winners and losers in web analytics: “Winners, well before they think data or tool, have a well structured Digital Marketing & Measurement Model. Losers don’t.”

To facilitate the thinking needed to move along these lines, Kaushik has developed a Digital Marketing and Measurement Model as a simple, five step process:

  1. Step one forces the identification of business objectives upfront and sets the broadest parameters for the work being undertaken. Senior executives play a key role in this step.
  2. Step two identifies crisp goals for each business objective. Executives lead the discussion, but all participants play a contributing role.
  3. Step three is to write down the key performance indicators (KPI). Marketers lead the work in this step, ideally in partnership with a “data person.”
  4. Step four sets the parameters for success upfront by identifying targets for each KPI. Organization leaders play a key role here, with input from Marketing and Finance.
  5. Step five identifies the segments of people / behavior / outcomes that are analyzed to understand why one has succeeded or failed.

According to Kaushik, a complete and competent Digital Marketing and Measurement Model focuses on three key areas of scope— acquisition, behavior, and outcomes. He lists an array of relevant questions regarding each of these areas, and then goes on in detail to describe how to take the five steps summarized above.

The steps themselves may seem simple, but Kaushik notes that “soft” work is always harder than one thinks. But doing proper diligence, the reward is significant: a structure that will guide measurement efforts.

What does this provide?

According to Kaushik, “the insights you derive will be of value because they are grounded in what’s important to the business and the leadership. And when you make recommendations based on data… guess what… action will be taken.”

For business-to-business marketers who have waited endlessly for that to happen in the molasses of many corporate environments, that prospect alone should be motivation to read this valuable post from the noted entrepreneur, author and public speaker.

We suspect that even William of Ockham would approve.

Date posted: October 14, 2013

In Romeo and Juliet,
the bard posed the famous question above. And while Juliet disparaged the importance of names in her response, those doing Internet marketing might find a different answer a little sweeter. Turns out that putting a name with a B2B blog post can increase your search engine ranking.

A recent Forbes article covers the advantages of using Google’s Authorship and Author Rank for business purposes. These features are part of Google’s Google Plus social media network. Notes Forbes:

One of the most important features of Google Plus is its authorship system. The idea is that an author can build rank and trust (called Author Rank) based on the content they write all over the web. Google already has a way to determine your expertise at those subjects and it is only getting smarter in how it ranks authors and their content. For instance, if your content is constantly +1’ed and shared, it will be a strong signal that the content you create is of high quality and offers plenty of value.

The more quality content you publish online, the more likely you are to be ranked high by Google and considered an authority in your subject area.

Google Authorship also gives authors a way to protect their content. Authors that have set up
Google Authorship correctly will receive some benefits in the search engine
result pages as well. Google tends to rank these types of articles much higher
than if they did not have proper authorship markup.

From a business point of view, the value here is legitimacy. And for companies looking to establish trust with their customer base, it’s hard to place a value on how important that is.

Content marketing agency Brafton also points to how this benefits content writers: “It improves content writers’ SEO presence and could change how articles rank online in the future. Savvy brands must adapt their content marketing strategies to include Authorship markup, as the technology not only comes with new SEO benefits but also builds audience trust through transparency.”

As business-to-business organizations put increased resources into blogs and other forms of social media, establishing acknowledged authorities within their ranks is an advantage, as is using outside resources who have earned such status.

“Wherefore art thou, Romeo?”

If he were blogging, he’d be smart to be adding a byline to his thoughts. From a marketing perspective, it could be a tragedy if he didn’t.

Date posted: October 8, 2013

In a recent post, we speculated on when the leveraging of big data for mobile marketing purposes would enter the B2B realm. A recent post— an autopsy really— by Timothy B. Lee in the Washington Post’s The Switch blog speaks to the rapid consumerization of IT and its far-reaching impact in business and for businesses.

In a comment headed “What Killed Blackberry?” Lee details the demise of the once dominant smartphone manufacturer:

BlackBerry confirmed today what industry watchers had long assumed to be true: the company is in a death spiral. The firm expects its second-quarter losses to be almost a billion dollars on revenues of $1.6 billion. These massive losses have forced equally large layoffs. The company will give pink slips to 4,500 people, 40 percent of the company’s workforce.

It’s hard to remember now, but just four years ago BlackBerry (then called Research in Motion) was the second most popular smartphone vendor after Nokia. Market share was rising and profits were high.

We remember.

There was a time when having a Blackberry in hand accorded a certain status to its user— that status being corporate success or value. There was a time that having a Blackberry was almost like having stock options.

There’s a irony not to be missed in the fact that the corporate IT departments Blackberry rode to its lofty status on eventually had to capitulate to the consumer revolution wrought by the iPhone, ownership of which accords no particular status that we see, based on the fact that nearly everyone in our local coffee shop seems to have one.

Goodbye, Blackberry; we hardly knew ye. We’ll file you away with our other memories, like the rotary phone.

 

Date posted: October 3, 2013

Mobile usage is on the move in all fronts. Morgan Stanley indicates that sometime in the next year, mobile users will surpass desktop users— a dramatic and significant shift.

As this is happening, data is proliferating. Market research firm IDC forecasts a 44-fold increase in data volumes between the end of the last decade and 2020. The Canadian bank CIBC puts the growth at 50x over the next decade. What’s fueling this explosive growth? Mobile is a major driver.

In an article on how the explosive growth in data is shaping mobile marketing, Business Insider provides an overview of the relationship between big data and mobile:

  • Big Data needs to be defined, and increasingly value is part of the definition. The classic attributes of Big Data are the three Vs— volume, variety, and
    velocity; but value is emerging as the fourth V. In order for data to be meaningful at all, it needs to be captured and stored efficiently.Then someone has to manage the data, analyze it, and extract value from it. Data, big or not, doesn’t add up to anything worthwhile if it doesn’t have value to someone.
  • Mobile is particularly well suited to a big data lens: Mobile big data isn’t only a function of smartphone penetration and consumer usage patterns. The data is also created by apps or other services working in the background Technically speaking, it’s not that different from data created using the traditional Web. The difference is that consumers are just producing more of it as they shift their behavior to digital channels, leaving a trail of data documenting movements and actions.
  • This data can be used to optimize and personalize mobile experiences: Mobile big data can be used for a dizzying array of purposes, but it is often used for the optimization and personalization of mobile services and marketing campaigns
  • Location data is an essential component of mobile big data— perhaps the primary data type that differentiates mobile from Web-based big data. Location data is expected to help transform the mobile advertising and marketing industry.

An article in Wired echoes this latter point:

Geo-Specific advertising has been around for a while. Twitter, for example, is scheduled to allow companies to promote tweets to people who are near specific latitudes and longitudes by the end of the year. What big data can do, however, is access demographic information, purchasing patterns and social behavior to alter marketing messages based off of what the consumer is interested in now.

While much of the coverage of mobile and big data has focused, understandably, on leveraging big data for consumer marketing, it seems to us the same techniques will soon be applied broadly in the business-to-business realm.

That mobile is moving into the workplace is no longer a question. Its advance there is as inexorable as in the broader consumer setting. So when Wired gives an example of a bus company using big data analytics to tailor the electronic advertising on the side of its bus based on what pedestrians are talking about on Twitter, it’s not far-fetched to think of B2B concerns leveraging analytics to tailor messages based on where research is being conducted, meetings or conferences being held, or what new contracts have been awarded in the government sector. The potential for personalizing content and shaping messages to businesses based on deeper analytics is there.

It’s just a matter of time before that potential is leveraged.