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Showing posts from November, 2010

Five Reasons You May Not Be Spending Enough on Content Marketing

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Interactive Smart Content™ and Dynamic Sales Tools Required to Meet Changing Buyer Needs
Marketing of B2B solutions has clearly become more difficult over the past several years, evident in research from IDC indicating that:
62% of B2B vendors now need more leads in order to generate the same amount of sales; 72% indicate an increase in buying cycle time over the past 6 month, while the buying cycle timeframe has increased over 10% in the past 12 months. Two economic downturns over the past decade have made buyers more spendthrift, and more skeptical of vendor claims. Fueled by a wealth of on-line resources and social networks, buyers have seized control of the buying cycle, engaging with sales representatives later and later, and further elongating sales cycles. Marketers are scrambling to address the power shift and overcome lead generation and conversion issues by delivering more content and tools over more channels to actively engage ever more empowered, skeptical and frugal buyers…

Content Marketing and the Forgotten Sales Professional

Each week the Content Marketing Institute poses a new question to help drive content marketing best practices. This weeks question: What other areas of the organization can help build loyalty/buy-in to the content marketing program?

One of the most important, but often forgotten consumers of content marketing programs are sales professionals.

In many organizations, Sales and Channel Enablement groups are responsible for leveraging and building best practices so that sales professionals are aware of available content and how to use it effectively in the sales process. Engaging early and often with these groups can help assure that the content is used to best effect by sales professionals when engaging with clients, yielding dramatically expanded content adoption, use and measurable impact on sales cycle and deal flow.

However, research indicates that sales is not always using the content to best effect. According to the American Marketing Association:
90% of marketing deliverables are …

How to Measure and Present the Effectiveness of Your Content Marketing Program

The Content Marketing Institute recently posted a question for expert response regarding "How to Measure and Present the Effectiveness of Your Content Marketing Program".

In our research with IDC, over 90% of executives now require quantified proof of bottom-line impact on key investments, and use ROI more often than not to prove that the investments are generating the expected value to the organization. So if you want to assure that your content marketing efforts get the proper budget and attention they deserve, communicating the value in ROI terms is best.

However, even though the formula for ROI is not a difficult one to calculate by dividing the net benefits of a project by the total investment, the ability to measure and quantify the benefits in tangible terms is often a challenge.

To quantify the benefits, the team will need to track not just downloads or readership/reach of the content, but the impact that the content has on the sales process. Some questions the team …

How Do You Get Started in Content Marketing?

Today’s buyers face several unique challenges that make content marketing ever more important to the successful vendor. Buyers are:
More frugal, reeling from two economic downturns in the past decade, and forced to “do more with less”. Less time is available than ever to research issues and find the right solution;Engaging sales later and later in the buying cycle, and using the Internet, peer networks and other self-service resources to do their own research and make their own decisions;Overloaded with more marketing information than ever, making buyers more skeptical than ever, and harder to reach and engage.Content marketing provides a means to break through the noise, providing the consultative diagnostic and financial advice today’s buyer needs. But how can you get started on the journey to a successful content marketing program?

At Gartner, we always opined that “you can’t manage what you haven’t measured,” so I suggest that the first content marketing step should be an inventor…

Alinean Powers ROI Calculator for Interactive Intelligence Sales Enablement Program

Calculator quantifies return-on-investment of communications-based process automation system from Interactive Intelligence

Alinean, the leading creator of value-based interactive sales and marketing tools for B2B vendors, today has developed a new return-on-investment calculator for the Interactive Intelligence sales enablement program.

Interactive Intelligence, a global provider of unified IP business communications solutions, is using the ROI calculator to help its sales team quantify the value of its communications-based process automation system, Interaction Process AutomationTM (IPA).

“The ROI calculator by Alinean has armed our sales team with a consultative tool that helps them shorten the sales cycle and close more deals by giving prospects the business justification they require to invest in IPA,” said director of solutions marketing for Interactive Intelligence, Tim Passios.

The Alinean ROI calculator quantifies for IPA prospects current costs and opportunities based on data…

Alinean joins Content Marketing Institute (CMI)

Alinean today annouinces an important charter sponsorship of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), with Alinean's thought leaders in value selling & marketing helping to contribute key advice to institute members and the ever growing CMI readership.

Started by content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi, the CMI is the go-to source for the latest research, pundit opinions, and best practice advice to help marketers optimize their return on investment from content marketing - the technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage buyers, is clearly a priority.

Alinean's contributions will specifically target ways b2b marketers can Fight Frugalnomics - helping to overcome growing buyer skepticism, overload and frugality with interactive smart content(tm) and diagnostic sales tools.

How important have these challenges and content marketing become? With the wealth of on-line information available to decision makers, most buyers have l…

Trend Micro Risk and Compliance Assessment tool (powered by Alinean)

Trend Micro wanted to help busy security officers and IT managers quickly and easily understand where they might be falling short on security risk and compliance management policies, and how not addressing these issues could lead to potential downtime, data loss, fines, brand damage and bottom-line impact.

Trend Micro subject matter experts worked with Alinean to create the Trend Micro Risk and Compliance Assessment tool, designed to benchmark a company’s current security risk and compliance practices versus peers and best practice leaders. The tool, accessed from Trend Micro’s website, can help the users identify ways to improve their company’s current security practices and the resulting benefits from the improvements.

The model creates a Risk Exposure Profile, peer comparisons and advice on:
Regulatory complianceVulnerability managementPatch managementRisk management
 To review the tool and determine your own risks click here


IDC: Economic Buyers, Digital Overload and Sales Enablement Define Marketing for 2011

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I just had the pleasure of presenting a webinar with Randy Perry, VP Business Value at IDC. In this session we discussed some important value selling and content marketing research for technology marketers, much of which extends to other B2B segments, with trends and advice you need to excel in 2011.

In this blog post, I present a few of the key research metrics and advice. If this overview is of interest, you can listen to the full webinar as well as download the presentation at: https://alinean.webex.com/alinean/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=42573082&rKey=8216d55bb0ac9682

Three Key Technology Marketing Trends for 2011
According to IDC, there are three significant marketing trends to focus on into 2011, and these trends have important implications for strategy and budgeting:
IT purchases are strongly influenced by economic trends, and marketers need to target the economic buyer more than ever before, in order to get attention and win the business. According to IDC, over 90% of IT…