Guest Post by: Maria Pergolino
Yesterday’s Fall 2009 MarketingProfs Digital Marketing World Virtual Conference was the perfect event to prepare for the planning of Q4 marketing programs. And I must not be the only person who thought so, as over 12,000 registered for the six hour virtual event that featured both B2C and B2B program tracks.I focused on the B2B sessions along with hosting a one hour chat session on Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing in the network lounge during the event. Here are my top takeaways from the event:
- Social media should be embedded into your marketing campaigns
Social media isn’t a standalone activity. Instead, it should be part of your marketing mix, to enhance your current campaigns. You can do this by thinking about how social media fits into each one of your marketing programs and by building a social media council to ensure that you are getting the most out of your efforts, and to encourage use of social media throughout the organization. In Sandy Carter’s presentation on Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Mix, she gave an example of how social media was used to encourage event registrations, allowing IBM to achieve 40% of their registration target in 72 hours and an overall 10% uplift in registrants because of social media.
- Landing Page Optimization is more than changing fonts and graphics. It’s about improving the viewers experience
The prospects, experience on a landing page is what is going to lead them to fill out a form. By focusing on this you can increase your leads from landing pages, potentially achieving results far beyond the industry norm of 3%. Other tips included: keeping landing pages simple, paying attention to context and looking beyond the page, and completing regular testing and analysis.
- You’re likely doing email nurturing, though it can probably be significantly improved
Email is often a type of nurturing, so if you’re sending out a monthly newsletter, or have an opted-in list that you’re sharing your press releases with regularly, you are doing nurturing. Creating sophisticated lead nurturing programs enhances what you’re doing by putting content in an order that’s more digestible by the reader. Also, use nurturing to create a dialog with your subscriber, instead of just sending them information that’s only important to your company.
- Content is key when participating in social media
During the keynote, Tina Brown, founder of TheDailyBeast.com, suggested content needs to have clarity, sophistication and seduction. She also suggested that keys to content success include timing (having the right message at the right time), building links (“link love is where it’s at”), and being inventive (active, not passive). Tina shared that it’s a multi-platform world; you have to leverage all the potential platforms (including social media) to get the best results.
- Engage with customers and prospects where they are, not just where you want them to be
According to Forrester, 4 out of 5 people participate socially online, plus there are more to come since 1 in 13 people are using the internet. This supports that social media isn’t just a phase you can ignore while continuing your traditional marketing efforts. It’s your job to be where customers and prospects want you to be. Oh, and if you don’t know where your customers are, use web analytics (originating sources), social media searches, or simply ask so you can participate where you are going to make the biggest impact online.
- For the best Social Media results, focus on building quality relationships
The key to connecting with prospects and customers online is to build quality relationships. I heard many examples of this from B2B marketers presenting at sessions yesterday, including Techrigy SM2 and Alterian who were both able to achieve successes from social media by building high-quality relationships. For Techrigy SM2 this meant they could eliminate cold calling while increasing their customer bases 840% in one year- an impressive achievement.
- Twitter is a great resource to find leads, though it is also a great for product management, customer service, and branding
You can use Twitter for lead generation. Look for mentions of your brand or company (including watching for misspellings), follow industry terms and phrases, watch for competitor mentions, and then look for an expressed need for your product to find those that are most likely a potential prospect. Though don’t stop there, watch what people are saying about your company to help product management, alert service and support when needed, and share content to enhance brand and “humanize” your company.
- Sales and marketing alignment can be improved with lead scoring and lead nurturing
Proper sales and marketing alignment are often a struggle for many companies. Marketers can improve their relationship with sales by scoring leads (both on demographics and behavior), allowing sales reps to focus on the most qualified leads plus nurturing leads to ensure they don’t get stuck in the sales funnel and continue moving through your pipeline.
- Create country specific social media campaigns
Develop your own social media marketing strategy based on your company’s geographic target and reach because different countries and cultures use social media in different ways. For example, 140 million people are online in China, but some of the content and sites, like Twitter and Facebook, are banned. Also, Japan is the number one blogging country in the world and the UK is the number one tweeting country in the world, with London being the number one city. These are important facts to keep in mind when deciding how and where to place your company’s efforts in social media.
- Market like a sales person
Marketers want to look like sales reps. No, I don’t mean they want to golf and jet from city-to-city dining with prospects. Instead, they want their emails to look like they came from sales reps to encourage email opens- and do so with personalization and segmentation plus tricks like adding “Sent from my Blackberry” or adding misspellings to their emails. I haven’t tried these ‘tricks’, and saw a some people on Twitter disagree, but others said this was keeping recipients from hitting the delete button and encouraging them to click through on their email messages.
Regardless of how successful you are with your marketing programs, there was something to be learned by all at this event. The presentations, thought leadership information and vendor booths from the MarketingProfs Digital Marketing World Virtual Conference are still available, so you can review at your convenience. And when you do, make sure to stop by Marketo’s booth to see some of the ways we can help you with your lead management and marketing campaigns. For more on lead nurturing, a hot topic at the event, check out The Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing, which has chapters on how to get started with lead nurturing, advanced techniques for optimizing your campaigns, and workbook pages to calculate your lead nurturing ROI.