There is probably a point in one's life when you stop having the dream about showing up late and unprepared for your final exam. I'm still waiting. And it doesn't help when cognoscenti like Brent Adamson, principal executive advisor at Gartner, challenge the very definition of marketing—let alone the way most business-to-business brands approach the customer acquisition process. Of course, as the co-author of "The Challenger Sale" and "The Challenger Customer," books that rethinks selling from the ground up, Adamson's words are likely to make any experienced marketers feel like a student again.

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At the recent Gartner Digital Marketing Conference, Brent Adamson, principal executive advisor at Gartner,  shared highlights of research on how businesses make purchase decisions that exposes flaws in how B2B marketing and sales teams currently operate with each other. According to the study, B2B buyers are utilizing digital resources throughout their decision journey, not just in the early discover and exploration phases. This misconception by marketing and sales teams has led to an organization process that doesn’t align with the buyer’s needs.

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As startup owners, we pride ourselves in having a deep understanding of our target markets. Indeed, we would not be in business if we had not studied the market, noticed the gaps and created products and services to meet those demands. Plenty of research goes into launching a business, understanding the market for it and determining how our product meets those customers' needs.

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Poor data quality can lead to low conversion rates.  However, improving data quality is rarely a priority. In a recent AdWeek article[1], Richard Joyce, a senior analyst at Forrester, estimated that as much as 42 percent of advertising and marketing budgets are allocated to some form of technology, but data quality is often overlooked.

To effectively manage data quality, it is important to first have a clear definition of a qualified sales lead that is used across both sales and marketing. 

Is there such a thing as being too popular? For influencers, the answer may be yes.

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Custom views is an extremely popular feature that makes a CRM tool powerful and versatile. Using custom views, you can define and categorize your CRM records in any way you want - and visualize this data instantly.

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5G wireless internet technology is being hyped as an ultra-fast method to access data that can also disrupt many aspects of digital marketing. Yet, 5G appears to be a long ways from reaching its maximum potential, despite large telecommunications companies making considerable investments.

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Last week I attended two conferences and was handed dozens of poorly designed pamphlets, half-a-dozen corporate branded t-shirts, and a handful of lackluster keychains.  The next day, I thought about the companies that stood out. Out of the hundreds of companies I'd encountered, there were only a few that rose above the clutter and created a memorable, standout experience.

Customization is trending right now in marketing, and it’s not just for B2C. B2B marketers, too, are tossing out "one-size-fits-all" marketing approaches in favor of something a little more personal.

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This is an exciting time for B2B marketing and sales.  Technology has provided the ways and the means to disrupt the entire industry. Understandably, the expectations for conversions are soaring.  Clients, dazzled by the likes of AI and cloud-based CRM solutions, eagerly anticipate the flood gates to open with droves of new customers. 

However, client sentiment can shift quickly when very few of the generated leads convert into customers.  If this happens, you may want to take a step back and ensure you are delivering on your promises. In other words, be sure you are properly setting expectations with your leads.

Digital media has undergone a drastic evolution. This has not only changed the way media is consumed but also impacted the buying behavior.

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For some time now, paid advertising has been used as a reliable strategy to gain new customers. Unfortunately, paid ads are becoming less effective. The modern-day consumer doesn’t want to be blatantly sold to; they want to organically learn about a company or product and determine whether it fits their needs at their own pace.

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Businesses seeking growth are often eerily similar to serial dieters.

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A recent '60 Minutes' broadcast that portrayed Alphabet, and the company’s Google search unit, as a ruthless monopoly may have driven Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to call for a Justice Department investigation of the nation’s biggest tech firms.

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Data management is giving marketers headaches.  Programmatic advertising relies heavily on data, and its growth will likely make data increasingly important for marketers. But navigating this transition is no easy task.

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Advertising is a tried and tested method that many businesses hold as an integral part of their growth strategy. However, in a digital world where consumers are overwhelmed and bombarded by a staggering amount of advertisements every day, they are becoming less and less effective. In fact, the average click-through-rate is just 0.05 percent across all ad formats.

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Two hundred sixty-six billion dollars. That’s how much advertisers around the world are expected to spend on digital advertising this year, according to eMarketer. And in just three short years from now, that amount is forecast to reach $376 billion—a 41% increase.

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Since the explosion of digital platforms has created overwhelming amounts of data, companies have been struggling with how to make effective use of that data across their businesses. With data living in “silos” throughout the organization, it has been difficult to have alignment at an organizational level and make effective business decisions. 

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Your customers are trying to talk to you. Are you listening? Every customer has their preferred channel.

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The following excerpt is from Susan Gunelius’ book Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Business. It’s essential that the copy on your opt-in form excites your target audience and compels them to take action. They need to understand the value they’ll get when they give you their email addresses, and they need to feel confident doing so. To that end, following are seven things you should try to accomplish in your copy:

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Companies today are spending a fortune on content to attract new customers. Businesses that sell primarily to consumers (B2C) in particular are creating dazzling ads and rich media communications. But some companies that sell to other businesses (B2B) are also creating videos to post on YouTube, as well interactive content on their company site.

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While there are many variables that marketers examine when shopping for tech partners, one area that’s particularly critical for vendors is having the ability to leverage data in real time.

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79 percent of inbound marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source: MarketingSherpa)1

The use of ad blockers is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. While ad blockers may be causing frustration for many marketers, some firms are embracing the technology by launching novel web browsers or by providing perspective on how to engage individuals who have opted out of receiving advertisements.

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Success in today's marketplace requires strong online marketing skills. That's true whether you are a B2B or B2C company. You simply can't afford to have an ineffective or inefficient online marketing plan.

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Although some advertisers are paring down their vendors to cut costs, overall spend on marketing technology is likely to keep growing.

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The newest formidable firms in the highly competitive marketing agency business may be the same companies that throw newspapers on your front porch.

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When Paul Gottsegen grabbed the CMO reins at Mindtree in 2013, he noticed a major deficiency in both himself and his team—there wasn't a single marketing technologist among them. Throwing down the gauntlet, Gottsegen shocked his team by mandating they all become more tech-centric since until that point, "everybody thought that was someone else's job." 

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Moving a lead through the sales funnel is called lead nurturing.  A successful lead nurturing strategy can help B2B marketers increase conversion rates and maximize ROI. In fact, a widely reported stat from Forrester research notes: …Marketers see an average 20 percent increase in sales opportunities from nurtured versus non-nurtured leads.

Blogging is the best strategy to build awareness for a brand and generate leads. But it can be frustrating when you don't see any results or growth even though you continuously publish content on your blog.

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Whether you’re marketing to consumers or other businesses, and regardless of the industry you’re in, these five key email marketing best practices have a direct effect on the success rates of your email marketing efforts.

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Get ready for the next evolution in marketing, one that will be as “fundamentally transformative” as mobile channels were to marketing in the past decade, according to Forrester VP and principal analyst James McQuivey.

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When CMO.com first attended the Augmented World Expo back in 2012, conference goers were still getting their arms around a clear definition for the technology.

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Retargeting and remarketing are growing in popularity as ecommerce firms roll out new services and brands seek to boost sales with strategies that offer high ROI.

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Enforcement of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) started on May 25 and to date, U.S. firms have taken a variety of approaches to complying with the rule.

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Marketers want to personalize their messaging, but they struggle to find the right technology to do so.

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