Saturday, 28 May 2011

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

New Study Quantifies Dramatic Growth From Revenue Performance Management

 

New Study Quantifies Dramatic Growth From Revenue Performance Management

Link to Marketo B2B Marketing and Sales Blogs


New Study Quantifies Dramatic Growth From Revenue Performance Management

Posted: 23 May 2011 11:45 PM PDT

by Phil Fernandez

Growth Study

On this blog I have consistently made the point that in today's radically altered buyer/seller environment, companies need to make equally radical changes in their sales and marketing strategies to continue to grow and prosper.

My oft-repeated message is two-pronged. First, businesses today need to transform how they create, manage, and accelerate revenue. Secondly, a powerful and proven strategy to achieve breakout growth is Revenue Performance Management (RPM).

Now, there is a new global study that clearly underscores these points by quantifying the bottom-line financial impact of transforming a company's sales and marketing activities through RPM. Conducted over the past few months by our in-house research team, the newly released Marketo Revenue Quotient study calculated that, by deploying RPM, Marketo's customers worldwide have the potential to bring in a total of $2.53 trillion more in revenues over the next five years. That is trillion with a "t"!

This reflects the amazing 40 percent increase in revenues that Marketo's customers report after deploying revenue performance management. These sharply increased revenue numbers are directly attributable to using RPM, a breakthrough category of software applications and business processes (think "Six Sigma" for marketing and sales) that optimize interactions across the revenue cycle to accelerate predictable revenue growth.

According to the new Revenue Quotient study, the sharply higher revenue results achieved by Marketo's customers derive from the following RPM-driven improvements:

§ 46 percent improvement in the number of sales opportunities

§ 11 percent improvement in average contract value

§ 17 percent improvement in sales win rate

§ 15 percent reduction in customer acquisition costs

What's Your RPM "Score"?

As part of the study, our researchers analyzed Marketo's 1,000-plus global base of customers, focusing on the four key areas or RPM:

§ Marketing campaign effectiveness

§ Sales effectiveness

§ Revenue scale

§ Revenue efficiency

The research team analyzed the cumulative customer results across these RPM categories and developed a score for each. That score was then applied to the projected aggregate revenues of Marketo's customers through 2015, with the net result being the total of $2.5 trillion in revenue gains over the next five years.

By any measure one can use, those breakout revenue results profoundly change the game for corporations, which are looking for new ways to achieve ever higher levels of growth and profitably. RPM not only gives business leaders an ideal roadmap to navigate and capitalize on the historic changes taking place in today's social, mobile, and web-driven marketplace. Equally important, RPM helps companies to optimize their customer interactions across every touch-point, and align sales and marketing to operate at maximum performance.

In a global economy that is increasingly more social and more connected, business leaders need marketing and sales tools and strategies that enable more agility and more speed. RPM is meeting that need, and the new Revenue Quotient survey demonstrates the tangible results that follow.

Adding Up to "Real Money"

There is an old Washington, DC saying that speaks to the massive budgets that are commonplace in the US Capitol: "A few billion here, a few billion there. Pretty soon, you're talking real money!" (And that was before the daily news about national deficits ballooning to multiple trillions.)

Our new Revenue Quotient study makes it very clear that there is indeed "real money" for companies deploying RPM as they seek to reengineer the demand chain and transform the entire revenue process. The timing couldn't be better to grab hold of this trillion dollar revenue opportunity.


New Study Quantifies Dramatic Growth From Revenue Performance Management was posted at Modern B2B Marketing - Marketo Best Practices Blog. | http://blog.marketo.com

 

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Meet The Press! Your product in front of the media! http://ow.ly/4ZMm4 jobs, business, networking, retail, shoppers, consumer, sales

Friday, 20 May 2011

ShowTheMedia Christmas Gift Guide Media Event, we are offering a 10% discount off tables if booked by end of May http://ow.ly/4YhDd gifts

Thursday, 19 May 2011

This SHORT and EASY video course will show you how to build 3000+ backlinks to your site for FREE! http://goo.gl/gPJP1

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Best Free Android Games and Free Android Apps http://ow.ly/4XybH
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Where Can Social Media Marketing Take Your Career? | ClickForSEO Blog - linking marketers with Tools http://ow.ly/4XjHX
Is Your SEO Program Chasing Unicorns? | ClickForSEO Blog - linking marketers with Tools http://ow.ly/4Xj3g

How To Thrive In Crowded SERPs

 

SEO Book.com


How To Thrive In Crowded SERPs

Posted: 16 May 2011 06:48 PM PDT

Google is favoring big brands.

If Google's comments and actions of late, are anything to go by, the chances of the little guy, armed only with SEO chops, being able to compete with deep-pocketed corporates are becoming less and less likely. Google algorithms tend to reward the big players - the people everyone talks about, and links to.

How can we combat this situation?

Back To Business

Ever notice how a page on FaceBook, or some other behemoth site, which consists entirely of a Wikipedia cut-n-paste, can often rank well on Google? At the same time, many unique, interesting pages are buried deep on SERP #20?

It's happening a lot.

It's hard to fight against a domain that can distribute high link authority down through hundreds of thousands, or millions of sub-pages. SEO chops alone are unlikely to cut it if your niche is full of such sites. The game is rigged, and it doesn't favor you.

One approach is to not fight such competitors at their own game.

Instead, take a new look at your business. How unique is your offering? Are you competing with many other sites that offer pretty much the same thing?

If you offer a similar product and service to all the rest, then it is inevitable that you'll eventually lose to the company with the deepest pockets. Google, and the world in general, tends to reward those who already have the most.

The USP

I'm sure you've heard about the Unique Selling Proposition.

For those who haven't, the Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is the term is used to refer to an aspect of a service or good that differentiates it from similar services or goods.

For example, a USP of Amazon is that it sells the widest range of books online. Your local rare bookstore, on the other hand, has a USP of stocking and selling rare books. Both Amazon and your local bookseller sell books, but their services are clearly differentiated from one another.

The concept of a USP came about as a result of a marketing problem that exists when markets are crowded. If many companies offer similar things, then how can any one company stand out?

A USP isn't critical if there are few players in a market. This was the case in the early days of the internet, when finding a site that met your needs wasn't assured . As the internet became more populated, webmasters used techniques such as SEO in order to rise above the masses, safe in the knowledge that searchers will typically click on the top few results. They still do, of course, but if Google increasingly favors the most popular sites, then the return on SEO for the smaller player decreases.

These days, with plentiful options, the searcher either finds what they want on their first search, or they rephrase, and make their search more specific. It is in the second option where the most opportunity lies for the little guy. The visitor is rephrasing in order to be more specific. "Dell Monitor Cheap" may become "Used Dell Monitor Free Overnight Delivery". Vagaries of Update Panda aside, the guy who has a USP of dealing in used monitors, and offers fast delivery times, can still compete in Google.

The USP isn't just an add-on marketing tactic. It's a fundamental aspect of your business.

The Benefit

USP's are about specific benefits for the customer. Put yourself in the customers shoes and ask "how does this benefit me?". In the example I used above, the benefit is "a low cost, recycled monitor that will be delivered quickly".

The twist is that you need to make your offer unique. Look at your competition and ask yourself "what aren't they doing that they should be doing, and that the customers wants"? If you find it difficult to answer such a question after having evaluating your competitors, it may be a sign the market is too crowded, and you may be better off trying something else.

But What If You Can't Move Niches?

There are various ways to introduce a USP if you're selling a similar product or service to others.

One idea is to make your process unique by making your site more usable.

For example, I buy cases of discount wines online. Whilst there are many other sites offering this service, I use one particular site mainly because the ordering process is so streamlined. The benefit is saved time. The site retains my login and billing details, and it prompts me for re-orders with emails sent out at intervals based on my previous order history, and the previous selections I have made. The site pretty much "knows" what I want before I've even thought about it, and I can order with a couple of clicks. The wine always arrives promptly.

So their USP is in their process. They sell the same wine as the other sites, but the process is "unique", from what I can tell. It's also troublesome for me to switch. It invites a set-up cost (time), risk (they may not deliver), and I lose my history.

What's this got to do with SEO?

Once your visitor finds you, give them a very good reason to bookmark you, join, and keep coming back. Once that happens, you don't need to rely on new leads form Google so much.

A USP Must Be Supported By The Fundamentals Of Your Market

It's not enough to just come up with unique angle.

The unique angle has to be workable. There has to be a niche of people who want the unique aspect you deliver, and are prepared to pay you enough for it to make the effort worthwhile. For example, offering fresh pizza in the middle of a desert may be unique, but it is unlikely to succeed as a business model, because of low demand.

Finding a workable USP is a matter of research, and trial and error. Look thought the search keywords related to your term and look for an angle. What are people asking for? Type that keyword term into Google and see if anyone is servicing that demand. Ask your existing customers what they want, or what you could do better. Buy third-party research to help discover where the market is heading, and how demands are changing.

Imagine the future, as opposed to mimicking the past.

How To Define Your USP

1. List Your Key Benefits

What aspect do you do really well, and that other people really like? If you're at a loss, what could you change to make it so?

2. What Pains Your Customers?

They kinda want something. They might vaguely feel they need it. But if you find something they absolutely must have, so much so that it pains them not to have it, then you're onto something big. What is that thing?

3. Be Specific & Provide Proof

It's one thing to say it. It's another thing to do it. How many sites say "we're the best". Or "Experts in SEO". It's meaningless.

"We get your site thousands of qualified visitors at half the cost of your Adwords spend" is a specific, meaningful benefit.

Then you need to show how you do that. Case studies are great. You can seldom have enough case studies. Say what you were going to do it, do it, then tell them you've done it.

4. Be Concise

You only have a few seconds. You need to state your USP quickly. Short phrases. People read the first line, then the next, but only if the first line was worth reading. They'll scan through to pick something that interests them.

This is where graphic design is important. Pictures really are worth a thousand words if the person is scanning for information. Does you graphic design underscore, or detract from, your USP?

5.Your USP Flows Through Everything You Do

If your USP is, say, to provide individual attentive service, then you need to answer the phone right away. You need to respond to emails quickly. You need to make it easy for people to talk to you.

If you USP is a massive inventory, then the user has to be able to get to that inventory easily.

You can never repeat your USP too often. Do so on many levels. People aren't really paying attention, so take every opportunity to remind them what is special about you :)

Categories: 

 

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

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Monday, 16 May 2011

A rel=canonical corner case - I answered an interesting rel=canonical question over email today and thought I'd blog... http://ow.ly/1cHOBw

Saturday, 14 May 2011

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Thursday, 12 May 2011

Sell marketing products backed by genuine feedback in the best marketers forum. Forget testimonial supported ads... http://ow.ly/4SX0p

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

5 Social Media ROI & Measurement Books to Grow Your Social Business http://ow.ly/4Rk0P
Where Can Social Media Marketing Take Your Career? http://ow.ly/4RjJl
How to build an Android applications in 5 min http://ow.ly/4Rjon
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Monday, 9 May 2011

Google I/O 2011!!1! - This week brings the Google I/O conference. That page has a QR code that lets you install the ... http://ow.ly/1czqv1
Should you invest more in SEO and SMM (Social Media Marketing) more than PPC? http://ow.ly/4QnYr

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Search Engineering at Google - I'm always a fan of Googlers doing more communication and more videos, so when some f... http://ow.ly/1cywg9

Saturday, 7 May 2011

ShowTheMedia, your products in front of journalists, editors, writers, broadcasters, and key industry influencers http://ow.ly/4PmLJ
Show The Media confirms date for Christmas Gift Guide Media Event - 4th July 2011 at The Royal Garden Hotel London http://ow.ly/4PmzZ

Defining the Perfect Sales Lead – 4 Tips to Getting it Right

 

Defining the Perfect Sales Lead – 4 Tips to Getting it Right

Link to Marketo B2B Marketing and Sales Blogs


Defining the Perfect Sales Lead – 4 Tips to Getting it Right

Posted: 06 May 2011 01:15 PM PDT

by Andrew Spoeth

Sales-lead-handshake-170

Today's B2B marketing success revolves around the new spirit of collaboration between marketing and sales, and nowhere is this more important than the point where the sales cycle begins – defining the perfect sales lead.

There are myriads of technology choices and philosophies on how to generate, nurture and manage leads. However, any or all of these might end up futile if marketing and sales don't agree on what defines a qualified lead prior to investing in lead generation activities.

Check out the following 4 tips for defining the perfect sales lead.

1.      Get sales and marketing on board at the start.

Trying to get two teams to agree on the definition of the perfect lead can be difficult, but is essential.

Whether you are well underway in lead generation efforts or just getting going, if you haven't brought the teams together to discuss and define a sales lead, you should definitely set the foundation here. Once there is a working definition that both teams are comfortable with, the conversation can quickly change to 'how do we get more, working together' as opposed to 'the leads we are getting aren't qualified'.

Ensuring everyone has a hand in the definition makes everyone more accountable, both now and in the future. Be sure you meet regularly to clarify and fine-tune your lead definition as it may change over time due to, for example, economic and/or product line changes. And finally, don't forget to put your lead definition in writing, and be sure that upper management is on board.

2.      Ask as many questions as possible.

Cover all your bases by considering the following:

§ Which leads have converted quickly in the past?

§ What do we know about previous leads that did not convert?

§ What are the characteristics of current customers that we want more of, e.g. company size, location, industry?

§ What kind of influence do particular leads have in the buying cycle (i.e. an end user, a buyer or influencer)?

§ What is the current length of the buying cycle and how can we shorten it?

3.      Anticipate problems your audience is trying to solve.

You need to understand your leads' unique set of challenges. Knowing these will enable you to intercept them as they research solutions to their challenges.

Prospects will generally fit into 3 buying stages:

New information seekers:  These make up the vast pool of anonymous individuals within your lead universe.  They've just begun the research process.
Continuing education:  These prospects have separated themselves from the pack by continuing their quest for further education on your industry or product.
Opportunity knocks:  These buyers are ready to pull the trigger and are looking for reassurance that they are making the right decision.

4.      Don't stop testing.

Lead generation and lead qualification are dynamic processes. Even though you have a fixed, mutually-agreed-upon definition, be prepared revisit it at regular intervals. Industry changes affect your potential buyers.  If the economy is suffering, most likely your prospects' buying power is too.

Stay current on the known leads in your database and watch how they perform.  New developments within companies that used to be your ideal leads may take them off the top of the list (i.e., department downsizing, internal budget cuts and management changes).

The B2B marketplace, with its many diverse niche verticals, rewards marketers that know how to target well. Finding the right channels and the right messaging is essential.

And having a viable lead definition makes sales more effective, strengthens marketing's credibility, and ultimately generates revenue growth.


Defining the Perfect Sales Lead – 4 Tips to Getting it Right was posted at Modern B2B Marketing - Marketo Best Practices Blog. | http://blog.marketo.com

 

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Friday, 6 May 2011

Social Media for SEO vs. Customer Engagement http://ow.ly/4P1xg
5 Reports on B2B Social Media Marketing & New Media Trends http://ow.ly/4P1f8
Making the Leap: Egocentric to Empathy in Content Marketing http://ow.ly/4P1aQ
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Thursday, 5 May 2011

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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

How Google Creates Black Hats

 

SEO Book.com


How Google Creates Black Hats

Posted: 01 May 2011 04:21 PM PDT

The #1 goal for any organization is self-preservation. When people feel things are fairly just & they are just getting by they are fine with squeezing out more efficiency in what they do and figuring out ways to pay the bills. But when people feel the table is tilted at some point they stop caring and do whatever it takes.

Ex Post Facto

Some longtime AdWords advertisers have recently been punished for affiliate ads they ran 8 years ago where some of the sites they promoted at some point fell out of Google's graces through an ad system which never allows you to delete your history & offers ex post facto regulations that turn a regular advertiser arbitrarily into a spammer.

What's worse is that sometimes the data Google ties together creates guilt where there is nothing but innocence.

AdSense, AdSense, AdSense

In 3 weeks it will have been 3 months since Google first launched Panda. Outside of bloggers with 50,000 RSS subscribers few (if any) reports of recovery from Panda have been seen. Some of the theories floating around what caused Panda attempt to tie it to AdSense & many of Google's AdSense case studies are now highlighting best practices to follow if you want to be just like the sites Google torched.

As if that wasn't conflicting enough, some of the webmasters that were torched by Panda received automated messages that they were missing out on revenues by not using the maximum allotted number of ad units. After the huge fall off from Panda, Google has been pushing AdSense so hard that many webmasters have been receiving unsolicited emails from Google suggesting they sign up for AdSense.

I won't run AdSense on our main sections of this site because it would be tacky and destroy perceived credibility (having a "submit your site to 2000 search engines for $29" ad next to the content doesn't inspire trust on an SEO site). I could create a content farm answers section of the site that mirrors Ask's strategy, but with a higher level of quality. I won't though, because it would be viewed as spam because I am me. Once again, SEOs should be held to a higher standard than search engines. ;)

That Which You Consume, Consumes You

Where this rubs wrong is not only the overt brand push, but also that some of Google's pushes at expansion down the search funnel have looked a lot like the spam they claim to fight.

Many UK finance comparison sites were penalized for spammy link buys, and then Google somehow managed to buy BeatThatQuote without any due diligence. Others who were penalized for sketchy links (say like Overstock.com) were whacked for a couple months. BeatThatQuote was ranking again in Google in only 2 weeks ***without*** fixing any of the actual spam link buys.

TechCrunch's April 1st article about Google Places being inadvertently classified as a content farm sounded so authentic that I saw multiple friends in-the-know pass it around as though it was true.

Bad Actors

In the Wall Street Journal there was an article about the Panda update highlighting that many small businesses were laying off their employees. The same article highlighted numerous cost extensive desperate marketing measures the firms were taking which may or may not work. Google didn't disclose much in the article other than:

The Google spokesman says the company doesn't disclose details about changes it makes to its algorithms because doing so "would give bad actors a way to game our systems."

Nobody likes bad actors, but most of the webmasters that were hit were not bad actors. Rather, most of them were naive & simply followed the Google guidelines thinking that was in their best interests and perhaps would allow them to stay competitive. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

Not only did the update allow some information-less pages to rank better than ever, but certain folks with 100% duplicate content screamed to the top of the search results.

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out!

If you adhere to guidelines, get beat down, are not told why, and are told that generally sites need to "improve their quality" that can be a pretty infuriating message. The presumption that your stuff isn't good enough when 3rd grade rewrites of your content now outrank you is both smug and obnoxious. What is worse about the update though now is that many scraper websites are outranking the original content sources, so the message is that your content is plenty good enough, but it is just not good enough when it is on your site. A large portion of those scraper sites are monetized via Google AdSense & would not even exist if it were not for AdSense.

So Google whacks your site, tells you to clean up your act (& increase your operating costs while decreasing your margins), lumps you in the bad actors group, offers no information about when the pain will (or even could) end, pays someone to steal your content, then ranks that stolen copy of your content above you in the search results.

Make Your Move

If a person has the pleasure to experience the above it doesn't take much critical thinking skills to develop a different perspective on search.

Ultimately this is going to lead to a "why not" approach to search for many folks in the search space.

§ If Google already dinged your website why wouldn't you remove AdSense & replace it with competing ad programs? Why not test those affiliate programs you have been meaning to test? If you have to rework your content anyway, why not move past AdSense/webmaster welfare?

§ If your AdWords budget was marginally profitable & you were buying ads to compliment your organic exposure, why wouldn't you stop buying ads with Google & test running ads on other websites? Google is fine funding an affiliate network that uses direct links, so why not use clean links on your ad buys? If you like run it through a self-hosted affiliate program so that you are just like Google.

§ If your site is already whacked why wouldn't you buy links to help boost its ranking back?

§ If your site earns nothing from search, why wouldn't you sell links if you have to do whatever it takes to make costs?

§ If your site gets penalized & someone copying your content & wrapping it in AdSense outranks you why wouldn't you create new mirror sites? Why wouldn't you create scraper websites to pollute Google with?

§ If rankings are unpredictable & one site is no longer enough, why wouldn't you create backup sites & projects of various levels of quality & effort? At this point diversity simply serves as a needed form of insurance.

§ If while running these purely scientific experiments you accidentally run into something that works really well that shouldn't, why not scale it to the moon?

I am not convinced that the search results are any cleaner today than they were a few months ago. However I am fairly certain things will soon head south. I am not advocating going out of your way to be extra spammy, but am just highlighting the cost-benefit analysis which is going through the heads of thousands of webmasters who Google just torched.

Google is betting that anonymous strangers will behave more kindly than Google has, but when an animal is backed into a corner it often acts in unpredictable (and even uncontrollable) ways.

The big problem for Google is this: "when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the subject will exclaim, it is immaterial to me whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security." - John Adams

Categories: 

Amazon Product Ads

Posted: 30 Apr 2011 06:50 PM PDT

Outside of Google, Amazon and eBay own perhaps the 2 largest streams of ecommerce traffic. In fact, both are amongst the top 10 sites in Alexa (even though ~ 100% of their traffic is commercial while ~ 0.001% of Twitter's traffic is). In spite of Google's prominent promotion of Wikipedia, Amazon still gets more traffic.

In the leak of AdWords top spenders data last June Amazon was #5 on the list. Kantar Media's research estimated that Amazon's Q4 Google AdWords spend was almost double their nearest competitor.

Why mention this?

Amazon recently started giving away a free $75 coupon for product ads on their site.

A lot of their customers may be used to buying on Amazon, but you don't get much more of a pre-qualified ecommerce visitor than a person who clicks on your offer who is already on Amazon.com.

Google is also pushing free $75 AdWords coupons fairly aggressively & their Engage program which allows you to get 20 $100 coupons for clients.

Microsoft adCenter offers a free $25 coupon here.