Outward Media’s Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Outward Media’s E-Marketing Blog

 

How Marketing and Advertising Professionals Can Drive Revenue Rapidly

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in IMS Kansas City | 0 comments

Driving revenue – that’s what it’s all about for the majority of B2B marketing and advertising professionals these days. From content to creative, from digital display advertising to email marketing and SEO, you want the clicks to turn into customers. And while what you’re doing today might be working, do you have a handle on what it will take to succeed tomorrow?

 

IMS

Come join me next week in Kansas City, where the top marketing minds in the business will gather at the Integrated Marketing Summit (IMS) to discuss what’s new and what’s next in the world of marketing. The whole focus of this event is helping attendees generate revenue rapidly for their organizations. Talk about marketing nirvana!

IMS is the signature summit for marketing and advertising professionals, providing actionable insights and cutting-edge expertise that will fuel new ideas and game-changing strategies for your business. What makes IMS stand out is that it’s delivered in a convenient one or two-day educational format – complete with optional hands-on workshops presented by leading practitioners, such as Shelly Kramer of V3 Integrated Marketing, John Nolt from Oracle, and Kohposh Kuda of Sprint. And it’s affordable, too.

 I am honored to have been selected to speak at this year’s event in Kansas City on Sept. 23 at 9:25 a.m. I’ll be discussing “Marketing Data Strategies and Best Practices” as part of a panel moderated by Shawn Elledge, CEO of IMS.  We’ll cover new findings and best practices surrounding data-driven marketing and the data sources that can help businesses reach the right contacts to successfully generate leads and close more sales. If that doesn’t interest you as a marketer, I don’t know what will.

Speakers

 

Details on the agenda, including my panel, can be found online here, and event registration is available at https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1584045.IMS is the signature summit for marketing and advertising professionals, providing actionable insights and cutting-edge expertise that will fuel new ideas and game-changing strategies for your business. What makes IMS stand out is that it’s delivered in a convenient one or two-day educational format – complete with optional hands-on workshops presented by leading practitioners, such as Shelly Kramer of V3 Integrated Macle, and Kohposh Kuda of Sprint. And it’s affordable, too.

As a veteran sponsor of the IMS events, I guarantee it will be an investment that’s well worth your time. Hope to see you there!

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 One way to jumpstart your marketing program is to use a business contacts service like BizFACTZ. Specifically designed to fuel sales, profits and customer growth for entrepreneurs, BizFACTZ allows you to quickly identify and download contact information associated with your desired target markets across a broad section of business demographics and industries.

 

If you think you might want to give BizFACTZ a try, use offer code INTRO and receive a 20% discount on your first order. Click here to find out more.

4 Easy Steps to No Fear Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in B2B email Best Practices, B2B Marketing, Customer Engagement and Satisfaction, email Effectiveness, Email Marketing | 0 comments

Business Man Falling from the sky

Marketing is a leap of faith for most entrepreneurs and small businesses. It’s an investment that is often derived from scarce funds — usually the entrepreneur’s own finances — and there’s typically no guarantee of a return on that investment. Along these lines, in a previous post, we referred to the three top channels, or strategies, for achieving marketing ROI – the most surefire ways to ensure your marketing dollars are spent wisely.

 

But even with your best bets, the chance of lackluster results — or even failure — is always there because marketing is not yet an exact science. It takes the right blend of captivation and creativity, along with the ability to reach the right people at the right time to achieve the most optimum results. Simply put, it’s complicated, and it can be costly, too. No wonder it commonly falls at the tail end of most entrepreneurs’ lists of business strategies. Indeed, a recent survey revealed that “the majority of CEOs don’t trust marketing – in large part because 75 percent don’t think it applies the same definitions to things such as ‘results’ and ‘return on investment,’” according to an article in Entrepreneur.com.

 

Even so, the best business experts recommend that entrepreneurs position marketing as a top priority because it drives sales, and attracting customers is typically one of the first things most new businesses need to do.

 

Focus on Reaching the Right Contacts

How can you venture forward with marketing, while also taking some of the cost and fear out of the process? One first step for small businesses and entrepreneurs with limited budgets is to start by tackling the “reach” side of the equation, and that means identifying the target audiences that have the most potential for buying your product or service. A reliable business contacts data source offers a valuable way to accomplish this, giving executives the ability to obtain the telephone, email, and office address of new leads and prospects that fit their customer profile.

 

With an effective data source, you can select contacts by location (ZIP, city, state, nationwide), business demographics, job function and title, and more, giving you all the information you need to get your message out to the right prospects.

 

If the data source you align with is operating with best practices in mind, then the business contacts they offer are verified and reliable. Chances are, making use of these contacts will generate valuable sales leads for your business, at the very least, and substantial sales gains at best.

 

Four Steps to Success with Business Contacts Data

To ensure success with a business contacts provider, here are four things to look for out the gate:

 

1. Dynamic Data: The business landscape is always changing, with people moving in and out of positions, and new businesses starting up as well as others closing their doors. That’s why business contacts providers need to keep their data as fresh as possible. So the first thing you should ask your provider is how frequently they update their database. Monthly updates are considered best practice.

 

2. Highly Managed Data: Staying on top of business contacts data is an ongoing process. Regular analysis by your provider is essential including correcting all types of common errors; identifying and flagging email addresses that could result in blocking and/or spamming; removal of “negative” email addresses associated with spam traps, bogus and malicious email addresses; and more.

 

3. Verified Data: A reputable data source will also ensure that all data is verified as accurate before it is given to the customer. For email data, for example, the process of verification is extensive – but well worth it for campaign effectiveness. Click herefor more insight into verification.

 

4. Data Quality Guarantee: Last but not least, does your data source offer a data quality guarantee? We know of one provider that does, and next week they’ll be announcing that guarantee along with the addition of more than 16 million new B2B contacts to their database. Stay tuned!

 

 

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If you’re on the fence about diving into marketing, we recommend a trial with BizFACTZ, an easy to use business contacts platform that gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to identify the prospects that meet their customer profiles, with a minimum order of only $25. BizFACTZ has one of the highest rates of success in the industry and offers what may be the only data quality guarantee in the business. Use offer code INTRO and receive a 20% discount on your first order.

 

Taming the Email Marketing Beast: Five Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know Now

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in B2B email Best Practices, B2B Marketing, Email Marketing, Integrated Channel Marketing Approach | 0 comments

Young adult using a smart phone

There’s a lot more to email marketing than pressing the send button. And putting all your focus on creating great content isn’t enough to produce the results you want either. In fact, there’s a bit of a science to email marketing, and if you don’t follow best practices, you might risk alienating your customers and prospects indefinitely. So before you venture out on your next campaign, keep these five considerations in mind:

 

1)     Timing: Test for the Best:

Timing may be everything with most things in life, but according to the Marketing Sherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report, there is no “best” day, or time of day, for sending emails to customers and prospects. In general, research shows that Tuesday and Wednesday are good choices, and Sunday appears to be the least effective. But your business may not fit the mold. There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by testing your email sends. Test once, and then test your list again to discover the timing that resonates best. Are open rates – or even sales — higher one day of the week? Are you detecting more traffic on your website when your emails go out a certain day? Find a way to track and measure opens, clicks and conversions. Look for trends and patterns as you try out different days and times. And don’t forget, the results can be seasonal, so track your efforts regularly because change might be inevitable as your customers’ habits shift throughout the year.

 

2) Think Mobile:

Make no mistake, your prospects and customers will use their mobile devices to view your email content. In fact, a recent consumer survey reports that 41% of consumers view a campaign for the first time on a mobile device. And of the mobile readers who open that email a second time, 70% open it on the same device. While this data seems highly convincing, the reality is mobile-friendly email design is not keeping pace with consumer behavior, according to the Lionbridge Global Email Survey. IDC is predicting that the number of mobile e-mail users will grow 28% in 2014 and 23% in 2015, clearly pointing to the fact that the time is now to start investigating responsive design – the practice of optimizing content for use and engagement on both mobile and desktop devices.

 

3) Turn to the Trigger

Many companies today are approaching customers through a trigger-based approach to email marketing – an automatic yet highly targeted and personalized email response to site visitors, prospects and customers based on what they do. Unlike direct marketing emails, the trigger email is often a welcome sight for many customers. These emails are purported to get more opens, clicks and conversions because they are based upon browsing habits, buyer behavior and more. And while they might prove to be too much for the entrepreneur that’s just getting started, they should definitely be placed high on your priority list as your marketing program advances.

 

4) The Email Privacy Imperative: Whether you’re working with a list of 10 or a list of 10,000, respecting your customers’ wishes is your first priority in email marketing.

SPAM is simply not cool, and it can harm your business reputation. So for SMBs engaging in email marketing, the most important thing is to simply make sure you give your prospects and customers the chance to opt out of your communications. Tell them why you are emailing them (i.e. they subscribed to your list), and provide an unsubscribe link or another way for them to quickly and successfully change their email preferences. And include a privacy statement on your email or landing page to demonstrate your commitment to being responsible with their information.

 

5) The Email List: Build or Buy?

The ever-challenging email list – it’s a more complex endeavor for most marketers than they’ll ever care to admit. In fact, many entrepreneurs and small businesses lack a formal prospect list altogether. So what are your choices? First and foremost, start building your list today. Make it a practice to ask your prospects for their email addresses and then be sure to carefully maintain your list over time. Buying a list is another option, either for a standalone campaign, or in combination with your growing list as you reach out to prospects on a regular basis. But be careful – there are many data brokers selling inaccurate and outdated information, which can decrease the effectiveness of your campaigns, and even worse, damage your name in the market. If your own list isn’t up to par, choose a reputable business contacts source to expand your reach. Verified business contacts can be acquired from these qualified resources, with rates starting as low as $25 to get a campaign off the ground, allowing you to target customers located in any region of the country and any business segment you may be pursuing.

 

These best practices are only the beginning. As you tackle the email marketing beast, consider using the services of a professional marketer, or at the very least, do your homework and put a plan in place that will not only best serve your business, but also — more importantly – best serve your customers.

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 One way to jumpstart your marketing program is to use a business contacts service like BizFACTZ. Specifically designed to fuel sales, profits and customer growth for entrepreneurs, BizFACTZ allows you to quickly identify and download contact information associated with your desired target markets across a broad section of business demographics and industries.

 

If you think you might want to give BizFACTZ a try, use offer code INTRO and receive a 20% discount on your first order. Click here to find out more.

 

 

 

Don’t Go It Alone: Four Business-Building Organizations for Entrepreneurs

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in IMS Kansas City | 0 comments

executives

It’s been said that we are the average of who we spend the most time with. So it makes sense that connecting with the right people is vital for entrepreneurs wanting to take their business to the next level. It’s also true that in today’s competitive marketplace it’s not always enough to have an idea and the desire to see it come to fruition. You’ve got to get buy-in from influencers, insight from experts and plenty of guidance as your business grows. When you can draw upon the support of a wide network of thought leaders, it’s also easier to gain confidence in your vision for your company and set a course for success.

 

Where can you find these trusted resources? The reality is, they are everywhere. With crowdsourcing and collaboration at an all-time high, it’s no wonder that the number of membership organizations available to entrepreneurs and small businesses is also on the rise. If you’re interested in joining one that fits your unique needs, start by taking a look at these four business-building associations:

 

1) VISTAGE

Vistage is an 18,000-member strong invite-only organization. When you belong to Vistage, you’ll be able to get together with motivated professionals who evaluate each other’s business strategies and solve individual problems. The Vistage Peer Advisory Groups, facilitated by top-level executives, are used to greatest benefit through discussions that are centered on action and progress, with follow-ups and accountability. Members also benefit from one-on-one coaching sessions to identify unique solutions to your specific challenges. This group is open to applications from executive-level individuals with established businesses.

 

Why join Vistage? Vistage may be right for you if your company has plateaued, and you are eager to find an innovative plan of action to reinvigorate growth.

 

2) GOLDMAN SACHS 10,000 SMALL BUSINESSES

Goldman Sachs, the multi-national investment banking firm, has contributed $500 million to help small business owners gain the education and skills needed to improve their management strategy. For Southern California residents, classes are held at Los Angeles City College and Long Beach City College, and draw upon collaborative learning through discussions with peers, where opportunities and challenges are identified from real-world experience. Through partnerships, this program also opens up access to growth capital while providing financial advisement. Beyond the regular class schedule, one-on-one counseling, networking events and clinics are offered.

 

Why join 10,000 Small Businesses? This organization may be right for you if you are ready to dedicate a solid amount of time to improving your personal business skills and could benefit from non-traditional sources of capital.

 

3) ELLEVATE

With over 130 countries represented, Ellevate is comprised of a motivated network of professional women with the aim of self-improvement and supporting their community. As a member, you’ll have the opportunity to promote your company and your brand, while receiving access to valuable learning resources and events. Interactive online webinars, or Jam Sessions, create thought-provoking dialog to help craft and achieve both short- and long-term goals. Regular articles written by fellow members cover a broad array of topics for insight wherever you are in the world. Ellevate allows you to apply at different levels of membership for guidance and networking no matter what stage you are at in your career.

 

Why join Ellevate? Ellevate may be right for you if you are a woman who wants to give a jumpstart to her career and help others do the same, and who needs to work within her own schedule.

 

4) NAWBO

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has over 5,000 members whose goal is to advance the nation’s entrepreneurial and social culture through innovation. Members connect with peers and advisors through their referral program, ensuring a strategic partnership that maximizes success at any career level. Regional leadership boot camps empower women to build, strengthen, and impact their communities through improving their businesses. Additional benefits include corporate discounts, access to products and exclusive resources.

 

Why join NAWBO? NAWBO may be right for you if you are the “big picture” type who is interested in the global impact that successful women can have on the business community while strengthening personal leadership skills.

 

Based on our first-hand experience with all four of these outstanding groups, we happen to know it will be worth your time and effort if you get involved with just one of them. The important thing is to take advantage of the resources that are out there — no matter where you’re at with your career or your business — to create valuable alliances, uncover potential opportunities, develop leadership skills and garner valuable feedback.

 

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If you’re looking for a way to expand your market reach, consider a business contacts service like BizFACTZ. Specifically designed to fuel sales, profits and customer growth for entrepreneurs, BizFACTZ allows you to quickly identify and download contact information associated with your desired target markets across a broad section of business demographics and industries.

 

To give BizFACTZ a try, use offer code INTRO and receive a 20% discount on your first order. Clickhere to find out more.

 

The Three Top Channels for Achieving Marketing ROI

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in B2B email Best Practices, B2B Marketing, B2C Best Practices, Email Marketing | 0 comments

Where are the best places to put your marketing dollars? Take a look at what marketers around the world are saying are the three top channels for achieving marketing ROI:

 

Ad Retargeting: One of the newest digital marketing strategies to recently emerge is real-time display ad retargeting. Executives at leading organizations have reported that this practice can lead to 147 higher conversion rates, 2.5 to 3 times higher engagement rates compared to untargeted ad campaigns, and a whopping 726% increase in site visitation within four weeks of initial ad exposure. What is ad retargeting? It basically works like this: you visit a website and then leave, and as you move to other websites you see ads from that first website popping up wherever you go. There’s a little more to it than that, and you can find a very simple guide to implementing ad retargeting here.

 

SEO: Also ranking high for ROI is search engine optimization (SEO). Although Google periodically changes its algorithms, making marketers, in turn, scramble to adapt their SEO strategies accordingly, organic search continues to bring customers and businesses together. McKinsey and Company reports that 16% of customers were acquired via organic search in the second quarter of 2013, compared with 10% in 2009. These stats demonstrate why a good SEO strategy is essential for businesses that want to be found online by their prospects.

 

Email Marketing: According to the 2014 Email Marketing Industry Census, the number one channel for marketers based on ROI is email marketing. As we recently posted, email outperforms social media in terms of     conversion rates by 40X. And the 2014 Census study indicates that companies are attributing 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel. The reason is simple: up to 91 percent of all U.S. consumers still    use email daily, the McKinsey report states.

 

As an entrepreneur, what have you found to be your most effective channels for reaching prospects and converting them into customers?

blog post 8.21

The above chart by Econsultancy shows how marketers rate a variety of channels in terms of return on investment. Source: Econsultancy.

 

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One way to jumpstart an effective email marketing program is to use a business contacts service like BizFACTZ. Specifically designed to fuel sales, profits and customer growth for entrepreneurs, BizFACTZ allows you to quickly identify and download contact information associated with your desired target markets across a broad section of business demographics and industries.

 

If you think you might want to give BizFACTZ a try, use offer code INTRO and receive a 20% discount on your first order. Click here to find out more.

 

 

 

Five Rookie Marketing Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make Every Day

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Mobile Marketing | 0 comments

 

Whether you’re a veteran executive who’s built your own company after several seasons in the big leagues (in a Fortune 500 firm, for example), or you’ve started your business with little or no work experience, it doesn’t take long to realize that being an entrepreneur is a whole different ballgame. Don’t let these five rookie mistakes get in the way of you reaching your sales and marketing goals:

 rookies

 

1) Fear of Marketing Spend

Investing in marketing is essential if you want to get the word out about your company, reach important business contacts and partners, and convert prospects into customers. Whether you’re looking at an ongoing digital marketing program, planning a series of webinars, or simply attending industry events where your target customers may be – you’ll need to open your wallet. To scale your business and build the empire you’ve always dreamed of, you’ll have to overcome your fear of marketing spend and invest in a program that allows you to broaden your business reach and get your message out to your prospects creatively and with impact. It’s that simple. So loosen your purse springs a bit, even if it’s your personal finances that are driving the business.

 

2) Going for the Glamour

In direct contrast to overly cost-conscious entrepreneurs are those who want to spend way too much on marketing when there is no need to do so. Let’s face it, broad-based TV, print and other types of national advertising – especially when not directed at your target audience – are overkill, and they’re off the mark for most businesses, let alone entrepreneurs. As a startup, you have to use your marketing dollars wisely so that you can set aside funds for emergencies, slow months and more. It all starts with targeting your efforts at those who have a direct interest in buying your product or service.

Developing a marketing program that reaches them, not only with frequency and accuracy, but also with a message that addresses their needs, is your top marketing priority as an entrepreneur. In fact, email marketing, while not necessarily glamorous, may be the most effective marketing channel out there – outperforming social media in terms of conversion rates by a whopping 40X, according to a recent reportby McKinsey and Company.

 

3) Passing Up on Partnerships

One way to propel your business well past your competitors is by aligning with synergistic partners – more established companies that might give you a share of attention through co-branding, which will not only maximize your market exposure, but provide credibility. Tread carefully into co-branding, however, and be sure your company is getting a fair trade in the deal. This Inc.com article, “How to Co-Brand to Boost Sales,” offers excellent insight.

 

4) The DIY Marketing Trap

If you’re spending hours of time online attempting to dig up prospects’ names, or even worse, designing your own logo or licking a stack of 5,000 envelopes to get your direct mail campaign out the door, there’s no doubt you’ve fallen into the do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing trap. To make a polished first impression and get the job done right, it’s important to hire professional web designers, writers, marketing consultants and even virtual assistants.

 

And, for finding those elusive customers, forget about online searches that get you nowhere and produce unreliable information. Verified business contacts can be acquired through reputable data brokers, with rates starting as low as $25 to get a campaign off the ground that targets customers located in any region of the country and any business segment you may be pursuing. The bottom line is that you need to focus your efforts on what you do best, and leave time-consuming and specialized tasks to those who can take care of them for you efficiently, professionally and cost effectively.

 

5) Losing Sight of Your Goals

It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when you’re juggling so many activities as an entrepreneur – from sales and marketing, to operations, budgets, industry regulations and more. What often happens as a result is that you become too tactical in your approach to marketing, instead of focusing on the big prize. Your objective this year may be to increase customer growth by 20%, or to achieve online sales of a specific dollar amount. Whatever it is, make it measurable, and make sure that the marketing strategies you use will help you achieve your goals.

 

As an entrepreneur, how has your approach to marketing changed, and what is the best marketing advice you’ve received?

 

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One way to jumpstart your marketing program is to use a business contacts service like BizFACTZ. Specifically designed to fuel sales, profits and customer growth for entrepreneurs, BizFACTZ allows you to quickly identify and download contact information associated with your desired target markets across a broad section of business demographics and industries.

 

If you think you might want to give BizFACTZ a try, use offer code INTRO and receive a 20% discount on your first order. Clickhere to find out more.

 

 

Meet Shawn Elledge of Integrated Marketing Summit and DemandCon

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in B2B Data Industry News, B2B Marketing, IMS Kansas City | 0 comments

How a Top Marketing Influencer Reaches His SMB Target Audience

Guest Post by Paula Johns

 

 

 

If anyone has a pulse on today’s most effective sales and marketing practices, it’s Shawn Elledge, founder and CEO of the Integrated Marketing Summit (IMS) and DemandCon events. The industry thought leader launched IMS in 2009 to deliver actionable insights, expertise and cutting-edge information in a convenient one- or two-day format. Noticing the challenges occurring in business-to-business (B2B) sales and marketing, Shawn also launched DemandCon in 2010.

 

Shawn Elledge

Shawn Elledge, Founder and CEO,

Integrated Marketing Summit and DemandCon

 

With six IMS Summits held throughout the year in major U.S. cities, Shawn’s day-to-day business demands are centered on identifying the top talent required to engage and educate his audiences.

Another critical focus is attracting event attendees, and I recently sat down with Shawn to get inside information on what goes into getting the word out about IMS:

 

Q. First off, why did you launch IMS Events?

A. As a former executive for Eloqua, the marketing automation company, I used to attend a number of sales and marketing conferences throughout the year. It became clear to me that a need existed for regional events that could help small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) improve their approaches to generating revenue and achieving success. IMS was launched with this in mind in and we’ve been at it ever since.

 

Q. How do you reach SMB executives to capture their interest?

A. We use multiple channels to reach our target markets, with SEO, email and now, social media, being our top vehicles. Because our events are held in different U.S. cities, we focus heavily on targeting regional SMBs who are tasked with driving revenue and lead generation for their companies. In reaching out to these individuals, our marketing content is designed to pique their interest with new ideas and strategies for increasing conversion rates and building revenue growth. Our content also showcases our expert speakers, who are all known entities in the sales and marketing industry and represent a big draw.

 

Q. What one tool in your marketing toolbox are you relying upon the most this year to drive event registrations?

A. The SMB market is entirely different than enterprise in many respects. Reaching this sizeable audience – estimated to represent more than 99% of all employers — can be tricky, and market data can be difficult to obtain. To ensure we were hitting as many of the right SMBs as possible with our event outreach this year, we approached Outward Media, a data compiler to leverage their data services to come up with business contacts that met our target profile within each region of the country. Using their BizFACTZ SMB data, we were able to successfully identify business owners and company officers, such as presidents and sales and marketing professionals – all in the $250 million and below business market. We found the email data to be very accurate using a data compiler as compared to using list brokers, which, in my experience, have high hard bounce rates. BizFACTZ has given us a way to market to SMBs more easily and frequently, helping us increase registrations while also serving as a powerful driver for our social media efforts.

 

Q. Why is the social media channel so valuable to you and how, specifically, has BizFACTZ helped?
A. More and more, people are getting their news and information first on LinkedIn and even Facebook. And let’s face it, out of all the professions, marketers might be the most frequent visitors on those channels. As a result, promoting our events on LinkedIn and Facebook is becoming increasingly important to our registration efforts. BizFACTZ’s email data was able to help us expand our presence in both channels, allowing us to ultimately grow our following on Facebook by nearly 650% this year, and LinkedIn by 30-40% in terms of increasing both our group connections and our connections overall. We simply upload a list of contacts to LinkedIn and, with a premium account, we can go in and invite pros to join our group. Uploading contacts to Facebook is also now an option, which allows us to create an audience segment on the platform. The results of this effort have been very promising. I’m looking at SMB data in a whole new light now.

 

Q. What’s next for IMS?

A. We are always looking to bring our insight to new regions of the country. Our next events are Sept. 23-24 in Kansas City, and then Oct. 16-17 in San Francisco. We welcome all sales and marketing professionals, as well as business owners and executives, to join us.

 

 

 

 IMS Logo

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Entrepreneurial Survival Skills: Two Tips for Mastering B2B Target Marketing

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in B2B Data Industry News, B2B email Best Practices, B2B Marketing | 0 comments

Today’s best marketing minds say that content is no longer king when it comes to the most successful business-to-business (B2B) campaigns – whether implemented via digital, social, direct mail or even telephone channels. And while it will always be true that a message that catches your audience’s attention is essential, the top priority for marketers today is to deliver a return on investment. That means lead generation is key, and target marketing is more critical than ever.

 

BIG DATA

The new mantra for marketing is to make your messages matter:  get them in front of the people who are in need of your products and services and who are primed to respond to your call to action. To achieve this goal, there are two immediate paths an entrepreneur can take:

 

1. Invest in New Technologies

Big data, combined with predictive and prescriptive analytics as well as marketing automation platforms, is bringing a whole new lead generation toolset into the mix for marketers today. Those with the budget or the proper data science skillsets can leverage these technologies to slice and dice volumes of data (both public and private) to identify ongoing sales opportunities across the entire customer journey; instantly reach out to prospects; and anticipate customers’ buying patterns and preferences. The right technology investment can ensure a business is ready to approach prospects with the right offer at just the right time, and across multiple channels – such as  email and social media,  search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.

2. Build Your Essential Contact List

Smart entrepreneurs understand the value of big data and the new crop of shiny new analytics and automation tools available today, but the reality is, unless they’re well funded and well staffed, many of them don’t yet have the means to take full advantage of them. But even as new technologies and marketing approaches continue to emerge, the most essential element of an entrepreneur’s target marketing toolkit continues to be the contact list. That’s because rule number one in marketing is to know your audience. Your existing customers, along with those prospects that you’ve identified and added to your list, will always represent your go-to lead generation goldmine. As an entrepreneur, you might guard this list with your life, or at the very least, keep it under tight password security. Yet for a list to become valuable enough to protect, entrepreneurs need to first do their homework up front to find the contacts that will one day become their customers. An online business contacts service can help you get a jumpstart on generating your essential contact list, letting you tap into a big data repository of potential prospects for as little as $25 to start. And if you choose a service that allows you to download and keep the data you buy, you can continue to build upon your list month after month and year after year.

 

The bottom line is that when it comes to target marketing, businesses have many choices today – some more expensive than others. If, as an entrepreneur, you’re not yet ready to take the plunge with a significant technology investment, consider

building a strong foundation for your ongoing marketing program by using a business contacts service. If lead generation matters to you, why not get a head start on finding your most important customer contacts today?

 

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If you think you might want to give the BizFACTZ business contacts service a try, use offer code INTRO and receive a 20% discount on your first order.

 

Three Entrepreneurial Secrets to Finding the Right Business Contacts

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in B2B Data Industry News, B2B email Best Practices, B2B Marketing, B2B Segmentation | 0 comments

So, you’ve just launched your new company. You’ve come up with new products and services that you’re convinced will crush the competition, you bought an awesome new desk and set up a stylish office, and you’re about to embark on a whole new entrepreneurial lifestyle. But even if your business is virtual, your first order of business is to find customers. And if you’re like most of us, you’ve learned the hard way that they don’t always come knocking on your door, especially if you’re just starting out.

 

As an entrepreneur, where will you find your first customers?

 

In the business-to-business sector, it can be even more challenging to identify and gain traction with new clients, since your prospects can be miles or even continents away. How do you start finding the business contacts that will become your first customers? Here are three tips to keep in mind:

 

  1. Get Your Marketing Game On: First consider your messaging. What makes your company and its offerings stand out in the market, and what are the points of pain they address for your customers? Successful entrepreneurs start by developing a unique value proposition (UVP) that answers these questions, and they then get buy-in on it from key stakeholders: partners, advisors, potential customers and those closest to them. It’s critical to ask these insiders to tell it to you straight so that you can be sure that your messages hold water. If you find your UVP doesn’t resonate then re-think your strategy – it’s that important.
  2. Get Out There: More than likely, your first customers won’t come looking for you. You’ll need to find them. And that means getting out there. Attend local or regional business conferences that align with your target audiences, as well as industry events that are tailored to your prospects. And don’t just arrive on scene and expect things to happen. Participate, get involved and meet people. Be armed with a stack of business cards and connect with other attendees before, during and after — on LinkedIn, Twitter and other channels. Also, have your elevator speech or UVP polished and ready to go. Most importantly, don’t just talk – listen. Find out what makes other attendees tick, what drives their businesses and why they might need help from someone like you.
  3. Build Your Sales Pipeline: While events and conferences are great, you can’t always be on the road. But you need to establish a sales pipeline and keep it flowing. Beyond a website, a customer or prospect database is where most entrepreneurs turn first to get the word out – whether via phone, email or direct mail. The downside to this strategy is that if your business is new, your list might be limited. That’s where a business contacts service like BizFACTZ comes in. Specifically designed to jump start sales, profits and customer growth for entrepreneurs, BizFACTS is an easy-to-use self-service platform that takes the cost and fear out of database marketing, with minimum orders of only $25 and simple credit card payment options. The online service allows small businesses to quickly identify and download contact information associated with their desired target markets across a broad section of business demographics and industries. Each BizFACTZ order includes company and contact information, postal and email addresses, phone numbers and more. It takes as little as a few minutes to get started with BizFACTZ, and before you know it your target list will have grown exponentially. And if your message and call to action are on target, your phone will start ringing and your online orders will multiply.

 

There’s undoubtedly a lot that goes into starting a new business. You’ve taken the time to develop innovative products and services, and to create an office environment that reflects your style. Don’t forget that the most important step you may take next is to successfully identify your prospects and communicate with them in such a way that it’s crystal clear that you’re able to address their most pressing business needs.

 

 

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If you think you might want to give BizFACTZ a try, use offer code INTRO and receive a 20% discount on your first order

 

Best Practices for Cleansing a Contact Database

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in B2B email Best Practices, email Data Quality, email Effectiveness, Email Marketing | 0 comments

As Internet-based communication methods like email and social media have become virtually ubiquitous in our society, many aspects of running a successful business have changed dramatically to take advantage of the new opportunities that these technologies have opened.

The general consensus is that digital methods have particularly revolutionized marketing.  This may be the prevailing wisdom, but is it actually true?  It is possible, but many digital marketing methods are often quite similar to traditional marketing, with one key difference.  In traditional marketing methods such as direct mail or telemarketing, accurate contact information is not necessarily essential.  In many cases, pieces of direct mail are actually addressed to “Current Resident.”  The typical method for telemarketing is to use auto-dialer software programs that simply dial sequential phone numbers, one after the other; live respondents are immediately transferred to a human operator.  With direct digital marketing, there is no such thing as the current resident; there is little chance that a message sent to an outdated email address will reach anyone, let alone a person who may be interested in your marketing message.

Who Are You?

In the digital world, inaccurate contact information typically consists of inactive e-mail or social media accounts.  Both of these are virtually useless for marketing purposes.  Another serious issue is the high incidence of duplicates.  People do not typically live at more than one physical address, but they often have multiple email and social media accounts.  If your contact database is plagued by duplicate information, you could find yourself sending multiple copies of messages to the same person; this costs you money and could potentially drive away a customer.

Spit and Polish

Getting and maintaining a high-quality contact database is an essential part of successful digital marketing.  What are the best practices for cleansing a contact database?  Here are four steps to success:

  1.  Standardize the Data

All of the data should be in the same format.  Phone numbers should be presented in a uniform manner.  Abbreviations such as Ct. for Court and St. for street should be expanded, or the full words should be contracted, so that the information is presented in a consistent manner from one contact to another.

  1.  Check for and Consolidate Duplicates

As mentioned earlier, duplicate entries are a significant issue.  Duplicate names do not typically indicate a problem, but duplicate email addresses and phone numbers nearly always represent inaccuracies.  Duplicate entries should be consolidated into a single entry whenever possible.

  1.  Check for Accuracy

This is one of the trickiest steps in the data cleansing process.  The only way to be certain that your data is accurate is to check it against a known good data source. There are sources for name and address hygiene as well as for email verification. The problem is, if you knew your list was good, you would not need to cleanse it.  There are many companies that clean and standardize data.

  1.  Check for Completeness

The final step is to check for missing data.  All of the contacts on your list should have records for email address, physical address, social media account and phone number, at the very least, though you may want to include other data as well.

If you want to conduct successful digital marketing campaigns, these best practices for cleansing the contact database can help you be more successful.