Category: B2B Marketing

The Importance of Having a Multichannel Marketing Strategy

During the period dramatized on “Mad Men,” the marketers and media companies along Madison Avenue could do a year’s worth of ad buys in an afternoon—between martinis. Three TV networks and a few major magazines would reach every customer in America. For example, the highest-rated TV series of the 1950s was “I Love Lucy.” At its peak, the show was watched by more than 67 percent of everyone with a TV turned on. Fast-forward to the 2010s, and the most-watched TV series today is “Sunday Night Football.” Yet only 13 percent of every TV is turned on to watch it.

Today, advertising decisions are often made by software using real-time data to determine where and when to place ads. Advertising can not only be tailored to a person’s location, but it can also take into account a customer’s interests based on previous patterns of usage.

In other words, as people have more and more media options and advertisers have more and more ways to distribute advertising, using all of these different types of media to reach a specific group of customers becomes more and more challenging—not easier as the future is sometimes promised to be. Continue reading this article

Why Print B2B Magazines Matter

Since the release of early web browsers during the mid-1990s, self-proclaimed experts have been declaring that “print magazines are dead.” Of course, the media landscape has undergone a lot of change in the two decades since, but one thing hasn’t changed: Print magazines are alive and well. For example, followers of Samir Husni’s “Launch Monitor Blog” [] are aware that dozens of magazines are launched each month.

Many magazines have shut down since 1995, but that’s not unusual—magazines have opened and closed regularly since they first began. For example, a magazine published by Benjamin Franklin in 1741 titled The American lasted only one issue. But no one in those days declared magazines were dead.

New communications technologies since Franklin’s day have remade magazine publishing time and again. Improvements in printing technology, enhanced distribution methods enabled by the railroad, instant communication made possible by the wireless telegraph, and the creative mediums of radio, film and TV have all changed the business of publishing. Continue reading this article

3 Reasons Customers Can’t Find Your Website, And How to Correct It

An online presence for a business is critical in today’s e-commerce culture. When business-to-business (B2B) customers are ready to research or buy a new product or service, they don’t turn to the industry sourcing directories they may have used in the past. Instead, they open their web browser and visit Google.

If you want customers to easily find your website, it’s important to adhere to Google’s webmaster guidelines. These guidelines give tips on how to help Google find and understand your website, such as building a sitemap file, limiting the number of links on a page and submitting your website to Google. If you don’t follow these tips, your site’s chances of showing up in Google’s search results are low, making it difficult for customers to find you.

Here are three more reasons your customers may not be able to find your website—and how you can solve the problem.

1. You give customers no reason to visit. A good website is rich with helpful content. Slick use of photography can make a site look pretty, but your audience is there to learn about your products or services. Plus, search engines want to see unique, easy-to-understand content. Google actually penalizes sites that feature content found on other websites, making search engine results drop lower and lower. Feature content that’s unique to your company.

2. Keywords aren’t used. Keywords can increase your website’s SEO—search engine optimization—potential. Use language similar to what your intended audience will use. For example, a pizza place may want to use frequent references to “delivery,” “carry-out,” “pizzeria” or even “pepperoni” to optimize SEO keywords. The more effective your keywords, the more likely you are to pop up in your audience’s search results.

3. Navigation is confusing. In order for search engines to find your website, the content has to be linked properly. Make sure that all pages on your site can be reached by a link on another page. Not only will linking pages correctly increase your chances of appearing in search engines, but it will also make your site easier for visitors to navigate.

Why Business-to-Business Print Media Is a Long Way From Extinction

“Print business magazines will soon be dead” went the predictions of self-proclaimed internet gurus of the mid-1990s. But here we are, 20 years into the advertising-supported business-to-business (B2B) digital media era, and one thing is certain: B2B print magazines haven’t gone away.

What’s more, much of the growth of B2B digital media is tied to trusted brands that today have thriving multi-channel opportunities (print, digital, live) for buyers and sellers to connect in industry marketplaces.

Magazines are still popular with readers

While the business model of weekly news magazines and daily newspapers makes their future more challenging than other print products, there is no evidence that the entire magazine medium is going away. Continue reading this article

3 Tips for Creating an Effective B2B Infographic

Using graphics—or, to be more precise, hieroglyphics—to visualize data goes back to prehistoric cave drawings. However, the modern idea of infographics is tied to statistical tools that emerged during the last quarter of the 20th century. That’s when a young graphic artist from the United Kingdom named Nigel Holmes joined the chart and maps department of Time magazine. For the next 16 years, his work there helped define and popularize the type of storytelling illustrations that everyone now calls infographics. (He calls them “explanatory graphics.”)

At the same time, a Princeton professor named Edward Tufte was pioneering a field called statistical graphics. Today, any smartphone mobile app that displays numbers can trace its design to Tufte’s work and insight. As their approaches differ greatly, Holmes and Tufte might protest being mentioned in the same article. But together, their work has influenced generations of data graphics—some great and some quite awful.

To keep your infographics great, here are some suggestions inspired by Holmes and Tufte for improving the infographics you use in your marketing. Continue reading this article

Business customers indicate they favor marketing that informs, helps, teaches

It should come as no surprise that the majority of business-to-business (B2B) customers favor informative or helpful marketing. Funny videos or entertaining Live Events or webinars have their place, but new research from BNP Solutions shows that most B2B customers desire more substance in the marketing materials they use—they want to learn, and they want to understand more about what they’re purchasing.

BNP’s market research team surveyed more than 750 industry professionals to discover more about they they value in webinars, Live Events and videos. Here are some highlights from that research. Continue reading this article

Here’s to Having a B2B Happy New Year in 2017

In a previous post, we made five B2B predictions for 2017.

While such predictions are thought-provoking and a little fun, they rarely provide deep insight into the specific information most companies need to prepare for or take advantage of any predicted event. They tend to focus on the macro trend than the “Black Swan” event.

For most of us, looking for patterns of change in our own companies or business-verticals provide the most helpful insight into the future. That said, it is important to look for the data and trends that can inform and prepare us. Continue reading this article

Five B2B Marketing Predictions for 2017

When it comes to predicting the future, the easiest thing to do is to think in a linear way: What is changing today that will likely be around tomorrow, only in a bigger and more important role. We will admit, some of these predictions are like that—forecasts based on an understanding of what is being worked on today. However, true disruptive changes rarely show up at the door and ring the bell. Rather, they tend to crash through a window. These five predictions are a little of both: They are continuations of things happening now. Others are wild cards that we can’t anticipate.

  1. Uncertainty

With a new administration that has promised change as one of its highest priorities, the early months of 2017 will likely be a time of wait-and-see. However, as we’ve written before, times of uncertainty typically benefit those who invest in marketing, while it drives others to the sidelines.  Continue reading this article

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