Author: Bonnie Harris

[caption id="attachment_12927" align="alignright" width="211"]best b2b marketing campaigns - b2b marketing campaign - best b2b campaigns - best b2b marketing SnapApp's new Campaign Confidence Gap Report shows a lack of confidence prevalent among B2B marketing professionals.[/caption] SnapApp's new Campaign Confidence Gap Report reports challenges with traditional B2B marketing campaigns, particularly with how bullish marketers feel about using non-integrated techniques. In fact the study found that 82% of B2B marketers report feeling "not very" or only "somewhat" confident in their traditional marketing strategies. With only 18% of B2B marketers “extremely confident” about their work, the Campaign Confidence Gap Report identifies four major challenges for B2B marketing:
  • Identifying new leads
  • Creating and sourcing content offers to support campaigns
  • Scaling leads to make sales targets
  • Developing compelling calls to action
The study defines a content-enabled campaign as essentially a campaign including conversational or interactive marketing, rather than one that simply offers PDF files in exchange for lead generation input. A content-enabled campaign is designed to inform and also to capture individual responses. Content-enabled marketing uses  empathy, an approach where marketers talk with customers instead of just advertising, and where companies try to match the passions and concerns of a customer base. "B2B Marketers have fallen into a 'lead-gated PDF rut,'focusing too much on creating static eBooks, case studies and white papers to drive leads into the funnel," says Aaron Dun, Senior Vice President of Marketing for SnapApp. To break through, I see marketers getting outside of their comfort zones in 2017 and focusing on developing content experiences that facilitate more meaningful and engaging conversations with prospects.” The study also spends time looking at results, showing how content-enabled campaigns can provide benchmarking data and address pain points. The company provides analysis of how content-enabled campaigns can improve metrics like open rates and click-through rates. SnapApp researchers defined common customer goals for new campaigns including: 

Integrating Facebook ads into your marketing mix Thinking of Facebook as a silo can lead to failure.  In other words, assuming that all advertising messages, calls-to-action and follow-up activities need to be kept within Facebook limits results and keeps many advertisers from fully maximizing the potential of Facebook. Thinking...

[caption id="attachment_12860" align="alignright" width="300"]CRM software for small business CRM Magazine is an excellent resource if you're considering CRM software for small business.[/caption] Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a popular type of enterprise software that is slowly working its way into more and more small businesses. But do you need CRM for small business? Let’s take a look at some pros and cons. CRM software is essentially built on exploring the relationship between the business and its customers. The data gathered and maintained within these tools is customer-focused, and often consists of customer identifiers, purchase histories and other vital customer information that can help enable sales and/or close deals much more quickly. At least that’s the “promise” of the multiple solutions out there. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a  CRM package to power sales for a small to medium-sized business: Pros of using CRM
  • Convenience - Many CRM packages are delivered via the cloud, which means there's no software license or special hardware required which can make CRM for small business a good idea. Usually a subscription version delivers all the functionality of the programs without any of the overhead. In this way, companies can benefit from on-demand services as well as change or upgrade services as needed, without a lot of cost and effort.
  • Sales History -  CRM software helps salespeople and others to always know the history of the customer, or the company they are working with. This can be crucial during personnel changes, or in a company where multiple customer services reps are dealing with the same company.
  • Mobile Capability – Most CRM’s work across multiple devices, so field reps can easily access information anywhere. This helps facilitate more sales efficiency, as well as providing (in some cases) integration with other back end systems.
  • Data Analysis – Data from CRM systems can be invaluable for making better decisions, viewing trends, or even just building more accurate mailing lists. A good CRM system will have a strong, customizable reporting arm for management and owners to review on a regular basis.
Cons of using CRM

measure integrated marketingHow do you really measure integrated marketing? It's an incredibly challenging aspect of integrated marketing for many different reasons. While multi-channel marketing campaigns typically measure the performance of each channel toward the end goals, integrated marketing requires that you measure how well the different channels or components are working together. Synergy between the different channels can create some powerful boosts to results, but it's a bit of a murky area when it comes to measuring the integration efforts themselves. Before we get into how to measure integrated marketing, let's review some basic components of an integrated marketing campaign. Remember that a truly integrated campaign has: To measure integrated marketing efforts, you not only have to measure against objectives, you have to measure iteratively as the campaign progresses. This helps you adjust and refine linked tactics, making them more powerful as you move forward. Once again, the strategies never change - that's what keeps you focused on the end goal. Here are six ways to measure integrated marketing efforts throughout the course of your next project that you should incorporate into your weekly routine:
  • Landing Page Performance - Integrated marketing requires that no matter the task,  you always have a destination above and beyond just a website. A landing page in our lexicon means whatever online destination you may be targeting. That can be anything from an actual landing page for a promotion, for example, to the LinkedIn profile of a CEO. Whatever it is, you need to measure not only the conversions to that page, but  the overall traffic on that page. Integration is a bit like boats rising with the tide. You're not always sure where the boost is coming from, so you want to continually look at the performance of the destination site. And by continually, I mean at least weekly and sometimes daily. For really intense campaigns, like event promotion for example, I might look on an hourly basis. Whatever you do, you want to build a correlation between your linked tactics and the activity on your destination.
  • Referral Traffic - You need to do a deep dive into the referral traffic on your target website using Google Analytics. This is where you can learn a lot about how well your linked tactics are working. I was able to identify some incredibly strong gains from - surprisingly - using Pinterest for my B2B clients because I kept an eye on referral traffic. You can look at the landing page, but also look at the overall referral traffic for your site. You may find that referrals increase from a particular channel or social media network after you've increased activity from other channels. This is not uncommon, and it's a very good sign that you're achieving integration.
  • Unplanned Messages - I look for unplanned messages on a regular basis throughout all the social media networks I'm working in. Unplanned messages are those messages that reiterate your key messages, but are not placed specifically by your campaign components. Gary Vaynerchuk coined the phrase "Crush It" in his popular book. Every time you hear someone say they're "crushing it" they're repeating an unplanned message from Vaynerchuk's work. Strong integration results in familiarity across channels. Familiarity leads to adoption, and unplanned messages are a sign that you're succeeding.
  • Email Engagement - Email is still a core component, if not the backbone,  of most integrated marketing campaigns. Your email click through rates (CTR's) and other measurements should be rising steadily as you build integration within your campaigns. Even if the emails are not specifically related to your campaign, ask to see those stats anyway. Once again, if you're doing things well then people should become more familiar with your brand, product or service overall. And that means they should be paying more attention to your emails.
  • Keyword/Phrase Performance - If you don't know how to measure the performance of particular keywords, learn. You want your content, whether it's a press release, blog posts, or some kind of native advertising, to be performing well and steadily improving. If you don't know the keywords or phrases you're optimizing for, go back to the drawing board as this is a key component of an integrated marketing campaign.
  • Social Media Insights - Your social media insights should be rising steadily in most areas. This means engagement, fans/follower counts, CTR's and the like. Some of these will depend on your brand or product, but you'll find when integration is going well, these statistics continue to rise no matter what the environment or season.

ten top business booksAlthough books are making a comeback for the mainstream consumer, for entrepreneurs and business owners they've always been an important part of continuous improvement. Here are ten of the top business books I recommend reading as soon as you can. The list is a mix of new books, oldies but goodies, and a couple of memoirs for good measure, not in any particular order. (I'm compelled to tell you these are monetized links. Should you order, I will make a little cash. But this is my true opinion nevertheless.) Enjoy!  

Ten Top Business Books