Mary Meeker, Internet guru at venture capitalist Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield, and Byers, recently presented her annual Internet trends at the D11 conference. And when Mary talks, the market listens.
Here’s what she predicts:
- Global Internet use and application development continue to explode, driven by emerging countries. China has twice as many users as the U.S.
- Global mobile traffic now represents 15% of total Internet traffic. And the growth rate is climbing.
- Mobile advertising has a big upside. While people spend 12% of their time on mobile devices, advertisers are only spending 3% of their budgets on this channel.
- Media uploading and sharing from mobile devices are ramping up fast and still early-stage. Photo uploading shows explosive growth, video is ramping up very fast, and sound and data are emerging.
- Mobile computing cycle will soon give way to wearable computing. Smart phones and tablets will be succeeded by a new set of wearable, everywhere devices (i.e. glasses, watches, belts) that combine sensors, computing, and communications.
Tiziani Whitmyre’s takeaway is that B2B and life sciences marketers must leverage the explosive growth in mobile devices or be left behind. Anyone with a Smartphone or tablet knows the new business workspace has moved from their desk to a pocket or briefcase. We urge marketers to understand the disruptive implications of these trends on the buying process and the great opportunities they present to generate greater competitive advantage and revenue.
With renewed focus on growth at B2B and life science companies, marketing leaders are searching for new revenue generation strategies to heighten demand for their products and services. Tiziani Whitmyre (TW) has released a new paper, “Understanding the New Revenue Generation Process: How to Ignite Demand for Your B2B Brand,” that explores a new model for sustained business growth.
In this paper you will learn:
• Why content marketing is the key to successful lead acquisition and nurturing
• When inbound marketing tactics are more effective and efficient than traditional outbound channels
• Why the conversion of Web traffic into leads is the weak link in many demand generation efforts
• How marketing scorecards can offer almost real-time measurement that enables ROI calculation and program optimization
The paper reviews how the process provides a simple framework to organize the tactics and elements employed by most B2B marketing teams. It facilitates coordination and collaboration with the sales department, and bridges the gap that exists when leads are passed on for sales closure. The paper also explains how the process synthesizes best-practice technologies, tools, and tactics to create a holistic approach for maximizing customer engagement and sales growth.
Learn five easy steps to creating a better presentation
Several recent discussions with clients have revealed concerns about the quality and efficacy of their sales presentations. These marketing leaders observed that the positioning, messaging, and imagery in their selling PowerPoint’s were poorly constructed, graphically challenged, and highly inconsistent from salesperson to salesperson.
It’s my observation that most speakers use PowerPoint as a crutch for visual note taking, forgetting that the audience truly is persuaded by the presenter, not the words on the screen. In the interest of reducing audience boredom, the following are five easy tips for creating a more effective selling presentation:
1. Lead with your unique value proposition: At almost every sales presentation I attend, the speaker leads with a series of “who we are, what we do” slides. Boring! Most in the audience already know what you do. In opening your presentation, try these approaches: On your very first slide, explain one or two brief thoughts on why you are different from the competition in ways that add value — and express it in terms of customer benefit. Or, begin your presentation by telling a story that plays into the main points to be made.
2. Create a professional appearance: Do your deck look like the outtakes from your child’s third grade science presentation? The brand impression made by your first few slides will be lasting. Make it a good one. Many in the audience come from major companies and organizations where brand presentation is sacrosanct. They will judge your company accordingly. (Spending a few dollars with a graphic designer can produce dramatic improvements in a presentation’s effectiveness.)
3. Tell your story in images, not just with text: Steve Jobs never used a slide with a bulleted list of text. Instead, he relied on individual graphics or images to tell his story. Using high-impact photography and visuals makes your presentation fun, different — and memorable. It drives the audience’s attention to the most important element in the presentation — you!
4. Summarize your main points at the closing: Your audience will remember only three or four things from your presentation. Make sure these points are recapped at the end of your pitch.
5. Win the audience with speaking skills and personality, not your slides: Spend as much time on practicing your delivery as you do on preparing your slides. The world’s best deck will not make up for a poor presenter. But a great speaker can inspire the audience, even with a lousy set of slides. If the video projector broke, could you still deliver your presentation?
As an added note, Guy Kawasaki, well-known blogger, author, managing director of a venture capital firm and an Apple Fellow, promotes a technique that can help sales people with their presentations, the 10-20-30 Rule:
• No more than 10 slides
• No more than 20 minutes
• No font smaller than 30 points
During 2013, B2B marketers will be confronted by new opportunities too great to be ignored. We see five trends that will offer exciting potential for those who harness their power. At Tiziani Whitmyre, we’re aggressively leveraging these new directions to support our client’s marketing programs.
1. Successful CMOs master four key areas: We believe that chief marketing officers (CMOs) will grasp four key competencies in the coming year to be effective.
First, they will fully commit to measuring marketing ROI and productivity. This means investing in tactics that can generate a measurable return on investment. It also includes incorporating metrics that measure marketing output and outcomes in financial terms; then tracking these metrics to optimize performance.
Second, they must drive innovation throughout the marketing function. CMOs should continuously explore and embrace new technologies and approaches that heighten the customer experience, optimize processes, and fuel sales growth.
Third, marketing leaders will become more adept at employing digital channels. As marketing moves almost entirely online, the effective understanding of digital tools, networks, and analytics is essential to build high-performance processes that support revenue expansion.
Finally, as budgets and resources remain static, CMOs must initiate highly efficient processes that build brands, generate leads, and internalize the voice of the customer. More productive business practices will boost marketing performance, save money, and optimize resources.
2. The revenue generation process gains traction: Marketing strategy has moved beyond lead generation to demand creation and revenue generation. These new approaches give marketing a much greater responsibility for strategies and tactics that not only acquire prospects, but qualify and nurture them to sales conversion. It recognizes that the marketing team must own “out of period” revenue while the sales team owns “in-period” revenue. And it transitions marketing leaders from building initiatives around activities to creating strategies focused on business outcomes. The revenue generation process consists of six steps:
- Content development
- Web-to-lead conversion
- Lead qualification and nurturing
- Lead scoring and sales conversion
- Analytics and measurement
Most of us have adopted some of these steps in our marketing programs. Collaborating with sales, best-practice teams will now implement the entire process to dramatically accelerate revenue growth.
3. Brands become “publishers:” Developing content (white papers, applications briefs, videos, Webinars) that is highly valuable and relevant to your prospects is a central element in the revenue generation process (see above). As B2B brands immerse themselves in this approach, they will take on the characteristics of publishers. This means marketing teams will need “editors-in-chief” who can develop editorial calendars, identify topics and subject-matter experts, oversee content creation, and manage budgets and deadlines.
4. Mobile becomes a must-do B2B marketing opportunity: Today, Smart phones and tablets have penetrated over 50% of the market. And now, we’re using their powerful capabilities on the job. Tiziani Whitmyre’s e-mail marketing analytics indicate that up to 30% of recipients are viewing their e-mail on mobile devices.
Unlocking the power of these tools will be a critical opportunity for B2B marketers. In the year ahead, consider developing a mobile strategy for your business. Identify tactics in your marketing process where you can reach prospects and customers through their mobile devices. These might include tailored content, app development, mobile advertising, social media, and e-mail marketing.
5. Lead nurturing and scoring come of age: While most B2B marketers have dabbled in lead nurturing and scoring, these strategies will become ingrained at many companies during 2013 (see above). As content libraries expand, B2B marketers will have the resources to mount sustained campaigns that engage prospects with relevant, high-value information. Lead nurturing offers the opportunity to engage with buyers in the early, formative stages of their buying cycles. It helps develop a personal relationship that will shape the purchasing process and accelerate sales outcomes. Lead scoring technology enables marketers to track and assign values to a prospect’s digital behavior, role in the buying process, and stage of the purchasing process. The score is calculated in real time and can signal when the prospect is ready for sales closure. Our clients who have implemented successful lead nurturing and scoring programs have experienced shorter sales cycles, higher closing ratios, less discounting, and more revenue per transaction.
Read our management brief on these B2B marketing trends.
If you are using Web landing pages with registration forms, there is a quick way to boost your conversion rates: reduce the number of form fields.
A study by Marketo showed that the Web conversion rate increased by 34% when the registration form was cut from nine fields to five fields. In addition, the cost per lead dropped by over 25%.1
While the urge to collect prospect information is irresistible, there will be many opportunities to gather additional data once you have an e-mail address. This strategy of “progressive profiling” enables you to request additional information as you offer higher-value content. Over time, you can fill in the gaps in the prospect’s profile to enhance lead nurturing and sales conversion.
So think lean when you develop your Web landing page forms — typically first and last names, title, company name, and e-mail address — and watch your conversion rates improve.
A new study reports that B2B companies are devoting more of their budgets to develop marketing content (white papers, application briefs, blogs, Webinars, videos, etc.). The survey, conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, said that B2B organizations allocated 33% of their 2012 budgets to content development, up from 26% in the previous year.
But while content spending is up, the report indicated that companies are less confident about its efficacy. In 2012, only 36% believed their content was “effective” or “very effective,” down from 42% in 2011. The answer to this anomaly lies in the differences between the most-effective and least-effective marketers. The most-effective companies spent 46% of their budgets on content, while the least-effective group allocated only 16%. In addition, the number of social platforms used for content is twice as high among the most effective group versus the least effective. And 71% of the most effective marketers target their content to decision makers compared to only 41% among the least effective.
These results confirm Tiziani Whitmyre’s experience with our own clients. We see greater content expenditures and more effective targeting in their marketing campaigns as they move beyond lead generation to demand creation strategies. And those that offer their content through inbound marketing channels such as social media, public relations, and search are achieving far greater results.
Internet advertising revenue climbed to an all-time high of $17 billion during the first half of 2012, according to an IAB Internet Advertising Bureau report. Some important highlights included:
• Mobile advertising experienced explosive growth, almost doubling to $1.2 billion during the period.
• Search engine advertising continued its growth – up 18% over the previous year’s first six months.
• Performance-based online advertising accounted for two-thirds of the total Internet ad spend.
These results are impressive, considering the slow growth of the economy and lackluster consumer and business spending. The strong uptick in mobile advertising underscores the important adoption of smart phones and tablets as daily business productivity devices. B2B marketers should be developing a mobile strategy as part of their demand generation and brand building programs.
Almost all of Tiziani Whitmyre’s (TW) clients are employing content marketing for their demand generation programs. Effective B2B content provides answers to customer problems and offers insight into key market trends and issues. It is typically packaged as white papers, applications briefs, case studies, videos, and Webinars.
A recent E-consultancy report validates how critical content has become for B2B marketers:
- Over 90% of respondents believe that content marketing will become more important over the next 12 months.
- Nearly three quarters (73%) of digital marketers agree that “brands are becoming publishers.”
- Less than half of companies have dedicated budgets (34%) or individuals dedicated (46%) to content marketing.
- Increased engagement is the most commonly cited objective for content marketers, with 52% of in-house marketers and 58% of agency marketers listing this as one of their top three business objectives.
TW recommends that marketers budget for content development as part of their revenue generation strategy. Not only does it build thought leadership, but content has become the single most important element in a best-practice lead acquisition and nurturing process.
When B2B buyers visit your Web site’s landing pages, will they provide their contact information? Our clients frequently ask this question, because many believe registration forms discourage customer engagement. A study of more than 3,000 IT buyers by TechTarget sheds some light on the issue.
The survey identified the top reasons why buyers share their contact information with vendors:
- 85% said they are either very or somewhat willing to provide their contact data when ready to make a purchase
- 82% will share their information if they are familiar with the company
- 72% will provide their contacts in return for expert content.
All of the IT buyers said they used the Internet for researching products and solutions. More than 90% of them admitted they frequently visit a vendor’s Web site after seeing an advertisement of interest. Buyers also said they are equally receptive to offers in branding ads or e-mail, and many indicated a willingness to save the offers for later response.
When landing page visitors perceive that the content offer is of high enough value, our experience confirms they will readily provide their contact information. We’ve seen landing page conversion rates of 30% to 50% with good content and landing page design.
Our e-mail campaign analytics also show that many prospects will save their e-mails up to several weeks after receipt — and then use them to return to the vendor’s Web site.
Finally, the buyer’s receptiveness to sharing contact information with a familiar company demonstrates the importance of brand in the demand generation process. Web landing pages should have a consistent brand promise and presentation and to enhance recognition and engagement.
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