Archive for the ‘Corporate Marketing’ Category

One of the problems with web marketing is that thousands of dollars are spent to bring in new visitors but only a small percentage of this is used to retain and nurture these visitors once they come to your sites.

One reason is the difficulty in building and targeting pinpoint messages, promotions, and campaigns to web visitors. Companies tend to focus all of their effort on getting the company message out to the public. The problem is “the public” is a very broad group so the content is watered down for consumption by the masses. This is not what most of your visitors are interested in.

Another reason is how difficult it can be to manage, maintain, and update content for individual web visitors. The people in the company who would best manage this content don’t have the tools and resources to access the web site and track how well campaigns and promotions are doing. Instead, they must fill out a web request form to get added to the queue. On the other hand, the web team is busy creating new pages for a product launches, managing Google Adwords campaigns, or analyzing web site statistics. They have tools that assist them in managing all of these tasks but they don’t have a tool for efficiently managing campaigns that are targeted to individuals.

A third reason is how easy it is to setup a Google Adwords campaign, show how many click-throughs your site is receiving, and stop there. You can get your ads out to the masses in just a few minutes. Then, every few weeks, you justify this spending because you can see the results in real time using the web interface or through nicely printed reports. This is great but it’s only half the battle. Wouldn’t it make more sense to take all of this great traffic you are getting from Google Adwords or search and continue to assist your visitors in finding what they want once they’re on your site?

This is why I built Marketing for Mavens. It’s a unique web application which puts the power of marketing to web visitors into the hands of those who are most capable of maintaining these campaigns. The web team can choose to keep control over the content management of the campaigns or give access to people in marketing programs or other groups within the company to handle this themselves. In addition, Marketing for Mavens tracks and tags each individual based on the pages they visit so now your company can ensure that your campaigns are matched up with right person at the right time. With Marketing for Mavens you know who your top visitors are and you can customize your messaging to them leading to quicker sales and improved visitor satisfaction.

If you are curious as to how this works please feel free to check out the demo. Marketing for Mavens is scheduled to launch a beta release in June so please sign up if you are interested in taking part.

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An awesome post by Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends. It’s loaded with great quotes from some of best minds in marketing.

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One of the toughest challenges for any corporate web site is getting people to come back. I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue lately and here are some of my thoughts.

People come back because:

1. They trust you, your opinion, your expertise, and commitment to your products/services. On the web, this is accomplished through the content on your site, the tone in which it is written, and the overall presentation (the look) of your site. If you fail at any one of these, chances are, you’ll have to do the other ones incredibly well or the person will not return. Your site must look credible, provide excellent information on your products and services, and talk to your visitors in the same tone you would talk to your friends (no run-on paragraphs filled with buzz words).

2. You consistently provide new information, thoughts, opinions, and answers to questions on a topic of interest to them. This can be done through blogs, wikis, or general content updates. Help the person do their job better or make their life easier and you’ll have an evangelist for life. Focus on how your web site can help them rather than how it can help you.

3. They have more questions about your company/product/service. Make it simple for repeat visitors to find information such FAQ’s, pricing, forums, support, etc. The first visit is generally to see if you can help them solve a problem. The follow-up visits are to convince themselves you’re the right fit for solving the problem.

4. They heard news/info on your company and they want to read your company’s opinion and information on this news. Don’t let the outside world do all the talking. Join the conversation. If you’ve just acquired a company, explain why you’ve done so. If news or rumors are swirling about one of your products, give open and honest information. It builds trust (see point #1) and it ensures people will come to you to hear the truth.

5. They want to participate in your community. Build forums, discussions, wikis, and other open participation communication tools into your site. Turn your best customers, your enthusiasts, into evangelists and people will consistently come back to learn from them.

There are going to be many other reasons as well. The bottom line is to think about your site from your audience point of view. Think about the questions they’ll be asking and how you can best answer them. Also, interview people and conduct usability testing. Unless you get out of your company’s “echo chamber” you won’t be able to come up with all of these answers on your own.

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I love it when companies try to have their employees promote the company message using a “single voice”. Does this ever work? We’re all suppose to have the same 30 second elevator pitch ready go at any moment. My guess is that if you poll 30 people from the same company, you’ll receive 30 different answers, every time.

This, of course, isn’t a bad thing. What you receive is a pure, honest answer rather than the 4 line marketing pitch which leaves the questioner even more confused about your company.

So why is that we can continue to try to promote the company with the single voice criteria? Certainly in our cluetrain world, honesty is what the people want. Personally, I’d rather hear that company x builds software which connects databases together so management can see one report any time they want which helps them make better business decisions rather than try to figure out what a data integration company that combines disparate systems to provide a single view of the enterprise really does. In the first instance, I can visualize in mind what the product does and I relate it to my experience so can understand if it would help me. In the second instance, I’m left trying to decipher the latest buzz words thrown at me. When I’m done…I’m left laughing at the thought that a room full of people over the course of several months and meetings finally came to the conclusion that “this is it…it explains what we do perfectly…now lets have the lawyers review it”. Why do we continue to waste all this time?

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Can we all agree to stop using the marketing buzz words such optimize, industry
leader, integrated, enhanced, visibility, and my all time favorite best-of-breed?
We’ve used these buzz words so many times that they don’t have any meaning.
Every company claims to be an industry leader. You can go to almost any
software web site and take out the product name and insert your product name
and you wouldn’t even know the difference. It’s boring and it doesn’t explain what
you do to your customers. Treat your customers like you friends. Stop the buzz
word madness.

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Resource for explaining the marketing importance of RSS to the uninitiated. Written by Phil Gomes

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Interesting post by Stow
e Boyd
on the need to break networks to stimulate innovation.

I see this all the time when I try to explain the importance of RSS, blogs, tagging,
and any other “innovation” on the web that corporate marketing can use to
improve it’s customer interaction. Most people’s eyes glaze over during these
discussions as they wondering why we should waste our time this stuff they’ve
never heard of before. Then we go on to discuss what needs to go in the next
quarterly email newsletter. I guess email was never considered one of these
“innovations” 🙂

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What is it about corporate web sites that make them lag behind all other types of
sites? I’m talking about company sites such Oracle, Honeywell, and GE where
little has changed over the last several years other than the design. I see very
little effort to turn these sites into interactive environments for customers. Most
company sites are bland information sites filled with marketing hype that few
people will ever take the time to read. When will these companies understand
this and start investing in the best marketing tool available right now?

To get started on making your site more interesting, consider the following:

  • Start a blog – even better, throw out your marketing hyped product pages and turn them into blogs that are part of your corporate site. Have your product managers contribute to them at least once a week.

    Also turn on the comments, the information you receive with be

  • Tag your web pages – corporate site search engines are some of the worst available…it wouldn’t hurt to fix this problem but tagging your web pages can improve customer’s search and provide a new way to find information.
  • Use RSS – Provide RSS feeds for your content. Data sheets and white paper feeds are a great way to update customers with the latest product information. You should use customized RSS feeds to generate sales leads. Supplement your email campaigns with RSS. It won’t be long
    before RSS surpasses email usage.
  • Simplify your home page – Stop putting all of your marketing promotions on the home page. People will not read a cluttered home page and it makes your company look like it doesn’t have its act
  • Graphics – Can we all agree to stop using generic pictures of people in an office environment? It’s safe and it’s boring. Try to stretch your ideas and come up with some interesting photography which
    goes along with your promotions.
  • Landing pages – create custom landing pages for your paid advertising. It’s a huge waste of money to send people to your home page. Your home page has the highest dropout rate. Why send people there?

I’m sure I’ll think of several more suggestions later but this should get you started. As marketers, we need to look for new ideas. We’ve gotten away from innovation and have relied upon our old ways to get things done. If you want to stand out in the market you have to lead the way. Stop following the old business rules and find the edge of your business.

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More often than not, the fast response isn’t the best response. I usually don’t
have the quickest response to a question but that’s because I take the time to
think through the whole process. I get frustrated when I hear someone shout out
a bad idea or worse, an idea filled with buzzwords with nothing to back it up, just
to be heard first. And it’s true that this is the idea that people typically follow
because it’s perceived to be the best answer because this person produced it so

Here’s a nice blog post to reference in the future explaining this.

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Notes: Great post explaining how to sync internal and external communications. Align the conversation by using blogs to poke holes through the membrane. Works for both internal and external blogging.

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