The world of marketing is always changing. It has to. As buyer expectations shift while technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, marketing cannot stand still.
If you’re in marketing, think about your career for a minute. Could you have predicted you would be doing what you’re doing now at the start of your career? Did your job even exist several years ago?
There are many ways that marketing has evolved over the years, but I think there are three key paradigm shifts that have driven that change. I’ll explore them in this blog post.
Paradigm Shift #1: From One-Size-Fits-All to Individualized Customer Connections
Historically, marketing was all about reaching the largest audience possible with the same experience. TV ads, print ads, billboards, etc. were the tactics employed by mass marketers of the past.
But the dream of individualized communication was there from the early days of internet marketing. In their seminal book, The One to One Future, published in the early 1990’s, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D. predicted that “using new media of the one-to-one future, you will be able to communicate directly with consumers, individually, rather than shouting at them, in groups.” Unfortunately, early technology didn’t allow for this yet. Each online experience was the same, just as it was for a TV or print ad.
Now, over two decades later, the technology finally exists to deliver individualized experiences. Personally, I can’t go a week without relying on Netflix or Spotify recommendations to help me pick what I should watch or listen to. I couldn’t navigate most e-commerce sites effectively without clicking on the products they recommend for me. These are examples of businesses learning about me and delivering experiences that are relevant to me.
But those are just the most noticeable instances of personalization. There are many subtle ways that marketers are leveraging technology to deliver more relevant experiences today across websites, mobile apps, email campaigns, digital ads, and in-person channels like stores or branch locations, call centers, or online chat. Check out this blog post on the definition of personalization for more details and examples.
Marketers are finally able to speak to their customers and prospects as the unique individuals they are — they no longer need to “shout at them in groups.” As both a marketer and a consumer myself, that’s one of the most exciting paradigm shifts I’ve seen.
Paradigm Shift #2: From Delayed Decision Making to Real-Time Action
In a follow-up white paper to Peppers and Rogers’ book in 2008, Infor director of CRM Patric Timmermans made a point about the status of real-time analytics:
Companies used to cheer about having updated data every six weeks. Then they felt great about updating customer data every week. Now we’ve progressed to the point where companies can have constantly updated customer information, but I don’t think enough companies understand exactly how important real-time customer information can be.
We’ve made huge advances in big data processing since the early days of the internet. These days, any delay in data processing is seen as a massive inconvenience. Real-time data is the standard. And even if marketers may not have known how to use real-time data in 2008, they clearly know how to use it today.
We can monitor campaign performance in real time and make decisions quickly if a campaign isn’t performing as well as we’d hoped. We can respond to customers in the moment if they’re experiencing a problem. And we can understand and react to different things we learn about customers or prospects in the moment.
It’s this last one that has big implications for paradigm shift #1. What good is an experience that’s targeted to you based on something the company learned about you, if it comes too late? The ability to take in information and act on it to personalize an experience in real time is certainly possible with today’s technology, and it’s something that marketers must take advantage of.
Paradigm Shift #3: From Guesswork to Experimentation and Measurement
Think back to the olden days of marketing. Think Mad Men days. When those marketers had a decision to make about how to allocate their budgets or which creative to select for an ad, how did they decide? They may have relied on something that worked in the past or made a decision based on what an executive wanted. Or they went with their “gut.” Then, they might have been able to roughly measure the results at a later time to decide if the decision paid off. But there was no way to know for sure if another approach would have produced better results, because there was no good way to test the approaches against each other.
Today, marketing has a heavy focus on experimentation and testing to find the best approach. This is also called “optimization.” If your team can’t decide between two different website homepage designs, you simply set up an A/B test to tell you for sure which one produces the best results. And most modern and successful marketers I know are never satisfied that they have everything figured out. They know there is always a way to improve so they are always iterating on their successes.
These days, testing is evolving even further, blending into paradigm shift #1 as well. The focus of traditional A/B testing is on finding the best experience for everyone, but marketers have moved from focusing on one-size-fits-all experiences to individualized communication. A/B testing and experimentation don’t go away in a personalized world — they help marketers find the optimal experience for each segment or individual, rather than a mass audience. This blog post on combining A/B testing and personalization goes into more detail on this important trend.
Marketing has seen a lot of change over the years, but one thing has never changed: marketers have always strived to reach buyers where they are. Today, there are many more ways to reach those same buyers than in the past. Technological advances have sparked paradigm shifts in marketing in the form of individualized communication, real-time analytics and action, and experimentation and measurement.
- Published in Business 2 Community
The phrase “it takes a village” applies to much more than just raising children. Any attempt to build something new, ensure it is properly equipped to succeed and send it off into the world takes a team effort. When it comes to your B2B product launch, it is essential to have the right team members in place AND make sure they have the structure, communication channels and resources they need to succeed. B2B product launch team management and coordination aren’t things you can overlook—the health and happiness of your product “baby” depends on it.
Ensure launch day is memorable, successful and smooth by considering these product launch best practices:
Set shared goals to facilitate ownership
The most important first step to prepare a well-coordinated B2B product launch team is to cultivate a sense of ownership and intention among the team members. Remember: just because you’ve been part of the strategic vision, development and buy-in for this product doesn’t mean the rest of your team has.
Don’t arrive with a launch day plan for your team to execute: build it together. Does this mean every single member of a potentially large product launch team needs to be part of the planning process? Not necessarily, but key stakeholders who can represent the needs, goals and pain points of each team member should be part of the process. If team members are excluded from contributing expertise, raising concerns or collaborating on deliverable timelines, it will be much harder to hold them accountable over the course of product launch planning and execution.
Effective brainstorming is essential to creating relevant and focused shared goals. Consider incorporating different brainstorming methods with different configurations and group sizes to ensure that the full scope of the team is represented in your B2B product launch goals, deliverables and timeline. Reference this list of questions to ask before launching a B2B product: which team members will have valuable answers to some or all of them?
Build a plan together
Involve key stakeholders from all relevant departments
Brainstorm effectively to ensure team member buy-in
Collaborate on a shared checklist
When a product launch team is comprised of members from multiple departments across your organizations, facilitating alignment can be a challenge. In fact, marketing and sales alignment is a common problem that B2B organizations face. Instead of allowing departments to remain siloed while executing against shared goals, create a shared checklist or implement a project management tool to promote transparency and communication across launch teams of all sizes.
There’s no need to start from scratch: reference previous product launch materials and/or templatized checklists like this one to get a sense of what kinds of activities need to be represented across departments. Make sure this document has “one truth,” AKA one, single, unified presence that everyone on your team can access. Project management tools like Trello or Aha! can provide this, as well as a simple Google Document or Sheet. Using a cloud-based tool that automatically updates and allows for shared collaboration will promote communication and transparency across departments as team members execute against their shared goals.
Develop a timeline of deliverables once shared goals are set
Refer to past product launches or search for a templatized checklist for a starting point
Consider using a collaborative tool to track checklist progress
Resist the urge to micromanage
While it’s true that micromanagement tends to reduce employee job satisfaction and increase management stress, it’s not entirely true that micromanaging is always a bad thing. When dealing with a complex, multi-faceted B2B product launch, however, it’s best to leave your micromanagement tendencies at the door.
Instead of relying on one person to oversee every launch-related task, assign deliverables to team members based on both past performance and their future development goals. Depending on the size of your team, it may make sense to involve multiple supervisors or stakeholders from different departments to create these accountability structures. Rely on the expertise of your team—giving team members and their supervisors more autonomy will ultimately make them feel more accountable and responsible to the success of the product launch.
Schedule regular check-ins with relevant stakeholders to understand progress and mitigate potential errors in order to take the pressure off of everyday supervision. Be candid when discussing progress, expectations and impact with the team, and hold management to the same expectations as team members. If your team has a clear understanding of the impact of their work, up-to-date knowledge of progress and potential obstacles to success, high-quality work will follow.
Create accountability structures based on past performance and future goals
Schedule regular check ins
Model transparency and accountability for team members
Incorporate Shine Theory into performance evaluation
Product launches are fast-paced, complex and often stressful projects. While it is almost certain that mistakes will be addressed, it’s not uncommon for successes and small wins along the way to launch day to go unnoticed. Leadership can facilitate better communication and learning around these positive achievements, even small ones, by incorporating elements of Shine Theory in team communication and overall performance evaluation.
While Shine Theory refers specifically to a movement that encouraged women to continually credit the ideas and contributions of other women to attain gender parity in the workplace, the practice is beneficial to teams of all demographics. Shine Theory disrupts unhealthy competition and promotes collaboration by encouraging and rewarding team members for shouting out accomplishments from coworkers that may otherwise go unseen by management.
Tracking these shout-outs and kudos during individual and team meetings can provide data for an overall performance metric, both for the team and each member. How many times did you acknowledge someone’s success? What new connections and successes were formed because of these shout-outs? What process improvements were made because someone was given a kudos and other people replicated their success?
Internalize Shine Theory in team culture to facilitate success
Cultivate collaborative attitude; everyone succeeds or fails together
Incorporate Shine Theory principles into measurable job performance metrics
- Published in Business 2 Community
An injunction filed is to stop enforcement of the city ordinance that compels the pregnancy center and its Mobile Care ministry to post signs and messages stating, “This facility does not have a licensed medical provider on site to provide or supervise all services.” “The ordinance is similar to portions of a California law that […]
The post Caring Families fights against Connecticut discrimination against faith based pregnancy center appeared first on %BLOGLINK%%
- Published in The Global Dispach
At Bop Design, most of my day is spent working with clients on generating and nurturing leads from their B2B website so that they close more deals. The following are some best practices and habits to avoid when performing business development for your B2B company.
When inbound leads come in through your B2B website, it is important to have a process to qualify and disqualify leads. Before you even agree to a phone call with a prospective client, send a qualifying email to the lead to ensure there is alignment on budget, timeline, project type, etc. Typically, an initial call with a lead is at least 30 minutes, so you want to ensure your time is well spent only on prospects that appear to fit your ideal customer profile. Devise a process with a diplomatic email qualification communication to better guarantee that any initial phone calls or meetings are worthwhile for you and for your prospect.
The lead qualifying needs to be done immediately but it’s not over after that initial email. Remember that you are interviewing the prospect as much as they are interviewing you. Be aware of personality fit, communication style, etc. to help make you feel confident that you can work with this person long-term.
Take the Lead
When leads come in, as a salesperson it’s incumbent that you take command of the process. Don’t be too casual or timid. Prospects want to be led. They are looking to hire you as an expert, so be the leader of the process immediately. Be specific about next steps and provide thought leadership resources so you build a case of credibility. This way the prospect has the peace of mind to commit to your firm over the competition.
You want to balance qualifying with being open-minded to new types of engagements. Too many times salespeople are rigid about what their firm does and what a project looks like. As salespeople, you need to be open-minded to new types of engagements suggested by a prospective client. Do not dismiss all new ideas immediately. Being open-minded as a salesperson at Bop Design has created new streams of revenue and new types of project engagements. Open-mindedness is responsible for at least 50% of our 2018 revenue.
Paralysis by Analysis
Analytics, statistics, scoring, etc. are good but in only in moderation. It is much more important to be responsive to leads. Too many clients spend too much time lead scoring and not enough time on creative ways to build a relationship with a prospect. Yes, we need to measure and optimize, but spend the bulk of your time as a salesperson responding to inquiries.
Web Leads Require Nurturing
Many salespeople mistakenly think that all inbound leads from a B2B website will be sales-ready. Expectations need to be altered. Most leads from a website are not sales-ready, and they require lead nurturing with regular communication and content marketing. Make sure your company has a marketing automation process in place or at the very least, a regular email newsletter and ad retargeting. This type of nurturing ensures your B2B company is not forgotten about when it’s time for the prospect to send the RFP.
Lastly, Be Optimistic
If you don’t think web marketing generates sales, guess what, it won’t generate sales! You need to believe in the efficacy of the process and platform for website lead generation, nurturing, and deal closing to work.
- Published in Business 2 Community
The world and its people are getting more and more tech-savvy nowadays. Use of technology is increasingly adopted by aspirant learners. Gone are those days when people depend on college training for their graduation certification degree. Now you can nurture your dream of learning the courses implementing several innovative methods. This can make your learning […]
The post Significance of Technology in Learning appeared first on %BLOGLINK%%
- Published in The Global Dispach
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran will "under no circumstances" enter a war either directly or indirectly with the United States, a prominent reformist Iranian lawmaker said Wednesday, as both Washington and Tehran try to ease heightened tensions in the region.
The reported comments by Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh come after the White House earlier this month sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region over a still-unexplained threat it perceived from Iran.
Since that development, Iran has announced it will back away from the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, an accord that President Donald Trump pulled America out of a year ago.Read more on NewsOK.com
- Published in Newsok
Staff reportsA woman who drove around a high water warning sign drowned in floodwaters in Payne County Tuesday afternoon when the vehicle was swept off the road, The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.
Her death is the first one related to widespread flooding across the state since Monday.
Heavy rains late Monday and Tuesday flooded areas of Payne County, and floodwaters shut down Perkins Road near Perkins.
A woman, whose name has not been released, was northbound on Perkins Road when she drove around a high water sign about 4:50 p.m.Read more on NewsOK.com
- Published in Newsok
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Democrats are calling — and more loudly — for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after his latest defiance of Congress by blocking his former White House lawyer from testifying.
A growing number of rank-and-file House Democrats, incensed by former counsel Don McGahn's empty chair in the Judiciary Committee hearing room on Tuesday, are confronting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and pushing her and other leaders to act.Read more on NewsOK.com
- Published in Newsok
By Kimberly BurkFor The OklahomanARCADIA — Parking spaces will be more plentiful when the Arcadia Farmers Market opens June 1 for its second season.
Land to the west of the market at historic Route 66 and Division Street has been leased for additional parking, and a golf cart will shuttle patrons to the blue-roofed pavilion where most vendor booths will be located.
The market will be open from 8 a.m.Read more on NewsOK.com
- Published in Newsok
Staff reportsThe National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has announced open entries for the “Sheriff for the Day” contest for the museum’s 29th annual Chuck Wagon Festival.
Two lucky winners will be chosen Sunday to “patrol” the event as sheriff, each with their own cowboy hat, badge and stick horse.Read more on NewsOK.com
- Published in Newsok
- ARTS BEAT
- BITS, NYTIMES
- Business 2 Community
- CITY ROOM
- DEAL BOOK
- DOT EARTH
- IHT RETROSPECTIVE
- IN TRANSIT
- LENS NYTIMES
- National Post
- NYPOST BUSINESS
- NYPOST ENTERTAINMENT
- NYPOST FASHION
- NYPOST LIVING
- NYPOST MEDIA
- NYPOST METRO
- NYPOST NEWS
- NYPOST OPINION
- NYPOST SPORTS
- NYTIMES SINOSPHERE
- NYTIMES WELL
- OBSERVER COLUMNS
- OBSERVER MEDIA
- OBSERVER NEW YORK
- OBSERVER NEWS
- OBSERVER STYLE
- OBSERVER TV
- PAUL KRUGMAN
- TAKING NOTE
- THE CARPETBAGGER
- THE CAUCUS NYTIMES
- The Daily Cougar
- The Global Dispach
- THE LEARNING NETWORK
- WORD PLAY
- YOU’RE THE BOSS