We’re Opening Up for NewCo 2014!

NewCo14_HostCo_Signs_NY-2

The Premier Data Provider Joins 100 Companies Showcasing Innovative Products

Madison Logic, the premier provider of intent data solutions for B2B marketers and publishers, will host executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and future influencers during the second annual NewCo NY. Joining an exclusive list of companies, Madison Logic will open its doors Wednesday, October 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET at the company’s Gramercy office.

Mark Herschberg, CTO, and Robert Armstrong, VP Product, will host a session discussing the steps they take in developing products that drive global innovation for digital marketers.

“By engaging with businesses in their own environments, attendees will gain valuable insight into what helps move the innovation needle through transparent communication,” Herschberg said. “As a growing tech startup, we are really pleased to be participating in NewCo and sharing think-time with our peers.”

“We are very excited to be participating in NewCo,” Armstrong added. “So much can be gained by bringing innovators together and listening to each other, and we are thrilled to be among a select number of companies that NewCo NY is highlighting as part of its second annual event. The more insight we can share with each other as innovators will only benefit our progress as an industry, and I look forward to being part of this discussion.”

Now in its second year, NewCo brings the New York City tech community together to get an inside view on what drives innovation through a personal experience. Madison Logic is among an exclusive number of companies invited by NewCo to open its doors for the event. Interested parties can register online through the NewCo site. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

B2B Shifts to Mobile, Better Data Automation

Mobile technology is becoming the primary business platform; with 40 percent of U.S. executives saying their mobile device is the primary business platform (Forrester, cited in AdAge.com). Per Forrester Research, mobile services sold to businesses are expected to rise from $11.4 billion this year to $32.4 billion in 2018, illustrating a major source of growth that needs to be addressed by the industry. B2B marketers are increasingly dependent on evolving mobile-engagement services, such as analytics, experience, and back-end upgrades. Mobile-device management and mobile-app development are also in greater demand.

As more people rely on their mobile devices to be ever available and respond to all work issues, Kate Maddox reports in AdAge.com that B2B marketers need to shift their strategies to reach mobile workers by:

  • Forming new partnerships
  • Changing marketing messaging
  • Restructuring their organizations

Strange bedfellows like Apple and IBM are developing mobile business apps together. Business software provider SAP is marketing directly to the consumer, because the consumer is a power-user business professional. Mobile is no longer considered a silo, but an integral building block of B2B strategy and services.

After improving mobile services, B2B marketers can turn their attention toward automation. Madison Logic advocates marketing automation, demonstrating intent in B2B interactions and providing the tools for marketers, agencies and publishers. So, we note Darian Shirazi’s suggestions in Forbes.com that marketers use automation of Big Data to measure success “based on the dollar value of pipeline they’re able to generate.” Rather than lead volume, dollar value refers to qualified leads that close, requiring coordination between marketing efforts and sales team to measure results.

“Ten years ago, lead volume was the only reasonable metric available to measure marketing success. Today, marketers have access to new data sources, superior analytics and better integrations that allow them to generate high value pipelines,” says Shirazi, arguing that the value in big data is in assessing the relationships between the data, not just the amount and demographics. Internal and external data needs to be qualified, combined and analyzed for more effective B2B marketing results.

B2B Marketers need to invest in the technology and allocate their marketing resources to better automation and the relationship among the data collected as well as the shift to mobile. The AdAge article states some of the obstacles for B2B adoption of mobile marketing are the perceived “lack of ROI, lack of expertise and lack of bandwidth.” (which can also be applied to automation).

One way to combat these roadblocks is for companies to use their existing assets by having in-house marketers create content that is aligned with the business goals of the company, suggests Allison Enright in Internet Retailer. Citing a Forrester Research brief, Enright states when 25 percent or more of the marketing staff is involved in content creation, “consistent, optimized” messaging achieves “specific business goals, such as customer acquisition, retention and revenue growth.” Marketers should recruit subject matter experts within their company for technical expertise and insightful content creation, as well as involve customers in generating content and determining which content is valuable.

Mobile devices are no longer the bailiwick of B2C marketers. B2B marketers have to find ways to reach their decision makers by offering more mobile services, better qualifying leads and using existing marketing resources.

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Content Marketing: It’s a Two-Way Street

content marketingContent marketing helps B2B marketers determine intent and reach the decision makers. If someone is reading your articles, downloading PDF’s and getting educated about your product, they are a good lead. Serving more content to them will help inform them and guide their decision during the buying process. Ignoring their quest for product and services information will alienate them. Similarly, using traditional content syndication further turns prospects away because the important information gets blocked by filters and is treated as junk; and there is no room for a dialogue.

In a recent SearchEngineLand article, Nate Dame points out the mistakes content marketers make when relying too heavily on traditional SEO strategy. Endorsing a more dynamic, two-way use of content marketing, Mr. Dame suggests:

  • Open up the content to search engines.

Sure you want leads and for customers to download your latest thought leadership pdf, but if you hide content behind forms and permissions, it has very little search value. Create an effective search and keyword strategy to lead people to your exclusive information.

  • Use content marketing around your content.

Get every drop of value out of your content. The more you share, the more consumers will tell you what they want to learn. “User intent is a potential gold mine for content marketers,” says Mr. Dame.

If you are promoting a PDF or e-book, create some searchable content with effective keyword strategy around it to promote it. Generate buzz with anticipatory blog posts, leak some of your takeaway information in graphs or easily digested nuggets that can be tweeted. Break down bigger documents into searchable blogs, posts or teasers that motivate readers to request more. Direct B2B customers to webinars, tutorials and YouTube videos that discuss features or share insight from conferences. Set the stage for long tail interest by reminding consumers of the content and market reception after the launch of your featured content.

Make content marketing part of your brand narrative and people will respond, which will inform you of their goals. These activities will generate online activity, which of course will boost your SEO profile and Google rankings.

Another key point is to make sure B2B marketers open up inbound traffic routes by combining their goals of driving downloads, acquiring new leads and social media shares, attracting SEO traffic and informing potential customers.

In a recent Hubspot State of Inbound 2014 report, discussed in a Business2Community article, one of the takeaways was that “Inbound is becoming the primary source for lead generation.”

In a survey of B2B, B2C and nonprofits marketers, all pointed to the value of using inbound marketing, estimating its value at generating 45 percent of their leads. They estimated that all of their outbound marketing efforts combined accounted for less than 42 percent of leads. Sales calls, list buying and tradeshows just don’t have the same effectiveness as inbound marketing, which they define as “creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and content.”

B2B customers have gone through “60 percent of the purchasing process before ever talking to sales.” The role of content marketing is critical to informing and engaging prospective customers. Blogs are cited as a “powerhouse of inbound, generating more ROI than any other single inbound activity or tactic.” We support anything that determines customer intent along the buying process.

Use your blog to promote your privileged content, get feedback on consumer intent by the actions people take on your website, or how they respond to your shared content, and your company will see results from a more effective content marketing strategy.

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B2B Marketers: Happy Customers & Using Video for Lead Gen

Happy customers are good for business. Although we as B2B marketers know this at the very core of our being, we sometimes get distracted by the latest innovation, and stray from our constant pursuit—customer satisfaction. A recent Direct Marketing News blog post cites some practical tips from CRM provider Insightly’s Lynn Tsoflias to keep customers happy, yielding a better bottom line.

  • Serve the customer. When customers’ needs are met, your business will prosper. B2B marketers who focus on their customers’ revenue and projects will see the benefits for their own companies.
  • Make your first impression count. Use an offer or free trial to introduce your service or product to the customer, then be prepared to support it by educating customers on how the products will benefit them.
  • Simplify the message and the process. Treat B2B customers as consumers, give them a simple product that’s easy to use. Small businesses need to demonstrate the advantages of their product with clear, easy messaging that offers a solution to a time, labor or money issue.
  • Offer customers value before asking for information. Pay attention to their needs and comments. Use critical feedback as an opportunity to improve your relationship with customers. Listen when they complain. When you improve your service or product based on customer feedback, make sure to let the client know they were heard.
  • Understand the different ways customers learn and then create the most compelling media to reach them. Train effectively, with media in a few formats that considers different ways people learn.

Consider all formats when communicating with your customer. B2B efforts should include white papers, email campaigns, videos, webinars and all other efforts to reach customers as consumers.

Consider adding video to support lead generation, sales and marketing efforts. Video is easy to consume, yet can serve greater purposes of demonstrating a product, showcasing your executives at conferences, or giving a tutorial. And from a B2B perspective, its use is on the rise, with 63% of B2B marketers using it on internal and external sites, according to the “Video Content Metrics Benchmark Report, as cited by KOMarketing Associates here. Approximately 70 percent of the profitable B2B organizations surveyed said more of their customers are watching their videos. Video engagement data helps determine lead quality; and video surpasses other content in producing conversions.  Customers are watching videos on company sites and through other channels like YouTube and Google. More B2B companies are producing more videos to reach them, estimated at 27 per year per the study.

It’s worth a refresher for all of us to remember that when our customers are happy and succeed, our company will succeed too.  Using video and other tools that support their goals, B2B companies can continue to keep the customer satisfied.

Image via Schmilblik

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Madison Logic Makes the 2014 AlwaysOn OnMedia 50 Companies to Watch List

We’re extremely proud to announce that Madison Logic has been included in the AlwaysOn 2014 OnMedia 50 Companies to Watch list.  We consider this to be a huge honor and a testament to the hard work we’ve been putting forth over the past year.

From The AlwaysOn Network:

This year, the AlwaysOn editorial team has identified 50 digital media companies to watch during the coming year. Representing a wide range of sectors-advertising, data analytics, social commerce, and product discovery-these up-and-comers have solid, early-stage backing and the potential to hit $200 million in revenue during the next few years, indicating substantial returns for their inventors and rapid revenue growth in the short-term.

These companies are providing innovative digital media, social commerce, and analytical solutions for companies with products to sell and the consumers that are looking for them. Watch for these companies on next year’s 2015 OnMedia 100!

Click here for the full list of  the 2014 OnMedia 50 Companies to Watch.

B2Bs: Talk Organic Content to Me

Madison Logic Organic ContentTwo reports came out this past week regarding inbound traffic with one common thread: original content drives inbound marketing attempts. Blogs and articles that speak directly to your customers yield higher relevant traffic, 59% per this chart.

Ayaz Nanji breaks down the top goals, tactics and challenges of Ascend2’s Inbound Marketing in a Marketing Profs summary. More than 270 marketing, sales and business professionals responded, with these highlights:

  • 49% said their most important marketing objective is increasing conversion rate
  • 48% citing improving lead quality and 44% improving lead quantity
  • 46% growing sales revenue
  • 31% improving brand awareness

Obviously, respondents could choose more than one goal. A quick review of this article demonstrates with clear bar graphs some of the priorities. Per 59%, “marketing content creation is one of the most effective inbound tactics”; 54% cite search engine optimization. These tools go together and rely on strong, original content across all strategies: search, SEO, social media, blogging and public relations. However, content creation is also seen as “difficult” to execute because it relies on a clear understanding of company’s message, goals and audience—and can be hard to track in the lead nurturing cycle. An effective strategy can turn this around.

Jim Yu, writing for Marketing Land, provides some tips for ensuring that original organic content is still a strong and effective marketing tool. In 2014, “B2Bs embrace content as a primary form of marketing” with “stellar results” from organic search. Content from the website, blogs, articles, newsletters, webinars all inform and educate throughout many touchpoints a potential customer has when interacting with your product. And the best part is there are more metrics for how this content is consumed and interacted with. B2B content marketing can be measured in web traffic, social media sharing, lead quantity, feedback, awareness and other ways. There’s a more mature acknowledgement that just creating content does not generate a direct sale, but a full product experience. Organic search content has “staying power” helping you build your brand and educate your customers.

And when you’re creating the content, keep it simple! Marketing professionals have the ability to take normal words and mutate them into corporate speak. A recent Ad Age article rails against the practice of using jargon or vocabulary words that would impress our high school Latin teachers instead of direct and simple language that speaks more clearly to potential customers. As B2B marketers, we have to be particularly careful not to speak in acronyms and insider terms.

Image via Jessica Spengler

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It’s All About the Leads

2599701755_b91621cbf8_oIt’s all about the leads –any salesperson can tell you this. However, not all leads are created equal. In one of the best movies about sales ever, Glengarry Glen Ross, good salespeople are given the top leads, enabling them to close more business and continue their success. Weak salespeople are given weak leads, precipitating their failure. So what makes a good lead, and How do we generate leads and keep them vibrant to complete the transaction?

First, let’s look at the misconceptions about leads. In a quick list, Emma Vas debunks Lead Myths to help marketers and sales focus on what’s important. Here are some of the kernels of wisdom that come from her demystified myths:

  • Product knowledge is necessary, but sales and marketing do not need the full technical specs to promote something. They will probably get confused and muddle the important features.
  • Rather than tooting your own horn, tell your clients’ success stories.
  • Buyer persona changes. Yes, you must set one up, but be prepared for it to shift over time.
  • Qualifying leads is important. Track leads. Qualify them. Nurture them.
  • Educate the customer and the sales force.

Unless we tackle the myths, we’ll never achieve the goals listed above.

Now, once you obtain your leads, you must qualify them, nurture them, and focus on the strong leads to close sales. (See the similarities in advice?) Marketing and sales must work together to determine what makes a great lead and then apply it through their tactics. Julia Borgini gives three great tips:

1)     Understand what makes a sales-qualified lead. Establish guidelines to identify the strongest leads that can convert to sales.

2)     Start lead scoring.  Standards will help sales and marketing determine which group should work with a particular lead. Even using “cold”,  “warm”, and “hot” is a good start so you can spend your efforts effectively.

3)     Nurture your leads. Citing the long B2B pipeline, Ms. Borgini emphasizes continuous effort, communication, delivering value, so when they’re ready to buy; you’re ready to close.

As a bonus tip, Borgini reminds to always get permission to remain in contact with your leads.

In order to “Always Be Closing” we must always be nurturing, qualifying and communicating with leads.

Image via Toon Bronselaer

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Automation for the People

Why is marketing automation on the rise?

69485977_fee90b4443_zAccording to the B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool (VEST), produced by Raab Associates, the majority of upgrades made by marketing automation vendors concern analytics. The results are summarized in a recent VentureBeat article.

Although content marketing, social media and mobile are buzzwords in the industry, the growth in adding analytics features is due to increasing automation in marketing. Customers need analytics to continue to improve campaigns and reach; and vendors realize they should bolster this area.

David M. Raab, principal behind the comprehensive VEST, which matches marketers to marketing automation systems, had these observations to offer:

On which new features of this year’s VEST excited Raab: “Those that are still relatively rare, including algorithmic revenue attribution, connections to external data and simulation of campaign flows.”

Whether the “continued expansion of the marketing automation space” is sustainable: “Nothing can continue forever, but I don’t think we’ll slow down for the next year or two.”

For more information on VEST’s analysis, vendor reports and industry breakdowns, the original report can be found here.

Per Stephanie Miller in a recent ClickZ article, one reason marketing automation is such a hot topic is because it makes sense now. Calling it “the most important tool in the marketing portfolio,” Miller urges B2B marketers to get aboard now or miss out on opportunities.

Noting that automation improves lead management, social marketing, CRM integration, and virtually every aspect of workflow, Miller identifies the “key benefit of automation tools is to enhance communications between people and brands to be responsive to need and life stage and available in preferred channels.” Content can be delivered at the right moment, increasing engagement and conversion. Distinguishing between delivering timely emails, marketing automation is defined as “a bigger commitment to tracking, scoring, and optimizing the full multi-channel customer journey.”

Marketing automation addresses business challenges such as:

  • creating a single marketing database from all the different customer reach channels, such as landing pages and call centers
  • nurturing leads through continued contact
  • predictive scoring, communicating at the best times for the audience to receive and respond to the messages
  • collaborating with marketing and sales for a steady stream of messaging that converts to sales.

Emphasizing the journey, marketing automation makes communication and workflow seamless, allowing all the branches of marketing and sales to work together for the same result.

In other news, LinkedIn is now offering its SlideShare platform for free. The popular tool for sharing presentations, documents and infographics will now make available to its free users premium features, such as analytics and private uploads, which were formerly reserved for SlideShare Pro subscribers. SlideShare will release a new feature to its current and new free users every month. Pro users will get all the same access to premium features now, but will no longer pay for it.

And the reason for the timing, might be similar to marketing automation, these free tools will help SlideShare grow its base of users, enable easier interactions across all parties, and help campaigns reach their audiences.

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