Archive for the 'Blog' Category

BluePoint of View has a new home!

Santa came early to BluePoint, and we’re excited to share our gift with you!

Check out our brand new website, and new home of the BluePoint of View blog. Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds to www.bluepointmktg.com/blog moving forward.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

About those resolutions…

As we dive right into another year, I’ll be doing my best to keep my 2009 resolutions. These fall into two categories – personal resolutions (less salt! better posture!) and professional resolutions (blog more!).

With the latter in mind, I finally jumped on the twitter bandwagon. I honestly didn’t think it was going to be worth my while or something I’d enjoy, much less be active in. I had brushed it aside as yet one more thing I’d need to keep up with in my busy life. But, I can admit when I’m wrong! I lost my twitter virginity a week ago, and I’m totally hooked.

I can follow all the bloggers and reporters that I try to read each day, but much more efficiently. I can make new connections. I can share interesting news. I can see what other marketers are trying out. But what I like best so far is the instant feedback I can get from peers.

Case in point…I recently tweeted “what’s going to be the BIG thing for B2B marketers in 2009?” and within a few moments I had some great thoughts back from fellow tweeters (or is it twitterers?):

  • @ardath421: content publishing for increased engagement in 2009
  • @smersy_genius: Sales 2.0 gains more traction and B2B Marketers learn to directly increase sales productivity.  http://is.gd/eEfS
  • @joemktg: Toss-up between PURLs for all communications, and optimizing landing pages and web sites to squeeze every bit of $$ from clicks
  • @stevewoods: my vote is for lead scoring and closer alignment with sales. In a resource constrained environment, marketing for results wins

Have something to add? Follow me at @MelissaBP and let me know. Happy New Year, and hope to “tweet” you soon!

— Posted by Melissa Coyle

Goodbye ROI, and Other Marketing Lessons

I took a rare day off from client work yesterday to attend Tech Target’s Annual Online ROI Summit for technology marketers. Overall the event was a great one, and I thought I’d share the “top lessons” I took away from the various panels and sessions.

  • Goodbye ROI. There is a move away from thinking about marketing as it relates to return on investment. Instead, marketing efforts should be measured based on ROMO, or return on marketing objectives. This may mean did the campaign meet lead goals, pipeline goals, conversions of leads to opportunities, etc.
  • The death of the marketing blitz. Gone are the days of big to-do’s around product launches and huge campaigns. Instead, marketers should think of – and measure – campaigns in terms of long-term, long tail approaches. Remember the 20/80 rule: 20% of your response will happen immediately, while the other 80% will happen over the long term.
  • Bloggers are the influencers. More and more, IT buyers are depending on blogs as resources instead of traditional media, and advertising on blogs is now out-performing traditional online advertising.
  • Key phrases, not words. Increasingly, IT buyers are using long phrases in order to narrow down search results and get more specific, relevant results. Effective search strategies will now focus on 3+ word phrases and negatives, instead of key words. Think “server consolation in an all-Linux environment and not Windows” instead of just “server consolidation.” Also, companies should think of paid search as a way to fill in the gap and complement their organic search efforts.
  • Match the sales process. Think about lead generation in terms of different stages of the buying cycle. Your content type and topic should target the buyer at each stage. At the “awareness” stage, your best bet is a whitepaper that addresses a problem and provides an overview of the landscape. At the “interest” stage, editorial content pulls best (with a 2x higher CTR over vendor-produced content), so focus on editorial Webcasts or podcasts. The “decision” stage is the time to introduce trials, demos and specific solution assets. Another interesting tidbit: existing prospects are more likely to be pulled in by a vendor asset, while new leads are likely to be pulled in by editorial content.
  • CIOs are busy. OK, so that’s not a new concept, but what may be somewhat surprising is that they admittedly aren’t doing any of the research themselves when it comes to evaluating new technologies and vendors. They rely on their staff to do the research and present the relevant info and short-list of vendors to them, so make sure you’re marketing to the lower-level IT staff! And, when you are marketing to the CIO, make sure your content is short enough that they can read it or listen to it during their commute.
  • Don’t over market! Clean up your database frequently to remove inactive prospects and distinguish between folks that are further down the pipeline. Don’t be afraid of “do not market” lists and segment your lists so that you’re not over marketing!

I’ll end with my favorite quote of the day: “If you can’t measure it and you can’t repeat it, then it probably shouldn’t have been done in the first place!” My second favorite? “Sales is the consumer of marketing’s leads, so work closely with them!”

Rule #2

In my latest new business pitch -more posts on that later – we got into some great discussion regarding viral and social media programs when the prospects began asking questions around one of my favorite words – “authenticity”.

I couldn’t help but smile.

So often we encounter those who want blogs, want to be “part of the conversation” (is that phrase getting over used these days?), but say hey Marketing/PR – go talk to people about us, we’re busy. We at BluePoint got ourselves into a situation with a client exactly like this – the company needed a blog, but there was no one to commit, and we became pseudo ghost writers.

If blogging is a jazz tune, then we were playing air guitar. Air Guitar Champion quality air guitar, but air guitar none the less.

As we had inched closer and closer to blogging FOR them, I sent around my “authenticity” rant to all of those who would listen. Preachy, yes, but true, as anyone following the blogosphere can tell you, blogging is not a fake-it-till-you-make-it endeavor, doing so can really come back to bite you in the ass.

As a disclaimer, this situation happened as we ourselves were in the beginnings of our blogging an social programs (which sounds a bit like when your parents tell you, “Well, it was the 60s, times were different then…”, I know) and have subsequently found someone within the company who is more than ready, willing and able to write their blog, and is doing a phenomenal job.

But here was a company who gets it, who wanted to ensure our agency would be able to impliement these strategies in a legitimate manner. Needless to say I was impressed, and after giving our prospects the…ahem…edited version of of our authenticity standards, I think they were too.

This example just reinforces, if Rule #1 is “Don’t be that guy”, Rule #2 is “Don’t be that guy behind the curtain” – your clients (and prospective ones) will thank you for it, even though they may not get it at first.

The Game Changer: A Pirate’s Life for Disney

I am resisting the urge to comment on the goings on
at Ford these past few days as I promised I wouldn’t do a car post for a while (about time for my own Auto Biz blog I think). Check out the stories here and here if you are interested.

Some big news from Google-Tube this week, it seems Disney could be making some bank off more pirates than the ones played by Jonny Depp and Co.YouTube has struck a deal with Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co. to being testing their video fingerprint technology, in an effort to prevent further lawsuits, like the $1billion in damages Viacom wanted because of reposts of popular MTV and Comedy Central shows on the site. The video ID technology recognizes copyrighted content that is uploaded to YouTube, giving the media giants two options; they can either remove the site, or opt-in to a revenue share program via advertising dollars.

Making money off piracy you say? Unheard of.

But, a fantastic idea, especially for Disney. Imagine the PR fall out the house that Mickey built would endure for suing a 13 year old uploading The Lion King or quality Disney Channel re-runs like Boy Meets World (what ever happened to Topanga anyway?).

As the guys over at CrunchGear said, “everybody wins” and I agree. Kudos to YouTube for figuring out a way to leave the lawyers at home, and actually monetize illegally posted content.

The Game Changer: Mitt Romney is my Homeboy

Not one to usually steal borrow ideas, I’ll also be starting my own weekly column, “The Game Changer”, where each week I will take a cynical look at something, someone, someplace that is changing the game in sales, marketing or advertising.

This week – social networking’s impact on the run for president.

If you have learned one thing from the last few presidential elections, it’s that getting the popular vote will not win you elections. If you learned two things from the last few presidential elections it’s that young people are doing a less than stellar job exercising what possibly their most important right. Regardless of whether they’re apathetic to the fact that they can’t create immediate change, or just scared of Michael Moore, young voters are not turning out in the numbers anyone would hope for. Candidates have been desperately trying for years to get through to this demographic, with little or no success–town hall meetings on MTV, the seemingly left-ward leaning Rock The Vote campaign, all efforts that have fallen on deaf ears.  

Welcome to Web 2.0.

Want to “hang” with Mitt? “kick it” with Hillary? “chill” with Giuliani? Or “roll” with Obama? Look no further than MySpace, where you too can be friends with the latest slew of presidential hopefuls. Spearheaded by Barack Obama, candidates are now using MySpace as a credible new outlet in which to communicate with the sub-35 crowd (I’m pretty sure grandma isn’t on MySpace, and if she is, it’s about time you had a talk with her, you probably need to visit more).  

Social networking has changed the game in campaign marketing, enabling candidates to engage users like never before. By forming a community around their efforts, candidates immediately have an interested group to campaign to, while users find themselves feeling like they actually belong to something, making these stoic, often wooden (ok, well maybe not McCain) figures somewhat accessible. You can see the impact in the campaign employee rosters, politicians are hiring Internet Communications Managers and the like to utilize 2.0’s most popular sites, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. to cultivate the new grass roots effort. The move seems to be paying off in spades so far, especially for the Dems with, Clinton’s 43948 friends and Obama’s 21856 friends leading Romney ‘s 14,935 friends, and Guliani’s dismal 3454 friends. The argument could be made that a higher percentage of Democrats are under 35 years old , than Republicans, so young people are responding to the tactic.

 

My fear here is the typical cycle of “cool” will take effect where everything is “cool” until “cool” get exploited to make some money or in this case, earn some votes. Now, I in no way think that 10 to 15 presidential hopefuls will ruin MySpace for the “kiddos” but politicians attempting to be young and hip doesn’t usually go over too well; the memory of Bill Clinton using the word “diss” still haunts my dreams. Time will tell if this is a worthwhile effort by candidates, but in my opinion, anything that will get young people to the polls is fine by me.

 

Let the best man, or woman, win.

Blogstars

As a continuation to an earlier post – Blog or Bust – here’s some more info on how the business of blogs continues to rock the future of PR…

Om Malik, senior writer at Business 2.0, and publisher of the wildly successful blog GigaOm, announced at yesterday’s Digital Magazine Forum that he is launching two new blogs. Malik is perhaps one of the first – and most revered – journalists to turn blogging into a legitimate business. He has a considerable staff of writers, collects advertising dollars, and is frequently quoted and referenced as a news source in other articles. Do a Google News search on his name, and you’ll find him quoted or his blog referenced just about everyday. He has arguably become as – if not more – influential as some of the industry analysts out there. As The Deal’s blog reports, “Malik is part of a select group of bloggers who have transcended the outsider image of a blogger to become something more significant, and raised seed money to expand a popular blog into a brand.”

And then there is Michael Arrington. A recent Wall Street Journal article profiles the serial entrepreneur and publisher of the famed TechCrunch blog. Dubbed “Silicon Valley’s newest power broker”, Arrington seems to have the power to turn start-ups to gold simply by writing about them on his blog. Companies mentioned on the blog often report huge bumps in business after they have been featured. Case in point: “ODesk Corp., which brokers jobs between computer programmers and companies, says a September write-up on TechCrunch snared five times as many new customers for the company as a BusinessWeek article earlier in the year.” According to the article, TechCrunch brings in about $120,000 in revenue a month, mostly from ads, sponsorships, an online job-posting service and the parties it holds.

This is all further proof that establishing relationships with blogstars like Malik and Arrington should be part of a tech company’s PR and marketing strategy.


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