About

Posts by :

Reach Brand Tweeters.

Reach People Who Will Tweet About Your Brand.

written by: Nielsen - Consumer Research

There’s no shortage of people tweeting about live TV these days—it’s a digital phenomenon and picking up speed. In 2013 alone, 36 million people sent 990 Million Tweets about TV, according to Nielsen SocialGuide. Until now, however, we haven’t known how many people tweet about TV and brands—critical information for advertisers who want to leverage the momentum of Twitter TV activity to amplify brand messages.

  • Nielsen SocialGuide found that 5.5 million people tweeted about both brands and TV
  • 74 percent tweeted about consumer electronics brands, 48 percent tweeted about restaurant brands, 29 percent tweeted about food brands, 27 percent tweeted about beverage brands, and 24 percent tweeted about car brands

Brand & TV Tweets Chart

Business Case for More Women in the Boardroom.

The Business Case for More Women in the Boardroom.

written by: Kay Koplovitz in the World Economic Forum Blog

Leadership in the 21st century requires more of the attributes traditionally held by women. This is the conclusion reached by researchers John Gerzema and Micheal D’Antonio in their recent book, The Athena Doctrine. The team interviewed 64,000 people in 13 countries, men and women alike. The results were undeniable: the female traits of collaboration, flexibility and nurturing are winning out in a world that is becoming increasingly more social, interdependent and transparent.

So what does this have to do with women in the corporate board room? Plenty as it turns out. Women are bringing diverse experiences, perspectives and communications skills to the boardroom. Most importantly, their presence is clearly documented in the performance results of companies with three or more women on their boards. In the wide ranging study conducted by Catalyst, a leading global research foundation, the positive results for business are clear. In the US, Fortune 500 businesses with three or more women on their boards have 53% higher return on equity, 42% higher return on sales and 66% higher return on invested capital than those that don’t.

women in the boardroom

It is rather inexplicable then why only 17% of the Fortune 500 board sets are held by women at the end of 2012. What is holding up progress? Other countries have taken a pro-active initiative to ignite the change in their board rooms. This change was set off by Norway in 2003, when the government declared that 40% of public board seats should be filled by women by 2007.

Many countries took note of this controversial quota; at the very least it got people thinking and engaging in dialogue that has led to some pretty remarkable results. In the United Kingdom, The Lord Davies Commissionin 2011 set a goal of requiring FTSE 100 companies to have at least 25% of their board seats filled by women by 2015. The commission also set out changes in financial reporting that required companies to report their policy on board diversification and what they were doing to achieve it.

Seven British CEOs established The 30% Club and took it upon themselves to champion boardroom diversity while stepping up the pace. They set their goal that women should occupy 30% of the FTSE board seats by 2015. Their private industry efforts have yielded some very positive results. In 2010, women held 12.5 % of the FTSE 100 board seats, and in 2012, the number grew to 17.3%. What is even more impressive is that since March 2012, 55% of non-executive board appointees have been women.

Others are taking action too. Countries from Denmark to Indonesia, Brazil to Jordan, and Australia to Germany are taking action to diversify their boards. Some of these actions are quotas, but most are voluntary or regulatory, requiring listed companies to state their policy publicly, and explain what they are doing to implement it. This process seems to have the biggest impact so far.

A case in point is Australia, where women’s representation on boards grew from 14.2% in 2010 to 24% in 2012. This progress came as the result of amended corporate governance codes that now impose strict disclosure requirements for listed companies. Private industry support has also contributed to these impressive gains.

So back to why all this matters. It is because there is significant focus on the importance of diversified boards on a global basis. The business case in company performance is abundantly clear. Also contributing is the number of women in the corporate pipeline who are proving to be very skilled business executives.

Those attributes surveyed for The Athena Doctrine are clearly noted; collaboration, flexibility, transparency and social skills are the things people look for in 21st century leaders. Importantly, the conclusion of book was not whether men or women should be dominant in the new leadership, but that the combination of male and female attributes will yield the best results. And that is why boards should seek diversity in the boardroom. They want to achieve the best possible results. It’s just good business.

The New Marketing & Sales Funnel.

The New Marketing & Sales Funnel.

written by: Steve Patrizi, Head of Partner Marketing at Pinterest

Comment: This article is about how our market place has changed and, in response, how the relationship between marketing has changed. Steve is not the only one talking about this but we thought he put it most simply and clearly.

Not long ago, there was a clear approach to the B2B sales funnel:  marketing was primarily responsible for filling the top of the funnel with leads, and the sales organization was responsible for pulling those leads through the middle and lower portions of the funnel and closing business. In theory it seems like a reasonable approach, but in reality it was flawed, and typically created a sizable rift between the marketing and sales organizations: sales was dissatisfied with the leads that marketing delivered and felt they were alone in pursuing revenue, and marketing felt sales couldn’t convert the leads they delivered and felt alone in developing strategy.

The result was that marketing would work harder to generate more leads in the hopes of finding a quantity of qualified leads, and sales would spend more time chasing more unqualified opportunities. Both groups became even more frustrated and the rift widened.

Meanwhile, two important things happened over the past few years: businesses dramatically changed how they buy, and the toolkit for marketers got far more powerful than it’s ever been – not just by a little, but by leaps and bounds.

Businesses Changing How They Buy

Due in part to the economic turmoil in the late 2000′s, businesses have radically changed the way they buy. For one, they’ve distributed decision-making down and out across the organization, giving individual business units the power to make decisions that will allow them to be more agile and scale faster. A by-product of this approach is that there’s now a much more consensus-based buying process, which I’ll talk more about in a future post.

The second, and arguably more disruptive, change in the buying process is the way businesses research before they buy. It’s never been easier for a buyer to research a product via websites, forums, social media, and free trials before ever speaking to a salesperson. That seems natural today, but it wasn’t very long ago that the primary – if not only – means of learning about product offerings was through a salesperson. Today, buyers are 60-70% through their decision-making process before engaging a salesperson. That is a staggering statistic with massive ramifications for B2B marketers and sellers.

A Bigger, Better Toolkit for Marketers

While consumer internet companies tend to get the majority of coverage, an incredible evolution in business and enterprise technologies, fueled by the mainstream emergence of cloud computing and social media, has given many functional leaders far more tools then they’ve ever had. But marketing leaders have perhaps received a far greater share of value than any other group.

Marketers have never had so many tools to connect with so many customers with such scale, efficiency and ease.  The combination of more targeted outbound opportunities informed by social platform profile data, tools to more easily create and distribute informative content, listening systems to understand real-time sentiment, and a new and rich palette of powerful inbound marketing tools to market to and nurture interested prospects has given the modern marketer the ability to play a much bigger role in the sales process than ever before.  Now marketers can target and engage customers with a strategic and tactical array of content updates, webinars, social media connections, case studies and decision tools to help the buyer through the research process in ways that just wasn’t scalable nor a good use of time for the sales organization to handle.

The New Marketing and Sales Funnel

So buyers are changing how they buy and doing far more research before engaging a salesperson, and marketers have far more tools and capabilities to engage that buyer during that research process. This shift is creating an urgent need for businesses to reformulate their marketing and sales funnels, with a very positive upside:

1) Marketers now have the tools to efficiently engage and serve customers during the upper and middle parts of the funnel when customers are not engaging salespeople

2) Salespeople can spend most if not all of their selling time with customers who are deep in the funnel and likely to buy

newmarketingsalesfunnel

As marketers take on more of the stages in the purchase funnel that were previously owned by sales, it’s likely that the prototypical marketer of the future will need a decent amount of “sales DNA” to best serve their organizations. It’s also likely that the role of the marketer will take on a greater level of prominence in their companies over the long haul.

Increase Sales Invest in Marketing.

Increase Sales, Invest in Marketing.

written by: Ingeborg Carr

The Pennsylvania State University conducted research on marketing during a recession. "Turning Adversity Into Advantage: Does Proactive Marketing During a Recession Pay Off?"  by Raji Srinivasan of the University of Texas and Gary Lilien and Arvind Rangaswamy of Smeal was published in 2005 in the International Journal for Research In Marketing.

More than 150 senior marketing executives were surveyed from a variety of industries, including semiconductors and electronics, manufacturing and telecommunications.

This was the basis of their study:

“Recessions can severely affect the performance of firms and even their very survival. However, all firms are not equally affected by a recession. Some firms view recessions as opportunities to strengthen their businesses, invest aggressively and establish their advantage over their weaker competitors, whereas others cut back, waiting for the recession to pass. Why do some firms view the recession as an opportunity and develop an aggressive marketing response to it? What are the effects of such a marketing response on the performance of the firm?”

The findings of the study are that for well-positioned companies an economic recession should not prompt marketing cutbacks, but rather an aggressive increase in marketing spending to achieve superior business performance both in the short and long term.

The paper provides examples of firms that have done this successfully in the past – Proctor & Gamble pushing Ivory soap during the Great Depression, Intel launching “Intel Inside” during the 1990-1991 recession and Wal-Mart smothering competitors with Every Day Low Prices during the 2000-2001 post-bubble slowdown.

Comparing these businesses to the best-trained athletes, the authors write that "athletes often choose times of stress to mount attacks: strong runners and bicycle racers may increase their pace on hills or under other challenging conditions to beat out weaker opponents during the most difficult leg of their race”

"In a similar vein," the study states, "proactive marketing includes both the sensing of the existence of the opportunity (a tough hill and fatigued opponents) and an aggressive response (possessing the necessary strength or nerve) to the opportunity."

During an interview Jake Swearingen asked what companies are primed to advantage when and if a recession hits. Dr. Gary Lilien stated that “Companies that run their business on customer intelligence. Amazon is the first that comes to mind. They understand their customers, they experiment with everything and they’ve got resources. Companies like Amazon – I don’t think they’re going to cut back at all. This is a good opportunity for them to knock off some flies and probably pick up some relatively inexpensive acquisitions along the way. Companies that have been looking at marketing as an investment, and not an expense, and have been running their business through customer knowledge are the ones that are going to come out of this [recession] really, really well.”

A McKinsey Quarterly article on “Learning to Love Recessions”  looked at how successful 1,000 US companies were over an 18 year period. It highlights the fact that companies that successfully weathered the recession significantly increased their spending on sales, on innovation and on marketing in comparison to their less successful peers. In innovation's case, they increased their spending to 22% more than their less successful peers. The payoff from these and related investments was a 25% greater market-to-book ratio for the successful companies in the post-recession period.

 spend to success

According to The Economist it takes years for sales to recover from a heavy advertising budget reduction:

 case study

The above cited research studies (there are plenty more, just Google it) show that companies increasing their marketing budget achieve superior business performance both in the short and long term.

How Marketing Impacts Revenue.

How Marketing Can Impact Revenue.

written by: Glenn Gow, CEO

This article by Glenn Gow makes a proven point that everyone interested in increasing their revenue should be aware off. We share what Glenn states. There are more ways though in how marketing increases revenues which we will share in other articles.

Marketing has been under-appreciated for years, but times are changing. In today’s business climate, marketing holds the keys to success or failure for sales.

The fact is, buyers no longer rely on sales reps as the keepers of information. Instead, buyers do their own research and draw their own conclusions.

Over the past few years, buyers have become increasingly well informed. They rely much more on the wealth of information available to them on the Internet and through their colleagues and other users. As a result, they don’t rely on sales reps as heavily.

According to the Sales 2.0 Conference, “70 percent of a customer’s buying decision is now made based on information he or she finds online, well before a salesperson has a chance to get involved.”

Because of this, many companies are discovering their sales forces are less effective than in the past. Sales reps find their influence with buyers diminishing. They find it more difficult to guide buyers and help them make decisions. Buyers don’t feel like they need a sales rep’s advice. They often don’t trust sales reps to have their best interests at heart, and they don’t like feeling like they’re being sold to.

These factors make it harder than ever for sales reps to win business for the company, and the trend is unlikely to reverse itself. If anything, people are likely to rely more and more on the Internet and social media to help them make decisions. It’s easy to see why: buyers view those sources as helpful and unbiased.

But better-informed buyers don’t have to weaken sales reps’ impact or influence. According to the CSO Insights Sales Performance Optimization Study, effective use of sales intelligence increases revenue productivity per sales rep by 17 percent.

revenue

That’s where marketing can bridge the gap for sales.

How Marketing Can Make the Difference

Sales reps need to gain a deep understanding of buyers—what they know, what they care about, how they perceive your company and your products, and what they need.

Sales people once had more information than buyers had, but today, that equation is often reversed. Sales reps need to have all of the information that buyers have, and then some.

Buyers do their own research and come to the table knowing a lot about your company, its offerings, and all the alternatives to your solution.

To be effective, sales reps need to know the same information. They also need to know how buyers react to the information they find. By understanding what buyers think and feel about the company’s products and services, sales reps can empathize with buyers. That enables sales reps to meet buyers where they are and help solve their problems.

This places the sales rep in the role of the buyer’s valued advisor. Not only is that a powerful position, it’s a role that earns the buyer’s trust. It’s also the role that’s most helpful to the buyer.

Why Sales Needs Marketing to Help

Sales can’t do this on their own because marketing has the Big Data. Marketing collects tons of information about buyers—who they are, what they know, how they behave, and how they perceive your brand and offerings.

Marketing understands buyers and what makes them tick. They’ve been studying it for years. But unless they share it with sales, the sales reps are stuck doing things the old way and watching their influence diminish.

Marketing’s Two Power Tools to Supercharge Sales

Marketing holds two keys to success: Big Data and Social Media.

By collecting the information most valuable to sales, and by getting that information to them regularly, marketing can make the difference that creates more sales and builds more valuable relationships with buyers. That’s the power of Big Data.

The other piece of the puzzle is social selling. There are many wrong ways to do social media, and it’s easy to waste time there. Nobody is talking to the V.P. of Sales about how to do it right. That’s where marketing can use their expertise and experience to make a big impact.

By helping sales reps present themselves in the right light, guiding them in establishing relationships and authority, and feeding them the information they need to contribute to the conversation, marketing can set sales reps up for success.

The Content Grid.

The Content Grid.

submitted by: Ingeborg Carr

There are many content grids out there. Many of them dizzying mouse traps, I am sure you are familiar with those. Once in a while a good one comes along that I can actually share with my clients. This is one of them.

If you have a great content grid to share with us, please send it our way. We will make sure to publish it.

The-Content-Grid-v2-big-thumb

If The Job Could Talk.

If The Job Could Talk.

written by: Arty Coppes

If the job could talk, it would tell us exactly what and who was needed and why we might be putting the wrong people in it! 

Anyone involved in hiring or creating teams has to deal with their own biases around the job; the person who performed the job (maybe poorly) before; or simply hiring people because they like them. 

We tend to gravitate towards people who share our approaches and 'come across' like us.  It is much harder to hire people who might be complete opposites of us.

 When you think about healthy team structures, this may not always be the best approach.  In 'building a wining team' Plotkin (1. Plotkin H. Building a Winning Team. Los Angels;Griffin Publishers, 1997.)  points out that more than 90 % of all hiring decisions are made after an interview., which in itself is only 14 % accurate in predicting performance.  So a very real chance of high turn over.

Using more neutral tools, you might be able to come to an understanding of where the strengths and challenges already are in your team and for a well rounded team, which person might be the best behavioral profile to add to the team.

insights wheel

Looking at this particular team as a whole, it is possible to plot  everyone in the same visual, so you get a very quick snapshot about the team. The fact that all these team members are located towards the left side of the wheel, tells me that it is a very insightful team, with a lot of questions and considerations. They may take too much time moving forward though, looking for buy in. There is also virtually no representation of individuals who are more risk takers , big picture thinkers and action takers.

The good news is that there is a more objective methodology to select candidates who display the necessary behavior and motivation that is closest to the job and team member you are interviewing for.

Using a assessment tool (DISC) in addition to your due diligence of CV, checking references and interview will give you additional decision points.  In the four segments of the DISC, you will get insight how your candidate deals with problems and challenges, how they interact with people, how they like the pace of work and how they deal with procedures and structure. A second level more intense tool (DISC & PIAV) will give you additional information on what drives the candidate in terms of motivation.

Getting the right person in the job becomes doubly important when you consider the investment as well as the impact it will have on a smaller team and more intimate organization. How much is it worth to you to get the right person in the right job as a team member in the first place?

Arty Coppes
Coppes Coaching & Consulting
coppesconsulting.com
 
Emotion in the Decision Making Process.

The Determinant Role of Emotion in the Decision Making Process.

Written by: Ingeborg Carr

In this competitive world, the key to differentiate one organization from another is not so much what marketing program you roll-out but rather how the program is implemented.

Many organizations do not realize that more than a rational approach is needed towards their audiences. We now have enough research data available to us supporting the argument that emotions play a determinate role in decision making.

Having a balanced mix between rational and emotions creates a very powerful and winning argument to convince consumers to choose your organization over others.

The Awareness index tends to be higher for ads with an emotionally-based strategy

 

Ads which evoke positive emotions have a more motivational power

 

People rationalize with their head. People relate with their emotions.

The brand is the overall impression of that people hold in their minds – what they know about it in practical terms, and how they feel about it emotionally. A brand is formed by every experience people have of us – from our logo to the quality of our services and products; from how our people behave to our profile in the media. A brand is much more than just a sign or a symbol.

An effective brand must evolve and allow the audience to have an emotional connection to the brand.

The brand should be the foundation for everything we do. It is the mark of our approach. It shows the values that we hold and the types of relationships we build.  A brand is key both internally and externally. We should be constantly reviewing our brand positioning and how we communicate it, to ensure it is relevant and supports both our current and future aspirations. It is important to carry out regular research to understand how our brand performs in various markets, and to see what our brand means to others.

British Petrol is an example of a powerful brand that supports the argument that emotions play a determinate role in decision making. They felt the need to “green” their brand with the “greening” trend starting around 2000They wanted us to believe “energy that is affordable, secure and doesn’t damage the environment”

BP brand evolution

This very traditional corporation felt it was important that we felt good about their brand and invested many dollars in the rebranding effort. Now  BP is summed up by two words ‘beyond petroleum’. This is a brand statement from their own website: “We help the world meet its growing need for heat, light and mobility, and strive to do so by producing energy that is affordable, secure and doesn’t damage the environment”

 

logo                                

“Beyond Petroleum

The logo is now the symbol of the Worst Ecological Disaster in decades.

                            

 

People’s emotional interaction with the brand.

This shows that companies are not in control of their brand. The brand has become an ongoing communication between the audience and the company.

The brand went from positive to negative emotional connection.

 

                

To prevent a negative emotional connection to your brand you have to participate, drive the conversation, engage with your audience. Be pro-active all the time and drive the positive emotional connection.