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If you think extending the customer experience through a range of digital channels is only for B2C companies, think again.
Consumer shopping habits are spilling over to what business customers are expecting today, a trend that significantly ups the ante for B2B suppliers to build their multichannel commerce capabilities
This is no mean feat, but B2B companies have begun to take up the challenge.
This is Simon Sinek during one of his inspiring TEDtalks, back in 2009:
If designed and executed correctly, this agile approach to target market engagement could easily be regarded as the Holy Grail of digital marketing.
Bypass indirect prospecting and establish direct and compelling conversation with B2B prospects and customers via the creation of a Digital Industry Network (D.I.N.).
A D.I.N. is a peer group of professionals engaged around a compelling topic of interest.
This network is created from scratch, comprises a conversation zone (e.g. LinkedIn Group) and other communication feeds, and is designed to build mindshare and stimulate conversation with a highly targeted audience.
The result is branding, awareness, thought leadership, reputation, demand generation and lead nurturing.
The connection between revenue growth and innovation is a powerful one.
Marketing executives report that 30% of their revenue and 26% of their revenue growth in 2014 is attributed to innovation initiatives.
If B2B organisations are to survive in the face of industry disruption, their rate of learning, innovation, and performance improvement must match or exceed that of their competitors.
Anyone who has shopped online, read a news article online, or is engaged in social media has interacted with recommendation systems in some form or another.
The one that immediately comes to mind is Amazon, the juggernaut online retailer and the largest internet company in the US.
The ‘response to buying suggestions’ that Amazon offers its customers is said to generate an additional 10% to 30% in revenue for the business.
This is for the naysayers who think that social media is an alien terrain for B2B organisations.
This is also for those working within B2B who need to present a case to those higher up that social can work for their company.
This is also to celebrate the many B2B companies already using social in a way that puts a lot of B2C operations to shame.
Marketing has had to become less planned and much more reactive.
As the consumer lifestyle becomes increasingly ‘always-on’ thanks to our multiple devices and improvements in connectivity, the more we demand rapid and personalised responses from companies we engage with.
Those same consumers are also business people; the always-on lifestyle means that for many of us, we're also 'always-at-work'. Business purchasers can be connected at any time, and make decisions at any time. This means that 'real time' is becoming a practical requirement, no matter what’s being sold or in what environment.
Our brand new B2B Real-Time Marketing Report, in association with Monetate, aims to discover what real time means in B2B markets. The findings hopefully provide a some insight for assessing plans for this year and beyond.
In the full report you will learn: what real time means to B2B customers, how real time is benefitting B2B audiences, the variables of real-time marketing and its associated technology and data. Also the budgets, resources and skills necessary for success in real-time marketing
The report follows on from our previous survey, 2014’s Real Time Marketing Survey Report, where Econsultancy and Monetate surveyed nearly 900 B2C marketers. This time the focus has been narrowed to B2B marketers.
Here's a summary of three key trends identified in the report:
It’s awards season here at Econsultancy as the entries detailing inspirational case studies from a huge range of companies continue to roll in.
The Digitals 2014 are designed to showcase the finest work from the global digital and ecommerce community, but not just from individuals, we want to put the whole team centre stage in order to celebrate and truly reflect the collaborative culture of our industry.
You have till 24 September 2014 to enter, and in order to give you inspiration for your own entry we’ve rounded up some of the best B2B case studies we received in 2013.
For more advice on how to write your entry, read David Moth’s 10 tips for writing a stand out awards entry for The Digitals.
Sage has been quietly improving its content and SEO for a while now and its website gives a good indication of how the industry of accounting software has changed online.
Here's a roundup of what Sage's website does right when it comes to content. If you're a B2B company, it's all the inspiration you need to get on your own content marketing trip.
The days are long gone when companies can shy away from educating the market. It's all about search, transparency and added value.
In January 2014, no one had ever heard of Playbuzz, a website that creates viral content, mostly quizzes.
By May of the same year, Playbuzz.com was receiving 45m unique visitors each month.
In this post I go over the insider tips for how to create and implement quizzes into your marketing plan to achieve that kind of results on your site.
Real-time marketing works.
Let me make an addition to that rather bold affirmation. Real-time marketing works for B2C companies. Really well.
But what of B2B companies? Is real-time just a pipe-dream? A strategy only successful if left to the trendier agile brands that have an ever-growing and content hungry audience of Twitter followers?
In our brand new B2B Real-Time Marketing Report, in association with Monetate, we reveal the current state of play for B2B real-time marketing, uncovering insights that perhaps challenge our preconceptions of the importance of real-time for B2B.
For instance, the fact that 65% of B2B companies are carrying out some form of real-time marketing, and that 87% agree that ‘real-time marketing is essential as behaviour, device, place and time come together’.
In our full report you will find research highlighting how business buyers define their needs in an always-on world. As well as the benefits to real-time marketing and the challenges.
Despite all the research and writing on the B2B buyer’s journey, quite a lot of B2B marketers still believe that “my buyers aren’t looking for us in search.”
Their assumption is that the customer in a position to buy a six- or seven-figure (or larger) piece of equipment or service is going to be deeply experienced and already know who the main providers are, and that’s who they're going to request bids from. The evidence suggests otherwise.