The explainer video and what’s next?

Posted by Arne Hurty on Jul 31, 2015 12:58:00 PM

The “explainer” video has become quite the thing. It’s a staple for business marketing as sure as a website, an email address, a phone number is. So what makes it an explainer. It’s not a demo video which shows you how something works. It’s not a tutorial which instructs you on how to do something. 

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Topics: video, Presentation, customer experience

8 Tips for B2B Marketers to Rock SEO Management

Posted by Scott Danish on Jul 29, 2015 10:00:00 AM

As a B2B marketer, you're always in search of new customers to grow business. To do so, you've got to "get found" by your target audiences. While the use of search engine optimization (SEO) might have made things easier, there are several mistakes B2B marketers still make when trying to manage an effective inbound marketing strategy. The following SEO management tips will help B2B marketers succeed among stiff online competition.

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Topics: SEO, Content Development, inbound marketing, full service marketing, marketing strategies, b2b marketing

Start with your messaging

Posted by Arne Hurty on Jul 28, 2015 9:13:00 AM

Let’s say you don’t have a brand manager or a director of lead gen or social media manager. But your executive team understands there is value in all those things and somebody taped a message to your back when you weren’t looking that says "Kick me - I love marketing!" So where do you start. The sales guy wants leads “send out some emails or start a pay per click campaign or something like that” he says. Your CEO wants that sexy PowerPoint presentation he’s never been able to quite pull together. And everyone and their mother is clamoring for “social media.”

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Topics: marketing strategies, Messaging, b2b marketing

Scroll leaves fold behind

Posted by Arne Hurty on Jul 20, 2015 12:05:00 PM

Regardless of what we are developing a web experience for—awareness, engagement, conversion, sales—we inevitably get questions from people about the fold. Traditional wisdom had it that above is prime territory. For a good few years that thinking has shifted, supported by anecdotal evidence as well as a load of great studies (here is one article that references two studies that present slightly differing views). This shift is credited primarily to the arrival of finger scrolling, which has become second nature to people and universally accepted by every manufacturer and designer.

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Topics: website design and development

Web Design Efficiently

Posted by Arne Hurty on Jul 6, 2015 7:39:00 PM

Efficiency is always desirable in business. Especially when working on projects that out of the ordinary and not done very often, like a website redesign, efficiency might seem harder to accomplish. And when it comes to a highly creative process like graphic design, it may even seem contradictory to focus on efficiency. First off a website redesign can mean so much - everything from an esthetic “face lift” to completely overhauling a collection of e-commerce, accounting, marketing, and management systems. In the end, everyone involved wants efficiency. Being efficient means schedules and budgets get met. The less familiar a project is the more efficiency might seem to be a challenge. A design project - a web design project - is, for most businesses, just that sort of a project. A situation where ways to achieve efficiency are not so obvious.

One place where the efficiency of a design project becomes very visible is in the approval of the graphic designs for a web site. It inevitably becomes a moment of heightened emotion, primed with anticipation, and hopefully a minimum of drama. Weather or not this step is efficient depends on a few things.

1) How well has the process itself, for design review and approval been clarified and considered?
2) How clear is the criteria for evaluating design? Is it going to be based on a person’s subjective likes and dislikes or is it based on objective criteria?
3) How thoroughly has design style in general been reviewed and design sensibility been understood?

Process for web design
What’s helpful here is an outline of the steps taken to achieve an excellent design and the reason for them. Regardless of how different or unusual any particular creative approach might be, there ought to be reasons for all of it and it should make sense to everyone. For example, the process might involve the use of some creative device, like a “mood board” (a collection of colors, textures, images, words, ideas presented to open up the thinking about the design). With a clear explanation about this, what everyone’s participation ought to be, and what everyone should come away with, this becomes an effective and efficient step.

Criteria for Design
A big contributor to efficiency in the design process is setting the criteria for evaluation. How do stakeholders decide if design is good, inadequate, exceptional, absolutely off track? It comes down to a clear understanding of the purpose of the design, and this often comes down to the purpose of the business itself. It’s important to know what this design is for. Is it simply a modernization of an outdated design? Is it to facilitate new business goals for sales and engagement? Is it to make a particular impression on a specific target audience? Some combination of all of these? If taken for granted there is a risk that design is flying blind weather it’s amazing work or not, no one will be able to assess that. On the other hand, with a clear understanding of these broader goals and possibilities, there is a way to evaluate new designs and make better recommendations during design review.

Design style and sensibility
It’s easy for designers to get lost in their own jargon. Combined with the difficulty stakeholders have expressing their thoughts on design, you have a recipe for frustration and wasted time. No need for this. We live in a world where everything is at our finger tips including websites. Take full advantage of this and do a deep dive into different sites and different site designs. Get a sense of what the team likes and doesn’t like. Find out up front if someone is made seasick by certain colors or if certain things are flat out deal breakers. In addition to vetting out some basic do’s and don’ts this is also an opportunity to establish a baseline for communicating about design.

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Put experience at the heart of your marketing

Posted by Arne Hurty on Jun 27, 2015 7:26:03 PM

How do you connect with your market? That's the question at the heart of marketing. There are many channels and methods to use, digital and otherwise. An explosion of digital devices and the arrival of IoT extends the opportunity to connect, expanding the digital realm. The so called traditional media of print, television, and radio continues to evolve, stubbornly refusing to accept obsolescence. Apps, websites, social media, events, commerce, all make for a complex landscape for a brand to participate in in a meaningful way.

Testing for results lets you navigate all this, of course. Test, measure, and throw your marketing spend at what works. It’s a defensible approach, it’s safe. But you might find yourself shortchanging inspiration and spontaneity if that's your only tactic. The “stuff” of engaging relationships is spontenaity, fun, challenge.

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Topics: Branding, marketing strategies, customer experience, user experience

Top 10 Ways B2B Marketers (Like You!) Make LinkedIn Rock

Posted by Scott Danish on Jun 8, 2015 12:10:39 PM

Sure, Facebook is a terrific channel for connecting with consumers, and Twitter is a great way to capture the buzz on the street. But LinkedIn is the social media platform for B2B marketing — hands down. Whether your focus is on inbound marketing, lead generation, building brand awareness, or simply drawing comments from prospective clients, few networks can match LinkedIn in importance or features. Here are the top 10 ways to make LinkedIn a key part of your B2B marketing mix.

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Topics: Social, Content Development, full service marketing, marketing strategies, b2b marketing

What’s So Special About B2B Marketing?

Posted by Scott Danish on Jun 2, 2015 3:19:34 PM

You’ve probably heard the saying, “No one ever got fired for buying IBM.” 

IBM didn’t get its sterling reputation overnight. It achieved it by creating a superior product, being a leader in innovation, and building trust with its clients to ensure they would return.

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Topics: Client Relationships, full service marketing, marketing strategies, b2b marketing

7 Steps to Effective B2B Inbound Marketing

Posted by Scott Danish on Jun 1, 2015 1:49:45 PM

Meeting key performance indicators (KPIs) in your inbound marketing efforts needn't be difficult. In our experience, there is a simple seven-step process that companies of any size can follow to achieve success. Using this process, the various pieces of the puzzle – from content development to marketing automation — fall into place seamlessly.

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Topics: Content Development, inbound marketing, full service marketing, demand generation, lead generation

Five Steps to Energize Messaging for B2B Marketers

Posted by Scott Danish on May 29, 2015 11:02:46 AM

Most of our B2B clients find themselves in markets that suit themselves well to good branding practices. For them, good branding represents an effective, persistent way to communicate their company's value proposition. It's also the cornerstone of their relationship with everyone from customers to prospects to business partners. By ensuring their brand is well-managed and maintained in the long term, they build familiarity and confidence — two key components in ensuring that prospective and current customers feel comfortable doing business with them.

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Topics: strategic marketing, Branding, Brand Development, full service marketing, Messaging

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