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More Marketing and Sales Tips for Driving Lead Generation

VIEWS: 175 PAGES: 26

20 more marketing and sales tips from The B2B Lead, you will find information on marketing to current customers, creating a business page on Facebook, and much more

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									101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead
VOLUME FIVE

More Marketing and Sales Tips
Generating leads and driving revenue via Facebook, the media, current customer marketing and more

PRESENTED BY

101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead

PRESENTED BY

20 More Marketing and Sales Tips for Driving Lead Generation
Our first four volumes of 101 Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead are Online Marketing, Direct Marketing, Event Marketing and Marketing and Sales Alignment. These volumes are full of great tips including targeting and segmenting your prospects, increasing webinar attendance, the basics of SEO and practical strategies for building marketing and sales alignment. This final installment brings 20 more tips for B2B lead generation teams. In this collection of 20 more marketing and sales tips from The B2B Lead, you will find information on marketing to current customers, creating a business page on Facebook, and much more. Here’s a few of the included tips in this eBook: •	 Persona	Marketing	in	a	B-to-B	Environment •	 How	to	Write	and	Market	Whitepapers •	 How	to	Use	News	Releases	to	Reach	Buyers	Directly •	 5	Tips	for	Promoting	Your	Business	Page	on	Facebook •	 Get	to	Know	Your	B2B	Technical	Buyer

If you like what your see here, be sure to check out theb2blead.com for more B2B Marketing and Sales tips.

Content contributed by: Amy	Hawthorne,	Director	of	Marketing	at	ReachForce Laura	Koether,	Online	Media	Specialist	at	ReachForce Pam	O’Neal	Mickelson,	VP	of	Marketing	at	BreakingPoint Ellie Mirman, blogger at the HubSpot Internet Marketing Blog and Inbound Marketer at Internet Marketing company HubSpot. Suaad	Sait,	CEO	at	ReachForce Leigh	Anne	Wallace,	Marketing	Manager	at	ReachForce

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Table of Contents
1.	 How	to	Create	a	Facebook	Page	for	Your	Company 2.	 5	Tips	for	Promoting	Your	Business	Page	on	Facebook 3.	 Persona	Marketing	in	a	B-to-B	Environment	 4.	 The	New	Rules	for	Reaching	the	Media	 5.	 Drive	More	Successes	From	The	First	Half	of	2008 6.	 Networking	with	the	Affluent 7.	 Don’t	Forget	About	Customer	Marketing 8.	 Go	Direct	With	PR	-	Write	Your	Own	Coverage 9.	 Learn	From	the	6	Cs	of	Social	Influence	Marketing 10.	Trade	in	an	Bad	Addiction	for	a	Good	One	-	StumbleUpon 11.	Stock	Photos	vs.	Real	Pictures 12.	Get	to	Know	Your	B2B	Technical	Buyer 13.	Take	a	Hard	Look	at	Funnelnomics	as	You	Move	Into	2008 14.	Monitor	Your	Company	or	Product	in	the	Blogosphere 15.	Skip	the	Mega-launch,	Opt	for	a	New	Approach	to	Generating	Buzz	for	Your	New	Product	or	Service 16.	How	to	Write	and	Market	Whitepapers 17.	How	to	Use	News	Releases	to	Reach	Buyers	Directly 18.	Are	You	Writing	Gobbledygook	for	Your	Buyers?	 19.	Don’t	Forget	Where	You’ve	Been	When	Deciding	Where	to	go	Next… 20.	Forums,	Wikis,	and	Your	Targeted	Audience	

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How to Create a Facebook Page for Your Company
Wikipedia’s	definition	of	Facebook	-	a	social	networking	site	where	users	can	join	networks	organized	by	city,	workplace,	school,	and	region	to	connect	and	interact	with	other	 people.	People	can	also	add	friends	and	send	them	messages,	and	update	their	personal	profile	to	notify	friends	about	themselves. I got on Facebook when I was in college (when only college students could be members), and used it to keep up with hometown friends, keep up with other students I had met, join	groups	that	I	cared	about,	send	messages	to	friends	and	post	fun	pictures	and	wall	posts	reminiscing	from	the	weekend	before.	Now	that	I	am	out	of	college	and	working,	I	still	 use Facebook to keep up with friends (maybe a few less pictures and groups), but I also use it now for networking and more business purposes. My personal and professional life are definitely colliding! Facebook	has	made	itself	easier	for	professionals	to	use	with	groups,	discussions	and	ads,	but	I	think	the	best	thing	you	can	do	for	your	business	on	Facebook	is	Facebook	Pages.	 Facebook	Pages	help	to	build	a	business	presence	and	engage	with	customers,	co-workers,	partners	and	fans	on	Facebook.	Users	can	express	their	support	by	adding	themselves	 as	a	fan,	writing	on	your	wall,	uploading	photos,	and	joining	other	fans	in	discussion	groups.	You	can	send	updates	to	your	fans	regularly	—	or	just	with	special	news	or	offers.	Add	 applications	to	your	Page	and	engage	your	users	with	videos,	reviews,	flash	content,	and	more.	More	importantly,	it	is	free	and	easy! To get started: •	 You	need	to	be	a	member	on	Facebook •	 Go	to	facebook.com/business/?pages (or go the bottom of the page and click “advertising”) •	 Click	“create	a	Facebook	Page”	and	follow	the	directions •	 Upload	a	picture	(best	to	use	your	logo	for	this) •	 Fill	in	company	information •	 Take	it	from	there…add	photos,	discussions,	notes,	video,	etc.	(you	should	see	all	the	categories	to	edit	right	there	on	the	page	or	if	not	click	“edit	page”) •	 Click	“more	applications”	if	you	would	like	to	browse	what	other	applications	are	out	there	(like	RSS	Feeds)	-	you	can	look	or	type	in	the	search	box •	 Publish	the	Page	(in	red	lettering	at	the	top	of	the	page) •	 Ask	co-workers	and	customers	to	become	fans	and	start	getting	the	word	out Now	you	know	how	to	get	started	with	a	Facebook	Page,	how	do	you	manage	it?	We	over	here	at	ReachForce	just	put	up	our	own page, and are still working to get the word out. Luckily, our friend Ellie Mirman from HubSpot	has	some	experience.	Look	for	a	post	from	her	soon	on	how	to	manage	your	page	and	get	fans.	HubSpot	already	has	797	fans!

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5 Tips for Promoting Your Business Page on Facebook
So	you’ve	got	a	Facebook	Business	Page…	Now	what?	Building	a	Business	Page	is	one	of	the	best	ways	to	increase	your	presence	and	engage	more	potential	customers	on	Facebook,	but	it’s	more	than	just	clicking	“Create Page”.	As	you	venture	out	into	the	social	media	world,	here	are	a	few	tips	to	help	you	promote	your	Page	and	reach	more	of	the	100	 million Facebook users.

Create a Facebook Business Page worth becoming a fan of. To quote David Meerman Scott,	nobody	cares	about	your	products	and	services	(except	you).	People	care	about	how	you	can	help	them	solve	their	problems.	To	extend	that	 thought	to	Facebook,	don’t	use	your	Facebook	Page	to	talk	about	your	products	all	the	time.	People	aren’t	interested.	Instead,	create	some	interesting,	useful	content	that	people	 want to receive. This could be blog posts, whitepapers, or simply discussions.

Take advantage of the viral nature of Facebook. Facebook	provides	great	opportunities	for	viral	marketing.	Facebook	creates	a	“News	Feed”	of	your	friends’	activities	on	Facebook,	like	posting	photos,	changing	statuses,	or	becoming	fans	of	a	Page.	What	this	means	is	that	every	time	someone	interacts	with	your	Page	in	some	way,	that	action	is	published	across	all	of	their	friends’	News	Feeds,	giving	you	 exposure	to	that	person’s	entire	network.	The	best	way	to	take	advantage	of	this	is	to	engage	your	users	and	give	them	more	opportunities	to	interact	with	your	Page,	for	example,	 by	fostering	discussions,	inviting	them	to	events,	allowing	them	to	post	links.	Leveraging	the	power	of	the	News	Feed	is	a	critical	part	of	establishing	your	presence	on	Facebook	and	 building a fan base for spreading your messages.

Don’t forget to draw on your network. All	promotion	does	not	need	to	take	place	within	Facebook.	Feel	free	to	email	your	opt-in	e-mail	list,	blog	about	your	Page,	and	post	a	link	to	your	Page	on	your	company	website.	 The	best	people	to	help	you	build	up	your	fan	base	for	your	Business	Page	on	Facebook	are	those	people	already	subscribed	to	your	blog	or	engaged	with	you	in	some	way.

Optimize your Page for Facebook – and public – search. Another way to get found and build your fan base is through Facebook’s search. Facebook – like all other search engines (Facebook was noted the most used people search engine) – has an undisclosed algorithm that ranks search results in a way that aims to return relevant and useful results to the searcher. The best think you can do to show up higher in	these	search	results	is	to	build	a	large	following	of	your	existing	fans,	because	entities	with	a	larger	network	tend	to	show	up	higher	in	search	results.	Also	note	that	Facebook	 Business	Pages	are	public	and	indexable	by	search	engines.	This	potentially	gives	you	exposure	to	those	searching	in	broader	search	engines	like	Google.	To	make	the	most	of	this,	 start	lots	of	engaging	discussion	threads	on	your	Page,	so	that	if	someone	is	searching	in	Google	on	that	very	topic,	they	can	stumble	upon	your	Facebook	Page	and	discussion	 thread.

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101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead
Get an extra push with Facebook Ads.

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If	you	want	to	give	your	Business	Page	an	extra	push	at	the	beginning,	you	can	also	buy	some	advertising	slots.	Note	that	Facebook	ads	are	much	less	effective	than	the	viral	marketing options on Facebook, and the click through rate for Facebook ads is notoriously low. Facebook advertisements show up on the sidebar as users browse through their friends’ profiles,	groups,	and	so	on.	When	you	set	up	your	ad,	be	sure	to	include	“social	ads”	–	these	draw	on	a	users’	network	to	see	who	in	their	network	has	already	engaged	with	your	 Page	and	shows,	for	example,	“Jim	Smith	is	a	fan	of	Company	ABC”	next	to	your	ad,	potentially	improving	your	click	through	rate.	Also,	make	sure	that	you	give	viewers	a	relevant	 reason	to	click	on	your	ad	by	inviting	them	to	connect	with	industry	peers	or	offering	a	free	whitepaper,	for	example.	Also	in	this	vein,	note	that	you	can	target	your	ads	by	age,	 gender,	interests,	geography,	and	other	factors,	to	reach	users	who	may	be	more	interested	in	your	Business	Page.

Bonus Tip: Measure your results. Once	you’ve	built	up	your	Facebook	Page	it’s	good	to	measure	what	you’re	actually	getting	out	of	your	social	media	program.	Some	metrics	you	may	want	to	measure	are:		number	 of	fans,	page	views,	and	unique	users.	Facebook’s	“Insights”	provide	some	of	these	metrics,	including	demographic	data.	You’ll	also	want	to	track	actions	beyond	your	Facebook	 Page,	namely,	website	traffic,	leads,	and	sales	that	come	from	Facebook.	Hopefully	some	of	these	tips	will	help	you	get	your	Facebook	Business	Page	off	the	ground	and	build	it	 into a valuable channel for reaching your potential customers. All this said, social media, including Facebook, is by no means static. It is constantly changing and we, as marketers, are constantly learning the right way to leverage these channels	for	marketing.	If	you	want	to	see	what	we	at	HubSpot	have	done,	you	can	become	a	fan	of	our	Page	at	http://facebook.hubspot.com. And, if you’re looking to network with other marketers on Facebook, you may be interested in the Facebook Pro Marketers group,	a	group	for	marketers	passionate	about	marketing.	Perhaps	there	we	can	continue	 discussing ideas for marketing on Facebook.

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Persona Marketing in a B-to-B Environment
I have been reading Mac McIntosh’s blog	on	B2B	Marketing	and	agree	with	his	view	on	Persona	marketing.	Some	interesting	nuggets	on	his	views	follow: Persona	marketing	in	a	business-to-business	environment	can	offer	different	challenges	than	in	a	business-to-consumer	environment. McIntosh	offers	this	advice	on	getting	started	with	personae	in	a	b-to-b	world: •	 Convene	a	group	of	employees	who	interact	with	your	customers	and	prospects.	Bring	in	lunch	and	a	white	board	and	ask	them	to	help	you	build	personae	for	your	target	customers. •	 Describe	the	target	customer’s	role	in	the	company:	Is	he	the	CEO	or	a	purchasing	agent?	An	influencer	or	an	end	user? •	 Describe	the	kind	of	company	each	type	of	customer	works	for.	What	industry	is	it	in?	How	big	is	it?	How	up-to-date	is	it?	Does	it	have	a	lot	of	competition? •	 Give	each	persona	a	name,	a	title,	and	an	age,	and	describe	how	he	(or	she)	looks.	How	does	he	dress?	What	kind	of	car	does	she	drive?	What	does	he	do	in	his	free	time?	 What	kind	of	educational	background	does	she	have?	Flesh	out	as	many	attributes	as	you	need	to	give	a	full	picture	of	who	this	person	is. •	 Think	about	each	persona’s	problems	and	goals.	What	does	this	person’s	daily	calendar	look	like?	What	are	his	most	pressing	concerns?	What	product	or	service	attributes	 would	be	most	helpful	in	solving	this	person’s	problems? •	 When	formulating	your	marketing	messages,	think	about	what	path	this	prospect	or	customer	might	pursue	to	solve	this	problem.	Will	he	turn	to	white	papers?	Articles	in	trade	 publications?	Websites?	Would	this	persona	seek	input	from	a	speaker	at	a	networking	group	of	their	peers? •	 Let	the	personae	steer	the	route;	you	can	then	pave	the	route	with	information	to	help	your	prospects	and	customers	move	forward	in	their	consideration	and	buying	process.

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The New Rules for Reaching the Media
One of the perks of being a ReachForce customer is being a part of our book club. In this post we discuss lessons learned from The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. The	Web,	of	course,	has	made	getting	in	touch	with	the	media	much	easier.	However	has	anyone	had	luck	with	emailing	a	journalist	(you	don’t	know)	a	story	and	actually	get	published?	If	so,	what	is	your	secret?	In	most	cases	however,	(in	the	words	of	David)	“PR	people	are	spamming	journalists	with	unsolicited	and	unrelenting	commercial	messages	in	the	 form of news releases and untargeted broadcast pitches.” Don’t	worry,	David	is	here	to	help	with	The	New	Rules	of	Media	Relations: •	 Nontargeted,	broadcast	pitches	are	spam. •	 News	releases	sent	to	reporters	in	subject	areas	they	do	not	cover	are	spam. •	 Reporters	who	don’t	know	you	yet	are	looking	for	organizations	like	yours	and	products	like	yours-make	sure	they	will	find	you	on	sites	such	as	Google	and	Technorati. •	 If	you	blog,	reporters	who	cover	the	space	will	find	you. •	 Pitch	bloggers,	because	being	covered	in	important	blogs	will	get	you	noticed	by	mainstream	media. •	 When	was	the	last	news	release	you	sent?	Make	sure	your	organization	is	“busy.” •	 Journalists	want	a	great	online	media	room! •	 Some	(but	not	all)	reporters	love	RSS	feeds. •	 Personal	relationships	with	reporters	are	important. •	 Dont’	tell	journalists	what	your	product	does.	Tell	them	how	you	solve	customer	problems. •	 Does	the	reporter	have	a	blog?	Read	it.	Comment	on	it.	Track	back	to	it	(send	a	message	whenever	you	blog	on	a	subject	that	the	reporter	blogged	about	first). •	 Before	you	pitch,	read	(or	listen	to	or	watch)	the	publication	(or	radio	program	or	TV	show)	you’ll	be	pitching	to! •	 Once	you	know	what	a	reporter	is	interested	in,	send	her	an	individualized	pitch	crafted	especially	for	her	needs. Now	your	rate	of	getting	noticed	will	hopefully	be	much	more	successful	when	you	use	these	tips.	And	now	let’s	fast	forward	a	bit,	you	have	used	the	New	Rules	and	started	building	relationships.	How	do	you	pitch	to	these	journalists	now?	David	has	a	few	tips	on	this	as	well…woo	hoo! •	 Target	one	reporter	at	a	time. •	 Help	the	journalist	to	understand	the	big	picture. •	 Explain	how	customers	use	your	product	or	work	with	your	organization. •	 Don’t	send	e-mail	attachments	unless	asked. •	 Follow	up	promptly	with	potential	contacts. •	 Don’t	forget,	it’s	a	two-way	street-journalists	need	you	to	pitch	them!

Mainstream	media	is	still	very	important	and	hopefully	you	will	follow	the	New	Rules	and	tactics	to	start	getting	noticed.	To	close	the	same	way	David	did,	“you	need	to	be	smart	 how	you	tell	your	story	on	the	Web-and	about	how	you	tell	your	story	to	journalists.” Next	week	we	will	cover	chapters	17	and	18	on	Blogging	to	Reach	Your	Buyers	and	Podcasting	and	Video	Made,	Well,	as	Easy	as	Possible.

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Drive More Successes From The First Half of 2008
As	we	are	fast	approaching	mid-year,	it	is	a	good	time	to	look	back	at	the	investments	you	have	already	made	this	year	and	look	for	new	ways	to	leverage	these	investments. This is a time to make the invisible visible. Most	B2B	Marketers	have	invested	in	either	search	engine	optimization,	paid	search	advertising	or	both	this	year.	My	guess	is	you	were	probably	hoping	for	more	quality	leads	from	 these	investments.	Have	you	considered	these	ideas	to	get	more	bang	for	your	buck? •	 Identify	visitors	that	didn’t	announce	themselves	(the	companies	they	originated	from).	Your	web	analytics	tools	can	help	with	this	or	check	out	ReachForce Convert for more segmentation level data and visitor patterns. •	 Now	that	you’ve	got	the	companies	identified,	do	you	have	the	right	contacts	to	reach	out	to	and	play	offense?	Consider	reaching	out	with	an	offer	call	to	action	relevant	to	the	 pages they viewed. How	about	your	current	customer	marketing?	Are	you	doing	everything	you	can	to	get	more	from	what	you	already	have? •	 Is	your	customer	database	up	to	date	and	complete?	2%	of	data	goes	bad	every	month.	Which	2%?	Who	knows.	Your	customer	database	is	a	great	place	to	start	a	data	refresh	 project. •	 While	you’re	refreshing,	do	you	have	the	right	buying	contacts	for	additional	products	or	services?	If	not	consider	adding	these	to	the	customer	records	so	you	are	ready	when	 you have new or updated product offers. Many	of	you	invested	in	events	in	the	first	half	of	’08.	Have	those	leads	been	followed	up	on?	According	to	SiriusDecisions,	only	10%	of	trade	show	leads	are	followed-up	by	Sales.	 Are	you,	as	a	Marketer,	nurturing	the	other	90%? •	 For	those	leads	that	are	non-responsive,	make	sure	that	you	have	the	right	contacts	in	those	companies.	Think	about	the	role	of	the	person	you	are	targeting?	Think	about	the	 multiple	folks	involved	in	a	purchase	process	at	your	target	and	their	role.	You	might	need	different	offers	or	calls-to-action	for	each	member	of	the	decision	making	unit. •	 Continue	to	nurture	leads	not	ready	for	sales	–	dialog	is	important,	it	takes	5	to	7	touches	to	turn	a	lead	into	a	prospect. Webinars	seemed	to	have	only	increased	in	popularity	in	2008.	Although	the	event	happens	live,	the	recorded	content	can	be	repurposed. •	 Did	you	record	the	webinar	and	post	on	your	website?	Are	you	campaigning	around	the	event	even	though	the	live	version	has	already	happened? •	 Have	you	considered	using	services	like	Insight24	to	syndicate	your	webcast	to	over	13	million	viewers? •	 Don’t	forget	about	the	podcasters.	You	can	easily	turn	a	webinar	into	multiple	podcasts.	Make	sure	short,	bite	sized	content	is	available	for	those	always	short	on	time. Summer	is	often	“down-time”	for	marketing	and	a	time	to	plan	for	the	blitz	of	lead	generation	post	Labor	Day.	This	summer	instead	of	“getting	ready	for	what’s	to	come”,	consider	 spending a little time repurposing what you’ve already done, in between the down time of course.

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Networking with the Affluent
One of the perks of being a ReachForce customer is being a part of our book club. Throughout the year we send our customers a new marketing book and discuss it on The B2B Lead. Our first book was Marketing Gurus which is a compellation of summaries of great marketing books. In this post we discuss lessons learned from Networking with the Affluent by Thomas Stanley. One	of	Thomas	Stanley’s	forms	of	networking	is	called	Give	Information;	Get	Clients.	Stanley	lists	4	steps	in	this	process: 1. Focus: For	B2B	Marketers,	this	means	narrow	your	targets.	Know	the	industries	you	are	trying	to	target	and	the	types	of	companies	within	those	industries.	Also,	focus	on	the	revenue	range,	employee	size	and	geographies	that	are	in	your	sweet	spot. 2. Enhance your credibility within an industry: Make sure you are in the same places that your prospects go for information and thought leadership. These days that includes more than	just	industry	publications.	Be	sure	you	are	also	commenting	on	the	right	blogs	(and	hopefully	have	your	own),	monitoring	user	communities	and	posting	on	Facebook. 3. Target the leaders of the affluent group: Target	the	leaders	in	the	industry.	Find	out	who	has	the	hottest	blog	in	the	industry	or	latest	book	out	and	try	to	connect	with	them.	Just	be	 sure that this is a mutually beneficial relationship and not a one way street. 4. Recruit top professionals as speakers and network contacts: This	doesn’t	have	to	be	limited	to	individuals.	Work	with	your	partners	as	well	to	create	joint	webinars	or	have	a	top	 executive	from	a	partner	be	a	guest	blogger	or	participate	in	user	communities. The better you position yourself/your company as an industry thought leader, the more credibility you will have in the market.

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Don’t Forget About Customer Marketing
B2B Marketers spend a lot of time and money trying to acquire new customers. After all, you have sales guys breathing down your backs for new leads all the time and quotas to meet	for	bookings	and	new	customers	acquired.	As	the	drum	beat	on	the	recession	gets	louder,	there’s	more	and	more	buzz	about	holding	on	to	what	you	have,	that	means	current	 customers.	Why	is	it	that	in	a	downturn	we	worry	about	keeping	our	customers	happy	and	not	in	growth	cycles?	Have	you	and	your	executive	team	ever	taken	a	step	back	to	see	 how	much	of	your	revenue	actually	comes	from	current	customers?	Or	how	many	customers	use	you	for	a	year	and	then	choose	not	to	renew	because	they	have	been	ignored	all	 year?	Adding	a	current	customer	program	has	the	potential	to	dramatically	increase	revenue,	quickly. Implementing	a	current	customer	program	involves	much	more	than	just	a	nice	holiday	card/gift	once	a	year.	You	should	have	programs	throughout	the	year	to	keep	them	engaged.	 Just	as	in	lead	generation,	current	customer	programs	should	be	segmented.	This	can	be	based	on	your	own	parameters:	by	products	purchased,	by	size,	by	revenue	contribution,	 by	role	within	the	company,	etc.	Once	segmented	you	will	be	able	to	prioritize	and	focus	on	their	needs	with	relevance.	Also	remember	that	cross-selling	a	current	customer	is	more	 than	blasting	the	new	message	to	a	current	database	–	ask	yourself,	is	the	person	(role)	of	the	person	in	my	database	the	right	one	for	this	value	proposition/message?	Do	I	need	to	 find	the	right	decision	maker	for	that	role? Here are some ideas to building and maintaining an ongoing relationship with your customers: •	 Start a newsletter	–	be	sure	to	tell	them	information	that	they	care	about	not	just	the	latest	award	you	have	won •	 Ask them for feedback and input;	consider	asking	them	“The	Ultimate	Question”	www.theultimatequestion.com •	 Create a customer community	–	you	can	develop	your	own	or	start	small	with	a	Facebook	or	LinkedIn	group;	the	social	web	has	enabled	us	to	keep	the	conversations	going	all	 of the time. •	 Send thought leadership	–	this	could	be	whitepapers	or	books	that	are	exclusively	available	to	customers,	do	a	survey	and	share	the	results,	share	best	practices •	 Host a user group conference	–	this	is	the	most	expensive	but	it	is	a	great	opportunity	for	you	to	connect	with	your	customers	and	for	them	to	connect	with	each	other What	percentage	(%)	of	your	marketing	spend	do	you	focus	(or	should)	on	current	customer	marketing?	It’s	never	too	late	to	get	started	driving	more	out	of	what	you	already	have.

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Go Direct With PR - Write Your Own Coverage
TechCrunch	published	an	excellent	mini-tutorial	on	how to develop and distribute press releases in a Web 2.0 world.	Why	should	you	care?	After	all,	who	reads	press	releases?	 Well,	according	to	the	Tech	Crunch	article,	a	recent	Outsell	study	highlighted	that	over	51%	of	IT	professionals	reported	that	they	get	their	news	from	press	releases	in	Yahoo	and	 Google	news	over	trade	journals! Tech	Crunch	advises,“the	trick	for	this	new	breed	of	press	releases	is	to	write	it	as	the	article	you	want	to	read.”	Because,	if	you’ve	done	a	good	job,	very	often	that	is	exactly	what	 will be published. Here’s	another	gem:	“When	implemented	with	calls	and	links	to	action,	and	if	they	read	in	a	way	that’s	compelling	to	people	aka	customers,	you’ll	find	that	they’re	usually	compelled to act.” The	TechCrunch	post	is	a	must-read.	And,	here	are	a	few	other	tips	on	getting	better	press	release	pickup	in	last	week’s	blog	post, Using Press Releases to Drive Web Traffic and Leads.

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Learn From the 6 Cs of Social Influence Marketing
When	I	was	in	college	(far	too	many	years	ago)	we	learned	about	the	4 P’s of Marketing.	Of	course,	in	just	the	last	few	years,	we’ve	seen	a	major	shift	in	thinking	about	the	3rd	P	–	 promotion.	We	no	longer	accept	the	notion	that	2%	returns	on	direct	mail	or	0%	responses	from	print	advertising	are	smart	marketing.	Instead,	we	are	laser	targeting	our	messages	 to audiences and using social marketing to build a following of like minded customers. With	increasing	interest	in	the	power	of	communities,	we	now	have	the	6	C’s	of	Social	Influence	Marketing	thanks	to	Dave	Friedman,	president	of	the	central	region	for	Avenue	A	|	 Razorfish.	In	today’s	post,	I’ve	shared	some	of	Friedman’s	very	timely	advice	on	making	social	marketing	and	communities	work. You	see,	I’ve	had	some	very	interesting	discussions of late on how to design and “position” a community. It boils down to “can you really design and position a community or will the	community	itself	determine	what	it	becomes?”	 In the mean time, here is what Friedman has to say courtesy of Chief Marketer Report. 1. Content: Access	to	valuable	tools	and	content	is	a	key	factor	in	a	consumer’s	decision	to	interact	with	a	brand.	Regardless	of	their	goals,	brands	need	to	think	about	customizing	bite-sized,	portable	content	or	experiences	for	their	most	prominent	target	segments—content	that	their	“friends”	would	be	proud	to	display,	share,	or	support. Sound	familiar?	This	was	the	focus	of	The	B2B	Lead	–	snack	size	educational	nuggets. 2. Customization:	Users	crave	the	ability	to	customize,	post	and	share	content.	On	social	networks	like	MySpace	or	Facebook,	users	define	themselves	through	their	personalized	 profile	pages	and	the	elements	that	they	choose	to	display.	Marketers	need	to	empower	consumers	to	express	themselves. 3. Community: The	adage	“build	it	and	they	will	come”	is	not	applicable	here.	To	build	community	within	social	media	campaigns,	brands	need	to	achieve	several	things:	Give	users a reason to interact with your brand frequently by providing unique content, value or engagement. Let your content travel by distributing it across widgets and other mechanisms	beyond	your	Web	site. Get	the rest of the 6 Cs	Or,	check	out	Joseph	Jaffe’s	version	at	www.jaffejuice.com.

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Trade in an Bad Addiction for a Good One - StumbleUpon
Are	you	a	Stumbler?	I	must	admit,	I	find	myself	neglecting	family	and	friends	for	my	nightly	StumbleUpon	fix. For	those	of	you	scratching	your	head,	StumbleUpon	is–according	to	Wikipedia	–	a	web	browser	plugin	that	allows	its	users	to	discover	and	rate	webpages,	photos,	videos,	and	 news	articles.	These	webpages	are	typically	presented	when	the	user—known	within	the	community	as	a	Stumbler—clicks	the	“Stumble!”	button	on	the	browser’s	toolbar.	StumbleUpon	chooses	which	new	webpage	to	display	based	on	the	user’s	ratings	of	previous	pages,	ratings	by	his/her	friends,	and	by	the	ratings	of	users	with	similar	interests.	i.e.	it	is	a	 recommendation system which uses peer and social networking principles. And,	for	B2B	Marketers,	a	StumbleUpon	addiction	could	actually	be	a	good	one.	Here	are	a	few	cool	articles	and	tools	I’ve	found	while	Stumbling: •	 KnowThis •	 IA •	 Internet Marketing Simple And, a few of the more fun finds: •	 Shipment of Fail •	 Clean the Screen Now	for	the	really	good	part.	Turns	out	Marketers	can	pay	to	have	their	sites	featured	or	served	up	to	Stumblers.	It’s	called	Stumble Upon Advertising and it’s really powerful, especially	if	you	have	the	type	of	product	or	service	that	seems	to	be	most	popular	with	the	StumbleUpon	crowd.	For	pennies	per	view,	you	can	target	an	audience	with	your	website	or	 blog.	StumbleUpon	then	brings	users	directly	to	the	page	you	specify	and	they	rate	your	site.	It’s	a	great	way	to	drive	web	traffic	and	leads.

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Stock Photos vs. Real Pictures
Stock photos are generally a great resource for high quality images that don’t have the high cost of a custom photo shoot. The problem is that you are not the only one with access to	them.	At	ReachForce,	we	recently	changed	our	whole	look	and	feel	and	no	longer	use	any	stock	photos	of	people.	Boy	am	I	glad	we	did.	I	was	recently	driving	down	the	freeway	 and saw a billboard using the same stock photo as our old homepage banner. The worst part was, it was for a church. Shame on them for not even using their own members for their ad. And last week I opened up my alumni newsletter only to see another one of our old stock photos but this time it was photoshopped so one woman was wearing my school colors.	With	as	much	money	as	my	alma	mater	(The	University	of	Texas)	has,	I	would	think	they	could	at	least	get	some	real	alumni	for	a	picture. My recommendation is to use real people. Take photos at your user group conference or use your own employees. It is obvious when a stock photo is being used (especially if the reader has used it themselves!) If the quality isn’t perfect, that’s ok. It adds to the realism. And if you can’t get photos you like, an abstract image can convey meaning better than two people shaking hands.

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Get to Know Your B2B Technical Buyer
Attention Conservation Notice: The following post highlights research on B2B Technical Buyers and provides a quick overview of how to develop a persona for this role. Building	an	effective	B2B	target	database	takes	a	lot	more	than	just	identifying	the	right	market	segment,	company	size,	and	target	title.	Before	you	get	started	building	your	database, it’s important to get to know the different roles, responsibilities and characteristics of each person involved in the buying process. Today,	we	take	a	look	at	the	B2B	Technical	Buyer	–	the	person	within	a	company	or	organization	who	is	responsible	for	ensuring	a	solution	meets	the	technical	requirements	of	the	 company.	For	technology	purchases	this	could	be	an	IT	professional.	For	CRM	software	it	might	be	a	Sales	or	Marketing	professional.	Depending	upon	the	size	of	the	organization,	 these	individuals	may	or	may	not	have	final	financial	approval	but	they	do	hold	significant	influence	over	the	purchase. Here’s what a recent MarketingSherpa Benchmark Study says about this role: a. white papers, product literature and industry articles as their top sources for product information. b.	their	top	search	engine	is	Google.	Depending	upon	the	source	of	data,	you’ll	hear	that	anywhere	from	80	to	98%	of	them	start	their	purchase	process	on	Google. c.	64%	of	them	shortlisted	a	product	based	on	a	timely	sales	call. What	does	your	technical	buyer	look	like?	For	my	network management software company,	we	built	a	persona	profile	that	described	his	or	her	job,	life	and	daily	concerns.	We	did	 this	by	describing	our	best	customers.	We	even	gave	him	a	name—Ajay—and	a	face	by	adding	a	photo.	Now,	whenever	I	write	literature	or	design	a	campaign,	I	always	think	of	 Ajay	and	I’m	better	able	to	target	the	campaign	using	the	right	messages	and	media.	Here	are	a	few	items	to	think	of	when	you	are	building	your	own: Name: Photo: Geographic: Gender: Age: Annual Income: Marital Status: Number	of	Children: Education: Work/Life	Experience Psychographics: Current	Work	Environment: Mobile	Devices: Presence	in	the	Buying	Cycle: For more on this topic, download the free B2B Marketing ebook called Funnelnomics from ReachForce.

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Take a Hard Look at Funnelnomics as You Move Into 2008
Marketing	Profs	ran	a	great	article	yesterday	by	Russell	Kern	entitled	“How to Solve Direct Marketing’s Five Biggest Problems” that struck a nerve with me as a B2B direct marketer.	He	writes	“Salespeople	love	to	receive	a	nice	steady	flow	of	leads	that	keeps	them	busy,	but	not	too	busy.	When	that’s	not	what	you’re	giving	them,	they	tend	to	become,	well,	 verbal.	So	what	does	Sales	do?	It	cherry-picks	the	best	leads,	letting	the	surplus	responses	fall	to	the	floor	to	rot.	Within	45	days,	they’re	yelling	for	“fresh”	leads.” Wow,	does	that	ever	sum	up	the	universal	B2B	Direct	Marketer’s	challenge!	It’s	either	too	many	or	too	few.	We	can	never	win.	 If	you	are	struggling	with	too	many	leads	or	too	few	fresh/high	quality	leads,	then	Kern	advises: •	 One	of	the	fastest	and	least	expensive	methods	to	improve	your	results	is	to	eliminate	poor	targets	and	increase	the	number	of	look-alike	suspects. •	 Here	is	a	simple	exercise	to	perform	when	putting	together	a	lead	generation	mailing:	Have	your	data-processing	vendor	run	a	count,	by	title,	of	your	mailing	list.	At	the	same	 time, run a count of your customer titles. •	 Now,	compare	the	results.	How	many	of	the	titles	in	your	suspect	mailing	list	are	not	in	your	customer	file?	How	many	titles	like	“administrator,”	“consultant,”	and,	yes,	even	 “inmate”	have	somehow	slipped	into	your	mailing	list—people	who	will	respond	for	the	sake	of	it,	but	never,	ever	buy	your	product? Once you’ve taken the important step to better target your campaigns, you should also consider a great automated scoring and lead scoring and nurturing program as we wrote about in The B2B Lead and our ebook on the topic Funnelnomics.

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Monitor Your Company or Product in the Blogosphere
In a recent post on The B2B Lead (Manage You Company’s Reputation with Google Alerts),	we	wrote	about	how	to	use	Google	Alerts	to	manage	your	brand	reputation.	Now,	MarketingProfs	is	listing	a round up of paid services and a few free tools	such	as	Blog	Pulse	(www.BlogPulse.com) which features conversation tracking, and visual trends. Marketing Profs	advises	readers	to: “Set	up	a	Google	Alert	so	that	every	day,	or	as	it	happens,	you	get	an	email	that	shows	you	who	is	talking	about	that	keyword	(which	can	be	your	product	or	brand	name).	The	 challenge	with	simply	using	a	tool	like	Google	or	Technorati	Watchlist	is	the	sheer	volume	of	information.	You	need	to	either	task	people	with	manual	assessment	or	use	better	tools	 (many of which are paid services) or contract with an outside provider. An	alternative	to	Alerts,	which	hit	your	email	inbox,	is	to	setup	an	RSS	Reader	(Google,	Bloglines,	etc).	Then	you	can	check	it	as	needed,	versus	filling	your	email	inbox	to	the	brim.	 The	risk	with	an	RSS	Reader,	though,	is	that	you	don’t	look	often	enough.”

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Skip the Mega-launch, Opt for a New Approach to Generating Buzz for Your New Product or Service
Thinking	about	how	to	make	the	biggest	splash	with	your	next	mega-launch?	Think	again.	Emerging	companies	are	getting	smarter	about	how	they	“launch”	and	opting	for	a	slower	 community	building	process	that	takes	place	over	the	course	of	months.	Turns	out	it	is	not	only	less	expensive	but	it	proves	to	be	more	valuable	over	the	long	term. The	process	involves	getting	out	months	ahead	of	your	product	availability	and	building	relationships	with	key	influencers,	contributing	relevant	valuable	content	to	your	market	 and	attracting	a	loyal	following	with	a	blog	or	community.	We	did	something	like	this	at	BreakingPoint, although it happened in a far more condensed time frame, and it has indeed been	very	valuable	for	reaching	our	hyper-niche	market. There’s	been	lots	of	controversy	on	the	topic	of	launching	at	Tech	Crunch	50	vs.	DEMO	lately.	Robert	Scoble	triggered	a	firestorm	of	commentary	when	he	posted	a	blog	series	 about	how	“companies	launching	at	DEMO	suck”.	(Why	is	it	that	blog	posts	that	include	the	word	“suck”	always	generate	so	much	buzz?)	This	triggered	Paul	May	of	BuzzStream	to	 blog about the economics of launching	a	startup	at	TechCrunch	50	or	Demo.	According	to	Paul: “The	cost	and	time	required	for	the	traditional,	big-bang,	big	conference	launch	adds	up	quickly…and	yeah,	I	know,	TechCrunch	50	is	free,	but	the	entry	fee	is	just	where	your	 costs	begin.		Let’s	look	at	an	example.		My	co-founder,	Jeremy	Bencken,	was	invited	to	present	at	DEMO	to	launch	Tenant	Market	a	couple	of	years	ago.		In	addition	to	the	entry	 fee,	he	calculated	the	following	costs	for	even	a	bare-bones	approach: 1.	 2.	 3.	 4.	 5.	 Devote	80	hours	to	prep	time.		At	$100	an	hour,	that’s	$8K. Speaking	coach	-	$5K Travel	-	three	nights	for	three	people	-	$6K PR	rep	-	$10k	to	$20K	(lots	of	variation	depending	on	the	quality	of	the	PR	professional	and	the	required	retainer) Booth,	collateral,	SWAG,	etc.	-	$3K	to	$5K”

Wow,	that’s	a	hefty	price	tag	for	a	startup—bootstrapped	or	funded.	Years	ago	when	I	launched	a	startup	at	Demo,	it	was	well	worth	that	investment.	Why?	Those	were	the	early	 Internet	Boom	days	when	startups	had	to	shell	out	$30,000	to	$50,000	per	month	in	retainers	to	PR	agencies.	We	netted	17	pieces	of	very	high	profile	coverage	from	our	Demo	 participation	in	major	trade	publications	and	even	The	Washington	Post.	It	was	such	a	success	that	I	actually	considered	going	this	year	with	BreakingPoint. Today,	however,	most	of	those	publications	are	no	longer	around—at	least	in	print.	Buyers	get	their	information	in	different	ways	and	focusing	your	efforts	on	laser	targeted	database	 marketing combined with a strong push for building a community using social media are the keys to success for startups. If you have a B2C play, those events may make sense for you. But for us, I had to pass. So,	back	to	the	topic	at	hand:	launching	your	company	online.	There’s	absolutely	no	reason	to	wait	until	you	have	a	product	to	launch	to	get	started.	Why	not	start	engaging	with	 your	customers	now?	Reach	out	and	conduct	a	little	market	research.	Build	tight	relationships	and	a	nice	following	for	your	blog.	Funnel	your	money	into	building	a	detailed,	rolebased database of your target market. Hire an intern to discover the top thought leaders and start building tight relationships by interacting with them in social media circles. Start generating a slew of inbound links so that you will rank at the top of the search engines when you introduce your product or service. The possibilities are endless.

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How to Write and Market Whitepapers
I	saw	a	great	presentation	earlier	this	summer	at	the	MarketingProfs	B2B	Forum	by	Michael Stelzner	titled	“Attracting	Quality	Leads	with	White	Papers.”	Michael	has	generated	 60,000 qualified leads with his program, so I thought I would share some of his ideas. Here are Michael’s 6 mistakes Marketers make in regards to whitepapers: 1.	 Product	Marketing	Curse	-	Using	a	technical	document	for	lead	gen. 2.	 Marketing	the	Wrong	Content	-	used	car	salesman	approach,	highly	focused	on	company	and	product. 3.	 Post	and	Hope	Syndrome	-	You	need	to	drive	prospects	to	the	content,	“If	you	build	it,	they	will	come”	only	works	for	Kevin	Costner. 4.	 Brief	Landing	Pages	-	long	form	with	little	content 5.	 Immediate	Access	to	Excellent	Content	-	No	registration,	no	follow-up	emails 6.	 Not	Integrated	with	Other	marketing	Efforts	-	Not	promoted	through	email	or	direct	mail	campaigns,	left	out	of	newsletters	and	blogs Michael	gave	some	compelling	reasons	why	whitepapers	should	be	a	part	of	your	marketing	mix.	To	get	to	the	point,	they	are	a	proven	lead	gen	tool,	help	educate	your	buyers	and	 position your company as a thought leader. Here are Michael’s tips for writing and publishing whitepapers: •	 When	you	sit	down	to	write	the	whitepaper,	you	first	need	to	determine	which	type	of	problem	you	are	going	to	solve:	People	problems,	Process	problems,	Quality	problems	or	 Absent problems. Then lead with the challenges faced by the ideal reader. •	 Discuss	the	solution	is	generic	terms.	People	need	to	think	that	they	need	a	solution	like	yours	before	you	can	sell	them	your	specific	solution. •	 Include	a	“what	to	look	for”	list	-	This	is	your	silver	bullet	where	you	create	a	condition	where	only	your	product	or	service	can	succeed.	Be	sure	to	call	out	points	where	you	 deliver over your competition. •	 Only	at	the	end	of	the	whitepaper	do	you	mention	your	company	and	the	product	or	service	you	are	promoting.	Do	be	sure	to	have	your	branding	on	every	page	as	well	as	the	 landing page. •	 Save	the	call	to	action	for	the	very	last	sentence	-	make	it	compelling,	actionable,	and	measurable •	 Think	of	the	first	page	of	your	whitepaper	as	a	movie	trailer	-	show	them	enough	for	them	to	be	willing	to	pay	(fill	out	a	form)	for	the	rest.	 •		Identify	the	ideal	reader,	summarize	the	challenge,	summarize	the	solution,	state	the	goal	of	the	paper •		AVOID:	detailed	explanation	of	the	solution	and	features,	introduction	of	your	company,	humor •	 When	developing	a	title,	keep	in	mind	“what’s	in	it	for	me?”	and	the	3	U’s:	 •		Ultra-specific •		Unique •		Useful	to	readers •	 Test	the	title	with	current	customers,	they	will	be	the	best	judges. •	 Have	long	landing	pages	(this	is	against	a	lot	of	what	we	are	hearing	right	now,	but	Michael	has	the	results	to	prove	that	it	works)	 •		Provide	a	significant	amount	of	content	at	the	top	of	the	landing	page	with	a	very	short	form	(Michael	suggests	just	name	and	email)	at	the	bottom.	This	way	readers	are	 already hooked by the time they get to the form and more likely to fill out the form to get the rest of the whitepaper. •		It	is	also	great	for	SEO •	 Don’t	allow	immediate	access	to	the	whitepaper.	Wait	30	minutes	to	send	the	pdf	directly	to	the	email	address	given.	This	does	two	things.	First,	it	provides	a	sense	of	anticipation. Secondly, this is a way for you to verify that they gave you a valid email address, not mickeymouse@mickeymouse.com. I am working on implementing some of Michael’s ideas. He shares a lot more in his book, Writing White Papers.	Do	you	have	any	suggestions	for	what	works	in	writing	and	promoting	whitepapers?

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How to Use News Releases to Reach Buyers Directly
One of the perks of being a ReachForce customer is being a part of our book club. In this post we discuss lessons learned from The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. In	Chapter	5	we	learned	the	New Rules of News Releases	and	how	news	releases	should	be	written	for	your	buyers.	Building	off	of	the	New	Rules,	after	you	have	written	for	your	 buyers,	now	you	need	to	reach	them.	David	gives	tips	on	how	to	develop	a	news	release	strategy	in	order	to	reach	buyers	directly. Here are some of his tips: Write about pretty much anything that your organization is doing. •	 Have	a	new	take	on	an	old	problem? •	 Serve	a	unique	marketplace? •	 Have	interesting	information	to	share? •	 CEO	speaking	at	a	conference? •	 Win	an	award? •	 Add	a	product	feature? •	 Win	a	new	customer? •	 Publish	a	whitepaper? Publish news releases through a distribution service. •	 Business Wire •	 Market Wire •	 PrimeNewswire •	 PR Newswire •	 PRWeb We	have	been	using	PRWeb	for	our	latest	news	releases	and	have	gotten	descent	response.	What	service	have	you	had	success	using? Use RSS feeds. •	 Many	distribution	services	provide	this	to	make	your	news	release	available	to	other	sites,	blogs,	journalists	and	individuals.

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101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead
Simultaneously publish news releases on your web site. Link wherever possible. Focus on the keywords and phrases your buyers use. •	 Think	about	your	buyer	personas.

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Include social media tags. •	 Like	Technorati,	DIGG	and	del.icio.us

Tell the media, your clients and your prospects. •	 •	 Repurpose	content	for	all	audiences. Example:	Tweak	content	for	use	in	company	newsletter.

I’ll	close	with	what	David	said	about	the	importance	of	reaching	your	buyers. “Implementing	a	news	release	strategy	to	reach	buyers	directly	is	like	publishing	an	online	news	service	-	you	are	providing	your	buyers	with	information	that	they	need	in	order	to	 find	your	organization	online	and	then	learn	more	about	you.”

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101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead

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Are You Writing Gobbledygook for Your Buyers?
One of the perks of being a ReachForce customer is being a part of our book club. In this post we discuss lessons learned from The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. We’ve	talked	a	lot	about	writing	best	practices	here	on	The	B2B	Lead.		B2B	Marketers	out	there,	pay	special	attention	to	this	chapter.		Gobbledygook	words	–	that’s	what	David	calls	 jargon-laden	phrases.		Words	like	groundbreaking,	industry-stand,	and	cutting	edge	are	good	examples	of	gobbledygook	words.		David	goes	on	to	say	that	business-to-business	 technology marketers are the worst offenders. Here	are	some	interesting	findings	from	a	study	David	highlighted	in	this	chapter. 388,000	press	releases	were	analyzed	over	a	9	month	period. 74,000 of them had gobbledygook words 9895	of	them	used	the	words	next	generation over	5000	of	them	used	words	like	flexible,	robust,	world	class,	scalable,	easy	to	use between	2,000	and	5,000	used	words	like	cutting	edge,	mission	critical,	market	leading,	industry	standard,	turnkey	and	groundbreaking WOW!		And	isn’t	the	goal	of	doing	a	news	release	to	stand	out	in	the	crowd?		Well	we’re	not	if	we’re	using	these	words. Here’s a few more tips – another study highlighted in this chapter, this time a survey of general business and trade editors. These are these people that we sent out announcements	to.		Are	you	using	these	words? •	 “Leading”	(used	as	an	adjective)	–	94%	of	editors	feel	it	is	overused •	 “We’re	excited	about…”	–	76%	of	editors	feel	it	is	overused •	 “Solutions”	–	68%	of	editors	feel	it	is	overused •	 “…a	wide	range	of…”	–	64%	of	editors	feel	it	is	overused •	 “Unparalleled”	–	62%	of	editors	feel	it	is	overused •	 “Unsurpassed”	–	53%	of	editors	feel	it	is	overused David	does	a	great	job	of	summarizing	the	importance	of	writing	for	our	buyers,	so	if	you	don’t	mind,	I’d	like	to	steal	a	couple	of	lines	for	the	book	to	close	this	as	well. “Your	online	and	offline	marketing	content	is	meant	to	drive	action,	which	requires	a	focus	on	buyer	problems.		Your	buyers	want	this	in	their	own	words,	and	then	they	want	proof.		 Every	time	you	write,	you	have	an	opportunity	to	communicate	and	to	convince.		At	each	stage	of	the	sales	process,	well-written	materials	combined	with	effective	marketing	programs will lead your buyers to understand how your company can help them.” If you’re worried about your use or overuse of gobbledygook words in your news releases, check out Hubspot’s Press Release Grader. This free tool helps you make sure you are getting the most out of every news release you write.

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101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead

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Don’t Forget Where You’ve Been When Deciding Where to go Next…
As the summer ends and everyone comes back from vacation we’re quickly reminded that the end of the year is right around the corner. As Marketers that means we really only have	about	10	weeks	left	to	drive	meaningful	activity	(sales-ready	leads)	this	year. With	only	limited	time	left	we	naturally	want	to	target	our	marketing	efforts	at	low	hanging	fruit	first.		Targeted	lead	generation	requires	reaching	the	right	buyers	in	the	right	companies,	right?		Before	you	kick	off	new	programs,	why	not	start	with	what	you	already	know	and	have? Consider these starting points: Sales Pipeline data - Customer win data and in-funnel opportunities can be a goldmine at your fingertips. •	 Understand	where	you’ve	been,	where	you	won	and	who	else	is	out	there	that	match	that	profile. •	 Look	at	what	prospects	are	moving	through	the	funnel	the	fastest,	find	more	like	these. Website Analytics – Visitors are stopping by, but do you know who they are? •	 Are	there	visitor	profiles	or	patterns	of	interest?		If	so,	do	you	have	a	plan	to	act	on	these? •	 Web	analytic	tools	can	help	you	identify	the	company	that	is	visiting,	interesting.		Identifying	the	right	decision	making	unit	inside	these	visiting	companies,	even	more	interesting. Once	you’ve	identified	the	companies	with	the	highest	likelihood	to	buy,	don’t	forget	about	your	decision	making	unit	buying	personas	(influencers,	evaluators,	recommenders,	end	 users	and	budget	owners).		What	do	your	buyers	look	like?		What	do	they	care	about?		Why	should	they	listen	to	you? As you are getting ready to ramp your lead generation for the end of the year push don’t forget where you’ve been, who you’re attracting today and how you are going to use this information to get the best results possible.

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101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead

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Forums, Wikis, and Your Targeted Audience
Do	you	know	anyone	who	is	not	online?	I	even	know	an	87-year-old	who	uses	eBay.	The	fact	of	the	matter	is	that	everyone	is	online.	The	question	is	-	are	they	talking	about	you	 and	do	you	know	what	they	are	saying?	David	Meerman	Scott	gives	some	great	examples	of	how	different	companies	responded	to	negative	comments	on	forums	and	blogs.	I	think	 there	are	two	great	lessons	to	be	learned	from	these	examples: 1.	 You	need	to	know	what	people,	especially	your	customers,	are	saying	about	you 2.	 You	need	to	respond	swiftly	and	genuinely	directly	to	your	audience.	Do	not	do	what	Sony	BMG	did	and	respond	to	bloggers	by	going	on	the	radio,	respond	where	your	audience is, online. Hopefully most of you are already using Google Alerts to help you monitor blogs and news stories but it will not catch everything. Here are some other monitoring tools you should check out: 1. search.twitter.com	-	you	can	search	on	any	keyword,	like	your	company	name,	to	see	who	is	tweeting	about	you 2. blogsearch.google.com	-	again	you	can	search	on	any	keyword	and	add	an	RSS	feed	of	it	to	your	Google	Reader.	Tip:	you	can	exclude	your	own	blog	or	website	by	adding	 -site:yourwebsite.com	after	the	keyword.	So	if	I	want	to	see	who	is	talking	about	ReachForce	I	would	search:	reachforce	-site:theb2blead.com. I	have	discussed	this	before	on	The	B2B	Lead,	but	you	should	also	monitor	an	RSS	feed	of	blogs	and	forums	that	are	in	your	space.	These	are	the	most	likely	targets	for	your	customers and prospects. Have someone in your company who can add value to the conversation be involved. This is not always easy, but can have great benefits. The point is: •	 Be	involved	online	and	know	what	people	are	saying	about	you •	 If	you	see	something	negative,	don’t	go	dark,	respond	to	try	to	make	it	better	and	admit	when	you	have	done	something	wrong.	Everyone	appreciates	an	apology	when	it	is	 genuine. •	 You	can	gain	credibility	by	having	an	in-house	expert	active	on	forums	and	blogs	-	remember	no	sales	pitches What	have	you	found	to	be	successful	online.	We	would	love	to	hear	any	success	stories.	Know	of	any	good	monitoring	tools?	Please	share. Stay	tuned	next	week	when	we	will	be	covering	chapters	8	&	9	on	going	viral	and	content	rich	websites.

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101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead

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About ReachForce
ReachForce	delivers	software	(SaaS)	and	data	services	that	enable	B2B	companies	to	laser	target	their	lead	generation	programs.		ReachForce	solutions	allow	marketing	and	sales	 teams	to	target	market	‘sweet	spots’	using	CRM	and	website	visitor	data	then	reach	the	right	buyers	in	these	companies	using	role-based	contact	discovery	services.		 ReachForce	was	created	to	ensure	Marketers,	keep	their	seat	at	the	table.	As	a	team	of	long	time	Marketers	we	decided	we	were	tired	of	it	being	ok	to	be	wrong	97%	of	the	time.	 With	marketing	response	rate	industry	averages	being	less	than	3%,	there	is	something	fundamentally	wrong	with	the	way	we	as	B2B	Marketers	have	been	driving	lead	generation	 initiatives.	Response	rates	don’t	equal	leads	and	leads	don’t	always	mean	qualified	buyers. At	ReachForce,	we	don’t	care	about	or	measure	response	rates,	we	drive	and	measure	revenue	delivered	to	the	business	from	lead	generation	initiatives.	By	addressing	the	foundation	of	any	marketing	program,	the	data	-	or	“The	WHO”	as	we	call	it,	ReachForce	was	founded	with	one	goal	in	mind:	to	provide	businesses	with	revolutionary,	high	quality,	costeffective data to fuel their marketing and sales lead generation initiatives.

About The B2B Lead
We’ve	designed	The	B2B	Lead	blog	to	deliver	real	world,	practical	B2B	Sales	and	Marketing	Tips	to	help	you	capture	more	qualified	buyers	and	convert	them	into	profitable	 customer	relationships.	Each	week,	we	will	deliver	snack-size	how-to’s	and	thought-provoking	commentary	from	B2B	Marketers	for	B2B	Marketers.	ReachForce	customers–who	 include	Directors	of	Marketing	Communications,	Sales	Professionals,	Marketing	Programs	Managers–and	other	guest	writers	will	share	techniques	that	help	you	take	a	more	deliberate and predictable approach to increasing the velocity and efficiency of the Marketing and Sales funnel. If	you	want	to	share	ideas	while	learning	from	your	peers,	subscribe	to	our	B2B	Marketing	RSS	feed	now.	We	hope	you	will	make	it	your	go-to	resource	for	techniques	to	succeed	in	 the	new	world	of	metrics-driven	Marketing.

This is the last of a five volume collection of B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from The B2B Lead. To download all 101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips, visit http://www.reachforce.com/resources/. The collection includes: Volume	One:	Online	Marketing Volume	Two:	Direct	Marketing Volume	Three:	Event	Marketing Volume	Four:	Marketing	and	Sales	Alignment Volume	Five:	More	Marketing	and	Sales	Tips

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