by Janet Attard

How’s business?

If your answer is “Slow!” here’s a suggestion that can put more business on your plate for very little money:

Contact individuals who had once inquired about your business then let the ball drop.

Although some of those people may have purchased from someone else, chances are there will be a fair number who just haven’t made a decision yet.

In fact, some of those people may now be ready to buy and but forget where they put your contact information, or just don’t remember you at all.

Your call, postcard, sales letter, or email could be all that’s needed to keep them from buying a competitor’s product or to get them off the fence and happily involved with your product or service.

Closing the Sale

The ability to persuade and close sales is still
the most important factor in any Salesperson’s career.

The fundamental principle of the close is that you must be persuasive and tell your prospect that you want him or her to act now on your recommendation.

If you hesitate in doing this — if you hold back,
if you are timid, if you are vague — you may have many pleasant interviews each week, but you will seldom have
any sales.

Nothing is more important during this part of the selling process than your confidence, born of thorough preparation.
You must have a strategy for closing.

We teach the following five-step strategy for closing:

Step 1 – Owner Benefits.

Make summary statements regarding owner benefits.
“We feel, and we think you’ll agree, Bill, we have …”
“First, this plan …”
“Second, our plan provides …”
“Finally, the plan provides …”

Step 2 – Final Look.

Place the proposal in front of your prospect and ask him/her
to give it a final look.
Listen and watch for opportunities to encourage and reinforce
your prospect’s realizations regarding various facets of your
plan’s owner benefits.

Step 3 – Strategic Move.

Ask two questions with the first being a controlled question.
By that, we mean the response you’ll receive is predictable,
one that almost invariably gets a favorable response.
“How do you like the work we’ve done and the plan we’ve
personalized to you and your family?”

“Secondly, are you comfortable with the amount based on
your current budget and the dollar range you suggested we work with?”
You’ll often meet some resistance in asking about the amount.
However, you have positioned yourself to close the sale when
you received a favorable response to your plan.
The important attitude to develop and maintain is that the sale
must be closed; it seldom closes itself.

Step 4 – Prospect’s Idea.

After you record the amount on the application, move to secure
consent on a minor question.

This gives prospects control of the idea to take action on
your recommendation.

You can say: “Bill, would you prefer to handle the premium annually
or on our monthly check-o-matic?”
People love to buy but are reluctant to be sold.

Step 5 – App with Check.

After the question regarding how the prospect wants to handle
the premium, you move ahead with this statement:
“Bill, I need your check for $1,027 made payable to (company).”

Next in importance to the early minutes of the initial contact
is the time when you ask for the check for the initial premium.

This should be done in a very matter- of-fact manner.

Once you get the check, you are properly positioned to complete
the application in its entirety. You get the check, then fill out the app.

Carry this Pocket Reminder with you.

Read it several times a day.

Memorize it.

We believe you’ll beat last year’s performance!

POCKET REMINDER Closing the Sale:

Your confidence born of preparation is the key.
The sale must be closed; it seldom closes itself.
Step 1 – Owner Benefits
Step 2 – Final Look
Step 3 – Strategic Move
Step 4 – Prospect’s Idea
Step 5 – App with Check


ImageFacebook’s latest $1 billion acquisition smacks of a desperation that LinkedIn consistently manages to avoid.

With all due respect to Facebook, paying $1 billion for Instagram smacks of desperation.

It’s as if CEO Mark Zuckerberg is terrified of becoming irrelevant and is willing to spend insane amounts of money in order for Facebook remain on the forefront of cool.

That’s a hopeless quest, though.  Facebook may be many things, but it’s not cool any longer.  It lost that imprimatur back when it allowed corporate pages (yes, even yours) and advertising.

Where Is the Love?

More importantly, nobody seems to love Facebook any more.  People seem mostly tolerate it, because it’s convenient. And that’s why Facebook remains vulnerable.

Consumer-oriented social networking sites are like television networks: People will switch when there’s something better on another channel.

With its awkward design, 1990s-style layouts, weird privacy policies, and intrusive advertising, Facebook is vulnerable to the next best thing. Frankly, I think it’s just one online conversion program away from losing its customer base and becoming the next MySpace.

That’s not true of LinkedIn, though.  LinkedIn is all about business and people’s resumes.  Because its scope is limited to fundamentally dull information, LinkedIn is simply not vulnerable to something “cooler.”

Sure, somebody could launch a site similar to LinkedIn. (And I’m sure plenty of people have.) But why would the customer base bother to change?  Nobody on LinkedIn cares about being cool. LinkedIn’s beauty is that it’s dull but functional–like email and the telephone.

That’s why I believe that LinkedIn will keep growing, becoming increasingly valuable and relevant–while Facebook will eventually be replaced by “cooler” technologies that appeal to a fundamentally fickle base of consumers.

Niche vs. Mass Branding

What does this have to do with sales and marketing?  Everything.

Facebook is a perfect example of a company trying to be all things to all people, while LinkedIn is a perfect example of a company that focused on a niche.

As a result, LinkedIn is building a loyal customer base, while Facebook is involved in an expensive and probably pointless quest to remain relevant.

Customers don’t want you to be everything and anything to them. They want you to do one thing really well–reliably, predictably, and hassle-free.

Anything else, and you’re at risk of being replaced.

If you’re committed to sales and marketing success, sign up for the free Sales Source newsletter. for column weekly updates.

from INC.

Geoffrey James‘ “Sales Source” (formerly “Sales Machine” on CBS) is the world’s most-visited sales-oriented blog. His best posts, with many extras, are in his new book: How to Say It: Business to Business Selling@Sales_Source

| Marketing Experiments Blog

So, you’ve done all of this, right?

1)      Made sure you understand what your current site looks like through a variety of mobile operating systems. Is it good? Is it even adequate? (User Agents)

2)      Understand what people use your current site for? What is the top content overall, and top content immediately preceding a successful call to action. (Analytics)

3)      Understand your target audience? (Internal discussions)

4)      Lastly, determined if the benefits of building a mobile site or redesigning your current site outweigh the expenditure.

If not, refer back to our previous blog post, but now we’re moving on to actual mobile website design recommendations.

Now let’s say you’ve made the decision to create a website specifically for mobile devices. The main thing you need to understand about mobile devices is the difference in usability:

  • They have much less real estate
  • Buttons are harder to click
  • People will be zooming in to see any small features
  • When a potential customer clicks on a box to enter text a good portion of the screen is covered by the keyboard

So, you need to make your page as easy to use as possible. I can’t stress that enough! While there may be TONS of great content on your site, you need to keep your mobile site as easy to use as possible.

Usability is key

A big part of that is avoiding the urge to overload the mobile version of your website with too much information. There are lots of great technologies, such as sliding drop-downs, that give you different ways to lay out your top navigation without cluttering the entire page. Remember, you want to make it as easy to use as possible, and minimize the number of steps it takes a user to reach their primary objective.

Now, that’s tricky since you won’t always know what that objective might be for unique visitors. You just need to ensure that all the high-level detail, and top relevant content from your desktop version is available on mobile. Again, this is where all that research you did in part 1 pays off.

Understand how people use mobile devices

When someone is using a mobile platform they’re not usually looking for the full user experience they find on the desktop. Typically people are looking for very specific pieces of information on their phones, for example local movie times or restaurants in the area. Historically, a very deep, in-depth sales process is not effective through a mobile platform, but that is always changing with updates to technology. As phones continue to become more advanced, people are becoming more and more likely to want to jump directly to the desktop version of the page.

Ecommerce is something unique, but most product- and service – based companies really want to view the mobile site more as a starting point for the visitor. You’re going to want to make sure you’re driving traffic back to your fully featured website, since that’s where all the details and highly specific content will stay. Give them a teaser, and then encourage them to go back to the desktop version where they can set up their profile or do other activities.

It’s really hard on a mobile device to punch in your email, password, user name and change your preferences and settings; all of that stuff is more easily done with keyboard and mouse for the majority of users. You really want your mobile site to be a jumping off point – this is what we do, what we offer, this is the top-level stuff – but not get into nitty gritty on mobile. Drive that to desktop. As we covered earlier, make it easy and obvious to view the desktop version on your mobile device.

Segment by operating system

Using metrics you can also segment mobile visitors by OS. If your traffic is 90 percent iPhone, you obviously want to ensure your site works on iPhone before you move onto other devices, right?

You can also eventually offer different content and pages based on the individual user’s OS system, but you first want to focus on getting a page that just works.

So, to sum up, most people are using mobile devices to hunt and find specific information, unlike a typical desktop experience where you may be browsing with no real goal in mind or for the sake of entertainment. In this case, just ensure that:

  • Your content is easy to find, access and read
  • It’s the right content

By doing so, you should be set to keep the visitors on your site or drive them to your preferred call to action.

| Marketing Experiments Blog

When they asked me to write a blog post on mobile websites I thought they were crazy. I mean, when was the last time I actually developed a mobile app or website? Oh yeah, never.

But the more I thought about it,  the more I realized that I’ve spent so much time on my phone, I am actually very well informed and can help you and your company start off on the right foot in the mobile space. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Tony is a humble guy. He is one of our top optimization research analysts, working with The New York Times among other Research Partners.)

And, I’m sure many marketers may be attracted to the idea of going mobile. Especially since, according to the Nielsen Company, smartphone users are projected to account for more than 50 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers by the end of the year.

So, if you’re one of those marketers thinking about creating a dedicated mobile site, this is my beginner’s take on what it takes to create a successful one before you take the leap …

Step #1: See how your current page looks on mobile platforms

I’m sure you or someone you know has an iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc. If you don’t have each of these devices handy, there are some really cool tools that you can use to see how your website would actually look and behave on just about any mobile device.

Both Firefox and Safari offer easy ways to change your user agent and see what your site would look like through other browsers. For Firefox, download Chris Pederick’s User Agent Switcher. You can find more mobile browsers in the comments section.

For Safari, just enable Developer Mode (Preferences, Advanced, check the “Show Develop” box) and select your user agent from the Develop menu. While this isn’t a perfect representation of your site, once you shrink your browser window to the size of your mobile device it’ll be very close impersonation and plenty to get you started.

This is really going to help us answer some common questions you encounter while going mobile such as:

  • Is the website too cluttered?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Are the buttons clickable with my big fingers?
  • Is it easy to find the best and most relevant content?
  • In the end…is it good? Heck, is it even adequate?

I’m going to assume that here, for most of you, what’s going to happen is that you’ll realize it’s not really optimized for a mobile platform. This is to be expected. You’ve spent a lot of time optimizing your site over the past few years and you’re just now looking towards mobile, right?

Step #2: (Really) understand your target audience

This includes who they are, and what they come to look at. Some of the key statistics you’ll want to pay close attention to include:

  • How many visitors come from a mobile device?
  • What is the mobile device of choice?
  • What pages do they most frequently visit?
  • What is the top content overall, and top content immediately preceding a successful call to action?

These questions will be integral when you actually begin planning out your mobile site. You’ll want to have an internal discussion with Sales and Customer Service about your target audience. You’ll also want to use your analytics to determine what people currently use your site for.

There are plenty of tools out there that can give you these statistics, but the tool of choice for many companies is Google Analytics because it’s a free tool with relatively quick implementation, a robust support network, and the ability to collect a plethora of great data. A properly set-up Google Analytics account can get you most of the information you desire for free, you just need to know where to look.

Step #3: Assemble a mock-up mobile page that meets your visitors’ expectations

This is the step where you’ll be happy you looked at the most highly viewed content in the site and what visitors do immediately preceding the call to action. This will be your most relevant content, and content you want to ensure you include while making it easy to find.

On a personal note, please be sure to give people an easy-to-find button where they can be switched to the desktop version of the site. Nothing is more frustrating than when you want to see the desktop version of a site but keep getting automatically redirected to the mobile site.

I personally run into that problem quite often. I play a lot of Fantasy Sports, and when I wrote this it was football season. I use ESPN and when I get redirected to the mobile version of the site I can easily see my team and league, but can’t easily get to a lot of the research and analysis that I’m trying to find. You know, all that nitty gritty stuff you’re looking through on Sunday morning, while you’re setting your final lineup. I always had to hunt for a way into the desktop version of the site to get what I really needed and it was remarkably frustrating. Sorry, just needed to vent for a minute.

Step #4: Decide if the benefits outweigh the costs of development

Now that you’ve taken these simple steps, you need to decide how, or even if, you should make a mobile version of your website. There is no one right answer; it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis that takes into account your overall business strategy.

Don’t just jump into creating a mobile site because it’s the next hot thing — or because the CEO just got an iPhone and loves playing with his new toy. You must determine if the benefits of building a mobile site, or redesigning your current site, outweigh the expenditure to truly get results.

Now that you’ve made the decision whether or not to proceed with a mobile site, what should it look like? My time is up, so we’ll have to cover that next time in part two.


by Adam T. Sutton, Reporter

Technology always increases in power and decreases in price over time. The multimillion-dollar supercomputer of yesterday is today’s five dollar pocket calculator. Mobile phone technology is no different.

More people carry smartphones than ever before:

o 31.9% of all mobile subscribers used a Web browser on a mobile device in the three months ending in May 2010, according to comScore. That’s up from 26% in comScore’s September 2009 three-month average.

o 30% downloaded a mobile app in the three months ending in May, compared to 6.7% in the September 2009 three-month average, according to comScore.

“We’re definitely past the discussion of whether mobile is mainstream. It’s here,” says Matthew Snyder, CEO and Founder, ADObjects, a mobile strategy consultancy and agency.

Snyder has worked in mobile and consumer electronics for more than two decades. He spent 12 years with Nokia and eight years with Sony, based mostly in Japan, a mobile technology hotspot. He now helps companies understand how mobile channels can improve business and marketing performance.

We spoke with Snyder to get his take on what marketers need to consider before testing mobile marketing initiatives. Here are the five insights he provided:

Insight #1. Start with a mobile Web presence

Snyder is a strong believer in the Web. The cornerstone of any mobile strategy should be a Web presence, he says, whether it is a single landing page or a full mobile site. Even if a marketer is experimenting with sending SMS messages, these messages should include a link to a page where mobile users can learn more.

Here are four types of mobile Web presences Snyder sees:

1. Mobile versions of existing sites

Companies have built mobile websites which offer nearly the same features as their traditional websites, but which are adapted to a handheld format. A textbook example is Facebook’s mobile website (see Useful Links below).

2. Plug-in-based mobile sites

Similar to the first category, blogs and websites based on WordPress, Drupal or similar open-source platforms can use free plug-ins which format sites for mobile audiences (see useful links below).

3. Mobile landing pages

As the name suggests, these single-page entities can be created quickly to add a mobile-Web presence to a marketing campaign.

4. Dedicated mobile sites

These sites are standalone, multi-page entities, not mobile versions of a traditional website. They have their own designs and strategies to meet the needs of mobile visitors.

Insight #2. Consider all mobile options

Mobile networks and devices provide a range of ways to reach an audience — such as text, voice and email. When your team is considering how best to incorporate mobile into its marketing, consider all the major possibilities:

– Short Message Service (SMS)

SMS is capable of sending minimal, text-based messages to your audience, which can include links to call a phone number or visit a website.

– Multimedia Message Service (MMS)

MMS is similar to SMS technology, but can also send content such as images, video and audio files such as ringtones.

– Voice

Mobile phones have click-to-call functionality that enables audiences to reach you directly, or to click to request a call from your team.

– Web

Similar to traditional Web browsing, the mobile Web is continually adding pages of content designed for easy access from handheld devices.

– Proximity marketing

Smartphones with GPS and similar technologies are capable of broadcasting locations. Some marketers are taking the opportunity to deliver ads to mobile users in specific locations, such as when they’re near brick-and-mortar stores.

– Applications

Computer programs specially designed for smartphones are widely available and have their own marketplaces. Some marketers have directly integrated campaigns into their audiences’ phones by designing and offering a branded mobile app.

– Content

Branded content — including ringtones, images, videos and ebooks — are just a few of the many different types of digital information marketers can provide in a mobile format.

– Email

As any business professional with a Blackberry will tell you, email is a mobile channel. People frequently receive and send digital letters through handheld devices.

Insight #3. Mobile does not stand alone

Mobile marketing does not succeed as an isolated channel, Snyder says. Instead, it works best when integrated with other channels and tactics to form a cross-platform strategy.

Examples include:
o Combining SMS or barcode calls-to-action in traditional advertising
o Mobile apps that integrate with television shows
o Mobile coupons for in-store sales

Mobile promotions should also be integrated with other channels. For example, mobile content should be promoted on your website — e.g. if you’re advertising a free whitepaper download and it’s available in a mobile format, mention this in your website ads.

“Mobile, in general, is the glue that connects all media,” Snyder says, “As smartphones become more prevalent, the more they will be associated and attached with existing media channels.”

Insight #4. Mobile requires a well-planned strategy

It can be tempting to quickly test proximity marketing or a mobile website just to see what happens. But mobile marketing initiatives should be carefully planned, Snyder says. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and money, and possibly damaging your brand.

Areas to consider:

– Overall marketing strategy

Mobile devices are extremely personal. Owners carry them everywhere, and during all stages of the buying process.

Given mobile’s “constantly-connected” attributes, you must understand the impact of making mobile information available throughout your entire marketing strategy. Your team should know:
o Which specific goals you want to achieve
o How the tactic will help achieve those goals
o What possible negative impact it could have

– Usage cases for your audience

Determine the ways in which your audience would, or already does, interact with your company on mobile devices. Put yourself in their shoes — how could they use a smartphone to learn more about you?

By checking your website’s analytics you may find mobile visitors are already accessing your site.

“I’ve seen anywhere from 5% to 20% of existing websites getting hit by phones today,” Snyder says.

– Media buying and budget

Your team also will have to consider where mobile marketing fits into its media budget and priorities. You will have to gauge investment and potential return while ensuring the overall media plan is capable of meeting its targets.

Some mobile channels are inexpensive to test. For example, your team could easily add a call-to-action to your traditional advertising to ask viewers to send you an SMS message or visit your mobile site. Others are more expensive, such as mobile applications, which can cost between $20,000 and $100,000 to develop a quality product, Snyder says.

from Marketing Sherpa

from Marketing Sherpa

by David Kirkpatrick, Reporter

Last week’s B2B newsletter article — B2B Marketing: A discussion about integrating mobile, email and social — featured two experts who served as panelists at the recent MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012 held in Las Vegas and offered tips and tactics on integrating mobile and social channels in B2B marketing.

This week is something of a continuation of the same topic with a different slant. This article features another panelist from the MarketingSherpa Email Summit, R.J. Talyor, Senior Director Mobile Products, ExactTarget, and two presenters from the recent Explore Dallas-Fort Worth digital marketing one-day workshop/bootcamp: Tim Hayden, CMO, 44Doors, and Nichole Kelly, CEO, Full Frontal ROI.

Read on for seven B2B mobile and social media marketing tactics including: QR codes, using content in these channels, integrating tracking and marketing automation, why LinkedIn still rules B2B marketing, mobile privacy and more.

Before we get into the tactics, it’s worth noting that the mobile and social channels are very interconnected because many people use mobile devices to manage their social media platforms. Hayden provided this very interesting, and pertinent, data point on mobile usage: “The Mobile Marketing Association says that 90%of Americans who have a mobile (device) have it within three feet of them 24 hours a day.”

The moment of interest

Talyor explained what he sees as the key to mobile marketing, “The way I try to describe (mobile marketing) is identifying the moment that an individual is interacting with that marketing program — one of the specific moments that we can hope turns the tide toward your marketing message, or drives them to the next step the long, complex sale.”

Talyor provided an example in Siemens, a company using mobile at its trade shows to drive people to text in for updates, or text their email address to learn more or schedule an appointment.

“Siemens is great example of a B2B marketer that is using mobile in the acquisition phase in a pretty dissected way,” he said.

Tactic #1. Match content to buying stages

In a B2B buying funnel, different content is delivered at different stages. Someone entering the funnel from a social media channel is likely to be at a very early stage and needs to be provided appropriate content.

“Social media leads are earlier in the buying cycle,” stated Kelly. “And because they are earlier in the buying cycle, if you start to send them these automated messages that are ‘buy now, buy now, buy now,’ it tends to turn the social media customer away.”

She added, “Unfortunately, once that happens, they are never coming back.”

Kelly explained that potential customers who become leads from social channels are usually higher in the sales funnel than the lead who is researching your company, and obviously higher than someone beginning to show purchase decision activity.

This means the content driven to leads generated from social media should be geared toward someone who might not have even made the decision they need a solution, much less yours, but they did see something of interest in your social content.

Mobile content

Given the data point from the intro of just how connected people are to their mobile devices, content pushed through the mobile channel will be reaching people at all stages of the buying process.

It’s entirely possible that someone becomes a lead through social marketing via a mobile device, and then remains in the mobile program all the way through the buying cycle. This prospect might even be interacting with your email program on the mobile device.

Hayden offered a few examples of different mobile content to consider:

    • Mobile-friendly video clip of the CEO delivering a message that’s not in the annual report


    • Financial reports


  • More inbound activities to take advantage of the immediate feedback element of mobile with things such as surveys or polls to get additional demographic and directional data from your audience

“In a B2B context, we see that the intermittent opportunity to exchange information with your customers and partners is something that mobile could be used for,” said Hayden. “How do you put things in front of your audience that could be in print, direct mail or broadcast?”

He added it all comes down to value — the exclusive how-to instruction, for example.

“It’s about content that is extremely special and relevant to your customer base, for your prospective customer base,” stated Hayden.

For social channel leads, expect those leads to be very high in the funnel and in need of information, not sales pitches. With mobile, those leads may be interacting with your email marketing on that device as well, and you should know where they are in the buying cycle so you can provide them with content appropriate to their buying needs.

Tactic #2. Use QR codes to bring offline leads online

Going back to the idea of acquisition, or lead generation, B2B marketers often think about events or direct mail, and mobile is a way to go from offline to online very quickly said Talyor.

“Mailers with QR codes on them, or mailers with text-in options, really drive the offline target (to the) online and a more trackable world for the complex sale,” he stated.

Hayden added that QR codes are an easy way for someone to use their mobile device to visit your website or get to a content piece.

Kelly concurred, “I think QR codes are a fantastic way to be able to convert print materials from trade shows and events. It’s super easy to scan a QR code, but it’s also important to recognize that there is a very small population that’s using QR codes right now. So if your audience isn’t one of these technology savvy audiences, it’s more likely that they don’t know what a QR code is.”

She said one advantage a SMS campaign has over QR codes is everyone knows how to use it and you get an equal amount of data back to tie into your automation systems and Web analytics. With the QR code, the person has to reach the landing page and then fill something out and submit it.

Tactic #3. Tie mobile and social into the marketing automation system or other tracking mechanisms

Marketing automation software is most likely a major piece in any B2B marketer’s total strategy and execution. Getting information and data from the mobile and social channels into the automation solution is critical from an analysis and tracking standpoint.

Kelly explained a Facebook or Twitter status update provides a unique URL that you can track into the website so that when a visitor comes to the website from an update, you can track what activities they take on the site.

“The first question becomes ‘What are we using to post status updates and does that integrate with the Web analytics package?’” said Kelly.

She added, if it does integrate, then the Web analytics tool can track if these visitors are converting, filling out lead forms, or engaging in other activity.

To ensure this is possible, she suggested conducting an audit of the analytics, marketing automation and CRM systems to find out if the different parts can integrate and share data.

She provided an example that HootSuite integrates directly with Google Analytics, and Google Analytics integrates directly into many marketing automation solutions. (Note: see “Useful links” at the end of this article for a detailed how-to guide on this process from Kelly.)

When you can combine those social media, analytics and marketing automation platforms, she said, you can see where leads are coming from via social media channels and begin tailoring the content messaging for these to increase conversion rates and lower the cost-per-lead by optimizing for a specific success metric.

Hayden said mobile marketing also benefits from tracking. When someone visits a mobile site, the marketing automation or analytics system will learn:

    • How they landed there


    • If they used a search engine, the actual search terms


    • Location


    • Time of the day


    • Day of the week


  • IP address and GPS coordinate data

He provided an example of how a B2B marketer can leverage this information.

A hypothetical B2B company sends out 100,000 catalogs per quarter across the United States, and has 98,000 email addresses that match up with the catalog send. The direct mail send and email database are correlated through ZIP codes, along with other demographic data sets.

When someone is interacting with the catalog on mobile, such as scanning a QR code or visiting a particular product page on the website, the automation solution can be given a rule that if 1,000 clicks come from Chicago, everyone in Chicago gets “X” email to react to the interest in that geographic area.

The mobile interaction is tracked to allow the marketer to see real-time interaction with the direct mail piece and push relevant email to the corresponding demographic, in this case, using geographic data, but the tracking and email push could be tied to any demographic group in the database.

“That’s where you are getting into extremely smart, intelligent, real-time responses, and it all starts with that direct mail piece,” stated Hayden.

He offered another example of that approach with 200 people in Pittsburgh interacting with Page 17 of the catalog. In that case, everyone in the email database from Pittsburgh would get an email promoting the products or content on Page 17 of the catalog.

Prove the worth of the mobile program

There are inferred metrics that prove the worth of a mobile program, such as ROI on print or direct mail where you can track interaction with a mobile device and show how many people engage with the physical piece and then continue their interaction online through a mobile device according to Talyor.

He said that mobile is almost at a disadvantage because email has created a marketing world full of very trackable metrics. He did add that where mobile can truly prove value is showing engagement and pipeline velocity.

“If you prove that mobile is helping drive more people into the funnel, or more people through the funnel through some metrics around speed, or increasing speed-to-sale, I think you can prove (mobile’s value),” said Talyor.

Tactic #4. Be aware of privacy considerations

Talyor said the Mobile Marketing Association has stated guidelines that marketers should adhere to — mainly making certain the recipient of the mobile program is opting in directly to the communications they are being sent.

He added that it would be considered an opt-in if they text in to join. At that point, the new list member should receive information about:

    • The content of the messages they will be receiving


    • The number of messages per day


    • How to get help


  • How to unsubscribe

Talyor also said that having someone enter their mobile phone number on a Web form with a check box to “opt-in” is not considered enough. The recipient has to opt-in from the mobile device.

Tactic #5. Be “mobile friendly”

Hayden explained that mobile marketing is about the moment when someone decided to pull their phone out and complete some interactive action with your website, content or marketing channels.

He pointed out a few ways to be mobile friendly when that moment happens:

    • No one using a mobile device cares who is on your board of directors


    • No one wants to see your press releases on your mobile website


  • They are coming for specific information, like an events calendar, product update, or contact or address information

“There are specific, actionable things that they are looking for on the device, and you have to deliver that content succinctly,” he said.

Deliver the content succinctly means reducing the main website content. If there are 200 words on the homepage, get that down to 20 words for the mobile site.

Hayden offered one caveat to that: there are geographic differences. In the Northeast and Midwest where people ride the train a lot, you can offer more content in longer forms. In the South and West where everyone is driving, expect people to use their mobile devices very intermittently and produce content with this in mind.

Tactic #6. Don’t overlook LinkedIn

“This may not be a popular or a fancy answer, but in the B2B world, I see the most value is on LinkedIn,” stated Kelly.

She said the reasoning is because B2B is a very relationship-driven business and where being connected is valuable. On LinkedIn you can look a company up and see if your network of connections — second- and third-level connections — can help you get an introduction into that company.

Another reason Kelly likes LinkedIn as the best social platform for B2B marketing is the Groups offer an opportunity to add value to your messages because you can participate, answer questions, provide resource, and build new relationships.

One problem with LinkedIn is it is the most difficult platform to automate. You can’t automate being active in a Group.

“I know it’s not the most popular answer, but I still think LinkedIn is the gold mine for B2B marketers,” Kelly said. “If you can get connected on LinkedIn, either through a Group or through a friend, the sales process is a lot easier.”

Tactic #7. Make it easy to scan, text or click

Hayden provided one set of data on mobile marketing: scan, text or click?

He said these results are based on analyzing about one million 44Doors client interactions:

    • QR code scan – 30%


    • SMS text – 41%


  • URL (browser) – 29%

Hayden explained that his best practice is to offer all of the options, and not just put a QR code alone on something, such as a direct mail piece or event handout. He suggested putting a QR code with a URL and a SMS call-to-action.

“You’re giving the audience multiple ways to get to the content,” said Hayden.

He continued, “There are some people that would just rather type the URL into their mobile browser, there are others who love scanning QR codes, and there are those who would rather send a text message.”

by David Kirkpatrick, Reporter

B2B marketers are falling behind their B2C counterparts in focusing on serving the needs of mobile users, even though more B2B customers use smartphones.

Only 33% of B2B marketers are designing emails for smartphones, according to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, while 41% of B2C marketers design smartphone-specific emails.

Yet, B2B marketers report that an average of 13% of their audience reads email on a mobile device, as opposed to 10% for consumer marketers. Business users have tended to be at the forefront of smartphone adoption, first with the Blackberry, and now increasingly with the iPhone or Android devices. And CMOs ranked social media along with mobile smartphone and tablet adoption as the two new developments that will most affect email programs in the near future.

To help marketers reach a mobile audience, the recent MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012 in Las Vegas covered this very topic in the “Mobile Marketing Panel: Integrating mobile campaigns for the complex sale.”

We were able to grab two of those panelists: Josh Herman, Vice President of Partner and Product Strategy, Acxiom Corporation, and Nick Fuller, Senior Director Customer Engagement Strategy, e-Dialog International. Each provided some additional insight for the full MarketingSherpa audience about integrating mobile, email and also social media.

Mobile Strategy

Before we get into the tactical advice, Herman explained his more strategic view of approaching mobile marketing.

He said the place to begin is answering the question, “What problem are you solving for the end user?”

Herman added, “A CMO that we work with had a great filter for this. She said, ‘When I look at what I can do in mobile marketing, I think, when the user receives this information, did they find it to be a service to them? As opposed to, I have something I need to sell, so I’m going to clobber them with a message.’”

The CMO wants her customers and prospects who experience the brand through the mobile channel to receive messaging that is so relevant it is actually a service.

Herman and Fuller provided four tactics to help you serve your current and potential customers.

Tactic #1. Analyze your audience’s current usage

Fuller said, “The best place to start is with statistics on current email experience. Look at how many of your recipients are opening and clicking on their emails via a mobile device. In our experience, this can range anywhere from 5% to 25% of a base.

“What you find for your business will define the importance of the channel and the resources that you need to dedicate toward it in the short term. There is an inexorable trend toward mobile in general but, day-to-day, marketers work across many channels and of course face competition for resources, so be realistic about where mobile sits within that.”

Herman said, “One of the important tactical considerations in email marketing is appropriately germane for mobile marketing, and perhaps even more so, and tactically speaking, it is ‘time of day.’”

He continued, “This is something that you have a lot of historical data on in your campaign management systems for email and mobile. So when you think of the push and pull that mobile facilitates, to be able to look and see based on the pull of information that your B2B customers use their mobile channel for — when is it that they are accessing this information? What time of day? What daypart?”

He said B2B marketers should use this information to determine when to push communications to those same mobile users.

“If you are a reasonably sophisticated email marketer, especially in the B2B channel, you have these metrics and they can be used to inform the decisions you make in mobile as it relates to daypart in messaging,” Herman stated.

Tactic #2. Plan and design mobile campaigns for specific outcomes

If you keep track of the device on which your mobile audience generally opens their email over a period of time, then you can plan accordingly.

Fuller explained, “This becomes important when targeting a specific outcome. For example, we have worked with both British Airways and Dell in marketing their apps to known users of specific devices such as iPhone and Android.”

The team targeted and designed a message for these specific groups and featured a call-to-action that enabled the user to directly download the app. “Even if the call-to-action isn’t as specific, the user experience after the recipient has clicked through from the mail is critical to ensure that the landing page and site both render effectively; just designing the mail to render will never be enough.”

For the Dell program, two versions of the email were created:

    • A mobile-friendly version optimized for smartphones and sent to subscribers who had opened or clicked a Dell email on an Apple or Android mobile device within the past year. This actually involved about 75% of the list subscribers.

      This mobile-friendly email was just 328 pixels wide, and used a large and easy-to-tap call-to-action button


  • The email that went to the remaining 25% of the list was called the “BAU” or business-as-usual version and was designed to be opened in a traditional email application.

Dell’s mobile-optimized version was a key driver of downloads, with an open rate almost twice that of the Business As Usual (BAU) version, and total click rate of more than five times the BAU version.

Tactic #3. Set permission policies on who in the company can engage in social media outreach

Herman said social B2B marketing is both fun and challenging.

One challenging aspect of social B2B marketing according to Herman is who has permission — permission to tweet? Who has permission to post to a blog?

He said, “You could have, of course, thousands of employees, all of them having an informed opinion, and I think what is really hard is coming up with a policy around social media. Especially for B2B marketers.”

In consumer marketing, an individual consumer is likely making the purchase decision, but in B2B, your social output could be influencing multimillion dollar contracts. Herman added that corporations historically have worked very hard to control the channel of communication, and allowed the sales representative to be the voice of the company to the B2B customer.

With social media, your prospective client is now hearing many voices about your company, your brand and your products. The sales executive no longer has the monopoly on the communication channel to the customer.

Herman said the answer is to look at your social media policy, and then make sure you are engaged in education and training for the people in your company with permission to use social media channels from the corporate perspective.

It’s not enough to write a policy and email it out once. It must be woven into the corporate education experience.

Tactic #4. Make sure mobile is working in concert with the rest of marketing operations

Herman said the alternative to having a smoothly integrated marketing strategy across all the channels is for mobile to “stick out there like an appendage.”

He described that as a “mobile Tower of Babel” with no relationship or connectivity to the rest of the marketing operation.

Herman said, “The trick there is not just the plumbing, but also the data and intelligence. You really do have to have a consistent data framework, not just execute your mobile communications and measure them, but to be able to associate them and their performance with what you’re also doing in direct mail and events and email.

“Make sure that you are on a path to bring mobile closer to the center of the marketing operation and not leave it out there as an appendage.”

Fuller stated, “The primary virtue of mobile as a channel is that it is ‘always with you and always on.’ In terms of messaging therefore, it best suits communications that are time sensitive and that deliver a benefit to both the recipient and the brand on the basis that the message can be viewed anytime and anywhere.”

Fuller continued, “Our view however is that the most important thing is to remain focused on where and how mobile delivers a benefit to both the recipient and the brand — if it doesn’t, then the fact that a message can be delivered via the mobile channel may not necessarily be significant.”

from Marketing Sherpa