Saturday, April 29, 2006

Diva Gives Arketi's Podcast a "Virtual" Shout Out!

On Friday we had a chance to sit down with Toby Bloomberg the woman behind Diva Marketing Blog. Having seen her speak a few months ago at an MIT event we know she was smart, but wow did she show it one-on-one.

As a blogger Toby has really made a name for herself and is great at sharing her knowledge with others. As we at Arketi continue to experiment with our own blogs, and as we work with clients on helping them understand the role a blog could have in their marketing mix I am sure it's safe to say we will be working with Toby.

In addition to posting to her blog about our meeting she also called out our podcast. I the spirit of sharing we shared some of our podcasting ideas and experiences with her. And shortly after our meeting she checked out our podcasts…Based on her blog it’s safe to say she liked what she heard.

Diva thanks!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

It's The Customer Stupid!

This article from BtoB online is one that every marketer should read. Knowing your customers is vital to any successful marketing effort. Outsourcing customer knowledge to sales, support or even your agency makes you less effective. On average marketing professionals should spend 25% of their time getting to know and learn from customers.

CMO Council study finds marketers out of touch with customers
Apr 26, 2006

Palo Alto, Calif.—Marketers still have a long way to go when it comes to understanding and interacting with customers, according to a new study by the CMO Council.

The study, “Select & Connect: Strategies for Targeted Acquisition and Retention,” was based on a survey of more than 550 marketers in the first quarter.

It found that nearly 75% of marketers did not have a customer advisory board or council. Of those that do, only 6% said the board was “very critical” in product innovation.

Also, nearly 75% of marketers said they did not manage a formal online community of users or buyers, and more than 66% said they did not have a formal customer word-of-mouth program in place.

The top three factors that prevent optimal customer insight and intimacy are complexity of data and system integration, competing departmental goals and personalities, and an under-appreciation of such efforts within the company, the survey found.

By Kate Maddox, BtoB magazine

Marketers Lack Customer Touch, According to CMO Council/NetLine Study

As Customer-Centric Programs Grow, Survey Reveals Weak Targeting, Acquisition and Retention Strategies

PALO ALTO, CA (April 26, 2006)— While marketers are clearly making customer development a priority, they have a significant disconnect with the realities that drive effective targeting, acquisition and retention, according to a new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council study.

The findings show that a significant number of marketing organizations do not have a model or profile of their best customer prospects or opportunities; have no formal system for tracking marketing’s role in customer acquisition, retention and value creation; and face big challenges with complex data and system integration, as well as competing departmental goals and priorities.

The study, underwritten by NetLine Corp. and fielded to over 550 marketing professionals in Q1 2006, explores the systems and practices used by companies to identify, profile, activate and retain valued customers, and also examines the marketing organization’s level of customer knowledge, insight and visibility, along with the segmentation methodologies and approaches used to target the best prospects and the most profitable opportunities.

A complimentary one-hour Select & Connect Webinar, featuring customer program insights from top marketers, is scheduled for today, Wednesday, April 26 at 11 a.m. PST, 2 p.m. EST. To register for the event and to receive a copy of the full report, go to:

Among the Key Findings:

  • Three top factors prevent optimal customer insight and intimacy: data and system integration requirements that are too complex; competing departmental goals and personalities; and an under-appreciation of such efforts with the company.
  • There is little formal customer feedback, asnearly three-quarters of respondents did not control and run a customer advisory board or council. Of those who did have such a board, only 6 percent said it was “very critical” in product co-innovation. Nearly 75 percent said they did not manage and interact with a formal online community of users or buyers, and over two-thirds did not have a formal customer word-of-mouth program in place.
  • Nearly 30 percent of respondents said the CEO or business unit heads influence or determine customer segmentation and targeting, leaving marketing with little control over this critical process.
  • Marketers said the majority of customer conversations and interactions are driven by the sales organization, supporting sales’ oft-used claim that “marketing does not know the customer.”
“Given the awesome power that today’s customer wields, it’s critical that marketers raise their level of customer knowledge, insight and reach,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director, CMO Council. “The results of this study show that marketers have a long way to go in improving strategies, processes and methodologies to achieve maximum customer acquisition, retention and profitability.”

“Our recent partnership with the CMO Council has deepened our insight and gained us a greater understanding of our prospect and customer base,” comments Werner Mansfeld, president and CFO, NetLine Corporation. “The study results are aligned with what we’ve encountered in the marketplace, and confirm our position, strategies, and process to better serve our customers.”

The Select & Connect survey was fielded by media partner BtoB Magazine, as well as affiliate partners the Promotion Marketing Association (PMA); American Marketing Association (AMA); Sales & Marketing Institute (SMI); and Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS).

About the CMO Council
The CMO Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior marketing and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. Nearly 2,000 top marketing executives are represented on the CMO Council, accounting for well over $50 billion in aggregated annual revenues. Visit the CMO Council website to find out about the initiatives geared to address executive marketers’ challenges at

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Want to know how to build powerful BtoB messaging?

If the answer is yes check out the latest Arketi Group podcast.

"Four powerful ideas of how to get on the road to building a message that works for your organization" is a great podcast written by Sami Jajeh. I have to say Sami, in addition to being my business parter, is one of the best message developers I know.

This quick podcast is a great way to start thinking about messaging with impact or improving your messaging. During it he offers four quick tips to get you going in the right direction. They are as follows:

Tip one - It’s the target market stupid!

Know who the target market is for your product or service. (An example of targeted messaging in action, see – notice there are three distinct targets and tailored messages for each.)

Tip two - Research! Research! Research!

First – why would customers actually buy the product? Secondly – what do customers care about when they buy the product?

Tip three - The features vs. benefits war.

The most powerful messaging focusing instead on the benefits first – how does it improve my business and/or life?

Tip four - Let’s get emotional!

B2B marketers too often make the mistake of thinking that buyers within businesses just want the facts, which leads to very functional messages. (See a message built around the emotion of trust at

Have a listen and then let me know what you think.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Know Thyself

You don’t know your co-worker until you’ve had a brainstorm session with them. Only in those situations where “there are no bad ideas” do you truly see the colors of those you work with. Are they shy and say nothing? Do they have no shame and blurt out the first thing that comes to mind? Are they always trying to one-up the others in the room? Do they take immediate feedback well or view it as criticism?

In many offices, sessions like these are the closest people will get to a night on the town with their co-worker or supervisor. In brainstorms you aren’t as constrained by the corporate atmosphere. As in all situations, though, there are lines that should not be crossed. Overall, today’s session was tame but there was a moment when the phrase “human assets” caused HR Directors around the word to do a double-take.

In case you’ve forgotten, brainstorms are all about thinking outside the box…please pardon the cliché. Combine that with the no bad idea mentality and you’ve got an uninhibited cocktail of thoughts just waiting to overflow. And, if your office is one that is open to the idea of partaking in cocktails during said brainstorm session, look-out. Such incidences lead to the birth of ridiculous comments regarding cats and hoola-hoops, rapping grandmothers, and centers of egg-cellence.

Although to some brainstorms seem obnoxious and sometimes that blank board is the most frightening thing a marketing person can see, more often than not they leave participants with a better understanding of the client, the project, and (just maybe) each other.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Top Technology Media Discussion Makes Listeners Think

The March 31 webcast from the Northern Virginia Technology Council by PRNewswire was a Who's Who of the technology media world. This unique 60 minute session gave listeners a sneak peak inside the minds of some of today’s larger-than-life technology journalist.

The panelist included:

  • Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, Personal Technology Columnist
  • Steven Wildstrom, BusinessWeek, Technology & You Columnist
  • Kevin Maney, USA Today, Cyberspeak Columnist
  • Rob Pegoraro, The Washington Post, Technology Fast Forward Columnist
  • Stephanie Stahl, Streaming Media (formerly of InformationWeek), Editor-in-Chief

Moderated by Mark Bisnow, publisher of Bisnow on Business, the sessions was well worth giving up lunch to hear (ok we ate lunch as we listened to it). This session lived up to its billing:

In the crowded media world of technology coverage there are a handful of journalists who the public, general media and business world look to for the industry's latest trends and new products. When these reporters write on a subject or service they validate it as needing to be explored further. Each week, hundreds of thousands of readers tune in to what they have to say.

So, how do they decide what warrants coverage? What topics do they see on the horizon? What kind of responsibility do they feel to educate businesses and the public? How did they get where they are today to have their ideas and opinions sought after in the marketplace? These questions and more will be discussed in an interactive, moderated discussion.

In the end we learned the following:

  • Walt LOVES is Trio (as did most of the others: 4 out of the 5 had a Trio, 1 had a Blackberry)
  • The panel felt that mobile technology holds the most immediate opportunities for innovation
  • All are interested in what the future holds for Apple
  • The group discussed how interesting it is that Microsoft’s Xbox division (which appears to be modeled after Apple) is the most successful business unit in the company
  • Podcasting was appealing to most of the reporters as a great way to get content while on the go

Arketi’s take? It’s worth the time to listen to the reply if you missed the initial broadcast.

You can access it at: