Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Survey: Online Marketers Not Yet into Emerging Media

BtoB marketers should not discount ideas such as videogames or social networks by saying those are tools for consumer marketing fact, they are tools for marketers willing to take a chance, get out of the box and see what innovative ideas will let you do if you take them for a ride!


Although some marketers have expressed interest in new web channels such as social networks and videogames, most don't plan to use them in the next year, according to a Forrester Research survey of 253 interactive marketers, reports AdWeek (via MediaBuyerPlanner). Marketers are apparently reluctant to shift from more familiar online channels such as search and email.

Some 72 percent of marketers said they don't have plans to advertise in videogames in the next year, and 57 percent said they wouldn't use mobile advertising in the next year. Only 13 percent reported using blogs or social networks in their marketing efforts, and 49 percent said they don't plan to do so during the next year.

"There's curiosity but not a lot of activity," said Shar VanBoskirk, a Forrester analyst. For the moment, marketers are "not ready or don't have the resources or haven't thought through how it works for their business," she said.

Nearly three of four marketers said they either use or plan to try behavioral targeting in the next year, and 69 percent said the same for contextual targeting.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Executives Not Quite Hot to Blog

This article on eMarketer is one that's B2B marketers should take note of...why? Well it seems that according the this survey Fortune 1000 executives don't understand the value of blogs. As marketing professionals we need to be keeping an eye out for "the next big thing" in the world of communications.

I have to say that blogging is likely one of those "big things" (or at least a medium thing) and we need to be educating corporate leaders about the value of blogs. Doing so will only continue to showcase savvy marketers as true counselors.


Blogosphere, smogosphere.

A recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive, and sponsored by Makovsky + Company, the "2006 State of Corporate Blogging" survey, found that Fortune 1000 business executives are reacting slowly to the idea of corporate blogs as a communications medium.

The study found that only a small minority of top executives are convinced that corporate blogging is growing in credibility either as a communications medium, brand-building technique or a sales or lead generation tool.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

JupiterResearch Finds That RSS Spending Soars Despite Low Perceived Adoption Rates

Some very optimistic news about RSS in the corporate environment...lesson from the research report to B2B marketers: get to know how RSS works now, not later. (We like NewsGator Inbox and love it!)

JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, finds that 63 percent of large companies plan to syndicate content via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) by the end of 2006. According to a new report: "RSS Comes of Age: Budgeting, Deploying, and Measuring RSS" by JupiterResearch Senior Analyst Greg Dowling, currently only 29 percent of large companies (with more than $50 million in annual revenues) publish content via RSS.

The growth of RSS is also highlighted by the fact that 48 percent of current RSS publishers are spending $250,000 or more to deploy and manage syndicated content. However, JupiterResearch has also found that spending at this level is inconsistent with the current rate of adoption.

For more click here...

Source: JupiterResearch news release (May 15, 2006)

Hot Off The Press...eMarketer Podcast Is Here

Tired of reading your eMarketer Daily email? Well now you don't have to you.

The new podcast, launched today, features Mary Ellen O'Brian who reads you the daily update. She has a nice voice and the production quality is solid.

However, I could do without the commercials and it would be nice if the podcast gave this listeners MORE information than just reading the eMarketer Daily articles. In that regard the podcast is lacking some punch, but I bet it will evolve to do just that in the coming segments. KUDOS for eMarketer for “just doing it!”

Copy the following link to the podcast section of your podcatcher to subscribe:

Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

On a related note we at Arketi Group are proud to say our podcast, Arketi B2B Marketing Minute, is current ranked Number 1 on iTunes, in terms of both popularity and relevance, among the B2B Marketing podcasts. You can learn more about the B2B Marketing Minute at and can subscribe to the podcast by pasting the following link in your podcatcher:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

B2B Meets Online Marketing

Below is an article that eMarketer recent ran about its CEO speak at Europe Direct. This is packed full of great information. Geoff, much like those of us at Arketi, is encouraging B2B marketers to think outside the traditional marketing box for ideas… Experimenting with new media and using “consumer” tactics to generate leads, acquire and retain customers, and build brand value is a smart move that savvy B2B marketing professionals are all over.

Have a read...

Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer CEO, will be a keynote speaker at the Europe Direct 2006 conference in Barcelona on Thursday. He will address senior marketers from a wide variety of technology companies, most of whom sell primarily to other businesses.

Companies that sell products and services to other businesses are learning that the Internet offers up an abundance of opportunities for lead generation, customer acquisition, branding and, of course, customer retention. Many of the online strategies and principals being used in the consumer world can be applied, with adjustments, to the business space. Many firms looking to market themselves to other companies via the Web are now experimenting with search, blogs, podcasting, Webinars, social networks, behavioral targeting and video applications.

BtoB Magazine and Forrester recently conducted a global study among both consumer and B2B marketers and found that 72% plan to increase their online spending in 2006. Similarly, The Economist Intelligent Unit recently found that 88% of companies worldwide plan to raise their online ad spending over the next two years, with 10% of them planning to invest 30% or more of their budgets online.

Looking strictly at the B2B sector, American Business Media (ABM) and Forrester found that 49% of B2B firms used online advertising in 2005, and what's more, they shifted just under one quarter of their ad dollars to digital media. The same trend is being seen in the leading markets in Europe. According to the IAB UK, about 40% of UK B2B marketers are using the Internet, and 63% plan to increase their spending online this year, with one-third aiming for increases of up to 20%.

Marketing tactics that US B2B marketers consider to be effective in generating qualified leads (2005)

62.6% In-person events
47.4% Industry-specific/trade magazines
45.5% Public relations
42.1% Online marketing
42.0% Direct mail
41.3% Custom publications
36.3% TV
35.3% Printed newsletters
34.6% General business magazines
33.3% Newspapers
31.7% Printed directories
30.7% Radio

Research by Forrester commissioned by American Business Media (ABM)

Online Ambitions

No matter what study or survey you look at in the US, Europe or elsewhere, B2B firms consistently report that their number one goal for marketing is to generate leads. Also high on their list, though second to leads, are branding goals.

The Web can deliver on both objectives. In the aforementioned ABM/Forrester study, while 63% of b-to-b marketers rated in-person events as either "effective" or "very effective" in terms of generating qualified leads, a respectable 42% said the same for online marketing, just even with direct mail and ahead of business magazines, newspapers and printed directories.
On the branding side, Forrester reports that 40% of b-to-b marketers consider online marketing to be very or extremely effective for building a brand image.

Best Practice

Looking at the specific tactics used online, in the US 85% of business executives use search engines, according to Gartner Group. A similar penetration rate of 86%, encompassing all Internet users, was found in the European Union by researcher Synovate.

Being high up in the search listings is therefore important for businesses looking to generate leads but it also brings branding benefits: an iProspect survey reported that 36% of searchers assume top listings, whether on paid or natural results, represent "top brands."

Most importantly, for business marketers, is the cost, in terms of lost opportunity, of not paying attention to search. If you build a world-class Web site designed to communicate effectively about your product or service as well as drive leads to the sales team, you will be throwing away business opportunities if you are invisible on the search engines. Prospective buyers will simply click on links from your competitors.

Furthermore, if you're doing paid search, don't just buy your brand name or product phrase; think creatively about the kinds of phrases prospects are likely to type into the search engine box if they're not already familiar with your company. For people using search, there is a heavy emphasis on the use of generic search terms up until the last search session. Consequently, given that b-to-b products and services typically entail a long sales cycle, marketers would do well to buy up lots of broader category terms.

Web Site
Turning to corporate Web sites, there is a reason that marketing executives in three separate surveys cited their own Web sites as the number one online marketing tactic earmarked for spending increases this year: they are the source of a lot of business, directly or indirectly.

The Direct Marketing Association found recently that 38% of US retailers believe their Web sites produce the best return on investment (ROI), ahead of any other online marketing tactic, including e-mail at 33%. However, this statistic came from consumer retailers, and many business-oriented Web sites have a long way to go to catch up to where sophisticated consumer sites are today. Consumer sites like Amazon, and others are well ahead of their B2B counterparts when it comes to:

  • Leveraging Web site analytics to improve the experience and drive business goals
  • Tying Web site analytics to e-mail, search and other lead generating activities
  • Investing in high-end interactive technologies like collaborative filtering (eg Amazon's "customers who bought this book also purchased these…")
  • Using advanced site features such as Zoom, 360-degree views, color displays, product demonstrations and other tools that can replicate the in-person, "live" experience.

Perhaps the biggest missed opportunity for business sites, though, is video -- including video ad units, video content and video demonstrations. On the consumer side, while only 44% of households in America will have broadband connections by the end of this year, about 98% of businesses in America are already connecting through a high-speed line. Why is it, then, that we can see endless examples of consumer packaged goods marketers like Procter & Gamble, Kraft and Unilever developing engaging video campaigns online but precious few b-to-b marketers have made the leap to video? In neither case are the products actually sold online. Clearly, there is some catching up to do.

In his presentation on Thursday, Geoff will also cover hot areas like Webinars, blogs, podcasting and word-of-mouth, all of which represent ripe opportunities for B2B marketers willing to invest a little money, risk and, most importantly, creativity. If you happen to be in Barcelona, drop by and hear all about them at Europe Direct 2006.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Media More Trusted Than Governments

Some intersting data that reminds B2B marketers to not forget about media relations/public relations when crafting marketing plans.

BBC/Reuters/Media Center Poll: Trust in the Media

More people trust the media than their governments, especially in developing countries, according to a ten-country opinion poll for the BBC, Reuters, and The Media Center.

Media is trusted by an average of 61 percent compared to 52 percent for governments across the countries polled. But the US bucked the trend — with government ahead of media on trust (67% vs 59%) along with Britain (51% vs 47%).

Trust in media was highest in Nigeria (88% vs 34% gov’t.) followed by Indonesia (86% vs 71%), India (82% vs 66%), Egypt (74%, gov’t. not asked), and Russia (58% vs 54%).

National TV was the most trusted news source overall (trusted by 82%, with 16% not trusting it) - followed by national/regional newspapers (75% vs 19%), local newspapers (69% vs 23%), public radio (67% vs 18%), and international satellite TV (56% vs 19%). Internet blogs were the least trusted source (25% vs 23%) – with one in two unable to say whether they trusted them.
TV was also seen as the most 'important' news source (56%) followed by Newspapers (21%), internet (9%) and radio (9%).

One in four (28%) reported abandoning a news source over the last year after losing trust in its content.

A total of 10,230 adults were questioned by GlobeScan in the UK, USA, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, and South Korea in March and April.

Source: GlobeScan

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In Time Old Ideas Are New Again…

In 1999 I wrote an article for the premiere issue of eBay Magazine titled “A map for the Web wilderness.” In the article I discussed how portals and search engines were no longer cutting it.

I suggested getting vertical with “extremely vertical Web sites.” The article touched on “vortals” (vertical portals), and I also discussed “vertical search engines.” Yes, I went so far as to suggest the name “vengines!”

Well a quick Google search today proved that my attempt to name a category failed miserably – as did
eBay magazine which found its way to the dot-com graveyard in December 2000. I am sure my article did not contribute to the death of this publication, which for $10 you can purchase all 15 issues on eBay!

However, getting to the point, I though of all this today when I read the following article today… I guess it goes to prove in time all old idea do become new again!

Report explores future of b-to-b search

Chicago—SearchChannel and b-to-b agency Slack Barshinger Tuesday released a white paper that explores the emergence of vertical search engines and other targeted business advertising opportunities. Click to read more...

Source: BtoBonline

Some Great Information From the Institute for Public Relations

If you don't know about the Institute for Public Relations you need to. The organization's website is packed full of useful (free) information. It's worth a quick surf!

There is new "science beneath the art" available on the Institute for Public Relations website, but your opportunity to get the early registration price for the Summit on Corporate Communications will disappear next Monday.

The Summit on Corporate Communications is our newest limited-enrollment program for high potential, mid-career professionals. This may be the best faculty we have assembled in the history of the Institute for Public Relations Forums. Furthermore these senior corporate executives, agency leaders, and noted academics will participate broadly in the networking events where you can get to know them better.

Who else will be there? Organizations already represented among the registrants include: Allstate, Alticor, BurrellesLuce, Burson-Marsteller, ConocoPhillips, Constructive Communication, CRT/tanaka, Echo Research, General Electric, General Motors, GolinHarris, Johnson & Johnson, Limited Brands, Northwestern Mutual, Pepsi Bottling Group and Royal Dutch Shell.

Early registration for $995 is available only until May 15, 2006. The fee includes all program sessions, meals, receptions, and networking events, including An Evening of City Views and Star Wars at the Center of Science and Industry. Airfare costs to Columbus are reasonable and participants can secure a $99 hotel rate (including free high-speed Internet and airport transportation). The total costs represent an extraordinary bargain for the quality of learning and networking that you will experience. Full program and online registration at or call Michelle Hinson at (352) 392-0280.

- How the Global Economy Has Brought About Changes in Employee Communications, Gary F. Grates, President and Global Managing Director, Edelman Change.

- The Strategic Use of Measuring External Perceptions to Improve Relations With Multiple Stakeholder Groups During a Crisis, Ken Kerrigan, Deputy Director of Public Relations, Ernst & Young.

- How One Company Has Effectively Improved Communications With Strategic Publics, Sean D. Williams, Manager, Internal Communications, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and Keith Price, Director, Corporate Communication Services, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Event Sponsor: Echo Research
Media Partner: PR News
Gold Sponsors: BurrellesLuce, Ketchum

This article, reprinted with permission from PR News , is by Angela Jeffrey, Vice President Editorial Research, VMS and a member of the Commission on PR Measurement & Evaluation.
Find the full article on our website at .

Jeffrey's column highlights research tips from one of the best white papers from the Commission on PR Measurement & Evaluation: Research Doesn't Have to Put You in the Poorhouse . Says Jeffrey, "Media analysis can really only address the measurement of 'outputs,' or what we are 'putting out there' in the form of media messages, etc. To address 'outtakes' (whether or not anyone heard your message, understood it and perhaps had a change of attitude) or 'outcomes' (real behavior change in terms of sales, loyalty, votes, etc.), you've got to go directly to your audience and ask questions." Find all the cost-savings tips in the full article.

"Public relations people today are scrambling to figure out the dynamics of employee blogging: usage trends, what's being said, with what impact. But new research by Dr. Donald K. Wright, University of South Alabama, and Michelle Hinson, Institute for Public Relations, may be the first to look specifically at practitioners' views of the ethics of what employee bloggers say and how employers react."

The full article, also reprinted from PR News , can be accessed at .

Source: From the Trustees and Staff of the Institute for Public Relations. An independent nonprofit dedicated to "the science beneath the art of public relations"™

TNS introduces AdScope multimedia service

TNS's AdScope line of offerings are great. For competitive adverting research they provide a great source of data from which solid information can be found and wonderful BtoB ideas can be generated. Glad to see this new service.

New York—TNS Media Intelligence announced the launch of AdScope, an all-digital identification and retrieval service for ads across multiple media platforms.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Email Subject Line: Shorter Is Better

Getting to the point is something marketers need to learn...and this new research proves it! Have a read. And feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Subject Line Research: Response Goes Down As the Characters Go Up

The issue of subject line length is something that gets debated endlessly around the marketing water cooler. Most people know that anything longer than 55 characters (and, just a reminder, the spaces do count!) will get cut off. And many have heard the maxim that 35 is really a better number to aim for. But, does anyone know how the length of the subject line actually affects response?

Well, yes, in fact.

We did an analysis on all acquisition campaigns sent through our Postmaster Direct Network over the last two years. We found that response rate (as measured by clicks) goes down dramatically when the subject line is longer than 50 characters. How dramatic is this difference? Click-through rates for subject lines with 49 or fewer characters were 75 percent higher than for those with 50 or more.

Yowza. That’s real money that marketers are leaving on the table when they get too verbose.
What about open rates? While the difference wasn’t as dramatic, we found that subject lines with 49 or fewer characters had open rates 12.5 percent higher than for those with 50 or more. Would you be pleased if your next campaign improved its open rate by 12.5%? Yeah, we thought so.

Of course, it’s important to remember that there is more to the subject line than character count. There are plenty of 30-character subject lines that bomb. And, admittedly, some longer subject lines that perform above expectations. Testing your subject lines on your list is the only way to know what will work and what won’t. But, this research clearly shows that, in fact, brevity is the better part of valor.

By Ed Taussig, Director of Software Development and Eunhee Lee, Senior Database Developer for Return Path