Thursday, November 29, 2007

Harvard Business School's John Quelch Hit the B2B Marketing Nail on the Head

John's "How to Build a B2B Brand" post on the Harvard Business blog (Nov. 20, 2007) is worth a quick read. The characteristics unearthed by the HBS research team's recent study of top B2B global brands are key for any B2B marketer's success.

They are:
1. The CEO is a willing brand cheerleader, loves the brand heritage and is a great storyteller. The CMO sees his or her purpose as helping the CEO achieve this role.

2. The CEO understands that building brand reputation reduces commercial risk, insulates the company in a crisis and provides the common purpose that can bond all the company’s stakeholders.

3. Efforts are focused on a single, global corporate brand rather than individual product brands.

4. The payback on marketing expenditures is measured rigorously to the satisfaction of the hard-nosed engineers and finance staff who run the typical B2B enterprise.

5. Coordination of company websites worldwide to present a consistent face to stakeholders is the best way to get control of marketing communications that may have become too decentralized.

To read the full article click here to continue.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Eat Mor Terkee

In the spirit of Chick-fil-a’s “Eat More Chikin” campaign I would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

This holiday weekend cows and chickens get a reprieve in favor of tryptophan-laden turkey. Maybe this year we’ll see a commercial featuring the cows calling a truce with the chicken – if only for a day. Doubtful, they need to keep that brand chugging on all cylinders.

At this point I would normally break into a monologue as to why branding is of vital importance to businesses in both the consumer and B-to-B space. But alas, I have eaten turkey and am succumbing to its sleep-inducing properties. In fact, I just let a yawn so loud my boss offered for me to go into a nearby vacant office to take a nap. How considerate!

So instead of sound branding advice you, the reader, get to hear about me yawning (which I hope will make you yawn) and a promise that this will be my last fowl-focused blog (see Just Ducky!!!!) for a while.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

JUST DUCKY!!!!!!!!!!

At last week’s PRSAGA Phoenix Awards celebration Arketi took home four of six awards for which we were nominated. Congrats to all Arketians for their hard work and of course, congrats to our clients. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.

Not only did we succeed in the awards ceremony, but also in the silent auction. Three Arketi employees struck gold! Rory, our Apple-loving creative director took home an iPhone and Paul brought home three cases of delicious cigars. But I think I took the cake with my haul.

That’s right, I’m the proud owner of a comically-large stuffed duck! Admit it, you’re jealous. It’s a natural reaction.

You should have seen the looks I received leaving the awards banquet. It was a “did you seriously spend money on that” meets “that is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen” type feeling. One thing is for certain, I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

I’ve yet to name the duck, but if you’d like to suggest a name I will add it to the list of options. To date I have the following name suggestions:
  • The Duck
  • Ducky/Duckie
  • Quacker
  • Howard
  • Steve
  • Roger
  • George
  • Alfie
  • Blanche

And although I will consider each name I need to provide the following disclaimer. This duck will serve as a gift to my future niece or nephew – due to arrive in January. At that point the duck may get a new name.

Part of me is sad to be sentencing the duck to a life of dirty diapers and spit-up. It’s a tough job, but at least the duck will do it with a smile on its beak.

Apple Meet The PR Lady....

Yesterday I did a quick blog about Apple's very funny ad highlighting Microsoft's PR lady...well, today eWeek is reporting that:

"Apple issued an enormous set of patches on Nov. 14, with 41 fixes for Mac OS X and Safari vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit to hijack systems, trigger denial-of-service and jack up their privileges.

"If that's not enough, Apple capped it off on Nov. 15 with three fixes to Leopard's firewall, to solve the issue of Leopard's firewall not blocking all connections when configured to do so. "

Seems to me like the PR lady may have been helping Apple a touch lately too...what can I say except everyone needs PR! (even Apple)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Apple's PR Lady Ad...

Some professionals might be very offended by this ad...but I think we as a profession do need to sometimes not take ourselves so serious. If you are in PR and have not seen this ad yet stop reading this and go see the ad...

It's very funny and shows how a great ad campaign like Apple's Get a Mac can be extended in a way the continues to leverage the initial investment and support (heck strengthen) the message.

Having known many Microsoft PR folks over the years (inside folks and agencies) I can say most of the professionals who have worked with Bill's company were very good. I would like to think this ad might even make them laugh (to themselves). ;-)

Breakfast with Katie Delahaye the Silver Skillet

This a.m. I had a wonderful breakfast at the Silver Skillet with measurement guru Katie Paine. This was really the first time Katie and I had a chance to really dig into what her company is doing and how we are measuring PR success. Simply put, Katie is "way smart" and presents PR measurement in a simple and doable way.

Any BtoB PR professional not seeking to find a deeper way to measure what they do is not really doing his/her job. Big Thinkers like Katie are pushing us as an industry to do more to connect outputs and outcomes. Kudos to Katie and her team...and as I told her this a.m. I am looking forward to many more breakfast meetings at "the Skillet"with her...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Social Media and Conversational Marketing Portends Revamp of Marketing P's

This is a great study...and it really supports what we have been saying for sometime, BtoB marketers need to be eyeing social media/Web 2.0 tools...our own research with BtoB media folks ( shows that the media are already using these tools and expect companies too also...have a read at what Center for Media Research's 10/31/07 Research Brief has to say about this.

According to New Study by TWI Surveys, Inc. on Behalf of Society for New Communications Research, social media and conversational marketing will outpace that of traditional marketing by 2012. Nearly 57% of respondents report that in 5 years time, what they spend on conversational marketing will be greater than that of traditional marketing, while another 24% believed it would be the same as traditional marketing. Significantly, 81% of marketers believe that in 5 years they'll be spending as much or more on conversational marketing vs. traditional marketing.

The findings indicate that while social media adoption is still very much in its infancy, communications professionals foresee significant growth in adoption and spending over the next five years. Of the 260 respondents:

  • 70% are currently spending 2.5% or less of their communications budgets on conversational marketing
  • Two-thirds plan to increase their investment in conversation within the next twelve months
  • 57% project that in five years they will spending more on conversational marketing than traditional marketing
  • 23.8% believe that spending on conversational marketing will be the same as traditional marketing in five years
  • In total, 81% of all respondents project that by 2012 they will spend at least as much on conversational marketing as traditional marketing

Joseph Jaffe, a Senior Fellow of the SNCR, said "The rise of digital media continues to make significant inroads into the mainstream media pie. Conversational marketing investment will make up the third pillar of the new marketing model." In addition, Jaffe adds Community and Conversation to the Four P's of marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion.

The primary obstacles, says the report, currently preventing respondents from investing more in conversational marketing include:

  • Manpower restraints - 51.1%
  • Fear of loss of control - 46.9%
  • Inadequate metrics - 45.4%
    Culture of their organizations - 43.5%
  • Difficulty with internal sell-through - 35.8%

Jen McClure, executive director of the Society for New Communications Research, observes that "... this research indicates that the industry is currently in a state of cautious experimentation with regard to social media and conversational marketing."

But, Jaffe added, "... over the next few years we will see... tremendous strategic and cultural realignments and organizational shifts (among marketers)."

As a reference benchmark for conversational marketing, current Nielsen data shows Myspace leading the Social Networking sites, and Blogger leads the blog sites.

For the original release and more information on SNCR, please visit the Society for New Communications Research here.

Source: Center for Media Research's 10/31/07 Research Brief