Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Can’t Sales and Marketing just get along?

If you’ve worked in a number of marketing organizations, you have probably experienced some that had a great relationship with the sales force, and some that didn't. What is the difference? Why can’t Sales and Marketing just get along?

We would argue it is Marketing’s job to understand what makes Sales (and sales people) tick, how they think, and how we should serve them as our customers. After all, it's marketing’s job to do exactly that with the customers who pay the bills – understand their needs and deliver a solution that works. To do that, marketers must recognize that the sales team thinks about everything from the standpoint of the sales funnel.

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Source: Core

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

'PC Magazine" 100% Online!

Wow...No hard copy of PC Magazine that is a turning point, and really a good one. As more and more readers are online the ability for the "publication" to be truly interactive is a great plus for those covered in editorial and those purchasing ad. Ziff, job well done!

‘PC Magazine’ says the time has come to go all digital

By Sean Callahan
Story posted: November 25, 2008 - 1:02 pm EDT

Ziff Davis Media announced last Thursday that it would shutter the print version of PC Magazine. The January edition of the storied publication will be its last in print.

The PC Magazine brand, however, is far from dead. It’s been moving online for years. In recognition of this reality, Ziff Davis has renamed the PC Mag Network as the PC Mag Digital Network.

The question is whether the closing of the print publication is a defeat for Ziff Davis or simply a smart move whose time has come. Ziff Davis Media CEO Jason Young said the decision was a long time in the making.

"Moving our flagship property to an all-digital format is the final step in an evolutionary process that has been playing out over the last seven years," Young said. "Since 2000, online has been the focal point where technology buyers get their information and technology marketers are directing their dollars to drive demand and build their brands. We have been carefully preparing for this step and are fortunate to have a digital business that has the scale, profit and opportunity to carry the brand powerfully into the future."

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Monday, November 17, 2008

New Test Results for Email Send Times: 3 Major Takeaways

Some interesting findings that MarketingSherpa sent out in the Nov. 17th "Best of Weekly" email blast...

New Test Results for Email Send Times: 3 Major Takeaways

Sending your emails at the right time of the day can be crucial whether you are a B2B or consumer marketer. It can be especially critical if you market to an international audience.

That's why it is eye-opening to chat with Hunter Boyle, Managing Editor, MarketingExperiments. He recently tested sending emails at the brink of dawn and in the wee hours of the morning.

Among the intriguing things he learned:

  • Emails sent before 9 a.m. dramatically lift clickthrough rates.
  • Early-bird execs on the East Coast respond to email before their workday begins.
  • Time-zone segments are worth testing for marketers with international lists.

Click below to listen to either a WMV or MP4 podcast with slides to hear about what Boyle and his researchers learned. The podcast is just under ten minutes long..Click to continue(Open access until November 19th)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

WSJ Survey Says: Economists See Growth Returning Next Year

The U.S. economy is in the midst of the worst part of the recession, but growth may return by the second half of next year, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents say the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, which has taken stakes in major financial institutions, is helping markets. On average, respondents expect the unemployment rate to rise to 7.7% by December 2009, up from 6.5% last month.

For more information, see:

About the Survey

The Wall Street Journal surveys a group of 55 economists throughout the year. Broad surveys on more than 10 major economic indicators are conducted every month. Once a year, economists are ranked on how well their forecasts have fared. For prior installments of the surveys, see:

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Importance of Repositioning

Arketi Group’s Mike Neumeier recently interviewed Ajay Murthy, vice president of global marketing at Convergys Corporation, about his company’s recent repositioning.

Cincinnati-based Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG) provides solutions that help companies drive greater value from the interactions they have with their customers and employees. With 75,000 employees and 85 contact centers in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Convergys delivers relationship management consulting and solutions to clients in more than 70 countries and 35 languages. A member of the S&P 500, Convergys and has been recognized as a Fortune Most Admired Company for eight consecutive years.

The Purpose of Positioning
When Murthy joined Convergys nearly two years ago, it had recently embarked on the creation of a new vision to better articulate the value the company brings to the markets it serves. Following more than a decade of growth and numerous acquisitions, Convergys had become a company with varied and seemingly unrelated lines of business. This created confusion both internally and externally as to what kind of company Convergys was, whom the company targeted, and what it had to offer.

Arriving at this critical juncture, Murthy recognized it was time to develop a powerful, clear, concise, and descriptive brand positioning that tied the company’s collective expertise and experience together. He seized the opportunity to reposition Convergys for future success.

Looking Inside and Out
Knowing that a successful positioning must resonate above all with the Company’s clients, Murthy first determined to ascertain (1) how Convergys’ clients viewed the brand; (2) where clients wanted the company to be in the next five to 10 years; and (3) what clients thought made Convergys a uniquely good choice for them.

Among the many views Arketi Group unearthed during this research process, one theme came up repeatedly: relationships. Convergys was known for delivering value by providing solutions that strengthened its clients’ relationships with their key constituents – their customers and their employees. This critical insight became the foundation of Convergys’ new positioning which, after much elaboration, refining, testing and validation, took final form in the concept of Relationship Management.

Measuring Success
In late 2007, Convergys unveiled relationship management as its new positioning. The response was overwhelmingly positive, providing Murthy and his team with an initial confirmation that they had succeeded – succeeded in giving the world a clear, concise and descriptive definition of what Convergys does; what unifies the company’s diverse lines of business; and what differentiates it from its competitors.

That was encouraging, but Murthy recognized that external acceptance was only half the battle. How well were Convergys’ employees understanding the new positioning, and how did they feel about it? After all, these 75,000 individuals are the "ambassadors" responsible for bringing the message to the world.

In mid-2008, the Convergys team looked to answer this question in a quantitative fashion. Approximately 25 percent of the employees completed a survey about the company’s new positioning. Overall, the majority expressed confidence that relationship management differentiates Convergys from its competitors, and more than four out of five said the positioning adds long-term value to the Convergys brand.

Lessons Learned

In Murthy’s view, there are three ingredients to a successful repositioning:

  1. Understand the overall corporate vision and strategy, and ensure the new positioning aligns with them.
  2. Find out what customers' expectations of your organization are, and use those findings as a starting point in developing the positioning – after all, an outside-in approach is more likely to yield a message that resonates with buyers than one based on internal perceptions.
  3. Once the positioning is established, engage employees through education and communication, so that they are not only aware of it, but fully understand and believe in the message that they deliver as representatives of the company.

What’s Next

"Further strengthening our leadership position is paramount to our long-term success as a company," says Murthy. "Relationship management gives us a positioning we can leverage, and has permitted us to focus our marketing efforts in a way that gives our sales teams what they need to successfully sell Convergys."

Murthy and his team are now taking a truly integrated approach to marketing. All communications channels and efforts – sales support, advertising, online marketing, demand generation, public relations, event marketing and internal communications – are now aligned and executing on the concept of relationship management.

The Importance of Repositioning was developed to provide insight into one business-to-business company’s experience in repositioning. To hear Murthy’s full interview on this topic and learn more about Arketi’s role in this project, please tune in to our October podcast, the B2B Marketing Minute.