Are business-to-business (B2B) marketers wasting time and energy on “dirty” contact lists? Based on recent research, the majority are. In March 2015 polling by B2B demand generation agency Spear Marketing Group, 54% of US B2B marketing executives estimated that over 25% of their marketing database included old, inaccurate, unusable or duplicate leads. As such, the majority described the current accuracy of their data as “fair,” or worse, straight-up “bad.”
By using these questions and being tough nosed on making sure your salespeople can answer these questions, both you and the team will have more honest sales discussions.
What is their Decision Process? (Do you know every step?) When do they want to be implemented or have our systems ready to go? Who is involved in the Overall Decision? Do they have a Business Need? Are they Listening to you? Do they have Funding? What is the Next 2 Steps? Who or What else are they considering? When is the Next Board Meeting? Or Decision Meeting? What are They Doing for me? Do I know my Strengths?/Do I know my Weakness(s) Do I know Their Decision Criteria? Do I have an Excellent Closing Strategy?
How well do you understand the journey your customers take from awareness of your brand or products to conversion and beyond? Based on research by Econsultancy and ResponseTap, the answer may be, “not very.
Don Dea's insight:
The March 2015 survey, which was carried out among agency professionals and client-side marketers around the world (including a majority in the UK), found that only a minority of respondents were using some potentially key sources of data about the customer journey. While 80% of agency professionals and 76% of client-side marketers were using online analytics, for example, just 31% and 37%, respectively, were using call center data. And fewer than one in five overall were using mobile app analytics. - See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Marketers-Struggle-Map-Multichannel-Customers-Journeys/1012398#sthash.MPlgeJlx.dpuf
48% of marketing professionals say that their content marketing budgets are increasing; only 8% are seeing smaller budgets. The reason why should be clear – 63% of marketing professionals say that content marketing has been at least somewhat successful for their company, with a further 26% claiming that content marketing has been very successful (by contrast, only 9% believe they have been somewhat unsuccessful, and a mere 2% report being very unsuccessful).
The first performance benchmark to evaluate is the growth in Google search engine traffic from mobile devices over time. The steps are as follows in Google Analytics:
Google Analytics, go down to Audience, select Mobile, and then “Overview” in the left-hand navigation menu. Filter the Secondary dimension button to view Acquisition and then “Source / Medium“. You should then see a list of domains and applicable channel information from which you can isolate Google organic search referrals (see screenshot below). From here, you can now isolate and identify the percentage of Google organic traffic your website is receiving from mobile devices; smartphones specifically.
College students, notwithstanding their reputation as mobile-savvy consumers, do relatively little electronic banking beyond checking account balances and transferring money between accounts, against a backdrop of climbing student debt
six keys that lead to a life of happiness, joy, peace and wealth. He describes it as a “success pipeline” that has six parts: Faith, Vision, Dreams/Goals, Desire, Self-discipline and Self-respect. He ‘reverse engineers’ the success pipeline, starting with self-respect and working back to faith.
1. What is expected of me?Knowing and understanding the expectations of any job starts when the job opening is created and posted, which should come from a position or job description. Being able to explain the essential duties and skills required should be part of the interviewing and selection process, and continues with employee onboarding. Expectations include key result areas, standards, goals, and required knowledge, skills, and abilities (competencies).
Putting last-minute deals on the launch screen of the Expedia app is another way the company is pushing out relevant to information to customers when they need it.
“Expedia conducts hundreds of tests every year to better understand what travelers want and need from our experience – I’m sure it’s no surprise that we also test our mobile content,” Ms. Street said. “Through our testing, as well as our analysis of customer searching and booking trends, we’ve noticed that customers visiting our app are frequently searching for and booking hotels that are last-minute: for that night, or the next day.
Mobile-driven transactions continue to increase from marketers, but it is the combination of payments with value-added coupons and loyalty payments that will ultimately push mobile payments ahead for marketers.
“We’re always looking at new technologies to make the McDonald’s experience better for our customers and this includes the use of new technologies,” Mr. Martinelli said. “It would be premature to speculate on any decisions or outcomes.”
1.Have a goal already in mind. Set clear objectives for each planning session. Make sure that your executives are fully aware of the end goals and come prepared with different ways of reaching them.
2.Create an agenda. Put as much thought as possible into an agenda that outlines the meeting and send it to your executives a week before the meeting so they can be prepared to discuss the topics at hand and make well-informed decisions. 3.Come prepared. Spend some time before the meeting thinking about the past year or past quarter. Know what worked, what didn’t, and what needs to be improved to achieve goals in the future. And of course, make sure your team comes prepared as well.
It’s open to debate what “organizational fit” or “organizational culture” really mean, let alone how we can measure it.
What we do know is this: There are some cultural norms and values that define certain industries.
Risk aversion is the hallmark of an insurance firm, for instance. While risk taking and creativity abound in marketing and other creative industries. To succeed, an individual’s personality needs to fit in some way with what is required in that industry.
But when does systematic culture cross the line and become, for lack of a better word, a cult?
Managers must lead, and HR must help them to do so. But the well-founded inclination to swing the HR-process pendulum away from bureaucracy and toward a freer hand for management should not lead organizations to veer from “ditch to ditch.” Shifting too drastically is plainly a bad idea; in many cases, a complete HR overhaul is unnecessary. At all events, HR has opportunities to assert its expertise and strategic thinking in a low-profile, nonintrusive way. That requires both rigor and restraint—but, we’ve found, provides the sort of insights about talent, leadership, and performance management that all companies need, regardless of their size.
Despite progress, more needs to be done to ensure end-users are actually seeing video ads
Don Dea's insight:
US digital video ad spending is poised to increase by 33.8% this year and maintain double-digit growth through at least 2019, eMarketer estimates. In dollar terms, spending will nearly double from $7.77 billion in 2015 to $14.38 billion by 2019. This comforting forecast masks structural problems in the digital video advertising industry, the most pressing of which is a disagreement between buyers and sellers over current standards for ad viewability and other benchmarks, according to a new eMarketer report, “Video Advertising Benchmarks: What Metrics Can (and Can’t) Tell You About the Big Picture.” - See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Video-Viewability-Standards-Have-Long-Way-Go/1012395#sthash.0kZnifkW.dpuf
customers of all ages are increasingly using self-service channels (web, mobile, IVR) for a first point of contact for customer service. In fact, for the first time in the history of our survey, respondents reported using the FAQ pages on a company’s website more often than speaking with an agent over the phone. Self-service gives you that “pain-free” or effortless experience that consumers want. Customers escalate the harder questions to a live agent – whether its chat, email or a phone agent – and these calls become opportunities to help build stronger relationships with your customers to garner their long-term loyalty.
Specifically, the Voice of the Customer is a market research technique that produces a detailed set of customer wants and needs, organized into a hierarchical structure, and then prioritized in terms of relative importance and satisfaction with current alternatives. Voice of the Customer studies typically consist of both qualitative and quantitative research steps. They are generally conducted at the start of any new product, process, or service design initiative in order to better understand the customer’s wants and needs, and as the key input for new product definition, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and the setting of detailed design specifications.
In summary, the definition tells us that it is a market research technique that consists of both qualitative and quantitative research steps. However we have also heard it described as being other things as well.
A market research technique or a closed-loop feedback ‘system/ program’? In the past five to ten years there have been a number of different software platforms introduced that have been categorised under the term Voice of the Customer. In general, these platforms are different forms of closed-loop feedback system that map and mirror the process journeys of the business in terms of their interactions and transactions with customers. In the same way that NPS has evolved into transactional NPS (Net Promoter System) to provide closed-loop feedback following individual interactions between the business and the customer, thereby providing the business with an opportunity to provide a resolution to any identifiable issues highlighted by customers, these VOC systems do a very similar thing, albeit not necessarily with the ‘likelihood to recommend’ question.
In some instances, these system implementations have been further developed into programs that help the business not only provide resolutions to customer issues, but also to undertake root-cause analysis, so that the cause of any recurring issues can be identified and resolved.
However, we have heard VOC being described as other things as well…
Think about the traditional funnel. For B2B and B2C companies, various forms of media, such as TV advertising, print, and online ads, drive incremental activity to the top of the funnel. Sales and channel activities are focusing on increasing conversion and driving results in the bottom of the funnel. The traditional CRM (customer relationship marketing for those in B2C) or Demand Center (for those in B2B) activities have been focused in what we will call the addressable mid-funnel, and it tends to be the most challenging and often over-looked phase in the buy cycle. However, with increased relevance, engagement, and focus, it can quickly drive profitable marketing results
Next you ask ‘why?’ to the statement and write the answer. If that is not the root or cause you’re looking for, you ask ‘why?’ and continue to answer the question ‘why’ until you get to the root cause and can go no further. Sakichi Toyoda, a Japanese industrialist and founder of Toyota, first starting using the 5 Whys technique in the 1930s. The Toyota company used it to make significant progress in their manufacturing processes in the 1970s and continue using it today. The folks at MindTools recommend the technique as a simple, effective way to find answers to complex problems. Each time you ask ‘why?’ look for an answer that is grounded in fact. Keep asking ‘why?’ until you feel confident you have identifed the root cause and can go no further. The significance of the number 5 is that’s the average number of times you need to ask ‘why?’ to get to the root cause. As a leader, you do (or will) need to get to the root of issues quickly. You will do yourself a favor by learning the 5 whys technique and using it reqularly. — The Product Management Perspective: The 5 whys technique is useful for product managers in many aspects of the job. Determining whether a market opportunity for a product will become profitable is one of the most valuable uses I’ve found for this technique. Ask ‘why?’ customers need your (proposed) product enough times to know whether you have a solid market opportunity.
So, what are the nuts and bolts of this kind of leadership?
1. Firstly, ensure that there is a clear articulation of ‘What’s in it for them’ Human beings are rather more driven by self-interest than we’d like to admit. And yet, most leaders and managers are too busy outlining what they want, what they need, what they require, that we forget to create buy in by anchoring our goals in line with the values of those we lead.
2. Understand that fear drives us On either side of action there is fear. Change, even good change can seem threatening to our staff and our ability to allay fears and create confidence and certainty is a benchmark for all effective leaders.
3. Make failure more difficult We’re all familiar with the acronym, K.I.S.S. But true strategy doesn’t just make things simple, or even easy; it also makes failure more difficult. What this requires is an understanding of the friction and breakage points in our processes and a willingness to make the path to productivity smoother.
Rather than simply expecting our teams to be more effective and productive, today it is incumbent on those of us who lead, to make success more achievable.
It can create doubt, uncertainty, lack of focus, and even resentment. Multiple options can linger, sapping an organization’s energy and killing a sense of completion. Timelines stretch while costs skyrocket.
But none of us are indecisive on purpose. We’re not evil. Indecision can be borne from a pragmatic desire for more data, which when overdone can cross over into perfectionism. Some of us are unwilling to compromise until we see an option that contains no trade-offs. The failure of a deciding body to feel a sense of accountability can grind things to a halt. Fear of making a wrong decision can come into play as well. We can lose sight of what the objective behind a decision is in the first place, confusing ourselves in the process and overcomplicating the choice to be made. Some of us lack confidence to make a firm decision.
Whatever the cause, the corrosive effect is inescapable. As leaders, we can do better. Here’s how to put an end to indecision, with authority.
1. Meter your emotions Sometimes our emotions can get in the way of making a decision, causing us to gloss over facts right in front of us or creating a desperate search for information to support the decision we really want to make. Countering indecision may require accepting inevitabilities much sooner while refusing to let emotions cloud the realities at hand.
2. Step back and evaluate the true impact of a wrong decision Fear of making an incorrect decision can paralyze the well-meaning manager. At such times, step back and ask “What is the worst thing that could happen in the long run if this decision turns out to be wrong?” Such a question may unveil that the consequences aren’t that dire after all, and may well net much more decisiveness. Getting comfortable with the possibility of being wrong can actually help the right decisions happen faster.
3. Consider the risks/costs of not doing something Asking the question, “What are the risks/costs of not making a decision?” may create awareness of the pitfalls that would otherwise be glossed over. It may become obvious that budgets will run over, competitors will gain precious time for counter plans, or that resources will have to be further stretched and kept from working on some other priority.
4. Act with self-assurance Acting with self-confidence and a “you have to break some eggs to make an omelet” mindset is one of the greatest enablers for making a decision. Self-doubt or worrying about what others expect you to decide can cripple a decision in progress. Self-confidence helps bolster the internal fortitude to make the tough calls, as well as the external reception of the decision once made. Ever watch someone arrive at a decision, but they do so in a manner riddled with visible self-doubt? These are the decisions most unlikely to stick.
Leadership is about vision and innovation, whereas management is about maintenance of excellent standards. A leader innovates and a manager administrates on the innovation. A leader focuses on individuals and inspires them, a manager focuses on systems and structure. A leader always has their eye on the horizon, whereas a manager should be watching the bottom line.
In order to become an authentic person, one has to align their personal values with their own words and actions. I took a step in this direction when I left my job in investment banking to found a financial technology company that aims to make life better for student borrowers.
Don Dea's insight:
Greater work-life balance is a daily struggle, but a drive to innovate is something we strive for at Achieve Lending. In my own life, the lives of mentors and friends, and in the actions of the leaders we see in popular culture, we can easily derive that leadership is comprised of actions, a desire to learn, and ability to persevere. To a certain extent, leadership is learned, yes, but it is also a choice to begin that education in the first place.
. Set aside 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. Turn off your phone, your email, and shut your door.
2. Take out a blank pad of paper and a pen, or open up a Word document.
3. Think about what you would look for in an ideal employee if you were hiring someone tomorrow. Jot those things down.
4. Think back to all of the performance improvement discussions you’ve had with employees over the last few years. Jot the opposite of those things down. For example, if the discussion was about poor customer service, write, “Provide outstanding customer service.”
5. Think about all of the things that are important to you that you have not discussed with employees, but you have implied. Add to your list. 6. Think of your best employees – what has made them so good? What does their best work look like and how do they do it? You got it, more for your list.7. Take a look at the generic performance criteria that’s provided by HR on the company performance appraisal form. For each item, describe in your own words what “good” looks like for your employees.
1. Learn about leadership. Take a course, read a few books, subscribe to this publication, and study the great leaders. Learn what leaders do and don’t do. Learn the frameworks, the tools, and the skills required to lead. The more you know about subject, including leadership, the more confident you’ll be. 2. Network with other leaders. While it’s good to learn about leadership from courses and reading, putting those good ideas to practice is hard and mistakes will be made. Having a network, or support group of peers is a healthy way to share common, real world challenges. It will give you a feeling of “I’m not the only one who feels this way”. 3. Develop realistic self-awareness. Knowing your leadership strengths will give you confidence, and facing up to your development needs will help you determine what you need to focus on to get better. Feedback will give a leader realistic self-awareness. Leaders that ask for feedback are seen as more confident than those that don’t.
Leadership presence, on the other hand, is much more portable. That’s because it’s about the people and not the leader. Taking the perspective of the leader, it’s about you, not me. As Harvard professor Dean Williams and I discussed in a recent audio interview on this blog, the most effective leaders use their presence to help the group identify the work to be done or the adaptive challenge to be overcome. They help set the agenda. They help organize the team. They coach. They ask questions that help people come up with their own answers. They encourage accountability. They celebrate success. They applaud effort. They help the team learn from failure, self-correct and move on. In all instances, the leader’s focus is on them – the people.
So, those are some of the distinctions I’m making between executive presence and leadership presence. What do you think? What’s the difference between the two? What’s the impact of one vs. the other? What have I missed?
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