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Kathryn Moen
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Provider of B2B marketing services.
Provider of B2B marketing services.

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Top Ten Small Business Trends for 2014. Emergent Research. Article excerpts:
 
The Convergence of Mobile, Cloud, Data and Analytics: Individually each of these technology trends has been on our annual top 10 lists in some form for years.  And while each is important and powerful on its own, the growing convergence of these technologies is amplifying their impact and fundamentally changing how business is done.  They’re also leading to new forms of technology-based competition as more small firms use capabilities developed through the convergence of these technologies to out maneuver competitors.

The Small Business Digital Divide Widens: A growing body of research is showing a performance gap between small businesses that successfully use technology and those that don’t. This small business digital divide means small firms unable or unwilling to deploy and use technology – and especially cloud, analytics and mobile technologies – are increasingly disadvantaged relative to their more technically savvy competitors.  2014 will see this divide widen as tech savvy small businesses use their technology to cut costs, better connect to customers and gain market share.

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Article excerpts: A new breed of 'marketing technologist' is emerging...

This explosion of technology within marketing's domain is simultaneously exciting and terrifying--to marketers as much as anyone. IT would like to help, both because everyone wants the overall business to succeed and because, somewhat territorially, such technology management has always been IT's responsibility.

However, while IT can certainly contribute, there are three structural differences in this new era of technology-driven marketing that limit IT's ability to control it.

First, in this new marketing environment, it's hard to separate the marketing from the technology. They're deeply entwined. Analytics software becomes marketing's perception of its audience. Marketing automation software becomes interwoven with marketing's operational processes and flows."

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2014 Content Marketing Making Strides in the Manufacturing Industry: Report excerpts:

“Manufacturing marketers are markedly more challenged than other B2B marketers with producing the kind of content that engages (62 percent vs. 47 percent) and with the inability to measure content effectiveness (48 percent vs. 33 percent).”

“Manufacturing marketers use many of the same tactics as their overall B2B peers, and even use the same average number of tactics (13). They do, however, use print magazines (69 percent vs. 35 percent) and print newsletters (35 percent vs. 22 percent) at higher rates when compared with other B2B marketers. They also use eNewsletters (82 percent vs. 80 percent), in-person events (81 percent vs. 76 percent), and videos (80 percent vs. 73 percent) more frequently. Of all the tactics they use, they rate in-person events and videos as most effective.”

“Eighty-one percent of manufacturing marketers use YouTube to distribute content, and they also rate it as the most effective social media platform they use. While many manufacturers use video to demonstrate products, video storytelling is on the rise in this sector.”

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Survey says B2B buyers increasingly shopping like consumers. Excerpts from article:

“Those B2B companies that are investing in technology and modifying internal roles to boost that customer experience are seeing positive results.”

“The consumerization of IT is radically transforming how B2B companies sell to other businesses. According to a study from technology solutions and managed services provider Avanade, enterprise buyers have begun to mimic consumer shopping behaviors, shifting the sales process out of the control of the seller.”

"B2B is the New B2C: The Consumerization of Enterprise Sales," found that when making a purchasing decision, 61 percent of B2B buyers tap third-party sites and feedback from business partners, industry peers or social conversations before engaging a company's sales teams. What's more, a staggering 89 percent said these resources figure into their final purchase decision."

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Global Executive Study: Embracing Digital Transformation. Report excerpt:

“They must succeed in creating transformation through technology, or they’ll face destruction at the hands of their competitors that do.”

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Content Marketing Institute. Article excerpts:

“Whatever high-tech marketers are doing today will be mainstream a year from now...” —Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute.

"The big challenge for B2B is that you have a longer buy cycle...You have to create content from the beginning of it, with assets designed to help capture leads, nurture them, close the sale, and support customers afterward."—agreed Jill Steinhour, strategy director, technology industry with Adobe.

Click link to read full article.

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B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmark Report, excerpts:

“48% of smaller B2B organizations (10-99 employees) have a documented content strategy, compared with 41% of large organizations (1,000+ employees).

“The majority of the most effective B2B marketers (86%) have someone who oversees content marketing strategy; however, only 46% of less effective marketers do.”

“For the fourth year in a row, B2B marketers overall have rated in-person events as the most effective tactic they use.”

“Aside from lack of time, B2B marketers consistently cite producing enough content and producing the kind of content that engages as their top challenges.”

Follow the link to read the entire report which includes some very helpful charts and graphs for benchmarking and general information.

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