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Engaging Marketing Minds

Vol 2, Issue 3, July/August 2012

Crossing Paths THE LINES OF B2B & B2C ARE BLURRING; ARE YOU READY?

INSIDE

Getting to Know Your Customers page 10 How Does Your Brand Look to the Public? page 14 Abundance page 15

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publisher ’s letter

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Changing with the Changing Times

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n this day and age, we can get lost in the latest product innovation. TV commercials that mock people who bought the latest and greatest devices, only to see the next generation hit shelves shortly thereafter. Forget keeping up with the Joneses, we can’t even keep up with technology.

Some would argue we’re so connected that we’re unconnected. With the advances in technology, we are so wired that our intimacy levels are all dried up. Yet another perspective suggests that today’s technological boon has empowered us to stay connected only to the people and brands we deem important. We no longer market to the masses. That means the tried-and-true principles of market segmentation and positioning are the foundations of a solid future. While choosing market niches on which to focus is critical, becoming a trusted entity within a segment may be the biggest challenge of all. As we often state in the pages of this magazine, successful brands are woven into the fabric of their target niches’ worlds. Consider the notion that our closest friends and allies are our most trusted vehicles for information. They’re the ones who have the biggest influence on our purchasing behavior. Some of the world’s biggest brands are great, because they’ve become part of how we define ourselves. Consider what brands like Apple, BMW, and Coca Cola say about who we are. With the combination of technology and the importance of developing market niches, the connection models we use are transforming. Our jobs

Publisher Fineline Printing Group

Managing Editor Jill Wangler

Art Direction Leah Hahn

connect is published bimonthly by Fineline Printing Group, copyright 2012. All rights reserved For more information contact 877.334.7687 FinelinePrintingGroup.com info@FinelinePrintingGroup.com

While choosing market niches on which to focus is critical, becoming a trusted entity within a segment may be the biggest challenge of all.

have become a part of who we are on a personal level – and that has an impact on the B2B world. In other words, B2B marketing has a real B2C flavor to it these days. Check out our cover story, “Crossing Paths,” where we dive into the changes shaping both of these segments. We offer keen insight to becoming part of your clients’ world, regardless of if it’s a B2B or B2C industry. In addition, we thought it be fun to delve into the new world of apps. “Is There an App for That?” examines how apps are revolutionizing today’s business landscape. We hope you enjoy the latest issue of connect. Warmest regards,

Richard Miller President & Owner

Richard Miller

CONTENTS 03 Richard’s Letter

10 Crossing Paths

04 Marketing Insights

14 How Does Your Brand Look to the Public?

06 Building Your Brand

15 Book Recommendation

Changing with the Changing Times

Is there an app for that? In today’s innovative branding landscape, chances are – there is.

The lines between B2B and B2C are blurring; are you ready?

Abundance

Fineline Printing Group – connect • July/August 2012


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marketing insights

The percent of tablet users who expect a website to download in less than two seconds, according to a recent study by Compuware Corp. The study, “Engaging the Tablet User: What They Expect from Websites,” also shows that four out of 10 tablet users experience website problems, while a bad web experience will drive 46 percent of them to competitive websites.

Are you Pinterested? Move over Tumblr. Step aside LinkedIn. Out of the way Google+. According to the “2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report” by Experian report, Pinterest has become the third-most popular social media site in the United States, jumping up from the No. 7 spot in 2011. The content sharing site, which posted a 50 percent month-on-month traffic increase in February, saw users spend an average of 89 minutes per month on the network in February. The analytics firm comScore also reported that Pinterest attracted 17.8 million unique visitors in February in the United States, alone. As a comparison, Facebook users spent an average of 405 minutes per month on its site during the same period.

Getting to know your customers

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o you want the truth? What your customers value most is changing constantly. Nobody knows this better than Jaynie L. Smith, best selling author and CEO of marketing and management consulting firm Smart Advantage (www.smartadvantage.com). Smith spent the last 10 years analyzing data from more than 100 businesses to learn why customers buy particular products or services from particular companies. Her conclusion: 90 percent of the time, most businesses do not know their customers’ top values. In fact, many are shocked to learn just what is at the top of their customers’ value list. The good news: Smith says businesses that become relevant by addressing what their customers really value at any given time will be the first ones out of the recession. To help you get on track, she offers the following advice.

Customers usually are looking for “how” things are sold, not “what”

For most products, any number of suppliers exists. If someone wants to buy a camera or a car, he can visit the nearest store or order it online. But he doesn’t. Why? Because there’s something else he values more than the product itself (think product durability, the brand’s reputation for customer service or safety features). If you don’t value what you bring to your customer, he won’t value it either. Because few companies know how to effectively articulate what differentiates them, price often becomes the tiebreaker.

Use what you learn

If you find your customers value speedy responses when they have a problem, and your customer service department is slow, fix your customer service now. Tell your customer service team that your customers rate fast response time their No. 1 priority. When you have stats you can brag about – brag away. Now you’ve used that information in two valuable ways: to make your company more relevant to customers, and to let customers know you have what they want.

Invest in disciplined customer research

Research data collection costs have decreased 30 percent to 35 percent during the last few years and now are affordable Smart Advantage’s research analysis is available on Amazon.com. to smaller companies. Double-blind customer market research is the gold shows that, 70 percent of the time, standard and worth the expense. But it’s not feasible customers and prospective customers differ in what for everybody. Remember: Even a small investment in they value most. When that happens, your message to research can reap huge returns. Some less-expensive your customers should be different than your message to your prospects. Few companies make this distinction and free alternatives do exist to help find what your customers want. They include sharing the expense in their sales and marketing messaging. Existing with an industry association, partnering with an customers may have come to depend on your toporganization that needs the same information or a notch help desk. It’s what they’ve grown to value most peer who doesn’t compete with you, hiring a college about your company. Prospective customers haven’t intern, or creating an online survey using a free basic used your help desk yet, so they don’t know how service such as Survey Monkey. essential this benefit is.

Understand that existing customers and prospects Jaynie L. Smith’s usually have different values newest book, “Relevant Selling,”

That’s what he said …

“They are just as interested in the tweets that come back about a product as they are concerned about price. They practically do background checks.” – Virgin Mobile brand director Ron Faris on how digitally native Gen Y and younger consumers using social media are changing the traditional sales funnel model

July/August 2012 • connect – Fineline Printing Group


marketing insights

The Big Data dilemma

She said it …

While today’s marketers know that leveraging massive data sets helps improve business, a new study by marketing technology company DataXu Inc. shows many feel they lack the tools to adequately mine customer insights. According to the report – “Marketing in the Digital Age” – 75 percent of respondents say understanding “Big Data” can improve dramatically their marketing efforts, while 90 percent say digital marketing can reduce customer acquisition costs. Interestingly, 58 percent say they lack the skills and technology to perform such data analytics, while more than 70 percent admit they aren’t able to leverage the value of customer data.

10 ways to boost your social media strategy

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2. Give yourself time Commit to a two-year minimum social media engagement (and budget accordingly) 3. Do the legwork Register brands and names and/or domains with your preferred social media sites 4. Write out your plan Draft and finalize a social media objectives plan that’s integrated with your sales and marketing activities

5. Build your team Configure accounts and grant administration privileges, and assemble a social media accountability team of no more than five stakeholders 6. Measure your results Create a mechanism for ongoing measurement (leads, hits, PR awareness, phone calls, ROI, etc.) 7. Make sure you answer the bell Create a mechanism for timely responses – positive, negative and indifferent

“When people love your brand and see its value, not only will they buy it more often, and sometimes at a premium, but they will become an advocate and one of your ‘super fans.’” – Kimberly Paige, assistant VP of CocaCola North America’s African-American marketing group, on why segmentation is important and how people view themselves as fitting into more than one segment

hen it comes to social media, how and why it works (or should work) continues to be a highly debatable topic. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, having a social media presence is a must today. Full-service marketing and advertising agency Merit Mile Communications (www.meritmile.com) offers 10 ways you can effectively increase your social media strategy.

1. Go for the buy-in Obtain stakeholder buy-in for a social media commitment, and agree on success metrics

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8. Keep your employees in the loop Issue an overview and/or guidelines memo to your company that highlights your social media strategy and elevator communications 9. Be ready to make adjustments Measure and adjust your strategy based on results, trends and real-time activities 10. Find your rhythm Execute a consistent pace of social media activities – daily or weekly, depending on your website and objective

Why digital ads rule Digital advertising finally may be getting its due. According to a recent report by BIA/ Kelsey, local advertising spending in the United States will increase from $136.2 billion this year to $151.3 billion by the end of 2016. The report – “U.S. Local Media Forecast (2011-2016)” – says the increase will be driven largely by digital medians such as social, mobile and video advertising, and will help close the gap on traditional U.S. local ad spending. By 2016, BIA/Kelsey projects that local digital ad spending will account for $38.5 billion, or more than 25 percent of total local ad spending, up from 16 percent in 2012.

The percent of U.S. smartphone users who say they use their devices to access local information, according to Google’s recent “Our Mobile Planet: Global Smartphone Users” report. The study also shows that 89 percent of users have taken action (visited, shopped, contacted the store, etc.); 25 percent made a purchase in-store, based on the info they sought out; and 21 percent made an online purchase.

Fineline Printing Group – connect • July/August 2012


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July/August 2012 • connect – Fineline Printing Group


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hanks to the surge in the development of applications for smartphones, we hold the answers to many of life’s most pressing questions in the palms of our hands. Who am I? (Rootstech) Where am I? (Maps+) Why am I here? (Evernote). With nearly 1 billion available apps (Mashable!), we now have access to a universe of knowledge – and the current location of all the major planets and stars in the universe (Starwalk). The answers, my friend, that were blowin’ in the wind (Soundhound) are being harnessed, packaged and put within our grasp, 24/7, via the internet. As expected, smartphone use is gaining significant momentum. According to Jamie Turner, noted marketing author and founder of 60secondmarketer.com, by 2013, mobile devices – smart phones and tablet computers – will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide. ”More people [around the world] own a mobile phone than a toothbrush, Turner says. “So, mobile apps are a great way for you to stay connected with

Fineline Printing Group – connect • July/August 2012


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Building Your Brand

“If your target market is in the minority that does not use smartphones, then you don’t need to waste your resources on an app. Your app should be relevant and useful, and fit in with your general marketing communications strategy.” – Koert Van Ittersum, Marketing Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

your customers. Once they’ve downloaded your app, they are more likely to stay engaged with your brand.” If you haven’t already, perhaps it’s time to consider how you can get your brand in the hands of your customers and target audience. But before you jump on the bandwagon, you need to know that, in some ways, mobile marketing is no different than traditional media marketing. Koert Van Ittersum, a marketing professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, recommends that you identify your target market first, which will help you determine if and how you should connect with them via mobile technology. “What do you know about their phone use and their app behavior?” Van Ittersum asks. “If your target market is in the minority that does not use smartphones, then you don’t need to waste your resources on an app. Your app should be relevant and useful, and fit in with your general marketing communications strategy. It’s not necessary for it to be the most popular or the next billion-dollar app. You really need to think it through, determine what you want to accomplish and make sure that your app is consistent with your brand.” While there are many unique ways to build your brand with a mobile application, most successful apps tend to fall into three sometime overlapping categories: “advertainment” games, facilitation tools or immersion catalysts.

“Advertainment” Games

Most of the apps on iPhone’s top 25 list typically are entertaining games. Advertainment is a term used to describe entertaining media, primarily games or films, that derive advertising value by connecting with their target markets in a more subtle way – by giving their brand face time. “These apps are terrific for building relationships, creating brand awareness and connecting with customers on an emotional level,” Turner says. “Coca Cola has several applications that are fun games – fun to play but also drive home a message about Coca Cola.” Trident Gum also sees that advertainment brings something to the bottom line. It recently launched a five-star game, Vitality Falling Stars, to promote its new Trident flavor, Awaken – a peppy blend of peppermint and ginseng. “It has very little branding in it – the Trident brand appears on the home screen and in the lower

July/August 2012 • connect – Fineline Printing Group

corner of all other screens – it’s free, it has been downloaded more than 415,000 times, and it has received great reviews,” says Tyra Burton, a senior marketing lecturer at Kennesaw State University. “It’s an amazing little game, and it has no purpose other than to make you smile. But it is enabling Trident to brand themselves positively with Millennials, 18-to 35-year-olds.” Burton says popular, well-reviewed games that promote movies are another marketing avenue that’s proving successful. When the movie “Inception” was released in 2010, the corresponding app had more than 4 million downloads and garnered a lot of social media attention. “The app enriched the ‘Inception’ experience for the users, immersing them into the movie, and then they tweeted and posted about their experiences in social media, creating a huge buzz.” There also was a lot of flapping and tweeting that helped send the 2011 animated movie “Rio” to the top of the charts. The movie is one of the 100 highest grossing films of all times. “The game app Angry Birds Rio had more than 120 million downloads and was considered highly successful at penetrating its target market. Twentieth Century Fox says the app tie-in helped propel the movie to No. 1 in the box office,” Burton says. “The app is still at No. 42 on the iPhone/iPad popularity lists. They have gotten a tremendous amount of face time by putting their brand out there this way.”

Facilitation Tools

A large segment of apps are tools created to facilitate the use or purchase of a product. Many mobile media applications are tie-ins that have naturally evolved from popular websites such as Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and iStockphoto, a popular source on the Web for royalty-free stock images, media and design elements for more than 10 years. “We were targeting both customers and contributors with our app,” says Michael Cook, VP product for iStockphoto. “Mobile provides a platform for people to get some of their work done even when they are untethered from their desktop machines. We all work everywhere, all the time, and, for creative work, inspiration can strike anywhere. We wanted to be there to help when that happens. Customers can browse our full collection, save images that catch their attention and even share those images with collaborators for discussion in real time. It truly is like having iStock and our millions of images in your pocket. And for contributors, who number


9 The Masters 2012, a bastion of tradition, more than 100,000 across the globe, it provides “Don’t create an app was the latest major sporting event to embrace the ability to track their sales data without havmobile technology. In fact, the free app was one ing to be at their desks.” in order to make your of the world’s most popular apps the first week Cook says reviews from both customers and next million dollars. in April, offering up-to-the-minute leader boards contributors have been positive. “Anecdotally, Create an app to as well as video highlights, interviews and live people say they are using it in creative discusengage with your streams. And on the final day of the four-day sions, and that it provides a looser way to search event, Easter Sunday, it provided discrete viewfor imagery for their projects. The best creativity customers and keep ers the opportunity to follow the action without doesn’t always happen at your desktop, and the them connected with the television blaring over the holiday festivities. app is facilitating that freedom to start a project your brand. That’s “Fans were able to engage on their way to anywhere. This, in turn, helps us be there to aswhen you want to do work, at work, at dinner – when they weren’t supsist through to the end of the project, thus inposed to – and the more they engaged, the more creasing brand loyalty and overall mindshare with an app.” immersed they became in the experience, and that audience.” the more they talked about it with other fans,” Unlike iStockphoto, there are many apps that – Jamie Turner, Founder, Burton says. “The Masters app also helped them have succeeded as mobile tools, though they were 60secondmarketer.com to grow their market by connecting with Millenniunspectacular as website applications. Turner cites als, who are very connected. It re-energizes golf Domino’s as an example of a mobile app that has – makes it more youthful, less stodgy.” successfully enhanced marketing and branding. “It’s a terrific app. It has made ordering pizza from your smartphone very easy. There are over 500 bilThe Billion Dollar App? lion possible combinations of pizza you can order How does a company with 13 employees create through the Domino’s Pizza app. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Surprisingly, an app that makes no money, but sells for $1 billion? Turner, a frequent the app is an incredibly simple way to order. And once you do it, you are guest on CNN and HLN, says the lesson is “innovation drives success.” hooked. It’s a great way for them to engage and retain customers.” “They were innovative, but they weren’t so innovative that they were How great is it? According to Mobile Commerce Daily, just three ahead of the curve,” Turner says. “In other words, they were innovative, months after the iPhone/iPad app was released, it achieved more than but they were fulfilling a need, and once that need was filled they did a $1 million in sales in a single week. terrific job of having that catch on.” Burton says that Instagram figured out how to accomplish something that Facebook did not—how to get people to consistently use their platform Immersion Catalyst to upload photos and to integrate this into their everyday lives. “They created The Bejing Olympics in 2008 was a significant app milestone – the first time a variety of apps were available to immerse fans worldwide in the a very dedicated user base,” she says, adding that by purchasing Instagram, experience. Super Bowl 2012 also was an app bonanza – the first time Facebook is keeping that expertise from falling into the hands of Google+. So how do you create a billion-dollar app? Our marketing experts the Super Bowl was streamed live online. While millions watched glued to their TV sets, many savvy fans watched on their smartphones, and concur that, if your goal is to make a gazillion dollars, you probably shouldn’t create an app. “For every Instagram, there are 100,000 apps enjoyed participating online and engaging interactively. March Madness inspired another surge of app creation. A free that don’t work or sell more than $5,000 worth of product,” Turner iPhone/iPod app, NCAA March Madness Live enabled you to fill out your says. “Don’t create an app in order to make your next million NCAA bracket and track it, follow live scores and player stats, and get dollars. We’re likely past the initial stage where a few people alerts for upsets, overtime games, close games and your favorite team. got out there early and made a ton of money. Create an app to For a $3.99 upgrade, fans could stream every game of March Madness engage with your customers and keep them connected with your brand. That’s when you want to do an app.” live on their mobile devices.

ESSENTIAL DATE NIGHT APPS

Maybe we should stay in and order pizza. (Domino’s) OK, where should we go for dinner? (Where) Is the food good there? (Yelp) Oh, I’d like to dine on their patio, wonder if it’s going to rain. (AccuWeather) Ewwww. What’s that bug that just jumped in my Alfredo? (Noah) Maybe we should go to a movie too. (Fandango). Whoa, we’re almost out of gas. (Gas Buddy) What’s the name of that movie soundtrack? (Soundhound) Man, I have to go to the bathroom, but I don’t want to miss the good parts of this movie. (Run Pee) Wow, it’s dark. I can’t find my seat. (Flashlight) Ouch, I think I broke my toe. Wonder where the nearest emergency room is? (Find Near Me)

Fineline Printing Group – connect • July/August 2012


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Crossing Paths the lines Of b2b & b2C Are blUrring; Are yOU reADy?

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ick Segal wants you to know what he knows. B2B is dead. Gone. Segal made his proclamation more than a year ago during a speech at a B2B conference in Berlin. The statement was a bit shocking coming from a marketing icon that had spent the last 30 years building his business on the very concept of business-to-business marketing, i.e., professionals marketing goods and services to other businesses.

By Michael J. Pallerino

July/August 2012 • connect – Fineline Printing Group


11 Segal, president worldwide and chief practice officer of the global marketing firm gyro, wasn’t trying to get the crowd’s attention with an opening “shock-and-awe” salvo. He went to Berlin to declare the category of business marketing communications dead. When word of his declaration hit, the marketing world had mixed emotions about just what the man whose company helped shaped the business-to-business marketing scene since 1981 – a man whose Twitter handle is @MrBtoB – meant. On one side, his argument seemed pretty solid. The discipline of reaching, persuading and engaging business decision makers changed forever, when people began carrying their own telecommunications and computing power around with them. Being at work was no longer a place – it was a state of mind. The individual replaced the firm as the organizing principle of business-to-business marketing. Human relevance, Segal emphasizes, is now the foundation of marketing to business decision makers. “It’s not that salespeople or sales support have become irrelevant, it’s that so many of the messages they are carrying to the marketplace are humanly irrelevant,” Segal says. “The myth that has been busted is that business decision making is entirely rational. It’s not. It’s exceedingly emotional, and as living, breathing human beings have been empowered with computing and telecommunications technology on their persons, their emotional needs matter more than ever.”

“With the database tools available now, outbound calls and field sales visits to prospects no longer need to be completely cold,” he says. “Customer segmentation, market research and a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can enable your sales calls to be more effective. Calls shouldn’t be the shot-gunned equivalent of email spam. They can be one of your best research tools. The best calls are the ones in which information is not just one way. You get as much as you give. That information can be captured for further lead nurturing and personal engagement.”

“Change brings unexpected opportunities. With so many tools now available from B-to-B marketers, I can’t imagine why any business wouldn’t always be looking for opportunities to improve their marketing.” – Billy Mitchell, President & Senior Creative Director, MLT Creative

Every gear and widget, integrated circuit, chemical formulation, financial instrument, etc., is exciting to someone, not just interesting or informative. Salespeople, and every other channel to the customer, must now be soaked with what Segal calls “accelerant permitting incendiary ideas” to ignite emotions – humanly relevant ideas. Consumer marketers have long understood this dynamic of marketing communications, because it has been what always has been required to hasten the velocity of fast-moving consumer goods. Today, the B2B world also is moving with network velocity. It requires the same sensitivity to emotional requirements, in order to affect engagement, if at all. As much as Billy Mitchell has been a long-time advocate for inbound marketing, he believes that it’s all about adaptation. Today’s B2B marketers must adapt a “never quit learning, always be testing” mindset. Mitchell, president and senior creative director for B2B marketing agency MLT Creative, says that things are just changing too rapidly for marketers to be complacent. “Change brings unexpected opportunities. With so many tools now available from B2B marketers, I can’t imagine why any business wouldn’t always be looking for opportunities to improve their marketing.” So, does that mean we won’t be seeing any more cold calls – the crux of the B2B marketing approach? Not necessarily, Mitchell says. As B2B marketers cut back on techniques such as direct mail, display advertising and telemarketing, it creates an opening for those who keep tradition in the mix.

Taking a human-to-human approach

One of the key elements in building a relationship with both customers and prospects is the human-to-human approach. In the end, you ultimately are not selling to companies as much as you are selling to people. Mitchell says the buzz he hears during the many social media conferences he attends is that it’s not about B2B or B2C, it’s about H-to-H (human-to-human). “But I think there are many differences. People making buying decisions for personal reasons are spending their own money. It’s often about a lifestyle choice. When buyers in B2B make a decision, it’s not always theirs alone to make, nor is it their money. Their jobs and those of the others they work with may be at stake. They must be accountable for their decisions. It’s not a lifestyle choice; it’s a livelihood choice. There are different behavioral factors are in play.”

Fineline Printing Group – connect • July/August 2012


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Crossing Paths

Mitchell believes there is much for B2B marketers to learn from the B2C side, including design standards, production values, storytelling techniques, creativity, and, to a certain extent, smart examples of social media marketing. But as to whether it’s time for companies to transform their B2B marketing teams into B2C machines, Mitchell says to hold off. “I don’t think a company should do that. In fact, they should embrace an enthusiasm and passion for B2B marketing. B2B can be just as creative and engaging as B2C.” As an example, he cites GE’s most recent Super Bowl commercial, in which the company boasts that it produces the power that makes and keeps beer cold. Take that Bud Light. “B2B marketers can certainly learn from and be inspired by B2C, but they must deeply understand B2B,” Mitchell says. “If you don’t enjoy meeting with your inside and field sales teams, understanding your customers’ businesses and your customers’ customers, etc., you may not belong in B2B.” If anything, there has been a shift in the way B2B marketers approach their campaigns. “It seems that world-class marketers everywhere have awakened to the fact that, today, we are communicating with living, breathing human beings with aspirations, spirits and emotions,” gyro’s Segal says. “We’ve always known that business-to-business, at the end of the day, was person-to-person. But what the world’s savviest marketers seem to have appreciated quickly is that personalization was the last best practice. No longer is it enough to understand

the requirements of a person in a job title to be successful in influencing him to make a purchase consideration. No longer is it enough for an advertising planner to get into the head of a business decision-maker. With the amplified voices and the new organizational empowerment of these humans at work, successful marketers must get into their hearts.”

A new way of doing business

On the first night of his MBA business-to-business marketing class he has taught at the University of Pittsburgh for the past eight years, Greg Coticchia breaks down the differences between B2B and B2C marketing. Among the differences his students are asked to absorb are sales channels, complex buying, ownership of spend/budget, amount of spend, the emphasis on personal selling and negotiation, and unique promotional strategies. “The internet has brought various techniques and tactics closer between B2B and B2C marketing,” says Coticchia, who, along with being an adjunct professor, also is CEO of the strategy and marketing firm Entra. “People like to think that marketing is all sales support. But professionally, and as a teacher, I never viewed marketing as sales support. I look at it in a B2B sense to include marketing communications (lead generation, sales support and awareness), product management and marketing, business development (partners and alliances) and strategy. Sales execs that run marketing usually fail, because they have a very narrow view of marketing, i.e., qualifying leads.

B2-SmallB : A Perspective By Judy Rudolph Begehr

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s a member of the Enterprise Council on Small Business (ECSB) for the last three years, gyro has access to a wealth of proprietary research and has developed substantial institutional knowledge on the art and science of creating meaningful engagement with the SMB. In general terms, the following insights reflect common attitudes and behaviors of the SMB decision maker.

The entrepreneur’s go-to location for information on products and services is the seller’s website, followed closely by word-of-mouth from other business owners. To deliver a positive online media experience, marketers should focus on the elements of experience that matter – not only to drive purchases but also positive word-of-mouth. According to recent research by ECSB, two tiers of elements in the online experience matter most. 

The “tier 1” elements that matter include: being efficient (responds quickly, anticipates my needs, provides backup communication options), and being customer oriented (understanding my business and respecting my time). The “tier 2” elements provide greater specificity around online experience optimization. In general, the SMB is a loyal group that identifies most with other owners in their industry, suggesting that vertical segmentation is an

July/August 2012 • connect – Fineline Printing Group

ideal approach to targeting small businesses. But market shifts can reverse the small business owner’s predisposition to loyalty, causing him to re-evaluate established vendor relationships, often in favor of local suppliers. An important insight into the small business owner psyche was uncovered by ECSB around the desire to buy local. Seems it’s less about an affinity for local providers, and more about an aversion for national providers. Behind this predisposition are two critical drivers: convenience and relationship. Messaging to the small business owner will have greater impact if it’s crafted to directly address these drivers. It should clearly demonstrate how your offering provides positive business impact, while providing assurance of prompt, readily available service by an organization


13 “The myth that has been busted is that business decision making is entirely rational. It’s not. It’s exceedingly emotional, and as living, breathing human beings have been empowered with computing and telecommunications technology on their persons, their emotional needs matter more than ever.” – Rick Segal, President Worldwide & Chief Practice Officer, gyro

So, marketing relegated to sales support is a loser. It’s making tactical a is a process reengineering effort, defining the go-to-market process and customer acquisition processes, and what vehicles are used by each. function that is fundamentally strategic.” So, why is it time for B2B marketers to try a different approach? Then different tactics could be discussed and explained. It’s not impos“Substitutes, all the web-based tools and capabilities at our disposal, sible, but definitely a change.” Many marketers such as MLT Creative’s Mitchell are leading the have created a better way to both identify and establish the relationship with the prospect. As a B2B marketer, it just makes more sense to build charge for the fact that marketing is more than sales support. “Marketing relationships with prospects that are not even prospects, and communi- shapes how the world sees your business – including your employees. It cate with them until they’re ready to buy. In the old days of cold calling, should play a role in either supporting an established company’s culture if you would have an inside sales rep calling to qualify prospects to a raw it’s a positive, or work to improve it if it’s not. Marketing should help distill list. They can’t make that many calls, so it’s expensive and crude. There the core reasons why the company exists. It should have a seat at the table are much better ways to establish a relationship with the prospect. So with top management and proactively engage with HR, PR, product development, training, advertising and sales. One yes, now is the time to try something new. It of my favorite speakers, Simon Cinek, has a has really been that way for five to 10 years.” great presentation I recommend all marketers Coticchia says companies should bring in Judy Rudolph Begehr is SVP of account should see. The lesson is: “People don’t buy experienced B2B people to help B2C people, planning for gyro in its Cincinnati office. what you do, they buy why you do it.” and vice versa. “What would have to be done

that not only knows their industry but also understands their business. Most small business owners are worried about holding on to their own customers and keeping their businesses afloat. Business-tobusiness purchase decisions often are propelled on an emotional level by risk avoidance. It’s important to gather insights on your audiences’ specific pain points and, particularly, their fears. According to ECSB, solving the small business owner’s fears drives trust. Trust can lead to a sense of control. The greatest source of power in building trust is reliably delivering on your brand promise and providing an experience that makes the small business owner feel certain that you understand what they need and that you’ll deliver what they need fast. The need to deliver a predicatively positive experience to the SMB cannot be overemphasized,

as it helps establish trust and enhances their sense of control. Because budgets are smaller, there’s greater scrutiny over every expense. The SMB owner makes purchase decisions through the goggles of an internal “success filter” – if they see the product or service will help them succeed, they’re more likely to make the purchase. Audience insights should be used to communicate with SMB audiences in ways that clearly, and, if possible, tangibly demonstrate the value of your offering based on their business needs and success motivators. According to ECSB research, at the highest level, many small business owners measure their success based on mastery of their trade. Beneath this level, small business owners cluster by success driver, each with unique profiles and messaging hot buttons.

ECSB research suggests that additional things can be done through messaging to enhance the perception of value and to expand relationships with local small business customers. These include: personalize your communications, highlight length of relationships (example: American Express’s “Member Since”) and your historical quality, and tailor your messaging to resonate not only with the persona, but also the geographic region.  It is critical to nurture and protect all existing relationships to leverage the small business owner’s tendency to stick with those they trust. Shore up your loyal local customers, reinforce their decision to work with your brand and, as ECSB says, “make your customers your local presence by mobilizing your local advocates.” Reassure your existing small business customer base that they’re very important to you. Even if they have not made a purchase recently, affirm their decision to have chosen to work with your brand in the past. Make your brand relevant and become a part of your audience’s conversation by providing advice, solutions and forums that help meet their needs.

Fineline Printing Group – connect • July/August 2012


14

columnist

How Does Your Brand Look to the Public?

By Joe Thomas

A lot is riding on a website that’s working for a business. It has to convey brand and professionalism, communicate the right message and engage visitors. Every detail plays a role, from the logo and the text to the design and functionality. A recent client, Marsha Friedman of EMSI public relations, understood that so well, she put off developing a badly needed new website for five years. “I knew how important every detail was, so I was afraid the process would be long and painful and still, in the end, I’d be dissatisfied,” says Friedman, who happily reports just the opposite was true. I’m amazed by the calls I field daily from high-level brainy types who have this fantastic

ways to keep your customers’ visiting your website website designed by the hotshot-friend-of-thenephew-of-their-sister’s-third-cousin. But their product, service or book just isn’t selling on the site. Usually, my first thought is to offer them a discounted handful of magic beans and tell them to hope for the best. But alas, I’ve run out of magic beans.

They’ve spent months, even years, developing their business or products, writing their books or becoming an expert in their fields. Then, three weeks before they launch into the market, they find the least expensive “web guru” to build their site. Approached this way, 9.7 times out of 10, they’ll wind up with a somewhat functional disaster. Oh, but they love the look. There’s a blinking leprechaun, some groovy scrolling text and, of course, really hip music that plays when visitors hover their mouse over the little thingy at the top. Unfortunately, under the circumstances described above, they would most likely have to be a toilet paper manufacturer with inventory two days after the world runs out of toilet paper to have any kind of measurable success.

So, what can you do? Here are five things I recommend to prospective clients: Know your objective: If you don’t know or understand your needs and goals for your website, you can’t explain them to your web developer. Think it through. Do some research. Your web developer, regardless of talent or expertise, will be only as effective as your explanation and/or description.

Give yourself time to develop your plan: You can’t be effective if you just slap six web pages together with a “Buy Now” button. It just doesn’t work like that. Fully develop your web strategy and content before you jump in. Without a blueprint, you’re just throwing darts at a board.

Don’t be married to it: Prepare to adapt. Don’t get too attached to your initial website idea. Be prepared for change. An experienced developer will help mold your initial concept into a polished, functional and beautiful destination. He should help you navigate the pitfalls. Trust his expertise. When he gives advice, listen. Most of us have made all the mistakes already.

First impressions are everything: The concept, content and message of your website are ultra-important. On the web, image is everything. Your site must clearly convey your message or describe the benefits of your product or service. Visitors should be able to easily find the information they’re looking for. You have eight seconds to “capture” their interest. The first thing they see will make a huge difference in whether they stay or go.

You can’t sell what can’t be found: Sure, without traffic, your website means nothing. So, your next step is media exposure, from building your social networking connections, to getting seen and/or heard in print and on TV and radio. You work hard to get noticed, so don’t drive people away with a poor website. Make it top of mind.

Joe Thomas is founder and owner of Left Brain Digital (www.leftbraindigital.com), a web development company. An award-winning web designer/developer, he has more than 18 years of experience in print and web design and development.

July/August 2012 • connect – Fineline Printing Group


book recommendation

15

Abundance Authored by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

“A

bundance,” the new book from tech entrepreneur turned philan-

thropist, Peter H. Diamandis, and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler, shows us how radical new technologies may soon transform society and lead to an era where the concept of scarcity no longer dominates economic and social thinking. In other words, capitalism has thrived in a world defined by “haves” and “have-nots.”

However, advances on the horizon soon will be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. According to the authors, abundance for all is within our grasp. “Abundance” is an optimistic book that provides a contrarian view to the future. While the tone is positive, what’s more impactful is its thought-provoking content. The writing may ignore some potential negative consequences of abundance, but at least it gets us thinking about how abundance will impact our lives. The exhaustive research conducted by Kotler and Diamandis affords us the chance to understand how the landscape will change in the coming years, and how we may need to adjust our roles. “Abundance” does an excellent job of painting a positive picture, but reminds us that this change will command a great amount of sacrifice and energy from each of us. connect recommends giving it a read, because we believe it introduces an important perspective that should be a part of any discussion about the future.

“Abundance” does an excellent job of painting a positive picture, but reminds us that this change will command a great amount of sacrifice and energy from each of us.

Fineline Printing Group – connect • July/August 2012


“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” ~ Henry Ford

SAVE THE DATE! Oct 11, 2012

Multi Generational Marketing

Today’s marketers face a generational landscape that has never been more varied or pronounced. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect strategy to sell to a cross-generational audience. Before you can think about how Featured Presenter: to attract the various generations, you need to understand them. What Dr. Carol Hagans Wroblewski external forces have shaped them? Who are their influences? What are their values? Attend this Fineline University session to understand the various generations. Learn how local marketing mavens are successfully tackling the challenges within their own marketing campaigns. Email: info@FinelinePrintingGroup.com with the subject line “Generations” to receive an official invitation in September.

317.872.4490 ext. 228

Info@FinelinePrintingGroup.com FinelinePrintingGroup.com

About Fineline Universities: Fineline is committed to the continuous improvement of our staff, workflows, and manufacturing techniques. Equally, we’re committed to fostering the betterment of our customers. As such, Fineline Universities are educational events for our clients, created and funded by Fineline. Each topic is carefully selected, based on our customers’ expressed needs. Every session has practical content, so you get specific action steps to bring back to your team and implement. Our University Series is another way Fineline helps our customers grow and achieve its goals. The core of Fineline University is the Fineline motto: we will not ask for your business until we can improve it.


connect: July/August 2012