Author Archives: Jennifer Ross

About the Author

Jennifer Ross is Research Director, Demand Creation Strategies, at SiriusDecisions. Throughout her 20 years as an executive-level marketer, Jennifer has employed integrated, multi-channel inbound/outbound marketing campaigns to generate demand, increase brand identity and awareness, and drive business growth. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @jenross17

From Likes to Leads: Tips for an Effective Conversion Strategy

The overuse of the word “like” in our everyday communications is flagrant. As much as I hate it when I hear others tossing the word meaninglessly into their conversations, I still catch myself doing it. Like so many others before me, I blame Frank and Moon Unit Zappa and their 1982 song “Valley Girl” for my transgressions. Now, thanks to the introduction of the “like” button on Facebook in 2009, we have another “like” to contend with – and this one is just as rampant. Sure, Facebook “likes” have their place; it’s the quickest and easiest way for a contact to show appreciation of a post or a page. But clicking “like” has become almost as commonplace as peppering our conversations with the word “like.”

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Global Marketing Campaigns: The End of One-Size-Fits-All

Americans traveling to Europe know that their electronic devices aren’t plug-and-play. Through the use of adapters, they’re made suitable for different voltages and electrical sockets. The same concept can be applied to marketers developing demand creation programs for European markets. A recent SiriusDecisions study examined the demand creation strategies of more than 400 b-to-b organizations across France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Nordics, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. We asked demand creation professionals how much they rely on centrally (global) or regionally based (pan-EMEA) shared marketing resources teams to support their demand creation efforts in local markets. The vast majority (84 percent) indicated that they rely on these resources to support some, if not all, of their demand creation efforts. The study findings also indicated to what extent demand programs are adapted or customized for local use:

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Delivering an Engaging Analyst Briefing: An Insider’s View

Organizations of all types are in hot pursuit of analyst coverage, and ideally a vendor briefing provides an opportunity to establish the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship. Unfortunately, vendors often fail to make the best use of the time allocated, and many introductory briefings fall short on delivering content than an analyst finds meaningful. Getting it right can be tough. Analyst briefing strategies demand careful planning and even more careful execution to best represent your company’s capabilities to buyers and prospects. Here are some dos and don’ts to optimize your briefing time and deliver content that captivates an analyst audience:

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SiriusDecisions Study Shows Evolving Marketing Mix in European Markets

We surveyed marketing leaders and demand creation professionals in European markets including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the Nordic region. We asked participants to identify their marketing mix across four categories: inbound, outbound, social and mobile marketing. Although social and mobile fall into the inbound and outbound categories, respectively, we measured them independently to examine their prevalence in the demand creation mix. Here’s what marketers revealed about how their demand creation program spend is shifting:

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Selecting the Right Partner for Your Web Site

On May 29, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary reached the top of Mount Everest, but he wouldn't have succeeded without his fellow climber, the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Sherpas had long been known for their positive spirit, strength and mountain skills, and Hillary’s choice of partner was critical to his ability to literally reach new heights. I’ve actually heard b-to-b marketers liken their Web site initiatives to climbing Mount Everest. Very few have all the necessary skills to navigate the journey, so they seek to partner with external agencies specializing in Web technology. With the rapid pace of innovation in Web technologies and Internet marketing, hundreds of Web design and Web development companies are ready and willing to assist, but selecting the right partner can be a daunting task. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a Web partner:

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Bridging the Marketing Skills Gap

As the complexity of the b-to-b marketing landscape grows, one of the challenges that marketing leaders face is identifying the skills needed across the marketing organization. The infusion of technology in marketing has introduced the need for a specialized technical skill set in areas such as digital, social, mobile and CRM.

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The Most Common Misconception About Lead Nurturing

My discussions with b-to-b marketers who want to implement a lead nurture program or enhance existing programs almost always begin with one major misconception about the true meaning of lead nurturing. Many marketers describe lead nurturing as a process that involves an automated response to a broad set of targets, followed by a series of emails offering potential buyers a wide variety of assets. That sounds a lot like a drip marketing program! And drip marketing isn’t the same as a true lead nurturing effort. Here are some tips to help you make this distinction and guide the development of a focused, effective approach to lead nurturing.

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More on Maximizing the Effectiveness of Events for Pipeline Acceleration

My last blog post, “Maximizing the Effectiveness of Events for Pipeline Acceleration,” struck a chord with many marketers who are struggling to increase the effectiveness of their event strategies. Not surprisingly, most of the comments and inquiries I received were from marketers seeking additional guidance on improving the effectiveness of the ever popular “closing event,” an example of what we refer to as last-mile pipeline acceleration.

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Maximizing the Effectiveness of Events for Pipeline Acceleration

Events are a part of every b-to-b organization’s marketing mix, but few organizations have a well-defined event strategy. Unless, of course, you consider “because we’ve always done it that way” a strategy. The truth is, very few organizations are disciplined enough to create demand by planning a range of events that are targeted at various audiences and buying roles. Even fewer use events to help influence and increase the rate at which opportunities move through the pipeline.

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Five Tips for Optimizing Paid Search Campaigns

Most b-to-b marketing organizations are spending up to 10 percent of their marketing budgets on paid search initiatives, but few have taken the time to define clear objectives. On top of that, once paid search initiatives are in place, even fewer are revisiting them regularly to optimize their performance. If this rings true for your organization, make sure your marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2013 include an update of your paid search programs. Here are five tips to improve the effectiveness of your paid search initiatives.

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