Sunday, February 20, 2011

How to Make Supply Chain Management (and your product) Funny

Killer content must be:

  • Relevant
  • Interesting
  • Informative
  • Entertaining

Entertaining? Yes, according to the new book "Content Rules" by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman.

I couldn't agree more.

Think about it, as more and more companies adopt marketing automation, more of the content we all start receiving will be relevant. Geez, when everyone is relevant, now what? Now how do you get their attention?
Get ahead of the curve as an early adopter of marketing automation by ensuring your content is interesting, informative AND entertaining.
So question #1 is which content should I focus on making entertaining? The answer is, which content is currently converting the best? (For those who have adopted Revenue Performance Management, which content is producing the most revenue?
I took a poll of our own Astadia marketing content and here's what I found.

Video outperformed all other types of content by a large margin. In fact the least-watched video still outperformed the best viewed non-video asset by a mile. In addition, we found that:

  • Those watching a video watched more than 1 video
  • Video links got higher SE results than whitepaper, case study or other asset links
Which of your assets currently work the best? Is it video as well?

So why are videos so popular? I think for two main reasons:

  1. They take very little effort to watch (unlike Case Studies or Whitepapers)
  2. Smart Phones make it very easy to watch video, and Smart Phone useage is exploding
So how do you make an entertaining video? Here's a perfect example:

  • COMPANY: Kinaxis, Inc. A Supply Chain Management Company
  • CHALLENGE: Tell potential customers how simple their Supply Chain Management Solution is to implement
  • POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: Write a white paper or a case study.
  • FINAL SOLUTION: Create a funny video instead:


 Once you've watched the above video, check out the follow-up video. It's even funnier!

I would very likely forward these videos to friends and colleagues (just like I'm forwarding to you).

As more and more B2B companies begin to "see the light" and adopt marketing automation, it becomes more important than ever to stand out. Being relevant won't be enough anymore - it's probably not enough now.

I highly recommend reading Content Rules. It's an excellent tactical how-to guide in creating your own killer content.

Visit my brand new website and learn more about content marketing.

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Share the IT Love This Valentine's Day

Sending flowers or candy to your IT Department may not be on your love radar this Valentine’s Day but you might want to consider it. Why? Read on:

According to a recent survey by Alterian, 67% of marketers experience friction with IT in both selecting and implementing social or online marketing tools.

So why all the friction? Well, look at your requests from IT’s perspective. When IT receives your request, they have to consider:
  • Reliability issues
  • Duplication of existing processes or effort
  • Compliance issues
  • Incompatibility issues
  • Security issues
You can’t blame them, since they will usually end up owning and maintaining your requests ongoing. Unfortunately, this usually means delays in implementation, push back in functionality or outright refusals to move forward.

I see the results of this quite often in a registration form. Marketing wants a simple registration form to download a whitepaper. IT wants to incorporate the company’s existing registration process to comply with all the concerns listed above. So marketing ends up with something like this:

Download your complimentary Whitepaper here:
If you don’t already have a login, you have to create a new account, which often includes creating a new username and password. This is usually emailed to you. So what should have taken less than 15 seconds ends up taking 5-10 minutes. Geez, all that just to get a whitepaper?

IT is happy. Marketing is unhappy. Leads are very unhappy. Win/Loose/Loose.

I recommend a compromise.

For these types of activities:
  • Trial software downloads
  • Customer Portal access
  • Support access
  • Etc.
 Use IT’s existing form process.

For marketing-specific assets, such as: 
  • Whitepapers
  • Videos
  • Webinar/event registrations
  • Etc.
Use Eloqua’s built-in form/landing page functionality.

Now, where it gets tricky is where the form field values on the marketing form are different than on the IT form. For example if you want to ask a lead scoring question such as Job Title on your marketing asset form, you’ll likely use a picklist. This same question may also exist on IT’s form but it may be and open text field. So you’ll have to go through each form field for both forms and make sure they are all in sync. You’ll also have to consider form update rules – which field from which source overwrites existing values in CRM.

So make an effort to share the love with your IT Department this Valentine's Day. They don't get much recognition so you'll win big points. And acknowledging their own pain can help you alleviate some of your own.

BTW: Check out Scott Brinker’s Chief Marketing Technologist post about shadow IT. He makes some interesting additional recommendations.

P.S. In February of last year, I wrote a blog called Share The Love This Valentine’s Day which was about sharing the love with sales. To be honest, I think sharing the love with IT is actually the priority, otherwise you won’t have enough form submissions to give sales the BIG love.

Visit my brand new website and learn more about Data Management.

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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