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December 30, 2014 11:47 AM
Instead of predicting what might happen in 2015, Matthew McKenzie, chief content officer at Content4Demand (, offers three things that your B2B marketing team should be doing — no matter what happens.
December 30, 2014 10:49 AM
Sales and marketing, like every other profession, has been greatly impacted by technological advancements. The bulk of a salesperson’s or marketer’s work day today would be unrecognizable by someone doing the job 20 years ago. Yet there seems to be one thing that technology has not displaced as a key component of a successful marketer’s or salesperson’s job: the story.
December 30, 2014 10:58 AM
A Forrester Research review of 30 business-to-business websites in six industries revealed that the majority fail to engage users with content. The report, “B-to-B Content Fails the Customer Engagement Test,” identified 10 criteria for engaging content, ranging from a customer-centric home page to innovative use of video. Only four companies earned a “passing” score from Forrester. The average score was 12.8 on a ranking in which 30 was a perfect score.
December 30, 2014 10:59 AM
Managers who promote brainstorming feel they’re getting the best ideas from their entire team, but research would indicate otherwise. Loran Nordgren, a management professor at the Kellogg School, says the first ideas introduced during a brain-storming session generally have a disproportionate influence over the rest of the conversation. The process is called “anchoring,” and it crushes originality.
December 30, 2014 11:55 AM
The amount of change in marketing technology is staggering. When your goal is to drive leads you constantly look for the silver bullet. If you’re like most marketers, you get overwhelmed keeping up with what’s new. You also fear you are missing out on the next best thing.
December 30, 2014 12:30 PM
At every step along the adoption process, the many forms of “media” employed, whether human or inanimate, communicate messages about the company brand. The company has a high degree of control over some forms of media, but not so much control of others.
December 30, 2014 10:53 AM
There is a distinction between broadcasting your story — storytelling — and living your story, or “storydoing.” Understanding the difference between the two and shifting toward the latter is fundamental to building a business, says Rosemarie Ryan, CEO and co-founder of co:collective (, a strategy consultant that has copyrighted the term “storydoing.” Storytelling has historically been the purview of the marketing department; storydoing must be on the to-do list of the entire organization, Ryan says.
December 30, 2014 11:57 AM
Sales consultant and author Jill Konrath spoke with Jonathan London, co-author of “Using Technology to Sell: Tactics to Ratchet Up Results” (Apress, 2012) about what steps to take now to get maximum impact from technology. Her Q&A appeared on Konrath: What are the biggest mistakes you see sales organizations make relevant to technology?
December 30, 2014 11:05 AM
Sanjay Dholakia, the chief marketing officer at Marketo, a leading provider of marketing automation software, recently spoke with marketing luminary Seth Godin as part of a series on the future of marketing. Some of the highpoints:
December 30, 2014 12:27 PM
Every marketer has heard of the four “Ps” of marketing: product, place, price and promotion. In their book “The People Powered Brand: A Blueprint for B2B Brand and Culture Transformation,” authors Chris Wirthwein and Joe Bannon introduce readers to the “4Q Marketing Framework.” “In our new model, marketing, which encompasses branding, involves answering these questions (the 4Qs):”
December 30, 2014 10:45 AM
A new year is always a good time to take stock of where you’re at and where you want to get to. At Sales & Marketing Management,we’re making some changes to the content we will bring you in 2015, beginning with an increased focus on technology and its impact on the roles of our readers — sales and marketing professionals.
December 30, 2014 10:45 AM
A new year is always a good time to take stock of where you’re at and where you want to get to. At Sales & Marketing Management,we’re making some changes to the content we will bring you in 2015, beginning with an increased focus on technology and its impact on the roles of our readers — sales and marketing professionals.
December 30, 2014 11:46 AM
No one argues anymore about the value of a well-written, widely read company blog. It establishes your expertise in your industry, allowing you to build your reputation footprint and marketing authority. But there are good and bad ways to express authority and speak about expertise, says Chris Quinn, brand strategist at Insight180 (, a branding agency for advisory businesses. It’s important to build your authority in a way that leads to a real connection with your readers or listeners. Quinn offers these tips on establishing authority the right way:
December 30, 2014 12:17 PM
Pop-up shopping has become a popular feature for group incentive travel events. Attendees don’t actually shop, but rather are rewarded with branded merchandise and fitted on-site by representatives from the supplier. Maui Jim, Seiko and, most recently, Tommy Bahama are among the brands that will come to your event and make your attendees feel like VIPs.
December 30, 2014 11:06 AM
For his book “Bootstrap to Billions,” Dileep Rao interviewed 23 hundred-million dollar and five billion-dollar entrepreneurs and discovered that 50 percent of them succeeded with higher prices by offering more value and knowing how to sell that value. “If your strategy is to succeed by pricing low, think again,” Rao says. He offers these tips for focusing on your differentiating factors and pricing accordingly:
December 30, 2014 12:42 PM
Consumer research and a number of studies on workplace recognition show that gift cards remain one of the most popular methods of rewarding top performers. But the high point this year may very well be the nod to gift cards’ popularity in a “Saturday Night Live” spoof of a drab office Christmas Party gone wild. The shy girl from payroll begins “sort of dancing,” Carol from new media launches into the Christmas tree head-first and, “Oh, Snap! The boss is making it rain gift cards!”
December 30, 2014 11:09 AM
I can score a 250 on Wii bowling fairly regularly, no problem. But get me to a real bowling alley, and I’m lucky to break the century mark.  Sadly, none of us will improve significantly at bowling or tennis or golf from the comfort of a living room sofa, and for obvious reasons: The virtual experience is a far cry from the sport it’s trying to simulate. By the same measure, we can’t expect a salesperson to ace our message in front of customers through training techniques that scarcely resemble the actual arenas where sales conversations take place.
December 30, 2014 12:06 PM
One yardstick for measuring the effectiveness of an incentive travel program is the buzz that is generated when the program is announced. An exciting destination gets the salespeople picturing themselves lounging poolside, which motivates them to make an extra sales call or work doubly hard to upsell an existing client. If you’re the program sponsor, everything is working as planned. Until it’s not.
December 30, 2014 12:09 PM
Emergencies will occur during off-site events. Proper preparation goes a long way toward keeping your attendees safe and reconciling the situation. Distribute an emergency preparedness kit to all attendees well in advance of the event that includes emergency contact information and common sense tips. These planning tips from Group Travel Consultants ( are a good start.
December 30, 2014 11:43 AM
No matter what business you are in, you know things about your customers that they don’t know and can’t find out on their own — but that they would value immensely if you would share them. You have access to the big picture and can see different things in the marketplace than what your customers can. You can see problems that are likely to arise, because they have arisen elsewhere; you can see solutions to problems that plague a particular customer or subgroup of customers, because you have seen solutions successfully implemented there.
December 30, 2014 12:24 PM
Before we go any further, it is important to agree on one key fact:
December 30, 2014 12:15 PM
Ubiquity and intangibles such as free Wi-Fi, along with consistent quality of food, are key drivers in getting business travelers to select the restaurants they do, says Robert Neveu, chief executive of expense account processing company Certify. The 10 restaurants expensed most often in the third quarter of 2014 and the average receipt according Certify:   1.   Starbucks ($10.83)   2.   McDonald’s ($7.66)   3.   Subway ($14.99)
December 30, 2014 12:52 PM
Atomic clock
December 30, 2014 12:16 PM
Meals are typically the third-largest cost on business travel expense accounts after airfare and lodging. The stereotypical image of a business traveler downing a $40 porterhouse with a $100 bottle of wine holds true in some circles, but a spending report by Certify, a company that manages corporate expense account processing, states that business travelers of all ages are more often grabbing a meal between meetings or eating at a familiar chain restaurant at the airport before a flight.
December 30, 2014 12:55 PM
At first blush, Laurie Ruettimann is a former corporate human resources director who uses her brassy blog ( to upbraid the women (yes, they are still predominantly women) who continue to fight the HR fight in cubicles around the world. First impressions aren’t all wrong.