ThinkSpring Marketing & Communications

Category Archive: Trends

B2B marketing tip #162: Adapt your e-design

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekThere’s more to converting your marketing materials to electronic deliverables than simply posting PDFs online. Multi-page spreads and magazine-like articles may be great in hard copy—and impossible to manage when read on a desktop monitor or mobile device. Do your audience a favor and boost your effectiveness by adapting your design to the medium.

Avoid long columns that make the reader scroll up and down to read, and layouts that require readers to magnify and decrease their view in order to see the whole picture. If possible, ditch PDFs in favor of responsive design templates that automatically size content based on your audience’s device, smart phone or desktop.

B2B marketing tip #147: Bringing marketing and IT together

One of the hottest organizational trends is restructuring marketing and IT to a single reporting relationship—signifying how technical the 21st century marketer’s job has become.

Even if this isn’t yet the case for your company, be proactive and schedule a recurring meeting with your IT leadership. Work together to forge a constructive relationship and clear understanding of what each team needs to do, in order to power your marketing infrastructure. Consider everything from the website and social media, to CRM and email marketing, to opportunities for deeper data analysis, security and automation.

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B2B marketing tip #144: Sharpen your skills

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekMarketing continues to become a more technical profession. Stay competitive in your job by keeping current on the latest skills, from social media marketing to data analysis and content curation. 

Check out LinkedIn’s list of the “25 Hottest Skills That Got People Hired” in 2013.

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B2B marketing tip #98: Picture this

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekInstead of an article, blog post or whitepaper, look for ways to put your educational content into an infographic. Use compelling statistics and a professional graphic designer.

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B2B marketing tip #84: Think mobile

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekWith the abundance of smartphones and tablets, B2B websites and emails need to work in multiple platforms—not just on the desktop.

Review your creative and adjust design and content elements to make a splash in both worlds. Test periodically on different devices and browsers.

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Seen+Heard: 2013 B2B marketing benchmarks

Seen + HeardFor this week’s “Best of the Web,” the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs team up for their annual survey of trends in B2B content marketing—usage, spending and results.

While spend is increasing for 2013 and more than 90% of B2B marketers have a content marketing program, in the form of social media articles, blogs, e-newsletters, webinars, videos and other formats, the confidence gap is also growing, with fewer companies certain their tactics generate results.

Check it out.>>

Ready to move your content marketing program forward? Get the skinny on content marketing.

Every Friday, Seen+Heard presents a link to some of the best B2B marketing thinking on the web. Have a great B2B article to share or a topic you’d like to see? Tweet me @ThinkSpringMktg or contact me.

B2B marketing tip #48: Print smart

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekIs your marketing budget tied up in a dustry storeroom stuffed with boxes of brochures? Investigate print-on-demand options that facilitate high-quality, short-run output. Use this method to reduce costs, improve accuracy and even customize materials by sales rep or territory.

Follow the B2B Marketing “Tip of the Week” every Monday for a short, practical recommendation to improve your marketing effectiveness. Looking for suggestions in a specific area? Tweet me your request @ThinkSpringMktg or contact me.

What’s on your menu?

Eight best practices for marketing B2B professional services and consulting

Imagine dining at your favorite restaurant. Relaxing atmosphere, professional chef, great ingredients—only this time, there are no menus, no daily specials and no list prices. It’s up to you and the waiter to put a name to your craving and dream up the best cuisine.

Sound appealing? Or daunting?

Many organizations promote and sell their services offerings in exactly this way, using a “sky’s the limit, we can do anything” approach that leaves it up to the buyer to decipher their needs, understand the potential solutions and create a package offering that fits their budget.

The problem with this approach is that it places the buyer in the role of expert—not your organization. It adds time and confusion to the sales process, and more often than not, leaves market opportunities unmet.

Specifics sell

There’s a reason McDonald’s lets you order by number and a reason your favorite restaurant specializes in a certain type of cuisine. Specifics sell. Click here to read more »

Selling the air

Why services marketing matters for all B2B organizations

Promoting B2B products and promoting B2B professional services and consulting used to be two different things.

The first was all about features and innovation, the second a way to deliver efficiency or expertise to business processes. Marketers could specialize and spend an entire career in one niche or the other.

 Technology today blurs those lines:

  • Software is now a service, residing in the cloud rather than the desktop.
  • Distribution and logistics firms are rethinking their offerings as music, video, games and books no longer require physical inventory or shipping.
  • A push to automate paper-based processes is driving everything from the accounts receivable workflow to our medical records into a virtual world.

In essence, products and services are now paired up like salt and pepper. Every B2B marketer needs a working knowledge of best practices for marketing services and consulting.

Click here to read more »

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