More Money for Marketing – Budgets to Increase Again

Good news for companies with products that target Marketing groups. There should be more money to go around this year. According to a Gartner report published in October of 2016, the average Marketing budget is now up to 12% of company revenue.

The numbers don’t vary too greatly between B2B and B2C companies, with B2B companies receiving 12.3% of the company’s revenue vs 11.6% for B2C brands. Unsurprisingly, high tech companies devote the largest percent of revenue to marketing, at 13.3%

The key in the budget escalation is that large enterprises have accepted the new world of marketing. For many years, social media was a place where the smart and hungry start-ups could out-maneuver their established competitors for a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing budget. But according to Gartner, enterprises have adapted. “Large established brands must out-market startups. As scrappy disrupters threaten the hard-earned franchises, these more established companies are forced to compete defensively, which may necessitate higher investments in everything from customer insight to innovation to advertising.”

One traditional marketing tactic appears to continue its importance. 65% of marketing leaders surveyed said they plan to increase spending on digital advertising, with 23% expecting a significant increase. This is being led by the increased importance of video, which is more expensive than other digital techniques for both media and production.

But many people ask, “With all the marketing automation tools and programmatic advertising designed to decrease marketing costs, why do budgets need to increase?”

“The problem with marketing automation tools is that everyone has access to them,” says Marketing Consultant Elizabeth Case. “So instead of competing for a customer’s eyeballs in a landscape of 100 touchpoints, we’re all competing to attract that same eyeball in 100,000 touchpoints. Thus, while they may get more for their money, they still need to spend more money to find the eyeballs.”

However, the news is not all good across the board. While the average marketing exec expects a bigger checkbook, a higher percentage than ever before (14%) expect to see a cut back. So why the contrarian approach from this group? Ironically, it’s the media companies that are cutting back their marketing spend. The industry that is most reliant on advertising to survive, is being forced to slash their own marketing budgets.

Also, marketers at smaller companies are being asked to do more with less. “CEO’s of small to mid-sized businesses read the articles and believe the promise that whatever technology they invest in can save them 10-50%,” says Derek Merdinyan, CEO of video production company Video Igniter. “So the marketing folks at SMB’s are being asked to run premium campaigns on a shoestring budget. Meanwhile, the enterprises are now spending more so they can catch up to the ways they’ve been traditionally outmaneuvered by start-ups.”

So what kind of technology companies benefit from this shifting landscape?

  • First, Gartner sees a tighter integration between sales and marketing teams. Marketing programs that easily integrate with CRM’s are likely to be adopted.
  • Next, the CMO is gaining responsibility. According to Gartner, in more than 30% of organizations, at least some aspects of sales, IT and customer experience report into the CMO.
  • Finally, Gartner states that Marketing leaders will set aside 10% of the marketing budget for innovation. Customer experience and digital commerce are the top two areas of innovation projects marketing leaders say they’re currently pursuing — 53% for customer experience and 51% for digital commerce.

So in the end, there’s more money to be had from Marketing departments. But it’s not a simple gold rush. Companies must be wise in what they offer and who they target. If they have the right use case for the right audience, they should be able to grow their own revenues.

Top B2B Marketing Whitepapers and Reports

If you’re like me, your Facebook and LinkedIn feeds are inundated with articles, whitepapers, and industry reports. Now most of you probably skip them, but I find these much more enlightening than the latest political argument my friends and colleagues are engaged in. So to make life easier on all of you, I’ve listed a few of the reports I think are worth a read.

(Note: Most of these will require you to provide an email address to the company that wrote it. Be a good marketing person and reward the content team for their hard work.)

  1. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management: The market for CRM lead management applications continues to grow, evolve and mature. This Magic Quadrant evaluates 17 providers to help IT leaders find the right choice for their company, in collaboration with marketing, sales and digital commerce leaders.
  2. 2016 State of Marketing, from Salesforce: Trends and insights from nearly 4,000 marketing leaders worldwide.
  3. The State of Inbound 2016, from Hubspot: HubSpot’s 8th Annual Report, Tracking the Future of Inbound Marketing and Sales
  4. The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2016, from Freely: 347 marketing statistics for 2016 that you can use in your own content.
  5. Inbound Marketing Examples, from Hubspot: Hubspot Academy-approved examples of what others have built with the platform.
  6. Digital Marketing Resources, from Salesforce: A library of Salesforce’s most popular pieces on topics like list growth, Facebook marketing, mobile marketing strategy, customer lifecycle marketing
  7. Mobile Messaging Report 2016, by Mobile Ecosystem Forum and mblox: The MEF indexes the messaging habits of nearly 6000 respondents across nine countries worldwide.
  8. The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to B2B Marketing, from LinkedIn: Learn how to leverage LinkedIn’s marketing solutions, including content marketing campaigns, native advertising, sales lead generation, and brand awareness.
  9. The State of Facebook Advertising, by Marin Software: Year-over-year trend charts detailing spend, clicks, and CTR, the growth outlook for Facebook on mobile devices, and why Facebook is paying so much attention to its video ad formats
  10. 2016 Mobile App Retrospective, by App Annie: App Annie details the markets that saw the most growth in 2016 for downloads and usage, the growing monetization opportunity for publishers across categories, the top industries that are being transformed by mobile apps, and the trends publishers must stay on top of.
  11. Top 10 Big Data Trends for 2017, by Tableau Software: Tableau highlights the top big data trends for 2017.
  12. Mobile Messaging Report 2016, by Mobile Ecosystem Forum and mblox: The MEF indexes the messaging habits of nearly 6000 respondents across nine countries worldwide.
  13. How to Nail a Mobile Campaign Using SMS and Mobile Apps, by mobileStorm: Mobile apps now give your brand limitless choices on how to communicate, but this whitepaper details how to incorporate them into a larger mix that includes SMS.
  14. Mobile First Brand Loyalty Strategy Guide, by Punchkick Interactive: Learn how your brand can use mobile to build a more effective customer loyalty or rewards program.
  15. Top App Marketing Agencies List 2016, by mobyaffiliates: Need a Mobile Agency? Use this as a handy starting guide.
  16. B2B Marketing Strategies by 2020, by Sundog Interactive: Predictions for the future from an interactive agency.

Andreesen Horowitz on Product Market Fit

Andreesen Horowitz recently syndicated an article written by Tren Griffin of 25iq.com. The topic was Product Market Fit, and Griffin does an outstanding job of detailing 12 important points, drawing quotes from some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names.

You should read the whole article here or here, but I’ve put together a quick 30 second synopsis. I highlighted some of the points that resonated with my personal experiences over years of marketing B2B and B2C products. I think it’s easy for many of us to forget some of these high-level concepts when we’re grinding it out in the weeds.

(Note: Bold headlines are my personal takeaways, and the quotes are straight from Griffin’s article.)

  1. The Market always wins. “When a great team meets a lousy market, market wins. When a lousy team meets a great market, market wins. When a great team meets a great market, something special happens.”
  2. All the marketing tactics in the world – pricing, branding, lead nurturing, content, etc – are useless if no one needs the product. “If you address a market that really wants your product — if the dogs are eating the dog food — then you can screw up almost everything in the company and you will succeed. Conversely, if you’re really good at execution but the dogs don’t want to eat the dog food, you have no chance of winning.”
  3. If you take your blinders off, you can usually know if you have a fit without looking at the numbers.“You can always feel when product/market fit isn’t happening. The customers aren’t quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn’t spreading, usage isn’t growing that fast, press reviews are kind of ‘blah’, the sales cycle takes too long, and lots of deals never close.”
  4. You have a product market fit if you don’t actually need to market the product. “You know you have fit if your product grows exponentially with no marketing. That is only possible if you have huge word of mouth. Word of mouth is only possible if you have delighted your customer.”
  5. The market will tell you when you have a product they want, not the other way around. “In a great market — a market with lots of real potential customers — the market pulls product out of the startup.”
  6. The “Idea” is 5% of the battle. You win when the idea you want to build evolves into the product the market wants to buy.“First to market seldom matters. Rather, first to product/market fit is almost always the long-term winner.”
  7. You never win at launch. You win when launch turns into scale.  “Getting product right means finding product/market fit. It does not mean launching the product. It means getting to the point where the market accepts your product and wants more of it.”

I’m sure everyone will takeaway something different from Griffin’s article. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Stories You Missed – January 2017

We all can’t read everything, and our Facebook feeds are now overrun with political arguing. So to make things easy for you, I’ve assembled some of the stories from last month about tech, marketing, sports and Seattle that you may find interesting.

  1. Three Sounders FC Departments Honored with 2016 MLS Club and Executive Awards: Congrats to the team members who don’t wear jerseys. Sounders FC tied for the lead among all clubs with its three awards: Corporate Partnerships Team of the Year, Marketing Team of the Year and Public Relations Team of the Year. I don’t know how these awards are judged, but if you enjoy your time at Sounders games, these groups probably play a big role.
  2. After Buyouts, Layoffs, 23 Staffers Exit ‘Seattle Times’: Well if you think that the national newscasts are a series of partisan wonks arguing talking points back and forth, then you won’t like this article. The newspapers still can’t figure out a business model, which means more cuts to local journalists. If you have an idea for how to save local news, you’re running out of time to share it.
  3. Dramatic video footage shows drone circling and then crashing into Seattle’s Space Needle: Well I guess this is why we can’t let everyone just fly their drones around all the time…
  4. The latest Amazon-occupied building sale shows how far Seattle real estate has come in last decade: If you think your house or apartment is expensive, imagine trying to buy an office building in Seattle these days. One of Amazon’s 290,000 square foot office buildings just sold for $269 million – or about $925 a square foot. That compares to $1.85 Million for your 2000 square foot house.
  5. Venture Investment in Seattle Area Companies Falls 27 Percent in 2016: It was a mixed bag of news about how much money investors poured into Seattle companies in 2016. On the downside, for the full year, investors poured just over $1.5 billion into 282 local deals, down 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively, from 2015. But on the upside, the fourth quarter of 2016 saw 77 local deals completed, totaling $561.3 million, compared to 81 deals totaling $190.6 million in the same period of 2015, and the final six months of 2016 saw a combined 157 deals, up 26 percent from the first half of the year, and $919.7 million invested, up 58 percent.

Oh and the Seahawks lost. But we don’t need to rehash that.

Have a good story to share? Email me and let me know.

How Much Should We Blame the News Media for Donald Trump?

There have been a lot of articles about how the media, needing a way to breathe life into this election 12 months ago, hooked itself up to the Trump Train and rode it through every area of chaos it went, cashing their checks whenever it came into the station to refuel. It really wasn’t until they realized that a Trump Presidency was becoming ACTUALLY POSSIBLE, that the media jumped off and then started blowing up the tracks ahead in hopes of derailing it.

But that’s not the question I’m asking now. What I’m curious about is how much we should blame the collective news media for dumbing-down the news so much over the last 10-20 years? Was it only a matter of time before someone like Trump was able to attract the hearts and the simplified minds of “Soundbite America?”

Maybe it’s not their fault. Maybe it’s ours for only being able to absorb 8-10 minutes before needing a commercial break. Maybe we need to be mesmerized with four talking heads each bringing their best two to three minutes of content to a discussion. In this format, no one ever has time to discuss a “How.” It’s only about the “Why” and you usually have a full screen of people with polar opposite opinions fighting to get in the best dig.

But then, I could argue that IS the media’s fault for forcing that format down our eyeballs and earholes. What is the total cost of losing a few viewers to make sure that the people who keep watching get something more thorough than clever quips and cut downs?

I don’t know the answer to that. Broadcasters are owned by public companies so they need as much money as they can get to survive this new media economy that forced them to lose their near oligopoly status. Yes, it is much harder to compete in a bifurcated market than to be one of a handful of outlets covering news. So I understand the need to dumb down the news to make it appeal to more people. But I’m not sure I’m happy with the results.

Check Out This Sneaky Amazon Product Placement

Q: If you are a TV show on the bubble between renewal and cancellation, what’s the best way to make the bosses happy?
A: Make them more money.

Undateable will never win an Emmy. It’s niche is that in its 3rd season (and basically out of desperation due to being moved to the Friday night dustbin), it decided to shoot every episode live. The result is a hyped up Friday night live studio audience that contributes to a show that is part script / part improv.

BUT… that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be back for Season 4. So the show needs an extra revenue source on top of the normal :30 spots to secure its place in the Fall lineup.

Enter Amazon, in what is one of the sneakiest product placement deals I can imagine. Remember, subliminal advertising is illegal. But subliminal product placement apparently is not. I counted about four different camera angles in two different scenes where the logo is visible. I’m going to estimate the logo got about 60-120 seconds of airtime. How much do you think that subliminal product placement is worth? More or less than a :30 spot?

Can you spot it?

Undateable and Amazon 1

Undateable and Amazon 2

Undateable and Amazon 3

Undateable and Amazon 4

Undateable and Amazon 5

The New 4 C’s of Marketing

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about marketing topics, and reading conflicting arguments on whether “Content Marketing” is dead. After listening to both sides of the debate, I think I’ve landed on the position that “Content Marketing” IS “Marketing” in 2016.

Everything from lead generation to sales tools are now dependent on a solid content strategy. So I put forth the new “4 C’s of Marketing.” Everything you do today needs the following attributes.

1) Consistent
In early meetings with clients, I like to advise them to look at the masters of content when coming up with their content development model. Sunday football games are always at 10:00am and 1:25pm Pacific time. Movies always come out on Fridays. Music always drops on Tuesdays. TV shows are scheduled for a certain day and time all season long. Magazines get delivered on the same day each week. Etc…. This is because the most experienced marketers of content in the history of the world know that people have rhythms and habits. They demand some predictability in return for their attention. They appreciate you providing them content, but they won’t search for it, or be happy if it doesn’t show up. Imagine waking up one Sunday morning in October, flipping to CBS or FOX, and finding the NFL got a little busy and moved all the games to Tuesday. It doesn’t work like that. Build an editorial calendar and figure out when you’ll be publishing in each channel.

2) Concise
You have A LOT to say. And it’s all VERY IMPORTANT. Now cut that down to 25%. I’ve become a believer in the 3-30-3 rule. You get 3 seconds to hook someone and earn another 30. In that 30 seconds, you need to pique their curiosity enough to earn their next 3 minutes. And in that 3 minutes, you’re giving them the pitch to earn their email address or whatever you are trying to get from them. But that message up front needs to get across quick.

3) Compelling
Yes, even your company has something interesting to say or a unique way to say it. You cannot just publish a recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and expect an audience. Put on your creative hat and come up with something good. You have a lot of smart people in your org with even more interesting opinions. Find them.

4) Convertible
To the pessimist, the amount of channels in which you need to produce content is terrifying. To the opportunist, it’s a dream come true. All of your content should e specifically tailored to the channel, but it also should be easily transformed. One well-written, long form blog post can also be your email newsletter content, a Powerpoint presentation for Slideshare, a series of soundbites for Twitter, at least a few Facebook posts, a conversation for Blab, and a YouTube video.

Let me know what you think.

Talking B2B Marketing on Blab.it this Wednesday

Well this should be a lot of fun. Wednesday I’ll be joining Dominic Canterbury, President of the Turbine Agency, for a discussion on B2B Marketing and how to reach new markets. We’ll be having our conversation via Blab.it, one of the new forums in which people can discuss topics and have a great dialogue with the audience.

We’ll be kicking off the conversation at 11am PDT at this link. I’d love for you to log in and throw out some questions. Plus, I’d love to hear what you think of Blab.

A Request to the Writers of The Daily Show

Dear Trevor Noah and the rest of The Daily Show writing team,

I have a request for this election season.

Every candidate is busy lining up endorsements from the people they thing will most energize voters. Candidates need endorsements from all the individual politicians, tastemakers and influencers, from President Obama to Jay Inslee to Ed Murray.

But here’s what I would find REALLY interesting. Not who the thought leaders are endorsing. But who the crackpots, weirdos and psychopaths want to see in office. I would learn way more about a candidate by knowing if they are being supported by the craziest of the crazy. After all, candidates can try to hand pick and choreograph the endorsements they get from positive figures. But they’re helpless to defend themselves against endorsements from the “wrong people.”

So Mr. Noah, this is where you come in.

You have the power, the prestige, the connections and the brains to pull together a list of some of the biggest wackos in America AND get them on camera and find out who they are endorsing. You all can dive in and find out why. And as Americans, in some cases we’ll have to reconcile the fact that we support the same candidate as someone we’d never invite over to dinner.

I think the rare combination of ratings winner and public service. Thanks for your consideration.

Your loyal viewer,

Andy

Missed the .COM rush? Grab a .FAMILY Domain for your clan

If you’re not keeping up with all the online tech publications these days, you probably don’t know much about what are called, “Top Level Domains (or TLD’s).” The traditional TLD’s are the ones attached to url’s you know and love – .com, .net, .edu, .org, etc…

But some really smart people realized that with all the url’s already owned by people, the only way to make any money was in the secondary market. And since those smart people who made money the 1st time around weren’t in the secondary market, they needed a way to create a new primary market.

Hence, we have the expansion of hundreds of new TLD’s. Things like .Lawyer, .Ninja, .Me, etc…

The newest one to come out is .Family. For those of you who fancy the idea of having a personalized web site that your family can post info to, or have email addresses with your family surname, the opportunity to get it is now.

Just go to www.name.com and grab your family surname. Note: for most people the surname without an “s” at the end (ie www.Boyer.family) is like $500. Add the “s” (ie www.Boyers.family) is $20.

Note: Yes, those links are referral links above so if you use them, I would get $5 credit to my account (not cash.) But that’s not why I’m writing this. If you don’t want me to get the referral bonus, just type or click thiswww.name.com/domains/family. There’s no referral code attached to that one.