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.

Friday Fun – What It Would Take to Make the Mariners the Top Hitting Team in Baseball

I’ll preface this by saying that this will not be the most complex baseball analysis you’ve ever read. I understand that to make this worth anything, I’d need to factor in stadium anomalies, opposing pitcher records and fielding statistics. If you want an exotic smorgasboard of premium baseball analysis, I suggest heading over to the U.S.S. Mariner.com. Consider my contribution here the baseball equivalent of a food truck.

But this week I wondered aloud, what would it take for the Mariners to be the best hitting team in baseball? Are we one player away or nine? I really didn’t know so I dusted off my excel spreadsheet for this totally unscientific report.

The test is simple. If we replaced the lowest performing Mariners starter with the best hitter in baseball, how would team stats change? Then, how many times do we have to do that to be among the top?

Step 1: Where are we today?

Let’s take a look at the MLB Team Batting Averages, ranked 1-30. (Yes, I know Batting Average is an antiquated way to calculate offensive performance. Remember, I’m only working with a food truck kitchen.)

Major_League_Baseball_Team_Averages_April_25

 

Step 2: What do our individual stats look like?

So here’s a quick look at the Mariners batting stats. I highlighted the starters, because that’s really the analysis we need to do. There are 8 clear starters, and 4 players who seem to regularly rotate around as that 9th player in the lineup, and a few guys with a couple of at bats each. So for the purpose of this discussion, which is trading one starter for another, we’ll only work with the 8 regulars.

Mariners_Averages_April_25

 

Step 3: What happens when we trade our lowest performing starter for the leading hitter in baseball?

Again, we’re ranking the best hitter by average, not WAR, OPS or anything complex. Right now, that guy is Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies, who is off to a blistering .410 start. So here’s our new roster, subbing Blackmon for our lowest average starter, Kyle Seager.

Mariners_Averages_April_25_Blackmon

Our average jumped 24 points to .246. So by replacing our worst hitter with MLB’s best, we’ve only made it to 18th on the list.

 

Step 4:  What happens when we trade our two lowest performing starters for the two leading hitters in baseball?

Once again we head to Colorado, where we are kidnapping Troy Tulowitski and putting him on a cargo plane north. This time it’s Brad Miller who is getting our ax.

Mariners_Averages_April_25_Tulowitski

We’ve now jumped to .267 which puts us a very respectable 7th in the league. So what does it take to get to the top?

 

Step 5:  What happens when we trade our THREE lowest performing starters for the THREE leading hitters in baseball?

Say good-bye to Abraham Almonte and please welcome Dayan Viciedo and his .377 average to the Pacific Northwest.

Mariners_Averages_April_25_Viciedo

We’ve now swapped out 33.3% of our starting lineup, and raised our batting average 63 points. And yet, that still keeps us behind the League Leading Colorado Rockies. (And yes, I know that if we took two guys off their roster they wouldn’t be at .301 anymore. Just go with it.)

 

Bonus Section:

I have the spreadsheet built, so let’s do one more just for fun. Suppose we didn’t attain the three top hitters in baseball in what surely would be the savviest three-way trade in the history of baseball. Suppose we just ended up with three hitters who were at the MLB average replacing our lowest three.

Now, this is a little wonky, because I took the MLB averages for all the teams combined, and then divided those by 9. The reasoning is that each team has 9 spots in the batting order, so it’s a fair approximation of what the average player on the average team would do if he played in every game.

Mariners_Averages_April_25_Average

You see we jump up to .241, which only gets us in a tie for 22nd with Arizona.

 

Conclusion:

So how far are the Mariners away from having an offense that strikes fear into opposing pitcher rather than just striking out? Well, we are clearly more than 3 average hitters away. And it’s unlikely we’ll get the three top hitters. So we need at least three well above average hitters to dent the top 10.

If you have a Dropbox account, you can download the spreadsheet here. I don’t know why the numbers look weird in View mode.

If the Mariners Had Kept Everyone They Drafted…

Hat tip to the Snohomish bureau of AndyBoyer.com for digging up this little article from Dominic Lanza at http://itsaboutthemoney.net. The premise  is simple, even though the work was grueling and tedious. Lanza answers the question, “What would every MLB team look like if it was only made up of players it drafted?”

Of course, what you hope is that the team you have today is better than the team on this list. That would indicate you were able to sell the talent you had in your system for more than it was worth, and buy bargains along the way.  Unfortunately, in the Mariners case it looks like we are pretty good at drafting talent, and then selling it at bargain prices.

I added a (*) next to everyone no longer on the roster, meaning they were let go and contributing for someone else now.

Seattle Mariners

Starting Pitchers
• Doug Fister (*)
• Felix Hernandez
• Hisashi Iwakuma
• Brandon Morrow (*)
• Chris Tillman (*)

Bullpen
• Carter Capps
• Shawn Kelley (*)
• Yoervis Medina
• Eric O’Flaherty (*)
• J.J. Putz (*)
• Rafael Soriano (*)
• Matt Thornton (*)

Catchers
• Rene Rivera (*)
• Mike Zunino

Infielders
• Dustin Ackley
• Willie Bloomquist (*)
• Asdrubal Cabrera (*)
• Nick Franklin
• Brad Miller
• Kyle Seager

Outfielders
• Shin-Soo Choo (*)
• Raul Ibanez
• Adam Jones (*)
• Ichiro Suzuki (*)

Designated Hitter
• David Ortiz (*) (though this barely counts.)

More analysis on this report is here on Deadspin.

 

Looking at the Opposite Side of Statistics

Digital Buzz Blog is one of my favorite reads.  And they recently posted some stats which I believe came from Media Bistro.  Now, after you read the stats below, I’m going to give them to you in the exact opposite way.  Tell me if any of the story seems any different.

Version 1:

It was a huge year for Social Media and here is a great infographic that rounds up the key Social Media Statistics to kickoff 2012. It’s pretty impressive to see that Facebook has grown to more than 800 million active users, adding more than 200 million in a single year. Twitter now has 100 million active users and LinkedIn has over 64 million users in North America alone.

A few interesting take outs for social media statistics in 2012:

Facebook Statistics 2012:

  • An average Facebook user has 130 friends and likes 80 pages
  • 56% of consumer say that they are more likely recommend a brand after becoming a fan
  • Each week on Facebook more than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared

Twitter Statistics 2012:

  • 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter
  • 55% of Twitter users access the platform via their mobile

General Social Media Statistics 2012:

  • 30% of B2B marketers are spending million of dollars each year on social media marketing
  • Nearly 30% of these users are not tracking the impact of this marketing
  • 20% of Google searches each day have never been searched for before
  • Out of the 6 billion people on the planet 4.8 billion have a mobile and only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush
Version 2: Just for a Devil’s Argument Sake

Facebook Statistics 2012:

  • An average Facebook user is only connected to 130 of the people in their rolodex, address book, company phone tree and email database, and are only fans of 80 of the brands which they purchase or evaluate
  • 44% of consumers say that they are NOT more likely recommend a brand after becoming a Facebook fan
  • There are roughly 800 Million Facebook users, and each week on Facebook more than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared, meaning the average person shares just 4 pieces of content per week.  With 1 out of every 7 online minutes spent on Facebook, lots of people are lurking but not sharing. 

Twitter Statistics 2012:

  • 66% of marketers have NOT generated leads using Twitter
  • Almost half  (45%) of Twitter users cannot access the platform via their mobile, and are limited to using it on their personal computer.

General Social Media Statistics 2012:

  • 70% of B2B marketers are spending LESS THAN a million dollars each year on social media marketing
  • 80% of Google searches each day are repeat searches

And Now Back to Marketing Stuff…World Cup Ratings Soar

Well the U.S. World Cup team is out.  Sad day last Saturday.  

But thankfully, a combination of high drama, strong ESPN/ABC coverage and a Saturday afternoon match provides a nice segue from soccer stories back into the world of marketing.

According to TVBytheNumbers.com:

The 2010 NBA Playoffs averaged a 3.6 U.S. rating and 5.7 million viewers across ABC, ESPN/ESPN2 and TNT, up 3% in ratings and 5% in viewership from last year (3.5, 5.4 mil), and up 9% and 16%, respectively, from 2008 (3.3, 4.9 mil).  A seven-game NBA Finals more than made up for several sweeps in the second round and consistent declines in the Conference Finals.  

Given those numbers, I was interested to find out how many more people would watch the NBA playoffs than a World Cup soccer game.  Well, according to ESPN:

Saturday’s game, which began at 2:30 p.m. EDT on ABC, received an 8.2 fast national rating, ESPN said Sunday. It was seen in 9,455,000 households and by 14,863,000 viewers. Only the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, featuring the United States and China at the Rose Bowl, averaged more households (11,307,000) and viewers (17,975,000) for a soccer game. An additional 4.5 million people watched Sunday on the Spanish-language Univision.

Wow.  To put those numbers side by side:

  • US vs Ghana Soccer Game: 8.2 rating, 14.9 Million viewers (ABC), 19.4 Million viewers total (ABC+Univision).
  • NBA Playoff average: 3.6 rating, 5.7 Million viewers

Now I know it’s not a fair comparison, since the NBA playoffs also included cities like Oklahoma City where only 3,500 of the 10,000 people with electricity actually know how to work their remote control.  So to be fair, here’s data from the most watched basketball games of the year:

  • Game 7, NBA Finals: 15.6 rating, 28.2 Million viewers
  • Game 6, NBA Finals: 10.4 rating, 18.0 Million viewers.
  • Game 5, NBA Finals: 10.8 rating, 18.7 Million viewers.
  • Game 4, NBA Finals: 9.9 rating, 16.4 Million viewers.
  • Game 3, NBA Finals: 9.6 rating, 16.0 Million viewers.
  • Game 2, NBA Finals: 9.2 rating, 15.7 Million viewers.
  • Game 1, NBA Finals: 8.6 rating, 14.1 Million viewers.

So the U.S. vs Ghana game comes in just under Game 1 of the NBA finals.  I expect that’s much more than ABC expected.

 

Fun Stats With the MLS

It’s Sunday and about 122 degrees in Seattle, so with time to goof around, I thought I’d do some quick stats analysis on the MLS Playoff race.

In the East, it looks like everyone but New York is still in the hunt, as the other 6 teams have between 21 and 30 points. In baseball terms, that means the 6th place team is 3 games back with 13 to play. So, that’s a pretty close race. In the West, it’s a similar chase, with 5 teams between 27-32 points, and a 6th team lurking with 23. So in the American system, realistically 12 out of 15 teams have chances at 8 Playoff births, so that seems to indicate a pretty nutty race to the finish.

 

 

 

So for fun, let’s say we played the same way as the EPL, and just had everyone racing for the title without a playoff system. On the left is what you would get as you enter the final third of the season. Still a remarkably tight race. Everyone is chasing Houston, but 11 teams are still really within 3 games with 11 or more to play.

So, two questions: 1) Why does the MLS have such a competitive race down the stretch, and 2) How does this compare to a league like the EPL?

Question 1 is interesting. One *could* surmise that the talent is of low enough caliber in general that most of the players are kind of the same. You could also surmise that the hardest thing to do in soccer is score, and the MLS just doesn’t have enough scorers so you see a lot of ties. Another acceptable answer is that in the middle of the season, players are asked to join their National teams for World Cup Qualifying, Confederations Cup or Gold Cup. The best players get picked away, and they are probably on the best teams, so all of a sudden a top team loses two-three starters and gets drubbed a few times.

 

Now let’s compare “Points per Match” between the EPL and MLS. Quite simply, the best teams in EPL win more than the best teams in MLS. Which confirms our theory of a lack of good scorers leading to more ties.

Now, it’s easy for a snobby European to say, “Playoffs have no business in soccer. We use tables and season long standings to decide our league winner.” (Which is true, except they also have an FA Cup Tournament which is really a long playoff, and also, in the lower divisions top 2 records automatically get promoted, but the 3-6th place teams battle in a 4 team playoff to see who else gets to move up.)

While I would ordinarily side on the side of English football and tradition, I have to admit that having the Sounders in the middle of a 6 team race for 4 Playoff spots is pretty exciting. 

However, is the playoff system causing more ties?  Are teams just trying to get a single point in order to be the 8th best team? If that’s the case, maybe the EPL system would be better for the MLS.  So what do you think is better – a league where everyone is in the hunt the last few months of the season, or a league where there is more motivation to get a win instead of a tie, even if it means more teams eliminated earlier?