Generating marketing responses: is it a numbers game?

The implementation of a marketing dashboard built using Cognos (a plug for what’s proving to be an indispensable tool) has meant that, for the first time EVER, we’ve had a single view (almost real-time) of all the responses generated from our marketing activity.  I’m building a scorecard for my team to ensure we generate sufficient web responses (i.e. someone has given us their contact details) to meet our targets…

And the data is giving me a headache.

I’d like to say that my headache is caused by analysis paralysis.  But no – the data is giving me a headache because the numbers DO NOT STACK UP.  In a B2B environment we don’t have the luxury of generating thousands of responses.  Current conversion rates for web responses are low, in part because of the complex solutions we sell and the lengthy sales cycles involved.  It’s almost impossible to attribute a white paper download to a deal worth thousands (hundreds of thousands/millions) of GBP£.  (How we’re able to attribute the same opportunity to a customer attending an event has me shaking my head in exasperation…)

In fact, current measurement systems make it very difficult to justify the investment in digital tactics FULL STOP.  And the measurement issue drives self-perpetuating behaviour.  Tactics are chosen because they are easier to measure, not necessarily because they are the right thing to do.

So I look at my lead targets, the number of responses required to meet these, and the lovely Cognos cut of what the web is generating, and a couple of things become clear: Continue reading “Generating marketing responses: is it a numbers game?”

Collaboration – beyond the firewall

On Thursday I had an opportunity to present at a networking event organised by West London Business in partnership with Brunel University, along with my colleague Karl Roche (check-out Karl’s write-up of the event on his blog).  The theme of the event was “Innovation” and Karl and I gave an internal and external perspective on how IBM is using social tools for collaboration.

Prior to the event Karl and I spent hours discussing what we were going to present and how we were going to link to each other’s presentation.  And realised that splitting internal and external comms in the world of web 2.0 wasn’t easy.  Leveraging IBM’s internal audience is imperative in all of our external communication efforts.  In the end, we decided that we’d focus on IBM’s culture and values, and how these enable IBM and its employees to utilise social tools. Continue reading “Collaboration – beyond the firewall”

Web Strategy: (Try to!) focus on the customer

On Tuesday I’m leading a workshop to develop the web strategy for our Demand Programs organisation – something which, to be honest, is completely DAUNTING.

In a large, complex organisation the web is also large and complex.  Each business unit has a vested interest in their own portion of the site, with different objectives and strategies.  The closest I came to finding a single strategy document was an architectural strategy and technical blueprint – god bless IBM and its engineering background!

With so many conflicting interests, the corporate website does start to represent what Jeremiah Owyang stated as:

“… an unbelievable collection of hyperbole, artificial branding, and pro-corporate content.”

In order to take a step back and approach the web with a fresh pair of eyes, I’m adopting the following approach: Continue reading “Web Strategy: (Try to!) focus on the customer”

Drive: the truth about motivation

On Friday morning I was fortunate to attend a breakfast briefing with Dan Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, in conversation with David Rowan, editor of Wired UK.  Dan outlined the premise of his new book – that the current theories around motivation – i.e. external rewards like money and fame, or the fear of punishment (AKA the “carrot and stick” approach)  – do not work.  Continue reading “Drive: the truth about motivation”

Incorporating social media into face-to-face events: During the event

Following on from my post that explored how to incorporate social media into face-to-face events, pre-event, this blog post will look at ways of leveraging these tools during an event.

All pre-event activity should have made mention of the community sites being used – e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  At the event it is a perfect opportunity to remind the audience of these vehicles and Continue reading “Incorporating social media into face-to-face events: During the event”