Posts by Richard Hatch

Food for Thought on Content Marketing ROI

September 22nd, 2014 Posted by B2B Marketing 0 thoughts
Food for Thought on Content Marketing ROI

What could happen if you united content, advertising, media, consumer engagement and consumer insight with an interdisciplinary content marketing strategy? We found out when Julie Fleischer, Director, Data + Content + Media at Kraft Foods delivered her opening keynote remarks earlier this month, The ROI on Content: How Kraft Learned the True Value of Their Content and Rebuilt Their Marketing Around It at Content Marketing World 2014. She shared how Kraft rebuilt marketing around content and transformed how they go to market. Kraft’s content is garnering four times better ROI than paid advertising and is capturing the equivalent of 1.1 billion annual ad impressions. (more…)

The Battery Guy, A Brand Ambassador I’ve Never Forgotten (Except His Name)

June 3rd, 2014 Posted by B2B Branding, B2B Marketing 0 thoughts
Brand ambassadors understand, live, and deliver the brand everyday.

Some time ago, I took two of my young grandsons to a West Michigan Whitecaps baseball game. The Whitecaps are the Class A farm team for the Detroit Tigers that play ball in my hometown, Grand Rapids. Like many of the minor league venues, the ball game is just part of the entertainment experience. It’s fun. There’s funky food (like a “dietary disaster” 4800 calorie Frito burger—I’m not kidding), contests, door prizes, promotions, and the gamut of seating options—lawn, box, reserved, corporate suites and party decks for hosting private events. That’s where the brand ambassador comes in for Batteries Plus. (more…)

Title Tag Truncation: The Long and Short of It

May 16th, 2014 Posted by B2B Search Engine Optimization 0 thoughts

By now, you’ve probably either noticed or read in various SEO blog posts and trade articles that title tags in search engine results appear to be a little shorter as of mid-March. Google increased the font size to 18 pixels without increasing space, resulting in fewer characters displayed before truncating titles.

While title tag best practices long held 70 characters in length to be the threshold before titles were truncated, the larger font size now reduces that count to the 55- to 60-character range. But it’s not quite that simple. Google actually uses pixels, not character count in truncation. In fact, that didn’t change. Google also uses Arial, a font with thin and wide characters. Wider characters, capitalization and bold text will consume more title space than thin characters, thus the range. While you probably don’t bold text in title tags, Google does in results for content keywords and search query exact matches. So now, much of what you’ll read suggests limiting title tag width to fewer than 512 pixels—which translates into 55 to 60 viewable characters including spaces. (more…)

A B2B Webinar About B2B Webinars

May 7th, 2014 Posted by B2B Marketing 0 thoughts

It was an interesting online presentation last week—a webinar on webinars. I attended Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) “The Webinar Benchmark Throwdown, You vs. Your Industry Peers.” CMI Founder Joe Pulizzi moderated and Mark Bornstein, Sr. Director of Content Marketing at ON24, spoke at the hour-long interactive presentation that included quiz questions throughout the webinar to test attendees “webinar smarts.” The session centered on results from ON24’s Annual Webinar Benchmark Report 2013, a pretty extensive study of webinar utilization and performance metrics. I hadn’t read the report prior to the webinar, and I’ll give myself a B+ for correctly answering most of the multiple-choice quiz questions—based solely on my personal webinar attendance experience and behaviors. (more…)

Barry Gets It. In B2B Sales, Face Time Still Matters Too.

April 30th, 2014 Posted by B2B Marketing, B2B Selling 0 thoughts

Met with Barry a few months ago, a prospective vendor from a Milwaukee-area based company. Actually, it’s the third time in the past couple years he’s made a point to call a week ahead and asked for 15 or 20 minutes of my time. He swung by the office for a few minutes of face time to show me some of their latest B2B work that might have relevance to our clients’ needs—with a promise to be respectful of my time. I’ve never actually bought anything—as in awarded a project to him. Yet. But when the right one comes along, he’ll definitely get a shot.

There are at least a dozen local companies and probably more, that provide the same type of business services in our local market, Grand Rapids. Most of them are no more than 15 to 20 minutes away from our office, and yet most I’ve never actually met in person and none have ever actually paid a visit. Even when we’ve put a couple projects out for local bids, communication has been entirely by email and phone—with suggestions that I look at their work on their websites. (News flash. I already did. Before you ever knew I was looking. It’s why you got a call from us in the first place.) (more…)

Whether It’s a Tree You Need to Move or B2B Products, This Awesome Online Video Tells a Great Story

April 24th, 2014 Posted by B2B Marketing 0 thoughts

Perhaps you’ve already watched this video about the Ghirardi Compton Oak. It made the rounds on the Internet a while ago. I think it makes a powerful B2B testimonial—for CAT Heavy Equipment and the Hess Landscaping Company. But that’s not what it’s really about. This simple but moving (pun intended) video on the City of League, Texas YouTube Channel documents the relocation and preservation of an iconic century-old oak tree. The massive 518,000 lb., 56 ft. tall tree was moved more than a quarter of a mile to make way for a road-widening project. It’s pretty cool. Yes, I suppose you could give Madison Ave. a million bucks and they’d polish it up—make it slick. But I’m not so sure they‘d do any better capturing the genuine authenticity and credibility that this video does with a few stills, some video clips, graphic titles, a stock music track and, most importantly, a great story to tell (and they did without an announcer).

What I love about this video (besides the story) is what it tells us—and B2B marketers about online video and what you do and don’t need to create good, compelling video content for online presentation today. (more…)

Steer Clear of Price-Only Positioning

June 23rd, 2010 Posted by Positioning 1 thought

In another life, I worked in automotive marketing. A domestic brand. Every time the market tanked, the client, along with their domestic rivals, would predictably do the inevitable. Slap on rebates, trump one another’s incentives, slash prices, sweeten the deal, give away the store, compromise the brand and train customers already accustomed to never paying the asking price to never pay anything close-ever again. (I know. There’s a history of other complex dynamics at work here as well.) Nevertheless, any bump in the road and they squandered what brand integrity they had left to chase market share at almost any cost-and we all know what the painful outcome has been.

But you’d never do that, right? Let’s get real. (more…)

Some Corporate Blogging Insight That Might Be Worth a Fortune

August 3rd, 2008 Posted by B2B Social Media 0 thoughts

If you want some great insight into corporate blogging, both B2B and B2C companies, check out the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki, a directory of Fortune 500 companies with business blogs. The wiki, started as collaborative project between Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson and Socialtext’s Ross Mayfield, is a wiki compilation that’s following active public blogs by company employees blogging about their companies and/or products.

With Mayfield, Easton Ellsworth of We Know Media and John Cass of PR Communications have joined the effort to expand the project. Included on the site are lists and links of blogging Fortune 500 companies, example blogs for each (many have multiple blogs), examples of other social media in use (Twitter, etc.), and reviews. As a side note, you can also write and submit your own reviews of Fortune 500 corporate blogs there. (more…)

I Hated Everyone’s Customer Service Department—Until Yesterday

May 13th, 2008 Posted by B2B Marketing 1 thought
b2b customer service

As a rule, I hate calling customer service. Almost anybody’s customer service department. Until yesterday. Yesterday I called a customer service representative at Grand Rapids Chair Company. No, I didn’t need chairs. Actually, I didn’t even need customer service. I needed to get in touch with my daughter, a customer service representative there. Of course I didn’t mind leaving a message, and I’ll bet their customers are probably fine when they occasionally get voice mail too. Okay, and all biases aside, her voice mail said something like, “ Thanks for calling Grand Rapids Chair. Leave me a message and the name of your favorite 80s rock band, and I’ll get back to you shortly.”

Later, I asked her about her message. She told me it’s something they always do. They change up their voice mail messages every few weeks, but every customer service rep has something creative and fun included in their recorded voice mail messages. Seems to fit really nice with the overall perceptions I have of their company and brand. Essentially, they design and manufacture chairs, bar stools, tables, etc. for the hospitality industry—restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. Trendy designs. Urban designs. Upscale designs. Custom designs. Lots of cool stuff.

For me, the unexpected message really resonated and fit the brand personality. (more…)

The Needs and Wants of B2B Customers

April 29th, 2008 Posted by B2B Marketing 0 thoughts

B2B buyers are emotionless, robotic stiffs that compute rational purchasing decisions based on quantifiable metrics and measurable returns on investment like increased profitability, cost reductions, and enhanced productivity. I couldn’t agree more-except for the emotionless, robotic stiffs part. (more…)

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