Proteus B2B Marketing Blog

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…)

Mapping and Effectively Using Twitter Hashtags for Business

September 21st, 2010 Posted by B2B Social Media 9 thoughts
How to effectively use Twitter hashtags in B2B marketing

Including hashtags in your tweets is a powerful way to extend the reach of your activity on Twitter. While people can follow other Twitter users, they can also follow hashtags. Tools like TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop, and HootSuite are great for monitoring hashtag streams.

When you include a hashtag in your tweet, your tweet will get seen not only by those who follow you, but also by those who follow the hashtag you include.

But which hashtags should you use? What’s your hashtag strategy? Do you have one? (more…)

Huge Update to the List of Top B2B Blogs

August 22nd, 2010 Posted by B2B Social Media 7 thoughts
The big list of top B2B marketing and sales blogs

Thanks to all the B2B marketing and sales experts who continually blog, sharing your insights and adding to the collective knowledge or the broader B2B community.

Since we originally posted the list on our site, we’ve continued to update it periodically. Now, we’ve completed a comprehensive revision to The List of Top B2B Blogs. (more…)

The Benefits, Limitations, And Risks Of Shared Platforms

August 19th, 2010 Posted by B2B Search Engine Optimization 1 thought

There are a number of shared platforms for B2B marketers that promise increased traffic and search visibility for their members. Before you subscribe to a shared platform, be sure you understand whether it will really help you and how to best use it to drive increased visibility in the search results. This article looks at an example of one of those platforms and how to best use it. You can use the information to evaluate other shared platforms relevant to your business. (more…)

Be Careful What Assumptions You Make with Analytics

July 23rd, 2010 Posted by B2B Search Engine Optimization 4 thoughts

Analytics are great. They provide us with loads of good information. The danger is what we do with that information and in the assumptions we make.

Here are three faulty assumptions I see regularly. Please share yours, too.

(more…)

Are You Positioned as one of Few Credible Substitutes in Your Market?

June 28th, 2010 Posted by Positioning 1 thought
Image of business trying to determine its positioning strategy

In today’s economy, no one wants to turn away business. But smart marketers are positioning themselves to do just that.

Most companies fall into the trap of positioning the company as broadly as possible, trying to be relevant to the broadest number of potential purchasers. That way, any lead or inquiry has opportunity. But this approach creates a broad range of lead quality and makes you chase nearly every lead, eating up large amounts of time and money. And as you try to close that business, you’ll be competing as a generalist. You’ll fight hard to get on the short list; you’ll be competing with other generalists and with specialists. (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…)

Why B2B Blogs are not Achieving SEO Success

June 2nd, 2010 Posted by B2B Search Engine Optimization 2 thoughts

In early May, I led the Hot Seat Lab on Better Blogging for Business at MarketingProfs’ B2B Forum in Boston. In it, three brave B2B marketers volunteered to have their corporate blogs critiqued in front of a room full of peers. While the blogs obviously differed in design and content, their shortcomings from an SEO standpoint were surprisingly similar—and substantial. Here’s a summary of the problems they shared and what to do about them. (more…)

Content SEO: Best Practices and What to Avoid

May 4th, 2010 Posted by B2B Search Engine Optimization 3 thoughts
B2B Forum Boston Logo

Live Blogging from MarketingProfs B2B Forum.

A series of posts covering selected sessions at this year’s conference in Boston.

Speakers:
Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Jiyan Wei, Product Manager, Vocus, PRWeb.com

At the start of the presentation, Lee cited several stats:
60% of marketers plan to take money away from traditional marketing and spend it on interactive instead, and 59% of that interactive spend will go towards SE and PPC (Forrester Search Engine Marketing Model, 4/09 US)

48% of senior marketing executives considered the most effective online marketing tactic for Generating Conversions (Forbes 2009 Ad Effectiveness Survey)

62% of B2B Marketers plan to increase SEM budgets in 2010. (more…)

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