Monthly Archives: February 2011

Vaughan Gordon

What can we learn from the list of top UK brands online?

By Vaughan Gordon

Today web monitoring company Nielsen announced the top 50 online brands in the UK for 2011.

The top 10 looks like this:

  1. Google
  2. MSN/Windows Live/Bing
  3. Facebook
  4. Yahoo!
  5. BBC
  6. Microsoft
  7. Amazon
  8. YouTube
  9. eBay
  10. Wikipedia

No surprises here. But the data compares 2011 with 2004 and this shows three things.

  • Search is still critically important
  • Social networks/user generated content sites are gaining in influence and size – and rapidly
  • Offline brands are making their prescence felt online

To highlight these last two points it is worth noting that Argos is the UK’s 13th most popular brand online and Blogger (the blogging platform) is 16th.

There are also some learning points for business:

  • Search still rules so make sure your sites are well optimised
  • User generated content is becoming increasingly important in driving traffic to and engagement with sites so figure out how your business could leverage that – think curating content, linking to relevant content and building up your own bank of user generated content
  • Sharing sites are in the ascendancy and they all provide businesses with an opportunity to have a prescence and connect with their customers whether they are on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook etc. Time to work out how to do this if you are not already.
  • Notice that offline brands such as Argos have had real success at building a successful online business – you can do it too.

So, start to think how to create well optimised content and how you can share it in the relevant networks.

by Martin Couzins

Martin Couzins

Top Tips…It Pays To Revisit Old Ideas

By Martin Couzins

A recent ad by food producer Yeo Valley demonstrates why it pays to recycle ideas. Yeo Valley says that its Live in Harmony marketing campaign has helped increase sales by 15%. Central to the campaign was this video . . .

Now check out this video, produced more than a year earlier, by the dairy farmers of Ontario . . .

So, why did Yeo Valley succeed in capturing consumers’ attention? Because this was a high budget campaign which was launched with a TV commercial in the first ad break of a new series of X-factor. Yeo Valley demonstrated that delivering the right content in the right format and at the right time works.

Here is one more example of piggy-backing directly off the success of someone else’s campaign.

Martin Couzins, Associate, VG&A

Vaughan Gordon

Top Tips…7 Ways To Kick Start B2B Sales Teams

By Vaughan Gordon

A thought-provoking article from Marketo…Top tips to optimise your demand generation strategies:

B2B sales forces have multiple challenges to contend with in today’s digital marketplace. Lead generation now requires an understanding of new channels and changing buyer behaviour.

Because sales has changed so drastically – with the buyer driving the decision making process, teams have to tap into ever expanding opportunities to meet consumers in all stages of the sales process.

To invigorate your sales efforts, try these 7 ways to kick-start your sales team:

  1. Align with marketing – Get your sales department on the same page with marketing when defining what your company’s ideal leads look like. Better communication between departments, means less leads left sitting on the table because they were marked as ‘not a fit’. More collaboration also leads to improved revenue forecasting because sales can get a more complete picture of prospects yet to enter the sales funnel during forecasted periods.
  2. Use automation – Take advantage of the newest software that streamlines sales processes. Everything from instant notification when prospects are clicking on your landing page, to alerts when they open their targeted emails will keep your sales force ready for real time interaction with leads.
  3. Utilize Sales 2.0 – The dynamics of sales continue to evolve and within the Sales 2.0 arena, there are new and better ways to fine-tune the entire sales process from lead generation through sales conversion. Sales 2.0 shows when leads are ready for sales, allows sales to interact with potential customers via technology such as social media and makes it easier for sales to pass back leads to marketing for better lead nurturing and scoring.
  4. Optimize your website – Improve your website effectiveness through landing page software that creates pages with clear messages, content that motivates prospects to act, and contextual language that clearly relates to your ad copy. Tap the sales teams for prospect hot buttons or consistent questions so marketing can create landing pages that compel the prospect and provide more engaged leads.
  5. Track your efforts – Using software that helps tracks leads through the sales process and report back to both the sales and marketing team about average time-to-close and conversion rates. Doing so will help everyone understand the current situation and what part they play in adjusting for better results.
  6. Leverage Social Networks – Allow your sales team to use social networks throughout the day to connect with target audiences, answer questions popping up in conversations and ultimately understand the prospect better.According to a recent Forrester survey, 57% of shoppers use recommendations in the decision making process. By including satisfied customer comments on your various social network profiles and landing pages, you offer shoppers the number one tool they like to use right off the bat.
  7. Stay Educated – Ensure your sales team is subscribed to industry (or even company) blogs so that they understand the changing industry landscape. Having the information delivered directly via email or an RSS feed reduces the time it takes to search for valuable content. Encourage sales people to bookmark industry studies, case studies so when they are speaking to a very savvy prospect they can cite industry statistics. To stay ahead of the crowd, sales professionals have to stay engaged with company messaging, marketing initiatives and industry information.

Whether your sales force is spread over wide geographical areas or housed in one central location, knowing how to motivate and spread enthusiasm across the board is key. When you offer sales people new ways to be informed and efficient, you’ll find them more prepared to take their performance and your ROI to the next level.

To learn more about lead generation and how it impacts on your revenue cycle, subscribe to the Modern B2B marketing Blog RSS feed or follow Marketo on Twitter. Conversely, take a look at VG&A’s whitepapers on Demand Generation.

First posted: 10 Feb 2011 09:50 AM PST by Maria Pergolino