The Most Important Digital Transformation Initiatives Ranked

Alitimeter lasted post it their report “the state of digital transformation for 2014” is a highly recommended read.

 

It was interesting to note that whilst 88% of organisations where undergoing a digital transformation, 42% percent of them had not mapped the customer journey but investing in digital channels anyway.

Digital Transformation Initiatives Ben Martin

In previous reports from Altimeter it showed the typically the CEO role was not leading the digital transformation projects. This report  dramatically shows a major shift in sponsorship. These projects are now shown to be driven by the

CMO, CEO and CIO (54%, 42% and 29% respectively)

Also included in their post, Altimeter asked the participants to position the most common challenges that exist for digital transformation initiatives.

Top Challenges for Digital Transformation Ben Martin

Go read the full post now, and download the report, happy reading

 

88% percent of surveyed organisations are undergoing a digital transformation TWEET THIS

Changing company culture is the number 1 challenge according to Altimeter TWEET THIS

Are You Smarketing or Smelling? Guest post by Gerry Moran

Great organizations’ sales and marketing teams converge to create a strategy, an approach, a culture called smarketing. The ones who do not do it so well are, well, are smelling.

And your Modern-Marketer customers don’t like smelling, This convergence is a natural evolution led by a better-informed and more-empowered customer.
Smarketing

Smarketing by Kenny Madden

Johann Wrede, a customer engagement specialist for SAP states, “Customers have less tolerance than ever for content-free interactions, and sellers are struggling to connect early enough in the buying journey to exert influence on the decision. To adapt, marketers and sellers need to assess and remix their skills, regardless of the organizational silo they happen to be in, rather than wait for organizational boundaries to change.” So, the customer and content is king.

Are you a smarketer or a smeller?
Why Smarketing Makes Sense

While there is no specific scorecard to discern the smarketers from the smellers, there is solid research to support the integration of sales and marketing strategy, content and activation makes sense.

Smarketing Drives Growth. Aberdeen research indicates companies who ‘get’ sales and marketing integration grow 20% faster than those who don’t. Smart marketers, right? No, smarketers!

Content Smarketing Generates Leads. HubSpot research suggests blogging companies generate 55% more leads than non-blogging companies.

Smarketing Gets Sales Reps Involved With The Buying Cycle Earlier. SiriusDecicions findings show 70% of the buying journey is completed before the buyer is recognized as a prospect and in the CRM ‘books’ by the selling organization.The key inference is that there is less chance to frame the sales opportunities and more chance to complete an RFP.

7 Guiding Principles For Smarketing Success

1. Move from silos to outcome-based activity. Day-to-day reality in many organizations manifests in managing daily call reports, creating marketing content for social media channels and communities, and closing sales for the quarter. Quarter after quarter this set of sales and marketing activities is a ‘wash, rinse, repeat’ cycle.” Rhonda Holloway, Founder and Senior Partner of Six20 Partners has a holistic solution to this chasm. Holloway states, “Sales and Marketing should be SMARKETING for the greater good, but the two roles are vastly different. Perhaps B2B companies should institute 3 month job rotations between Sales & Marketing. After the rotation, the salesperson should have a better understanding of how to partner with Marketing and better use the great content and Marketing should have a better understanding of the material that really makes a difference in the field. Both jobs are hard and I think the problem is we both think the other is easy – hence the chasm.”

2. Manage The Sales and Marketing Convergence. Corporate silos and fiefdoms (remember, the customers are in charge of the kingdom) need a strategic group or individual to bridge the gap and broker the convergence. This person is a Smarketing Director. Although I’ve not seen this official ‘Smarketing Director’ moniker, it is present in evolving smarketing organizations. They are the ones taking the leadership role by laying the foundation. They are bridging the gap between sales and marketing. Most start with a single project, like social selling awareness program or provide structured LinkedIn tune-ups to the sales and marketing departments.

3. A Sales, Marketing or Smarketing Playbook Drives Quicker Adoption. Sometimes the quickest way to drive adoption is to bake the ingredients into an established recipe, to make it new and improved! The fastest way to drive smarketing adoption is to co-opt native behavior and not to ask someone to do something completely different. Just integrate it into a smarketing play.

Smarketing 1 by Kenny Madden Are You Smarketing or Smelling?

4. Measure Smarketing Success To Monetize It. It is likely no smarketing KPIs exist for any organization. However, revenue, quota and efficiency are common KPIs. Getting out of bed isn’t a KPI either. However, you need to get out of bed and you need to use smarketing to reach revenue, quota and efficiency goals. Ultimately, success is measured and monetized by accelerated sales pipeline and fewer resources required to do the job. Heidi Schwande, Chief Digital Office For WSI World adds “Getting sales and marketing to see themselves as allies instead of rivals improves the company’s bottom line.”

5. Let Customers Guide You. Martin Weinberg, a Philadelphia-based digital leader states, “From the buyer’s perspective, it truly is one continuous journey, so this type of thinking is long overdue. Separately, it’s too easy for each department to generate activity instead of accomplishment by focusing on short-term metrics. One of the top benefits (of smarketing) would be an opportunity for more effective messaging by pre-handling real objections salespeople encounter within marketing communications. Now that most communication is digital, it’s more cost-effective than ever to take this approach, though the opportunity is often overlooked.” Kenny Madden, a Market Developer for Spiceworks, underlines the need for smarketing with the buyer, “You have to get through the 1st 50% of the sales cycle to get to the last 50%.” I’d call that “percentage smarketing!”

6. Content Marketing Strategy Is Key To Being A Smarketer. Marcy Hoffman, a Miam-based Independent Consultant who helps start-ups and small businesses who people start the process by looking for information often because they know their problem, but haven’t defined the solution; adding Knowledge/content at the beginning of the process helps identify the content creator as a leader in their industry which serves to reinforce the next stage.

7. Adapt and Adopt or Be Overlooked. Victor Clarke, principle for Clarke, Inc, a marketing services firm, states, “I have sold everything from Xerox copiers in the 80s to the first computers to be installed in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate in the 90s to marketing services currently. Sales has been turned upside down in the last 5 years with smarketing. SPIN selling is dead and sales folks either adapt or they are gone.” Mike Ausloos, Head of Business Development for Northern Concrete Construction stated “I don’t know how any system can be effective without operating with SMARKETING. Both are gathering market info & there needs to be collaboration to form the correct content, selling points, etc. seems to be missing a determiner before it.”Barbara Giamonco states in her book, The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, “In the midst of this communication revolution sales must adopt a new approach that incorporates social media. When we overturn the old business practices, what emerges is something called “smarketing.” Sales and Marketing need to work in tandem, as Giamonco notes. However, some forced ‘hard wiring’ likely needs to happen for evolution to effectively occur.

Do you have a smarketing guiding principle or point to share? If so, please comment below. Or reach out to me directly at MarketingThink.com, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.

Combining sales and marketing to achieve company goals is key. If you do it right, then you are a smarketer. If you don’t do it right then you are a smeller. Which one are you? A smarketer, or a smeller?

15 Twitter Facts for 2014 You Need to Know Guest Post by Steven Hughes

The social media network that was never meant to be a social network, Twitter, celebrated its eighth birthday in March, 2014. The now microblogging giant has come a long way since co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, “just setting up my twttr” back on March 21, 2006.

It is now a household name, and the favorite network of celebrities and media outlets.

Twitter has become the fastest way to break news. We are seeing more television programs display their Twitter handles and relative hashtags. The power of Twitter was witnessed by millions when Ellen DeGeneres tweeted “the best photo ever” at this years Oscars that has garnered over 3.4 million retweets and counting.

Twitter went public in November 2013. The much ballyhooed IPO was a big hit as TWTR opened at $26.00 and closed at $44.90 in its first day of trading. Today Twitter trades at $44.60 despite a net loss of $34 million in its most recent quarterly report.

While Twitter has become an incredible brand, it must find a way to show profitability in the future. We don’t want the little blue bird to fly away.

15 Fast Twitter Facts

Here are some Twitter facts and figures that are worth a look.

1. A mind blowing 300 billion tweets have been sent since inception

2. Tweets with image links have 5 times the engagement rate

3. Over 20 million fake Twitter users

4. Over 241 million monthly active Twitter users

5. 184 million monthly active users using mobile

6. The cost of a 24 hour promoted trend runs about $200 thousand

7. China is the country with the most users with over 35 million

8. Katy Perry is the queen of Twitter over 51 million followers surpassing Justin

9, Number of employees at Twitter has increased to 2000+

10. 170 minutes – The average time per month spent by users on Twitter

11. 63% of brands have multiple Twitter accounts

12. YouTube is the most followed brand with over 40 million followers

13. Twitter has a market cap of about 27 billion

14. Average number of followers per twitter user is 208

15. Ellen’s photo of Hollywood stars at Oscars with an incredible 3.4 million retweets

Follow Steven Hughes on Twitter @sbhsbh

Director of Marketing http://dashburst.com 

Category: Uncategorized

How Content Transforms Salespeople [Infographic]

Forget the sleazy salesperson stereotype.

Today’s most successful salespeople act as thought leaders and industry experts, connecting prospects with content. They challenge buyers to be on the cutting-edge of their industries.

But unfortunately, many people still harbor a negative perception of sales reps. So what’s a salesperson to do? Load up on content.

This infographic explains how content helps sales teams build relationships that lead to revenue.

Use content to create revenue

Category: Blogging, Content, Sales

The History of HashTags # [Infographic]

Twitter is largely responsible for turning the hashtag -#- into a household term, and many see the success of hashtags at connecting users based on common themes or discussion topics as one of Twitter’s biggest strengths.

Hootsuite have published a post titled – “Will you miss the hashtag when it’s gone?” – in response to Vivian Schiller, calling hashtags “arcane”. Worth a read.

Ben Martin

How often do you use hashtags?

Category: Twitter

Best Practices for Customer Service on Twitter

Ben MartinTwitter has become the go-to medium for customers looking to provide feedback or solve problems, brands must adapt their Twitter strategy to better serve their customers. Below you will find a check list that best-in-class brands have adopted to better handle customer service requests and maintain positive sentiment about their brand.

 

1.Dedicated handle
Brands who have adopted dedicated customer service handles have an easier time managing customer service requests for both the dedicated handle and for the brand’s main handle. With a dedicated handle, brands can ensure that customer service requests are being taken care of in a manner consistent with the brand’s overall customer retention strategy. A dedicated customer service handle can help your brand separate a wide range of customer service requests from other types of mentions so you can effectively monitor your social customer service process. In addition, it can be a great way to naturally gain followers. Through proactive monitoring and engagement, you have the ability to build positive sentiment around your brand, which will help increase your audience size and encourage engagement.

2.Dedicate team and the right tools
When a customer service handle isn’t staffed the response time increases dramatically while the response rates decrease. Knowing when most of your customer service requests come in via twitter can help you determine the best time to staff your customer service accounts. There are several great tools that can monitor your most active Tweet times.

3. Canned answers + resources
Having responses on-hand can help reduce your response time and help increase response rate, as your customer service representatives have more sophisticated resources available to resolve issues. In addition, outline where you’ll direct different types of customer service requests, whether you ask for more information from your customers, direct them to email, direct them to a webpage, or solve the issue in a direct message.

4. Rules of engagement and primary handle guidelines
If you’re debating on whether or not to set up a dedicated customer service handle, you’ll want to determine how to handle customer service requests that are directed to the primary handle. You’ll also want to monitor mentions of your brand name in the event that Twitter users aren’t following, or aren’t aware of your brand handles. Effective monitoring can help resolve customer issues before they start – helping to keep sentiments positive around your brand handle. Not only that, let your followers know (daily) when your customer service handle is staffed. This will help to reduce posts when that handle is not staffed and or set expectations of response time

5. Promoting your handle
When you’re setting up a dedicated customer service handle, consider where you’ll promote the handle – for example, you may want to link your handle via your customer support page, so that users have a range of options to contact your customer service representatives. You may want to also find a way to link your main handle to your customer service handle (for example, in your brand bio) so that users who visit your profile are aware that you’ve got a dedicated customer service handle.

6. Reducing your response time
This is one way of letting your followers know that they are important to your business. In addition, it’s a proactive way to address negative word of mouth that may affect the sentiment generated around your brand.

7. Responding to as many mentions as possible
Responding to a majority of requests is a great way to keep your followers happy, and engaged. If your brand responds to as many mentions as possible, your users are more likely to mention your brand handle more often, which means your handle has the potential to reach followers who may be outside your reach.

CONCLUSION:
Understanding the rules of engagement for customer service on Twitter is a crucial step to managing your overall customer service strategy. As more and more users turn to Twitter to ask questions, give feedback, praise or complain about a brand, brands need to be proactive in managing their brand image – by showing customers that they’re listening, and that they care. Since Twitter is a word-of-mouth platform, these steps are essential for any company looking to increase their business in the digital world.

The State of Twitter and 10 Mavericks You Should Absolutely Follow

The State of Twitter and 10 Mavericks You Should Absolutely Follow via +Kim Garst on Huffington Post.

http://huff.to/ODWzxm

There are now 241 million active users (MAUs). This is a 30 percent increase year over year!

There are 184 million #mobile MAUs; 76 percent of all MAUs are mobile!

Timeline views reached 148 BILLION in Q4, a 26 percent increase year over year!

Q4 revenue was $243 million, up 116 percent year over year and adjusted full year earnings were $75 million.

Plus, in just the last quarter, #Twitter has launched television conversation targeting, tailored audiences, conversation tracking and promoted accounts.

So, hopefully I have made my point. I have been and will continue to go ALL IN on Twitter. If you are smart, you might want to give some serious thought to going all in yourself.

Category: Twitter

Guide to Twitter inspired by Dr. Seuss

Who doesn’t love Dr. Suess! Well if you don’t – ah well, there’s other posts you can read here!

Dr. Seuss, the writer and illustrator behind children’s classics The Cat in the HatHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! and The Lorax, would have turned 110 on March 2nd. If he were alive today, he would have been a social media master. So to honor his wit and wisdom, here’s an interpretation of the Seuss guide to Twitter from Hootsuite

Dr Suess

Category: Twitter