Craig Rosenberg, the demand gen expert from Focus.com recently asked me to participate in putting together the eBook, The Focus Experts Guide: Sales and Marketing Pipeline and Funnel.
Despite my whimsical title for this blog article (little link-baiting), the eBook is full of industry expert's takes on today's sales and marketing's demand gen and selling flow -- the path from universe to prospect to client. I took a different approach to the discussion, and came up with the concept of a Demand Gen Cloud:
With the advent of Social, Sales and Marketing 2.0 techniques and tools, optimized Inbound Marketing strategies, and a much more sophisticated buyer, the days of a funnel are gone.
Buyers put themselves in the funnel where they want to be. They jump around. The influence of content and word of mouth jumps them from side to side to back and down again.
The demand gen funnel is now in the cloud. As marketers, we must constantly measure the status of the cloud and make adjustments. Combine strategies and tactics in order to maximize our results.
Harness the chaos to our advantage. Control the Demand Gen Cloud.
Get the eBook and read what these other experts had to say about Pipelines and Funnels:
Ardath Albee, CEO and B2B Marketing Strategist at Marketing Interactions
Michael Brenner, Director of Online/Social Media at SAP North America
Michael Damphousse, CEO/CMO of Green Leads LLC
Christopher Doran, VP of Marketing at Manticore Technology
Barbra Gago, Social Media Manager of Cloud9 Analytics
Steve Gershik, CEO of 28Marketing
Sue Hay, CEO of BeWhys Marketing Inc.
Matt Heinz, Principal at Heinz Marketing LLC
Carlos Hidalgo, President of The Annuitas Group
Jon Miller, Vice President of Marketing at Marketo
Adam Needles, VP of Demand Generation Strategy at Left Brain Marketing
Tom Scearce, Principal at Scearce Market Development
Matt West, Director of Marketing at Genius.com
Steve Woods, Chief Technology Officer of Eloqua
Written by Craig Rosenberg - The Funnelholic
Get the eBook here: The Focus Experts Guide: Sales and Marketing Pipeline and Funnel.
Next week I'll be speaking at Chris Brogan's New Marketing Experience in San Francisco. In a recent post, @chrisbrogan talks about the event:
"One thing that’s different with my events than with other events: Every sponsor and exhibitor and speaker is someone we think has something to offer you .... We appreciate their voice in our experiences. Thus, time spent with them is also time spent learning new marketing the way we see it ... it’s a 1-day event. There’s no fluff. It’s packed with info. We can hang out."
My highlight of the week is the Hang Out part. That's all the discussion, debate, learning and putting faces to all the "social" B2B marketing community faces I've met online -- as well as meeting new ones.
Some recommendations to those of you attending, and even to those that aren't, on how to get the most out of a live event:
- Announce that you are attending. Post it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other place your status resides.
- Live tweet or live blog from the event and include the Hashtag in all posts. Share your take-aways.
- Mingle, mix, get to know some new tweeps. Don't spend the breaks in the lobby on your cell phone.
- Collect business cards. If you get one without a Twitter address on it, ask for it and write it down. When you get home, or during quiet time at the event, send LinkedIn invites.
- Don't cluster. You already know the people you know. Unless you are using the connection to get an introduction to someone new, move on. Meet new people.
- Be there virtually. If you aren't at the event, follow it on Twitter and the live blogs (links will be on Twitter). Follow the hashtag. Or better yet, make a last minute decision and REGISTER HERE with a 50% Discount Code GREEN50.
@damphoux: So a shout out to all the attendees next week -- find my icon in the crowd and come say "hello".
Speakers List on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#/list/damphoux/ims-speakers
Just a quick post to point readers to an interview of me on Marketo's blog, Demand Generation and Social Media: Thought Leadership with Mike Damphousse of Green Leads. Questions discussed:
What is B2B appointment setting? And why is it important to marketers?
When it comes to leads, quality or quantity?
You specialize in reaching CXOs and VPs. Can you give marketers three tips to connect with these hard to reach decision makers?
How does lead nurturing play a part in reaching these executive contacts?
I noticed you use Twitter frequently and have an active blog. How have these helped the success of your company, and what kind of budget and resources do you have to be so active in social media?
What metrics do you use to measure your social media success?
What are three tips that any marketer can use to increase their social media or blogging?
Hope you enjoy it and post some comments.
Just got an interview published on Craig Rosenberg's funnelholic blog. I'll share the intro here, and you can get the rest of the article on the site. Craig is publishing a series of Thought Leader articles and thus far they have been great reading for B2B Marketers. You can find all his articles on his site.
Thanks Craig! Enjoyed doing the interview.
"Having worked with Mike Damphousse over the last couple of years, I can tell you this: He has a value-added opinion on anything and everything. Check out his blog and you’ll believe me. He is the expert in one of the hardest things to do in lead gen: Getting an appointment for the sales rep."
Pam O'neal and I have had the pleasure of talking recently as I was advising the micro lending sotry/non-profit One Hen on the virtues of SEO and Social Media. I had seen Pam's story on Marketing Sherpa and thought she would be a great person for them to meet and having been following Pam on twitter, I tweeted her up and made the connect. The conversation was extrememly informative, not just for One Hen, but for myself as well. She touched on many topics that companies of all sizes should be considering. I asked her if she would conduct a small interview and here are the results:
Mike: If a company is on a shoestring marketing budget and doesn't have lots of free headcount, how can they start a Social Media marketing program?
Pam: I’ve spent most of my career marketing companies on a shoestring budget so this is a topic I know well. As our recent Marketing Sherpa social media case study shows, social media is phenomenal for lead generation. It levels the playing field and provides a low cost way to connect with customers and help them “find” your company and its products. But it does take a fare amount of care and feeding. I advocate leveraging the thought leaders or subject matter experts that you have on staff to create compelling content for your blog. Then set up a Twitter,Facebook and/or LinkedIn page—whatever makes sense for your audience. Then utilize a number of free monitoring and content distribution tools such as Twitter , Tweetscan, Google Reader and FriendFeed to help you monitor and spread the word about your blog, community or social network group. When you spot an opportunity, someone needs to be responsible for engaging in the conversation. While rallying the troops to help is the best way to develop the content make such a program successful, I advocate a full time hire whose main responsibility is success of your social media efforts. Otherwise, it will be the lowest priority. You simply cannot treat it as a nice to have or something that you fit in at the end of the day. It takes a 12 to 15 hour a day commitment and the support of others in your company. Also – don’t forget to integrate your blog, Twitter page and social networks in every element of the Marketing mix.
Mike: One thing we've done is brought on a marketing MBA from one of the local universities. They scan interesting topical information, present it to us for one of us to respond and even take responses by cell phone (voice that is). It seems to all be about content. The more you produce, the more content emerges in your name, your brand.
You and I were on a con call the other day and the topic of Facebook came up. When I think of Facebook, all I can see are my teens posting pictures of them and their friends at parties. Is there really b2b value on Facebook? Should I post a picture of me at a party? ;-)
Pam: Depends upon your Facebook network and the nature of your business. I haven’t found it to be valuable at all for our market at BreakingPoint. And, I’ve seen other companies invest heavily in Facebook pages and applications with disappointing results. It seems to provide wonderful opportunities for non-profits and B2C Marketers as this Sprint campaign suggests. At BreakingPoint, We are finding more success on LinkedIn and Twitter. But, if you are selling products that appeal to other Marketers, Educators, or other groups that congregate on Facebook, it is a target rich environment. And, I find it to be a nice way to keep track of my friends and business colleagues who, as it turns out, aren’t posting a bunch of photos of themselves at parties. ?
Mike: I'm of the opinion that the gray line between business identity and personal identity in Social Media is a good thing. What are your thoughts on that?
Pam: Absolutely. It keeps things real. People can connect over shared interests whether they are professional or personal. For some reason, people seem to think that the social media space is vastly different than real life, but it is not so different. Success in both worlds is about relationships—both business and personal. Most of the friends I’ve made over the years are people I’ve worked with, so I have no need to put up an all-business façade. We all must remember, however, that everything you do or say in the social media space is available for anyone to see. It becomes your resume, to a certain extent . There is a need to edit ourselves.
Mike: Personal Branding, as they say. Which leads me to my next question about quality posting or quantity posting. For those of us that follow Guy Kawasaki on twitter, we know what I'm talking about regarding message volume. He's posting 40-50 tweets a day. In fact, before I found TweetDeck (thanks to a Guy post), I unfollolowed him because of his message volume. Now it is tucked in a group called "lotsamessages" along with @scobleizer and a few others. Lots of stuff, but lots of gems when I scan.
So, three valuable tweets a day or twenty tweets a day with three gems mixed in?
Pam: Really depends upon my schedule. Most days it’s three gems, but some days I have more time for conversation. For the most part, however, I’m there to collaborate with a group of very smart people and learn from them. Not just about Marketing, but about any topic that catches my interest. So, I prefer the tweeps who post about interesting finds, helpful blog posts, or other resources that I can put to use. (Spare me the details of your lunch or latest food born illness.) So, that’s the model I’ve set for myself. I typically only share helpful information or provide links to my blog posts at BuzzStream . With that said, most business conversations whether at a conference, in a meeting or even the hallway, have some personal discourse. We aren’t all business all of the time. So, I will engage in a short conversation with other Tweeps, but if the conversation goes long, I’ll take it to email or Direct Message someone.
Mike: Last question. SEM or SEO?
Pam: For most businesses, I’d say both. Especially in the early stages when a company doesn’t have the rich website content, Google page rank and inbound links to rank at the top of Google. You need to use both for visibility and for early testing. You see, SEM (or Google AdWords PPC advertising) is particularly good for keyword testing. You’ll need to test out the performance of the more competitive high volume terms prior to pouring your time and resources into SEO. Paul May explained this beautifully on the BuzzStream blog. Once you start to have success on the SEO front, you can scale back on SEM, but I always use SEM to a certain extent because different content appeals to different people. It really depends upon their goal . It used to be the case that shoppers in buying mode clicked on SEM links while those in research mode were more inclined to click on an organic link. I believe that still holds true today. B2B Marketers really want both types of traffic, so I’ve always used both.
Mike: Good point. Especially the keyword point. I'd add a comment to the readers... when you find those perfect keywords that get traffic, use them. Not just in your web pages for meta-tags, use them in your blog posts, use them in your blog comments, use them in your tweets and on LinkedIn or Facebook. Get the robots finding you everywhere. I even go with Mike Damphousse or Michael Damphousse and appointment setting or meetings, just to alternate which firstname or service keyword some people might search for (see, just snuck in some keywords).
Pam, thanks so much, and let's keep tweeting.
Pam: Thanks for the interview Mike. I hope you and your readers will follow me on @poneal on twitter or read my blog.
Mike:Oh, and one more...green, red or yellow curry?
About: Pam O'Neal oversees global marketing for BreakingPoint including brand strategy, integrated marketing programs, press and analyst relations, and regional field marketing. An award-winning marketing professional, O’Neal has more than 18 years of experience using advanced techniques and proven marketing frameworks to develop programs that make an immediate impact on revenue.
There is the business me, and there is the personal me and always the two have mixed. It's obvious by the two feeds you see on the right. I post both topics here on my blog and I believe that the coexistence of business and personal identities given today's social media is the way to go. We are all connected one way or another. We tell personal stories when we meet someone at a networking event and we tell business stories to our friends. Over the years, my most successful business relationships were the ones where the personal and business interests overlapped. Personal branding does impact business branding.
A buddy of mine, Christopher Lochhead, who was CMO at Mercury when they got acquired by HP, had some thoughts. Chris is a fellow in-your-face marketer who for years has been successfully packaging his own personal style and professional being:
"business is social. business is personal. the most successful business people in the world have always known this. in the new social business world, there is no wall between your personal and professional lives. that's the point. welcome to the transparent life. today people share key accepts of all of their life experiences on line. this makes their relationships stronger. the technology has made it simple to stay connected. Which is fantastic - personally and professionally. The downside is you have to be smart about what you share. remember that love is temporary, Facebook entries last forever."
A list of 10 opinions:
The “professional blogging” oxymoron by Ana Ulin
Personal vs. Professional Blogging by Henri Bergius
Should We Keep Professional and Personal Separate in Social Networking by David Mullen
Personal vs. Corporate: Who Owns What You Create Online? by Rosie Reilman
Social Media Identity: Personal vs. Professional by Hutch Carpenter
On CNN's Personal Blogging Policy by Chez Pazienza
Personal Branding while Hiding Facebook Identity by Brittany Creamer
Contrasting Personal vs. Professional Uses of Social Media: The Case of Healthcare Blogging
by Dmitriy Kruglyak
Personal Networking vs. Professional Networking by Spike Jones (love this blog, btw)
The Socialization of Your Personal Brand - Part III by Brian Solis
Actually, it's 12 opinions if you count Chris and me. Ten just sounds so much cleaner.
I was with Craig Rosenberg in SFO a couple weeks ago and were having a hot discussion on the economy, marketing, and Thai food. Craig is the author of the blog The Funnelholic and is an expert on b2b lead generation so I decided it would be great to do an impromptu rapid-fire interview with him on his thoughts regarding b2b lead gen and publish it here:
Mike: How should marketers adjust to the downturn?
Craig: I wrote a post that I continue to stand by: 3 Changes You Must Make: re-message to reflect the changing buyer, retarget to find prospects who are likely to buy, and redefine their lead definition. Not adapting will mean failure.
Mike: It’s easy to talk about the doom and gloom with the economic downturn, but where is their opportunity for 2009?
In my post When the Blood Flows, I wrote that marketers should view the downturn as opportunity and try to aggressively gain market share. For instance, NetSuite deciding to get MORE aggressive now and try to take on Salesforce.com. When everyone else cuts back, play offense! Marketing must have a compelling offer. Then you need to go out, generate leads, and SELL.
Mike: Being that you are ab online marketer, what is your opinion of outbound appointment setting?
Craig: Truthfully, you should do both: Push and Pull. You should have a presence online to generate “hand-raisers,” but you should leverage a target market and get your sales team face to face regardless of whether they raise their hand or not. The lure of outbound appointment setting is you can move quickly -- no hiring, pay for performance. You can point them at the target and fire.
Mike: Thanks, Craig...green, red or yellow curry?
Craig: Green, of course.