Viewers can watch this webinar featuring @Kokasexton live on May 15th at 11AM PDT or watch on demand from this window. Hashtag is #Demand2013
Viewers can watch this webinar featuring @Kokasexton live on May 15th at 11AM PDT or watch on demand from this window. Hashtag is #Demand2013
According to the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), American companies spend about $20 billion a year on sales training. If I dust off my pocket calculator, that means that $15 billion a year is wasted on sales training. That’s brutal. It’s not sales training that’s the problem because training is one of the most important things you can do for your sales team. Often sales training fails because it is a one-time event with very little commitment and follow-up. Sales training works when it is implemented after a strategy is set and sales executives are bought off and committed. Then consistent coaching follows the training strategy and you win.
Here is my MadLib: You know email is NOT dead when…
The other night Jill Rowley called me and said: “I read your post on the demise of the whitepaper, those examples were great. But have you seen the Kapost comic book?“ So I went and downloaded it. It’s awesome. I don’t want to bore you with more rantings about old pamphlet-ware versus the remarkable content of today. Just check it out. There are some really original elements such as thought leader superheroes and comic-strip styles graphics. And of course, the content is valuable and helpful. It sure is fun to be marketed to these days.
I am working late into the night on a couple ebooks so I like to take youtube breaks. That has led me to the Harlem Shake. I can’t stop watching it. If you want to know more about how the Harlem Shake started, etc…read the wikipedia entry (seriously, its pretty thorough).
If you can’t tell by now, I love giving examples of how b2b marketing is trying to have fun these days. With that in mind, I found a couple Harlem Shake videos from b2b folks…Videos like this would never have existed a couple years ago. The main point I think is b2b is trying to have fun for once. They got me to watch it. [Read more...]
When I think of the phrase “white paper”, I think of a paper with lots of white in it and whole lot of boring. Here are the words that come to mind:
Background: Shoedazzle is a smoking hot internet site. Basically, you pay a monthly fee and you get to pick between a variety of shoes and now accessories allegedly curated by Kim Kardashian and other stars. In August they hit 13 million members. I told my wife about it and she asked to check it out.
Now maybe it’s because I don’t sign up for women’s apparel sites but the site and registration user experience was thought-provoking for me. That’s right, thought provoking. Before I go any further, think about this:
B2B people always say: “b2b is different that b2c”
B2C is always five years ahead of B2B aka five years later b2b adopts progressive b2c ideas
The same people that buy on Shoedazzle are business buyers. (I know this from the Facebook “like” box on the shoedazzle site which had some of my b2b colleagues on it.)
AND LETS FACE IT:
Great UX is great UX
B2b marketers should try to stay on top of b2c marketing and advertising techniques and get ahead not behind.
Let me walk you through my user experience than provide some commentary.
Step 1: Homepage
Question #1 for any marketer is “what do I want the user to do?” In this case, they want users to go through a multi-step registration process known as the style profile. That is what dominates your eye site. Make no mistake, this is a registration profile that will determine what shoedazzle wants to sell you. Shoedazzle presents the profile as a way for the site to deliver customized offerings and advertises the fact that it will be painless: ”Membership is free and effortless” (love that) . Now, think about how present ourselves in b2b: “We need you to fill out this form because you want this piece of content. I need all of this data for my database to make it easier when my inside rep calls you.”
Step 2: The personal style profile
The personal style profile “quiz” is not an ugly series of drop downs, but instead a set of multiple choice graphics which you click to represent your likes/dislikes. It’s more fun, visually appealling, and made my wife really believe they could figure out what to send to her. PS I still have not given up any information to shoedazzle yet.
Step 3: Initial Registration
Check out the easy registration. In b2c, it’s all about getting your email address. Guess what? In b2b: It’s all about getting your email address. So why make it hard to get? If it’s the top of the funnel and the beginning of the relationship, then can’t we move from free to email address and THEN to more data?
BOOM. I’m in and now have access to shoe choices. When we order one, we are then prompted to add more data to our account.
Why did I just show this to you?
1. That was fun — Why the hell do b2b websites think they have to be so boring? We roll around talking about how b2b marketers have to compete for buyers time, isn’t fun and excitement a pretty good emotional trigger to hit?
2. Rethink reg pages and profiling — If you ask me if I advocate moving to Shoedazzle’s model of the graphical profile, I am not sure yet. Truthfully, I went to the site tonight randomly, and I just started re-evaluating. In other words, I am not sure yet…but I do believe in thinking outside the box. I enjoyed helping my wife click the boxes…it was fun which is very unlike b2b where you make me look at any ugly box, type in a bunch of seemingly meaningless data which I make up sometimes, and sometimes make me scroll through a list of 12 roles to choose for myself or sift through and choose from an industry list that I am pretty sure doesn’t have my industry on there.
3. Shoedazzle costs as much if not more than a license of ZenDesk or a GoogleApps license– Have you heard of the consumerization of IT? Then why can’t we talk about the consumerization of IT marketing?
4. Build your list, even if you sacrifice some data initially — go to any progressive b2c website and many hit you with a pop-up box asking just for your email. They want that email and they don’t pussyfoot around. Eventually, we want more data, but right now, can’t we make some sacrifices to start the relationship. I am sure some inbound marketing clone will tell me: “Create great content and they will come back”. Really? Is that why the core features for marketing automation systems is email marketing functionality? According to a preso by email expert, DJ Waldow, popping up a request for email grows list exponentially. Funny or Die moved to a pop-up box and gets thousands of new emails daily. Companies have seen 75-80% growth in email subscriber optin lists as a result of the pop-up box. Check this preso out for more.
5. More on the home page: Remember when you first signed up for Twitter? — Let me help you. Twitter wants you to sign up for their service. There is not much else to do on their home page but register. By the way, three fields total on the reg form.
6. This is for fun, but is there something here? — As I mentioned previously, I don’t know where I am going to take this, but I learned a lot from this experience, and I look to b2c for inspiration not to “poo-poo” it as irrelevant.
PS I am not crazy
PPS Yes it is Friday night
Another episode of the Funnelholic’s endless search for creative fun campaigns brings us to a recent campaign from DocuSign, one of the leaders in the Esignature space. I occasionally email Meagen Eisenberg from DocuSign with crazy marketing ideas for them. I sent her an idea and she responded with “Check this out” with a link to this Spirit of Liberty campaign. I loved it so she connected me with Gregor Perotto from their marketing and Voila – a new post is born.
CliffsNotes version of the campaign:
DocuSign teamed up with The Spirit of Liberty Foundation to let Americans electronically sign the Declaration of Independence. The Spirit of Liberty Foundation is a great cause. Here is their mission from their website:
The Spirit of Liberty Foundation was formed to raise funds and to assist in the restoration and maintenance of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. After the restoration was completed and as a result of 9/11, the Foundation’s mission was changed to enhance the meaning and importance of liberty.
In 2005 the Foundation’s name was changed to The Spirit of Liberty Foundation to reflect its broader mission – enhancing the meaning of Liberty and to support our Armed Forces, with emphasis on Wounded Warriors, fallen heroes, and their Families.
A year ago, DocuSign ran a really cool photo sharing campaign encouraging their customers to send their “interesting stories” on where they’ve DocuSigned. (editor note: This is actually another great campaign idea and the idea that I sent to Meagen. Not surprisingly I was a year late but hey, great minds think alike) The campaign unearthed some great stories such as a woman DocuSigning when in labor, another signing from the bathroom in Olive Garden while her daughter used the facilities and more. The runner-up story in the competition was about an active military man stationed in Afghanistan who “DocuSigned” his mortgage papers from Afghanistan. According to Gregor, DocuSign has a number of active military personnel handling their affairs around the world. Pretty cool huh? As a result, The Spirit of Liberty Foundation came to DocuSign to help them with the Declaration of Independence campaign. That is known in hip hop as “game recognize game”
DocuSign and the Spirit of Liberty set up a website SignHistory.org and kicked off the campaign with kiosks at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Basically, people can put their “John Hancock” next to John Hancock’s. I love this tagline for a company trying to automate the “John Hancock”.
Here is the flow:
1. Easy 1-2-3 process to get involved
2. Once you e-sign, you receive A copy of the Declaration of Independence with your name on it in email
Now, here comes the viral marketing part:
People shared pictures of themselves and other DocuSigning the DOI, including famous politicos like James Carville and Mitt Romney’s 5 sons. (The Funnelholic is not publicly political so both pictures are posted in no particular order)
DocuSign started a Facebook photo album for everyone to share their experiences with friends and family and for DocuSign to share with customers, employees, and future customers.
Everyone appreciates a great campaign so the Twitter-love flowed
I love these types of campaigns. Here are some of my takeaways:
1. It’s always great marketing AND very rewarding to align yourself with a cause.
2. I love how the product experience was integrated into the process. If you have never DocuSigned, you should. Once you do, you will never turn back. I am one of those people – I turn anything I can into electronic signature now. It’s fast, no fax machines, and an accepted form of signature by even the toughest legal departments. In other words, DocuSigning the DOI was a gateway drug. A large number of these folks will be turned on to electronic signatures forever and DocuSign knows this.
3. Electronic signatures are a viral product. Viral products mean every person or organization you bring on will bring others with them. Let me give two personal examples. I am working on paperwork with my bank. My contact sends me a bunch of paperwork which I DocuSign and send back to her via DocuSign. She has to sign on to counter sign. She is now onboarded into the app. Example 2: I use DocuSign when I sell. I sent a contract to a client via DocuSign. Next phone call I spend 20 minutes with the contact telling me how she loves the product and wants to invest. Viral.
4. Fun, out-of-the-box experiences become viral. DocuSign will add more social sharing features as the campaign progresses, but what they found was people were sharing their experiences such as sharing pictures anyway. Everyone asks me “How do I encourage my people to share my content?” The answer: “Affect them”. In this campaign, mission accomplished.
Kudos to DocuSign. I hope this spurs some great ideas for you next campaign.
Are we having fun yet?
Today I have another fun marketing campaign to talk about via my buddy David Politis, CEO and founder of BetterCloud and his marketing manager Gail Axelrod. Here is the set-up: BetterCloud launched their product FlashPanel into the Google Apps Marketplace a couple weeks ago. Before launch, they had private beta testers doing their thing like bug-testing, etc. BetterCloud and team wanted to turn their beta testers into advocates by creating a highly personal, multi-step campaign that coincided with the launch of their new product. The result, BetterCloud was able to go to market with happy and vocal customer advocates. Net–net, I love it!
4. Mission accomplished as happy advocates leverage the prominent social share buttons to send positive social messages about the BetterCloud product. At a minimum, BetterCloud is creating happy customers whether they are vocal (yet) or not.
1. Personalization — I love this part of the story. I am seeing more and more targeted personalization from b2b marketers with great results. If you listen to all my friends in the business, they will tell you “It’s all about the buyer”. Well, if that’s true – make it about the buyer and you will succeed.
2. Promotion by customer advocates is the new black — I just met with Mark Organ, founder of Influitive whose new company is helping companies reward advocates for advocating publicly. More and more b2b organizations will be identifying, cultivating and ultimately rewarding their advocates. What I love about BetterCloud’s advocacy play is that they are new but still were able to create advocates pre-launch.
3. Video — Video is hot and used incorrectly more often than not (Please see the numerous “infomercials” being created by vendors). This video example is a great way to create a personal relationship with an advocate and have a little fun and excitement.
As special thanks to Robert Warren (featured in the picture) “Genesis Career College for allowing me to use his picture and story in this example.
Here is a fun play on influencer marketing or influencer relations. I am not going to write a big post on the importance of influencers. However, Paul Greenberg just wrote a comprehensive post on influencer relations you can see here. Net-net: Most technology companies recognize that influencers write (blogs, whitepapers, etc) and talk (speaking engagements and lots of 1-to-1 end user conversations) to their target customers. As such, they want influencers to stay close to what they are doing.
Here is a tip: Everyone likes to be recognized and everyone likes to have fun (not just influencers, I mean everyone). Chris Bucholtz from SugarCRM for SugarCRM‘s annual user conference had some fun and created memorable leave-behinds for his influencers. Here is what he did: Chris had baseball cards created of each influencer that attended. They had their pictures on the front with brief bios and one “fun-fact” on the back. Unlike other chotskies that don’t make my desk, my card already has and I see SugarCRM every day. I was honored by having the card made and I am reminded of that fact all the time! For Chris, mission accomplished. Oh and Chris loves baseball so I am sure he enjoyed this even more.