Spike Likes Fridays, Vol. 61

February 8th, 2013

Spikesters found an abundance of articles and videos that give insight into the design, strategy and implementation of B2B marketing.

Kristen Roe: Often times, a company’s home page is the first thing that customers and prospects see. Within the first glance, audiences will decide if the site is one they’d like to stay on or move on from. A company’s web design communicates their value to customers; here are 7 must have design elements for a website to make a positive impression.

Christian Halsell: Don’t think you have the resources to keep a blog up and running? A lot of companies are having a similar problem. Not everyone needs to maintain a blog to reach out to their customers and their community. Here are a few ways to create and share content without the time commitment of a blog.

Tiffany Stone: The Superbowl is famous for holding the best commercial spots – millions of people watching, expecting the best ads of the year. Millions of dollars are spent on research, filming, guest stars and 30 seconds of airtime. Adobe Systems demonstrates the importance of online advertising which is free and reaches a larger audience.

Patricia Marr: Numbers grab attention and are helpful in discovering what’s important for businesses to invest in and look forward to in the future. Earnest Agency shared a video that presents important B2B statistics in an engaging format for marketers.

Laura Lundberg: B2B marketing can sometimes be tricky – especially in the digital age. Knowing where B2B buyers find out about you and how they remember you is important. Sometimes it takes a bit of tinkering to find the best plan for you, and experimenting with your social media and digital footprint is always a good course of action.

Spike LIkes Fridays, Vol. 60

January 25th, 2013

Social media was a popular topic this week with blogs and other social networks benefiting B2B companies in new and innovative ways.

Gary Graf: Trends in the advertising industry are hard to predict and prepare for. Luckily, there are people who observe growing trends and can make very accurate assumptions about the months in the future. Here are three predictions for Online Advertising in 2013.

Christian Halsell: A company blog can be a helpful asset to have when reaching out to prospects and creating a community around your product. However, if a blog is done wrong, it runs the risk of undermining your brand as a whole.

Patricia Marr: While social media and B2C marketing go together like peas and carrots, it’s always been a bit of a battle to make B2B and social media get along, too. However, there are several ways in which social media helps B2B companies connect with customers and create relationships.

Lea Loya: Speaking of the benefits of social media, Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping container company, has had immense success after just one year of hopping on the social media bandwagon. Read about how they used select social networks to achieve their business goals.


Spike Likes Fridays, Vol. 59

January 11th, 2013

Spikesters had great success this week in finding news and updates in the B2B marketing world. From trade show tips to Google Maps videos, this Friday brings you a wide variety of insights and predictions for the coming year.

Chris Goetze: Big Data is looking to be the Big Buzzword for 2013. And with all that data becoming accessible to marketers, there is going to be more focus on the delivery and presentation of that data for both internal and external consumption. Eloqua has done a nice job with presenting their Marketing Insights data through a clean and simple interactive interface, making complex “big data” easier to digest. After all, what good is big data if you can’t make heads or tails of it?

Kristen Roe: Search Engine Journal is making some big predictions for 2013, including the take-over of marketing automation and the downfall of push marketing for B2B advertisers.

Christian Halsell: One of the hardest parts of B2B sales is determining what a prospect’s specific needs are. If the needs are unknown, it can be difficult to narrow down what it is that will complete a sale. This blogger at B2Blog recently found that at trade shows, meeting prospects at the interest level is key to creating connections and relationships that lead to trust and a sell.

Tiffany Stone: Video is consistently growing to become one of the more important outlets of B2B media, and Google is one of the top companies that consistently uses it. Google Maps had a performance scare earlier this year, but it seems they’re hoping to right the wrong with a clever video campaign.

Patricia Marr: In a world where companies seem to be concerned with making a large footprint across states, regions or even the country, the 2013 Local Advertising Outlook report suggests that companies will be aiming to keep their marketing efforts closer to home.

Gary Graf: Online purchasing is no stranger to B2C companies, almost every customer-based vendor offers an online sales interface. B2B e-commerce is predicted to take off in 2013, and business customers are looking for the same ease and convenience they’re used to as a consumer.

Spike Likes Fridays Vol. 58

December 21st, 2012

As the year comes to a close and we look for ways to improve in 2013, Spikesters found tips on how to tweet, how to design and how to send out emails like a pro.

Christian Halsell: Apple has come up with some of the most innovative and eye-catching design techniques in the industry. Here’s a video that shows you how design like Apple and come up with similar revolutionary design ideas.

Episode 16 – How to Design Like Apple from Minute MBA by OnlineMBA.com on Vimeo.

Gary Graf: Spike turns to his animal brethren for this installment. A clever, attention-getting story about teaching dogs to drive with a rather “smart” appeal from the Auckland SPCA. The only question remains: Do they stop for cats?

Kristen Roe: One of the hardest parts of a BtoB Marketer’s job is deciding when to schedule emails to potential clients. Perhaps this cheat sheet can provide a little insight into when the best time is to reach your desired audience.

Tiffany Stone: “A Day Made of Glass” shows viewers what the world could be like in a matter of years. The excitement it builds around having a clean and wireless world is a great way to persuade potential clients and business partners to invest in the technology that could create such a universe.

Lea Loya: Forrester has been analyzing their B2B Marketing Tactics Survey results for 2012, Q4. This article shows some of their surprising conclusions and results.

Patty Marr: With the rise of Twitter in the B2B sphere, many marketers are having trouble summing up their messages to only 140 characters. Here are some tips to make your messages powerful but within Twitter’s parameters.

Spike Likes Fridays, Vol. 57

November 30th, 2012

It’s been a whirlwind of a week since Spikesters came back from the Thanksgiving holiday. During this busy week, the Spikesters researched interesting news regarding global marketing, great print ads and increasing social media ad revenue!

Christian: More and more businesses are looking for fun and exciting ways to make their company visible to prospective customers. Here are some great examples of creative outdoor ads that businesses have used catch the public’s attention.

Mary Kate: B2B marketers in the UK were called to action last month at the BMA’s “Go and Grow” event in London. Tom Stein, president of Stein + Partners Brand Activation, began the trade show with a rally for more UK-based companies to join the first BMA chapter opened outside of the United States, BMA London.

Gary: With 2013 hot on our heels, it’s important to look at trends that will affect how B2B marketers strategize and spend their marketing dollars. These two articles look at some looming trends in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Rachel: The next four years are projected to be big for social media ad revenue. BIA/Kelsey, an adviser to local media companies, estimates that social media ad revenue will grow more than 19% by 2016.

Tiffany: This is a masterful print ad by the Merry Chef, showing the importance of quality over speed when it comes to high-class restaurants. This ad is simple and witty, and gets its point across very clearly.

Patty: As business owners and CEOs move towards using their mobile phones more, marketers need to be conscious of how their landing pages look on a smaller screen. Following this quick check list can spare marketers a lot of headaches while making sure that landing pages pack a big punch on a small screen.

Spike Likes Fridays, Vol. 56

November 16th, 2012

Spikesters are gearing up for the holidays with some articles and studies on B2B branding and marketing. From stories on the importance of brand personality to the possibility of Apple apps for B2B marketers, this week’s search for B2B news provided some great ideas for our clients in the coming year.

Kristen: While the first thing a customer usually notices about a company is their brand, many B2B companies don’t think about the personality their brand exhibits. This attitude needs to change – a brand identity and personality can have a huge effect on how potential clients view your story and experience your product or service. This article has several helpful tips in identifying that brand personality by using stories and social media.

Martin: iPhone and iPad users involved in B2B are about to be presented with apps tailored to B2B needs and industries. Apple is predicting that B2B apps will become a huge opportunity for enterprise app development.

Rachel: Our B2B clients are always looking for ways to stretch their marketing budgets, while still reaching their target audience. One of the most effective means of contacting their target audience is through company targeting.

Patty: It’s no doubt that times have been tough on businesses economically in the last few years. However, marketing companies seem to be bouncing back in both department size and budget. With marketing departments tripling since August 2011, new roles are constantly being added and existing roles are changing to accommodate the growth.

Mary Kate: BtoB has named their top marketers for 2012 and Jonathon Becher, CMO at SAP has nabbed one of the top spots. Recently, he gave BtoB some tips to share with their audience on how he’s planning on changing his marketing strategies to keep improving.

Lea: Direct Marketing News has posted an interesting article on social media and the shifting roles in IT purchase decision-making. CMOs and other non-technical personnel are becoming more involved in purchasing decisions due to the increased use of social media as a sales tool for B2B companies.

Spike Likes Fridays, Vol. 55

November 2nd, 2012

The Spikesters had a busy week this week, and are preparing for very busy months ahead! As we have been helping our clients plan their marketing efforts for 2013, some of the Spikesters came across great articles and infographics to share this week.

Gary: Many people see business-to-business as an entirely different world than business to consumer. However, some of the business-to-consumer marketing practices can be helpful for B2B marketers, as well. Here is a list of the five best-practices that B2B companies can learn from business-to-consumer focused companies.

Martin: Most people don’t realize the amount of work that goes into designing a logo. It might just be the most challenging work a designer does . . . unless you work for Google and need a logo for Gmail. This is certainly not how we approach brand development at Hodgson/Meyers!

Rachel: As we develop campaign microsites for our clients, we are always looking at customizing the site to make it more relevant for prospects. This article on the Top 10 Best Practices really hones in on what we recommend to our clients for best practices in microsite development and lead generation.

Christian: One of the most valuable tools B2B marketers have in their belt is their network of peers. Learning from one another is invaluable for discussing strategy, creative and marketing tools. Marketo has created its own Marketing Nation to make this networking process simpler. Within this network, marketers are connected with other marketers by the sharing of best practices and pre-built programs.

Lea: LinkedIn is quickly becoming more important to B2B marketers with Pay-Per-Click ads that are relatively new to the advertizing world. This article outlines why businesses should start considering LinkedIn ads for reaching out to prospects.

Patty: Marketers never like to miss the opportunity to do something special for the holidays. Here are some examples of playful Halloween campaigns that show companies having fun with the holidays.

Kristen: Many people only know Siri as the iPhone app that gives sarcastic answers to equally sarcastic questions asked by clever users. However, many use Siri as they would Google – as a search engine. While Google is still the number one search engine for iPhone users, Siri and other search apps are changing the SEO landscape for search marketers.



Spike Likes Fridays, Vol. 54

October 19th, 2012

Spikesters have been on their toes and busy for the past few weeks! They finally had time to find some great B2B articles with advice on how to clean up email lists, and a new way to look at business to business marketing.

Mary Kate: Shepard Hill is the president of Boeing International. Eighty percent of their sales are completed overseas. Recently, he sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek to tell them a little bit about how he turned his business into a well-oiled, internationally known machine. Hill talks about creating and maintaining the relationships between his company and their clients and some of the legal issues that arise when dealing internationally.

Kristen: Many marketers rely on email blasts to generate leads and contact their potential client base. It’s important for these marketers to constantly update and clean their contact list so that they are not contacting uninterested or nonexistent leads. B2B Online has come up with a quick, three point way to best tidy up your email list.

Rachel: The marketing automation industry is constantly changing as companies develop platform features, or acquire new companies. Marketo’s acquisition of Crowd Factory was a great step in aligning social media and marketing automation. This week, marketing service provider ExactTarget acquired two companies: marketing automation company Pardot, and analytics and forecasting company iGoDigital. It will be interesting to see how these acquisitions will enhance the ExactTarget platform, as well as whether market share among the many marketing automation companies will shift over the next year.

Patty: Comic Sans is often reserved for lemonade stands or high school PowerPoint presentations. You’d be hard pressed to find it in today’s professional world. However, designer Oleg Tarasov has shown us what some of the best known logos in the United States would look like if they used the dreaded Comic Sans. You can’t really argue that the font has a lot to do with the company image.

Gary: Ruth Stevens, of Target Marketing, sees B2B marketing in a new light; as a happy medium between social media and direct marketing. Considering how many of our clients are quickly taking over the social media world from direct marketing, this makes a lot of sense for us at H/M.

Lea: Social Media Today just released an article speaking to the importance of content marketing in the B2B realm. According to B2B Magazine, content marketing is the most important tool for generating leads. The amount of businesses involved in content marketing increased 100% over 2012-2013, representing a pretty large shift towards a different sort of marketing.

Tiffany: Cisco has developed a YouTube channel with videos and tutorials to help their prospective business leads learn the ins and outs of network solutions. Even if you’re not a prospect for Cisco, this channel is helpful and sets up Cisco as a major thought leader in the technology sector.

John: BtoB Magazine is speculating on 2013 technology marketing budgets.  While they are not forecasting any stellar growth, we will continue to be focused on landing a share of those budgets, and making our clients’ 2013 marketing efforts a success.

Spike Likes Fridays, Vol. 53

September 21st, 2012

The Hodgson/Meyers team has been focusing on social media and creativity, and have some articles showing great video marketing, social media outreach and web design to share.

Martin: Web designers are a huge part of B2B advertising, since the marketing world is turning more towards online outreach to clients and consumers. Here’s a really nice tool for web designers that makes their lives easier – not to mention a cool-lookin’ site!

Christian: The internet gets a bad rap these days with all kinds of talk about the detrimental side effects of fast information, depersonalization and bad grammar. However, marketers and everyone else in general should give the Web a break and look at all the good things we’ve been given.

Charlie: Here’s a stunning web design that pushes the envelope for a government agency. Is it brilliant because it’s so different?  Or does its unconventionality get in the way of user experience? See what you think.

Kristen: Often times, B2B marketing gets pushed to the sidelines as many people focus on consumer marketing. It doesn’t have to be that way! Use these five questions as a way to transform your B2B creative.

Rachel: This new interactive ad for the up-and-coming James Bond movie really grabs users’ attention. You can log in with Facebook and experience a few minutes of under-cover-spy work while you try to crack the code on a briefcase. The end of the ad takes you to the Heineken Facebook page – a pretty direct way to involve consumers with social media marketing.

Patty: Many companies are working towards integrating social media into their daily marketing routine. This article outlines the three stages that social media goes through when companies adopt it.

Tiffany: xCELLigence‘s heavy metal tribute to “Little Cells” uses video marketing to entertain, engage and inform customers of their business.

Lea: Usually a high profile player injury coupled with a lucrative sneaker contract spells career end. But Derrick Rose and Adidas has turned this scenario on it’s ear. How? Great videos on YouTube and use of social media. Inspiring  campaign from Adidas on his training, his love of the game and ultimately, his anticipated comeback. Here’s a good article from Mashable and the first of the three webisodes on his journey back from his injury.

Spike Likes Fridays, Vol. 52

September 7th, 2012

LinkedIn, video advertising and social networking were  hot topics for Spikesters this week. We found a heart-pumping video from Volvo, a complaint against social media marketing and some new ways to use LinkedIn.

Lea: The October issue of Marie Claire in the UK will claim a first for that country: a video ad inserted within a print magazine with the use of LCD technology from Americhip. I’m anxious to see if this works and see it in the B2B space. Would this grab your attention?

Gary: B2B and B2C are very different approaches. However, B2B marketers can learn a lot from B2C strategies. Especially when it comes to social networking. This article outlines some of the B2C best practices on LinkedIn that B2B marketers should follow.

Also, Volvo knows how to do it – this video is a thrilling ad for Volvo Trucks.

Rachel: In other LinkedIn news, Hodgson/Meyers loves LinkedIn for B2B companies- and it just got better. LinkedIn announced a re-vamp of their brand pages, making them more visual, and giving marketers more flexibility on their brand pages.

Patty: With all the hype about social media being the next step for marketing, there are still people who think that social media has no place in marketing. Will there ever be a happy medium?

Tiffany: ShipServ digs up a retro announcer to give a public service announcement warning purchasing agents against purchasing robots and endless emails.

Martin: Google is determined to do good for businesses everywhere. The new Google Ventures is set up to help entrepreneurs cover their bases when starting their own business. Included is a start-up lab, an investing team and a design studio.

Christian: Memes are used everywhere on the web for a quick laugh. B2B marketers are even catching up on the trend – using memes as a way to generate leads and buzz about their companies.