Posts Tagged ‘#marketing’

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. 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. 49

July 30th, 2012

It’s Friday again! And the Spikesters geared up for their weekend by searching for excellent B2B marketing examples. This week, we found that texting is a great means to reach customers, when done right. We found some do’s and don’ts for great marketing campaigns. Oh, and did we mention that our Principal, Gary Meyers, and his son have embarked on an 11 week bicycle ride across the United States? Follow their progress!

Christian: There are great examples of what to do for marketing, but what about what NOT to do? Products are fantastic, as long as you can get them out of their box.

Rachel: Great marketing strategy is the backbone of great campaigns. Here are ten strategic mistakes that B2B companies make when it comes to building a campaign.

Patty: Internet Security folks have it tough – their product is difficult to explain, yet important to any company hooked in to the Internet. Webroot Internet Security owned up to their admittedly-uninteresting industry with these hilarious billboards.

Martin: A little bit of humor never hurt anybody. In fact, it usually helps B2B companies sell their products. Domtar, a sustainable paper company shows the hilarious implications of a world without paper.

Amelia: Marketing is crossing all kinds of media boundaries: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Some businesses even use text messaging to reach out to their customers! Here are five examples of companies using SMS messaging right.

Gary: DMZ Interactive is a full service web design firm from Boston – they recently showcased their top 10 B2B websites for 2011 for inspiration!

Chris: More than 85% of B2B web activity starts with a search that will lead to your website or landing page. When your prospects arrive, you need to make sure you engage them in mere seconds. To find out how well your home page is doing, try this handy service called the “Five Second Test“. Through crowd-sourcing, the service allows you to test your ideas on random users by showing an image of your home page for five seconds and then asking a series of short questions. While not scientific, the results can be eye opening.

Tiffany: This video, for Snapdragon, is a creative way to compel viewers to look up their product.

Charlie: Google has always had some of the best advertising and their new ad for Google Fiber is no exception.

Spike Likes Fridays Vol. 47

June 29th, 2012

While the rest of the nation is experiencing a massive heat wave, Spikesters found themselves in a normal Seattle summer of rain and clouds. However, they cheered themselves up with B2B related articles and advertizing examples. Nothing cures the rainy-day blues like some good old Business to Business news!

Christian – Less is more for these brands, who are focusing toward minimalism in their brand logos. They are finding that sometimes, fewer distractions on a logo make the company more recognizable and more powerful.

Rachel – B2B businesses are catching onto the mobile-site train! Many businesses are transitioning their websites to be available and functional through mobile phones and tablets as well as traditional computers.

Chris – Marketing commercial ice machines sounds boring you say? Think again. Here‘s a good example of B2B creative that goes above and beyond with video, contests, social, and user-generated content. Just say “no” to boring B2B creative.

Tiffany – Peter Jones BT Business makes the office gremlin a real problem with this clever commercial. Gremlins run amok through the office whilst the employee has to endure the problems they create. If only he’d known of BT’s communications support.

Patty – This commercial combines several of my favorite things: John Cleese, silly names and B2B advertising. A hilarious example of companies using humor to get their point across.

Willem – BMW Eclipse is the latest advertisement of the famous car brand produced by The Mill. Visually stunning, this one-minute spot based around an eclipse with this talent. A very successful video to discover in the sequel.

Jason – B2B marketing is everywhere. Even in space. SpaceX has teamed up with Bigelow Aerospace to launch an international marketing effort. In space. We can’t stress that enough. Space shuttle companies in the private sector will be able to launch into space and link up with Bigelow’s inflatable space habitat.

Charlie – This video shows viral marketing at its best. Taking from the “bullet going through objects in slow motion” concept, BMW replaced the bullet with their new M5 car. With fantastic results.

Martin – Here‘s a site I found while I was researching responsive design (here‘s an explanation of responsive design) which is really the future of web design. Nice clean look and a good example of responsive design:

Gary – Spike Likes GE’s use of augmented reality to tout the power of the Smart Grid.

Tim – Check out this unconventional, and effective, approach for an anti-smoking campaign.

Spike Likes Fridays Vol. 45

June 1st, 2012

It’s June in Seattle and Spikesters are celebrating the summer with interesting ways that B2B companies have branded themselves. Whether it’s a new logo, a catchy name or an entire webpage, companies today are always coming up with innovative and intriguing ways to set themselves apart.

Rachel: Have you heard about the ‘visual hammer’? I am sure that you have seen one. A ‘visual hammer’ is a way that a human connects to a brand through a visual. Coca-Cola’s bottle shape. Susan G. Komen’s pink ribbon. These are visual items that increase brand awareness and customer engagement with that brand.

Chris: Every year BrandZ  lists the top 100 most valuable global brands based on interviews, research and studies from around the world. This year’s list is out and it contains several well-known B2B brands. Taking that analysis one step further, we looked at the social impact these B2B brands are making by comparing their perceived brand value with their social media reach. Yellow rows indicate highest social activity with Microsoft leading the way for total social reach and influence among the top 10 B2B brands.


Charlie: What if the iMac had been called the MacMan? That’s what Steve Jobs really wanted to call it. Would we then all be carrying around PhoneMans, PodMans and PadMans?  Check out this interesting article on branding and naming from former Apple creative director Ken Segall.

Gary G: Folks from Forrester and Gartner research firms anticipate the increase in use of marketing automation and analytics, mobile devices, and content marketing in 2012. A big reason for this is the decrease in productivity that email blasting and cold calling have shown. Researchers predict that B2B companies will begin investing more assets in marketing technology.

Kristen: Kirkland-based Evergreen Hospital recently launched a refreshed brand reflecting their continued growth and award-winning care as they celebrate 40 years of service. What do you think? Did they hit the mark with their modernized logo?

Christian: This web developer displays his brand by turning his portfolio site into an interactive video game–a great way to get noticed and to show off skill-set in one swoop!

Patty: March madness is long over, but in the advertising world, we never stop looking at who’s beating who in the brand-recognition arena. Check out this bracket comparing brand construction through social media. It’s no surprise that Coca Cola came out on top, with Playstation as a close second.

Martin: Since the Sonics left Seattle I am no fan of the NBA, but I think it’s pretty interesting what the Brooklyn Nets are doing. They spent 35 years as the New Jersey Nets and no matter how successful they were on the court they were an afterthought in the New York City area. Fair or not New Jersey is simply looked down on by New Yorkers. Just by moving to Brooklyn the team will rise in popularity in the area. What’s interesting is what they’ve done with their logo and gear.

Designed in part by Jay-Z, who is part of the ownership group, the final result is a pretty simple, old-school black-and-white look. I think they’re going to sell a lot of merchandise and if they ever become competitive on the court, I think they may for the first time ever compete with the New York Knicks for the attention of New Yorkers.


Spike Likes Fridays, Vol 42

April 20th, 2012

Though it was a busy week, the Spikesters still found time to find some new, innovative campaigns along with some promising statistics regarding the future of B2B marketing and interactive media.

Kristen – Mohawk unveils new logo and unique brand vision animation.

Gary – While extremely partial to all things Macintosh, Spike is interested in the fact that Microsoft plans to take a big bite out of Apple.

Rachel – It’s always interesting to see how marketing budgets are changing each year. eMarketer projects that in the U.S. market, advertisers will increase video ad spend by 54.7 percent and increase investment in standard banners by nearly 20 percent. Research shows that people exposed to banners that included online video were about 5.6 times as likely to visit a marketer’s site as those exposed to standard banners. It will be interesting to see how online advertising changes this year, in light of these projections.

Martin – Here’s an interesting site for an architectural firm in Poland. I don’t usually like sites that have strange navigation, but for the kind of firm they are and the execution, I think this one really works.

Tiffany – Cool awareness campaign mixing the new with the old…

Patty – As a youngster, it’s really interesting to see businesses creep into the social media world (or vice versa). It looks like even B2B marketers are utilizing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging and Pinterest.