Customer Reference Programs: Going Social?

Laura Ramos

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Great customer references fuel great B2B marketing. But getting customers to testify or submit case studies is challenging. Good references require investment. But how do you keep customers from feeling like shills for their vendor firms? By involving them in communities of like-minded advocates! That is one hypothesis I plan to explore further in 2009 -- investigating the connection between social activity and greater customer advocacy.

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Yang Steps Aside as CEO: A Good Thing For Yahoo!

Shar VanBoskirk

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

**Update** Per the comments below, I've adjusted the title of this post to reflect that Jerry Yang is transitioning out of the CEO role, not "departing" Yahoo! overall.

This morning, Yahoo! announced that founder and CEO Jerry Yang would step aside as soon as Yahoo! found a replacement.

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B2B Marketing Obsolete, Really? (Part III)

Will B2B Marketing Become Obsolete? (Part II)

Laura Ramos

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Wow.  I am overwhelmed by the response I received from my first post on this subject. Looks like I hit a nerve and inspired some great commentary.  In particular, I'd like to call attention to the thoughful response from Arthur Einstein, who is the VP of Marketing at Loyalty Builders. I wanted to comment briefly on what I am hearing from all of you so far. To avoid obsolescence, readers believe B2B marketers must focus on:

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Will B2B Marketing Become Obsolete? (Part I)

Laura Ramos

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Today marks the beginning of my 8th year at Forrester and my 4th year researching B2B marketing.

I’d like to use this anniversary to start a blog conversation about what I see happening in B2B marketing and to think about what’s next. And, frankly, I am concerned about the future of the business marketing profession.  In particular, for those of us marketing high technology products and services.

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Interactive Marketing: An Imperative In A Recession

Shar VanBoskirk

[Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

***Updated with new registration information***

With an economic crisis looming, marketers must find new means to cut costs and deliver returns.  Many interactive marketing tools can actually provide cost-effective ways for firms to increase sales and deepen customer relationships. 

I hope you will join me for a  complimentary Webinar where we discuss how interactive marketing can help you battle budget cuts or slagging sales due to the slowing economy.  In this Webinar, I'm planning to define how interactive marketing should be a mandate for all marketers to stay relevant to their end consumers.  I'm also going to tackle why interactive marketing matters, how your firm should approach it and how Forrester can help you craft meaningful interactive marketing strategies.

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Reebok's "Run Easy" Creates A Movement, Not A Campaign

Shar VanBoskirk

Reebok and its agency Carat shared the details of their "Run Easy" campaign -- a multichannel effort to create a movement in running.

The situation: Reebok has strong brand recognition, but a much smaller share of sales than competitors.  Reebok wanted to create a perception that running was for everyone, not just for the elite, a very different message than competitive positioning.  Reebok also believed that to do this well, they needed to create a *movement* around running.  It wouldn't work to try to motivate people around running just with a few outbound campaigns.

The approach: Creating a movement is different than creating a campaign.  In fact, Reebok used an approach somewhat contrary to how traditional media efforts are developed.  They seeded their market with the "run easy" idea in advance of a large media blitz.  Then they used media to further interest in the idea and enroll people in the movement.  And last they spread the message through in-person events and viral elements in order to drive participation and encourage the community to spread the word on Reebok's behalf.

From my perspective the primary lessons to take away from Reebok's effort, are:

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NBC Universal Finds Olympic Investment Was Well Worth It

Shar VanBoskirk

I'm back with some details from those cases presented at the BIMA event I went to last week.

Nick Johnson the VP of Multimedia Sales for NBC Universal shared some great data and lessons learned from NBC's "ownership" of the Beijing Olympics.

He called the Olympics a cultural phenomenon -- and for more reasons than their presence in China and all of the political hullaballoo that brought about.  From a media perspective, the games brought about significant behavior change among American consumers:

76% stayed up late to watch events
48% changed their routine in order to watch events when they were on
36% delayed doing things in order to watch events

On top of the high volume of television watchers:
56 million unique users came to NBC's site to watch events, get content, see replays
NBC saw 12.3 million video downloads, AND it saw 16.4 million unique mobile users

Johnson's conclusions from the research NBC conducted following the Olympics:

1) Television can still be king.  The Olympics were hugely successful at driving a mass audience for NBC

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BIMA Event Yields Some Exceptional IM Examples

Shar VanBoskirk

I'm just back from the Fourth Annual Cross Media Forum put on by BIMA, the Boston Interactive Media Association, a MITX organization.  I thought the depth of content from the event was exceptional.  It included:

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Demandbase: A New Twist In The Lead Management Automation Market

Laura Ramos

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

In a recent survey of over 2100 IT professionals who buy or recommend telecom and networking solutions, we found buyers turn to peers and colleagues first, followed by vendor, industry trade, or professional Web sites, to inform their purchase decisions. In fact, 88% said Web sites were important in helping them decide what to buy. However, many tech buyers visit vendor Web sites many times to learn about and compare products, yet few register or leave evidence of their activity.

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