Newly Endorsed United States of America Embassy Scholarship Award for International and African Students in USA, 2020

The application opens for US Embassy Awards Scholarships 2019. There are two classes of Award: US Embassy Awards Scholarships, to appreciate higher degree considers in Joined States at Masters level. In like manner, US Embassy Awards Short Courses, to see legitimately, managed equipped instructional classes, in the United States and moreover in Africa, in a dimension of advancement focused parts.

Need Fields (changes by African nation)

  • Developing/Food Security
  • Planning
  • Flourishing
  • Open Policy (checking an open area coalition, open part change, trade, by and large insightful)
  • Normal Management
  • Ordinary Resource Management (tallying mining-related subjects)
  • Specific and Vocational Education and Training (open for Short Courses metaphorically)Basic (checking Natural Gas and Oil Technology)Foundation
  • Ordinary Resource Management
  • Transport (checking Ports, Roads and Airports Management)

Qualified Countries:

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Cape Verde,Comoros, Congo(Republic of), Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya,Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal,Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia et cetera

  • Point of repression: Varies by country (see interface underneath for specific country limit criteria)
  • You ought to be no under 25 and not more than 50 years of age at the date of your application.
  • You ought to have no under three (3) years’ related post graduate work obligation. This work understanding must be in a region fitting to your proposed field of study and to your work collusion make(e.g. open zone contenders should indicate open piece work association, and so forth). Inclination will be given to contenders with progressively central states of obligation.
  • You have, as a base, a Bachelors certificate (or the looking at) from a reasonable Institution of at scarcest 4 years in length with no not as much as an underneath normal Class Pass.

Target Group:

  • You are a national of an African country. See country list underneath
  • You are an early or mid-business gifted working in the Public Sector, the Private Sector or a Non Government
  • Affiliation (Civil Society) in one of the recorded need fields of study.
  • You wish to fathom a Masters certificate in Australia in one of the recorded need fields of study. You can’t consider a Masters of Business Administration.
  • You have a reasonable vision for how you will use the data associated through the Masters qualification to revive system, sharpen or preparing in the proposed field of study.

Sexual introduction Equality: Australia Awards target level with help by women and men. Applications from women are unequivocally associated with, and wraps are set up to help women hopefuls and Awardees.

Need Inclusion: Australia Awards intend to ensure that people with an insubstantial quality are given reasonable and indistinct opportunity to take after and get a permit.

Applications from people with a shortcoming are unequivocally engaged. Frameworks are set up to reinforce contenders and Awardees requiring specific help.

Investigate of Scholarship: For the length of the program

Select your country of root. Take after the specific heading on the page.Supporters: US Embassy Awards in Africa, an advancement of the United States Government.

IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CMO 2017 Predictions

The following predictions are excerpted from IDC’s 2017 CMO FutureScape report which provides additional details and guidance. (Here’s the summary webcast.) Of course, no one can have 10 top priorities, so pick and choose the one or two that will be most effective for your organization for the next 12 months and nail them. Then go on to some of the others. By working your way through as many of these forces you feel apply to your business, you will be able to offer customers value that your competitors simply cannot match. If you don’t, be prepared for the pain of being on the wrong side of that equation.

  • Prediction 1: Superhero CMOs Emerge – By 2020, the first superhero CMOs will emerge because they received C-Level permission to disrupt traditional go-to-market operations. IDC predicts that we will see pockets of break-through in CMO leadership. This will be demonstrated by individuals who have exceptional leadership skills and in the face of long-odds, have brought meaningful change to their marketing organizations.  The “Superhero CMO” will be one who has executed real change — not just the aspirational change that is depicted on a PowerPoint slide. Here are IDC’s criteria to identify these Superhero CMO’s; and where to look (or not look) for them. 
  • Prediction 2: Boardroom Battle for the Customer – By 2020, 25% of CEO’s will appoint a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) in an attempt to unify the imperative of customer-centricity. Who on the C-Level leadership team will emerge as the most effective agent to deliver the customer’s growing persistence for a better experience?  Is Customer Centricity a cultural value; is it everyone’s job; or should it be the domain of a single executive leader? If it is the latter, which one? This is the emerging “Boardroom Battle for the Customer”.
  • Prediction 3: “Free Range” Content Invasion – By 2020, more than 50% of a company’s commercial content will be created outside of marketing’s direct control. Content marketing – it’s not just for marketers anymore. While content experts will determine the most strategic aspects of a company’s commercial communication, CMO’s must prepare to leverage content from a wide range of sources. Today, content marketing stops at marketing’s silo walls. Full commercial content – all the content needed to conduct commerce, is much more. Opening up marketing’s borders will cause initial angst, but it’s a parade that won’t, and shouldn’t, be stopped 
  • Prediction 4: Journey Budgets get Reshuffled – By 2019, one-third of today’s “awareness” budget will be redirected to stages later in the buyer’s journey. Marketing’s programs budget is poised on the brink of a major overhaul. Historically, nearly 50% of a tech companies company’s marketing program budget is spent on awareness. However, CMOs are driving funds out of the traditional (but vague) job of “awareness building” to jobs later in the buyer’s journey. 
  • Prediction 5: “Dark Social” Shines – By 2018, 15% of companies will shift the majority of their social marketing focus out of the public sphere and into private groups and messaging apps. Once again, consumers are charging ahead of brands. Consumer use of messaging apps has already hit mainstream (worldwide use of the biggest messaging apps now surpasses use of the biggest social brands) and yet this medium is hardly on the radar of most marketers.  But where buyers go, marketing will follow.
  • Prediction 6: Events are the Main Event – By 2017, events will surpass advertising as the top marketing program investment in more than 50% of B2B IT vendors. As marketers dash to digital in so many of their marketing program investments, events have emerged as an important counterbalance to this digital shift. Over the last three years spending on digital marketing has increased from 31% to 43% of the average marketing programs. Despite the rapid growth in digital marketing, events have remained the second largest marketing program investment only behind advertising. But this gap is shrinking and many industry leaders now have events as their number one marketing program investment.  
  • Prediction 7: Marketing GO! – By 2020, 20% of IT Vendors will have augmented reality pilots in place that will serve as the foundation for immersive marketing. Through the advent of Augmented Reality (AR) technologies marketers are now able to add digital information and/or digital objects to their buyer’s real world experiences, creating the holistic and encapsulating engagements that are at the foundation of immersive marketing. By allowing marketers to present relevant, personalized, and targeted information to a buyer based on his or her current location and/or activity engagement marketers are able to move beyond a single, one time, albeit (sometimes) memorable experience and into a continuous stream of value addition for their buyers. 
  • Prediction 8: DX Fails without CX-OS – By 2020, 50% of digital transformation (DX) initiatives will fail due to the lack of an end-to-end customer experience orchestration service (CX-OS). CX-OS is IDC’s term for the future platform on which enterprises will be able to successfully accomplish digital transformation. It is a low latency, high activation environment that connects applications and datasets across customer related activities in the enterprise.  Through open APISs and microservices, It delivers a growing set of software services that manage workflows, decisions, interaction events, data, processes, audiences, customer IDs, security, etc. Executed well, a CX-OS will connect all interactions with the underlying processes that companies will use to communicate with customers and perform activities on the customer’s behalf. 
  • Prediction 9: Bots Break Advertising – By 2020, 40% of e-commerce transactions will be enabled by cognitive/AI personal shoppers and conversational commerce.The next generations of digital personal assistants (aka Siri, GoogleNow, Cortana, Viv, Alexa, etc.) will be advanced cognitive agents able to conduct commerce on behalf of consumers. This will result in an explosion of bot-to-bot transactions. 
  • Prediction 10: A Message in Every Machine – By 2020, 15% of display advertising will be executed via connected devices such as vehicles, wearables, facilities, and in-home. Smart devices will become pervasive in daily life. Almost everything including our homes, vehicles, shops, offices, cities even our clothing, appliances, furniture, product packaging and more will be capable of detecting our presence and interacting with us either directly or via smartphones. This will have huge implications for marketers and advertising. The opportunities to add value will rise but so will the risk of intrusiveness and blocking. Marketers that master to balance these conflicting elements in the new sense and respond world will have their audiences to themselves and pull ahead of the fast followers and laggards.


“Marketers will live or die depending on which side of the disruption sword they are on,” according to Gerry Murray, Research Analyst with IDC’s CMO Advisory. “CMOs need to get past the internal disruption caused by technology and start using all the new tools and data to create new ways of engaging customers. Marketers need to shift customer relationships from using context to deliver messages to ensuring continuity and delivering value. They must use data driven insights to make the professional and personal lives of their customers better.” 

The Five Key Competencies for a Modern Tech Marketing Organization (via IDG Enterprise Marketing)

Our current market landscape is being led by self-educated buyers, and these buyers are moving fast and marketers need to move faster. Rich Vancil, Group VP of IDC, kicked off his IDC Directions session on “Best Practices in Building the New Marketing Machine” with this sentiment. So how do marketers not just move faster, but smarter? Vancil shared five key competencies to consider for modern marketing organizations based on recent research.
1.   Content Marketing
Given the session kick-off and the value of reaching the self-educated buyer, it is no surprise that content marketing is a top factor. However, companies are not being as strategic as they could be. In many organizations, there are multiple groups engaging the customer—product marketing, corporate marketing, field marketing, PR (earned media), and social—and unfortunately, tone and style often do not align. To reduce this “messiness” and provide a more omni-channel approach, a head of content or editor in chief should be considered. This position allows content paths/links to be created and a consistent message shared with your customers.Once this great content is created, work with your employees to be advocates and share the content socially to expand the reach.
2.   Sales & Channel Enablement
This is an evergreen issue. Sales is often sent materials directly from multiple groups, like product marketing, which can be overwhelming to the team. This is where sales enablement through corporate marketing can be extremely beneficial. The sales enablement team can be the intermediary to ensure materials are, in fact, sales ready and provide ongoing content audits to streamline the path of sales-ready tools. Allowing the sales team to spend more time with final tools and most important, your customers.

3.   Customer Intelligence & Analytics
Data is a must-have for understanding the buyer’s journey, unfortunately; that data is normally poor, or not parsed out effectively. To use data effectively, it is encouraged to build a marketing operations ambassador program, which allows non-marketing employees access to marketing data to leverage for decisions. For example, finance could use some data to determine customer lifetime value or for budgeting, whereas sales may be able to tie customer engagements to sales to learn more about prospects.

4.   Integrated Digital & Social Engagement
Providing an omni-channel experience is an ideal scenario for most marketers; however, we are not there yet. Similar to the challenges of multiple groups producing content, traditional media teams and those responsible for social promotions face similar disconnects, and it’s noticeable. However, having individuals own specific tools and collaborate/streamline messaging is key for success in the quickly growing social world.

5.   Loyalty & Advocacy
Many organizations live and breathe through a subscription economy, particularly when it comes to software. The challenge can be keeping customers happy as new competing solutions are constantly being launched. Building this loyalty and advocacy lies across the product, corporate, and field marketing teams. Customer success teams that care about a customer’s experience and determine ways to reduce response time and ease of use can play a major role in success.

Throughout the session, there were many nodding heads on areas that need to be improved in order to move to a modern marketing organization. Where are your competency gaps and what ways can your team improve the customer experience? Share them with @idgenterprise and @idcdirections.
(First published by IDG Enterprise Marketing· Apr 26, 2016)
 

Cognitive Marketing: The Future for Smart Marketers

“Modern marketing is all about making the most compelling offers
to the best customers the fastest.” 
Cognitive computing has a big future in marketing. The ability to track virtually everything everyone does on line has elevated the analytical requirements for marketers to the scope of a global stock market. Billions of data points are flowing and changing minute by minute. It is not possible to manage in human time frames or processing capacity. Fortunately machine assistance is rapidly evolving from batch reporting to predictive analytics to automated analytics, natural language processing, natural language generation, machine learniing and cognitive computing. We’re not quite ready to add sentient computing but it will probably happen in our professional lifetimes. While all this sounds like it might squeeze the human value add out of marketing quite the contrary. It creates a cognitive surplus for marketers to spend their time on higher value, “right side of the brain” decision making instead of crunching numbers and clicking software UIs all day. For the foreseeable future humans will be better at applying curiosity and creativity to problem solving. 
Virtual telesales is a representative example. As marketers become more sophisticated in understanding customer behavior, they are getting better at managing acquisition cost. High-potential leads get higher-cost resources like a dinner meeting. Low-potential leads go into automated email drip campaigns. But there is a huge midsection in the lead curve that requires a very low cost, highly effective means of further qualification. Traditionally, this is done through telesales services, which can be opaque, inconsistent, and expensive. Enter the virtual sales rep, a digital, rules-based learning algorithm that can replace telesales (via solutions like Conversica. ) 
For simple email interactions, totally virtual reps are not only indistinguishable from humans, they are often preferred. Why? Because they can be set up to be courteous and respectful and are inherently reliable and scalable. For example, the time it takes several people in marketing and sales to follow-up on a Web visit by a prospect is typically more than a day and can depend on complex scoring, routing, and territorial designations. Studies show that delays of more than a few hours dramatically degrade engagement rates. A totally virtual rep can follow-up on every single Web visit with a personalized message within whatever time period it is programmed to do so. And it can manage several qualified exchanges to the point of setting up a human-to-human sales interaction or providing links for digital commerce. This eliminates delays caused by human availability and preference. The quality, efficiency, and cost of the virtual sales rep are simply compelling.

But the virtual rep is only one beginning for cognitive. The level of complexity in ad optimization and the logical future of personalization (individualization) in multichannel marketing will require millions of decisions to be made in real time. Again, the future is already here. IBM officially added Watson to its marketing cloud solution offerings in 2015. Cognitive services will become embedded in many marketing applications through open APIs, SDKs and community initiatives. They have to potential to solve a great deal of the inaccuracy and latency in how brands interact with customers. The question is not so much about when or how cognitive systems will become mainstream in marketing but whether customers will even notice.

A New Year’s Fitness Plan for Your CMO (Content Marketing Operations)

 
Over the past few months, IDC has worked to define “Content Marketing” and to espouse its vital role in the execution of marketing campaigns.

If you’re not on-board yet as to the necessary role of Content Marketing — read no further !  But if you are, your next step is to assess your operational readiness for Content Marketing Operations. In a nutshell: does your marketing organization have the people, the tools, the process competency, and the leadership mandate, to roll-out Content Marketing capability across campaigns and product-lines?

 

IDC defines Content Marketing Operations as: “The execution of repeatable and coordinated processes to plan, create, develop, curate and distribute, and maintain the content assets and properties used for content marketing.”
 
Using IDC’s new MaturityScape framework, here is a 5-step model to help you assess where you are on the arc of “CMO” competency:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stage 1: Ad Hoc — Business as Usual
Description: Business as usual — Content marketing does not exist. Assets are created by marketing, but they are mainly product marketing and corporate marketing assets and very rarely content marketing assets (refer to Figure 2). There is no strategy, governance, or process around asset creation, and most activities exist in silos of execution.
Business impact: Marketing, and in turn the entire company, is misaligned with the buyer. There is a lack of successful engagement with the marketplace, which leads to diminishing bookings and, in marketing’s case, defunding.
Stage 2: Opportunistic — Houston, We Have a Problem !
Description: Houston, we have a problem  !  Marketing acknowledges that content marketing as a function must be developed and that it must be differentiated from product marketing. Movement begins around content marketing, mainly focusing on the initial steps to understand and organize around the topic. Efforts are made to assess what assets currently exist within the organization.
Business impact:The marketing organization begins the process of reorganizing around content marketing; this includes new executives, new titles, and new initiatives. Significant “wins” do not occur in this stage, but initial momentum toward change can be observed.
Stage 3: Repeatable — Content Marketing Works!
Description: Content marketing works! — Strategy and governance (rules, tools, and schools) take form. With growing sponsorship and results, content marketing is well on its way to becoming a respected and important part of the marketing organization. Tangible results are being felt and, more importantly, seen from content marketing.
Business impact:The marketing organization and the company as whole begin to see their messaging and voice be accepted in the marketplace. Through data, marketing is able to decipher between effective and ineffective content marketing assets.
Stage 4: Managed — Content Marketing Is Job Number 1
Description: Content marketing is job number 1 — Content marketing is globally accepted as an important part of the marketing organization. The CMO or head of marketing is fully aware and supportive of content marketing operations efforts. Formalized staffing processes and budgets are in place.
Business impact:Marketing is able to use content marketing to show pipeline attribution. The content marketing assets produced are well received by the buyers and influencers in the market. The company has a leading voice.
Stage 5: Optimized — Content-Driven Success
Description: Content-driven success — Content marketing is an integral part of every line of business and each region’s marketing activities. The corporate center of excellence (COE) works in harmony with all marketers, and marketers hold the COE in high regard. Content marketing is recognized as one of the most important parts of not only the marketing department but the entire company.
 
Business Impact:Marketing is able to use content marketing to show direct revenue attribution and can utilize content marketing assets to predict business impact prior to the asset going live. Content marketing operations has created efficiencies and cut costs from the overall marketing budget. The company is seen as a thought leader on content marketing.
 
IDC’s future outlook is that Content Marketing — as much as it has been a buzzword of the past few years — will eventually be so fundamental to marketing execution that it will lose its current “star” status. And, if your marketing organization is not moving up this maturity curve in 2015…you may be putting many other elements and practices of your entire marketing execution at risk.

 
 

Call for Participation: IDC’s 2015 Cloud Marketing Barometer Survey

IDC’s CMO Advisory Service is excited to announce that we are breaking new ground with a survey focused on marketing benchmarks within Cloud Software and Digital Services companies. This is brand new research for us, and an opportunity for your company to help IDC define the next set of important marketing KPIs.

 If you are a marketing executive at a cloud software company or within a cloud software business unit, this survey and the corresponding results will help you identify how to set your organization up for success.

What are the benefits?

• A complimentary copy (value of $3,500) of the resulting report, which will define new KPIs for Cloud marketing organizations.

• An invitation to a client-only telebriefing featuring key data and essential guidance from this study.

Who Should Participate?

Marketing executives in a position of responsibility for the worldwide marketing practices related to cloud or digital services at the company-level or these product line(s), or business unit(s).

How Long Should it Take?

Depending on several factors, as quick as 15 minutes!

What’s the Deadline?

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2014

How do I Participate?

To assure the highest data quality we carefully screen our participants. Please email Rich Vancil (Rvancil (at) IDC (dot) com for the survey link.

Confidentiality: All answers will be kept confidential within IDC’s CMO Advisory Service and all data will be aggregated for the purposes of trend analysis. IDC has executed similar surveys for over 12 years with participation from the largest public tech companies ranging to pre-IPO companies. Confidentiality is of the upmost importance and has never been breached.

Do You Leverage Win-Loss Analysis to Improve Marketing and Sales Productivity?

As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. However, how many of us actually take the time to learn from our mistakes as part of continuous improvement in our customer creation process? No doubt it can be difficult to admit where we have made mistakes, especially if we’ve lost money in the process! In fact, based upon a recent IDC survey, only 55% of large BtoB organizations have a formal sales win-loss analysis program in place. You may be thinking that you’re one of the lucky companies in that list, feeling comfy with the fact that your sales reps are required to check a box in your sales force automation(SFA) system when they lose a deal to indicate the reason for that loss. Best-in-class players in this space will tell you that you’re only kidding yourself into believing whatever the sales reps input into the SFA, if they even use your SFA.

If you’re in sales operations, then you’re in an ideal position to initiate a win-loss program.  If you’re in marketing, then you’re in a great position to increase your value add to sales by helping drive a win-loss program in collaboration with sales operations.  Here are a few of the things that best-in-class companies are doing as part of their win-loss analysis process:

  • Quarterly review calls (or even weekly) to review select wins and losses (a fact-finding culture is key here, and not fault-finding)
  • Roundtable sessions to discuss wins and losses, including root cause analysis and associated corrective actions
  • Review of specific wins and losses with the buyer, conducted by an objective team either from within the organization, or ideally, by a 3rd party

A couple of key guidance points in setting up your win-loss analysis process:

  1. Establish accountability for this process. (apply a RACI model and ensure global continuity; tap into your Sales Excellence team, marketing’s data analytics team, and your field marketing organization)
  2. Develop, execute and govern the process (collect data from multiple sources, ensure an objective party conducts the analysis, and focus on “fact-finding”, not “fault-finding”)
  3. Deliver actionable recommendations as a result of this process. (e.g., better identify the buying team as part of account-based marketing activities; improve allocation of sales support resources to target the best opportunities (check out industry benchmarks); rapidly communicate competitive insight to your sales team through social collaboration)

3 Opportunities for Marketing to Impact Sales Productivity

Call me an optimist, but in my opinion there has never been a better time for marketing to directly impact sales productivity.  I’d even go so far as to say that we’re experiencing a “perfect storm” for this opportunity – i.e., “an actual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude”. Wikipedia  More specifically:
  • Over 45% of the buying decision today (i.e., for large purchases) is being made before a buyer even says hello to your rep. [translation:  marketing plays a much greater role today in influencing the buyer’s journey, and it is incumbent upon us as marketers to better equip reps for this new buyer 2.0 reality] (click here to learn more about the buyer’s journey)
  • Sales organizations are struggling to make more informed investment decisions, however, in many cases they lack the data and core competencies needed as part of this process [translation: marketing, your internal “customers” have a clear pain point that can be addressed by the “products” and “solutions” that you’ve been trying to offer them for years]
  • Sales organizations are beginning to put in place Next Generation Sales Operations teams to drive greater improvement in sales productivity, taking a more strategic approach than in past years [translation:  marketing, you now have a “buyer” that is interested in what you have to offer and is willing to collaborate with you at the intersection of marketing and sales – i.e., strategic planning, lead/pipeline management, sales enablement and customer intelligence for sales
  • At no time in history have we had so many applications focused on improving the interaction between marketing and sales in a more automated and productive fashion – bringing value to sales reps(and channels) in addition to management.

To avoid making this just another blog post about how sales and marketing need to have a group hug, I’d like to get real specific here and focus on 3 opportunities for you, as marketers,  to bring more value to the table for your sales organization (click here for more details and the 5 min. video of this post):

Opportunity #1:  Sales Resource Planning

  • Sales is plagued with a lack of information to help them make more informed resource planning decisions.  (e.g., overall staff investment, local staff allocations based upon market share and growth)  Marketing is in an ideal position to add value here.  For example,
    • Reach out to your VPs of sales in each region to determine how the market segmentation data you are already buying from IDC can be leveraged to help identify the number and mix of sales teams at the local level
    • Provide your VPs of sales with an opportunity to tap into your marketing analytics team for a territory planning exercise. (start with one region.. .or better yet, one country as a pilot test and a way to demonstrate impact)

Opportunity #2: The Account Planning Process

  • The most productive sales organizations have shifted their traditional account planning process into the next generation of account planning. . . . . . one which taps into the intelligence of their entire company and ensures that the account planning process is dynamic and supports more tactical opportunity management activities throughout the year. Be there for your sales organization as they make this transition.  For example:
    • Insert your team into sales’ annual planning and regular opportunity management processes, providing in-depth market and customer intelligence that is targeted and relevant to them.
    • Provide share of wallet data to help sales identify the greatest potential for up-sell and cross-sell opportunities

Opportunity #3:  And last, but certainly not least, Sales Enablement – getting the right intelligence to the right sales teams and channels in the right time, place and format to help move an opportunity forward.  Bottom line here is to ensure that you treat sales enablement as a strategic initiative and not a tactical maneuver.  Improving sales enablement offers the opportunity to increase revenue by 10%!  CLICK HEREfor a full overview of what it takes to be successful in this area, including 14 attributes for a best-in-class sales enablement strategy.

Innovation is a Core Competency of a Successful CMO!

And this was clearly evident as several CMOs shared their success stories at Mass Tech Leadership Council’s recent 2013 Marketing Summit.  CMO’s and other marketing executives shared valuable insight on how to do “more with less” – the theme of the event.  Sure, as marketers we’ve been using that term at least since the Internet bust ~13 years ago; however, we’ve come a long way since then. Not only has marketing slimmed down from a staff perspective, but more importantly, we’ve developed a laser focus on being more relevant to our buyers and internal customers. In addition, we’ve developed a healthy obsession with metrics to demonstrate our value to the organization and better manage our precious budget. But even with this greater maturity, the worst thing we can do at this stage is lessen our drive for innovation.  Here are just a few of the key insights from this summit to help you and your marketing team keep innovation at the forefront of your marketing strategy and tactics:
  • Content is King:  Be a source of value for your buyers, even if your content strays from your product offering
    • Inbound marketing offers a significant opportunity for marketers to connect with customers, however, content used as part of this strategy must be of high value and relevance in an increasingly crowded (and noisy) environment
    • As Andy Zimmerman of Brainshark indicated, “We focus on idea generation content with our buyers.” – Andy gets the fact that as marketers, we need to set the vision for our buyers and help them be successful in their job and career.
    • “A BtoB Marketing organization must be a content machine. A key success factor is to hire domain experts, or at least those that will become domain experts and trend watchers. These individuals must communicate about your key topic to your end users and influencers – it must be their passion.” Christina Inge, eZuce
  • But Don’t forget to market your content: A “build it and they will come” strategy is a sure path to failure otherwise.
    • Yes develop great content, however, market your content “gorilla” style. . . . no, I don’t mean “Gangnam styleJ 
    • Brainshark leverages “micro-campaigns” to get the greatest leverage out of their content, using email and other marketing channels
    • Try the pathways that are less followed.  Yes, some will fail, but that is the cost of innovation. (e.g., direct mail, new social media channels, etc.)
  • Your web site is still the front door to your company, so don’t fall short in your first impression with your buyers
    • IDC’s CMO Advisory Service indicates that 45% of a big ticket buyer’s decision is made before they even say “hello” to your sales rep – and the web site is one of the top places they go as part of their decision process prior to meeting with your rep (in addition to their peers of course)
    • Develop customized and high quality messages and content to your buyers on your site, and ease the process for them to get to that information. “Message to someone while on your site, think customization.” [Zimmerman, Brainshark]
  • The power of a successful trial or proof-of-concept cannot be underestimated!
    • Mike Ewing, CMO of LogMeIn, said it well, “A couple of years ago it was all about trial transactions with buyers; now, we need to allow buyers to achieve value through our trial interactions.”
    • One CIO I spoke with at a recent IDC CMO & Sales Advisory meeting indicated, “We did a $3M deal driven by a $50K proof of concept chance that a vendor took on us.”
  • Hire and sustain an analytics team within your marketing organization
    • I don’t mean a simple database analytics team.  You need individuals that can not only analyze data, but more importantly, can extra value from that data that is relevant to your business, and communicate that value/insight in a simple and cohesive manner to drive impact in your organization.  No easy feat.
    • “Two top steps for a CMO to secure a solid relationship with their CEO?. . . set clear expectations and base your strategy and results on METRICS.” as indicated by several CMO panelists at the event. . . . And you’ll need a “crack team” of marketing analysts to help accomplish this objective.
    • IDC:  “50% of new marketing hires in 2013 will have technical backgrounds.” IDC’s CMO Predictions for 2013
  • Marketing Mix
    • The “right marketing mix” varies by company and is dynamic throughout the year. 
    • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different marketing strategies and tactics: “As with any VC firm, the CMO must leverage a diverse set of marketing tactics to ‘beat the market'”, Ellie Mirman, HubSpot.
    • Consider viewing your marketing investment allocations from different perspectives:
      • IDC CMO Advisory data: “B2B Tech CMOs are spending approximately 30% of their budget on digital marketing programs. This is up from 12% in 2009.”
      • “80% demand gen of investment; 10% thought leadership; 10% sales acceleration.” Mary-Katherine McCarey, Ipswitch
      • “57% acquisition (new logos), 13% retention, 30% other.” Melodye Mueller, NaviSite

Please share your comments below, or feel free to reach out to me directly at mgerard@idc.com to continue the conversation on what it takes to consistently deliver value as a BtoB CMO.

Push vs. Pull in B2B Marketing

In the world of retail consumer marketing, a Push strategy would indicate a manufacturer’s ability and monies to motivate a merchant to carry and promote its products. A Pull strategy would indicate that same manufacturer using advertising and promotion directed at consumers, with the objective of having those consumers demand the product from the merchant.

OK, I paraphrased that from marketing guru Phil Kotler in his 11th edition of “Marketing Management”, which is a classic text. Also in this edition, Kotler states: “The internet will not become a major advertising medium like televison , radio, and print media. Internet users generally do not welcome advertising.”

When Professor Kotler revises that statement in his 12th edition, he might also write about the new dynamics of Push vs. Pull in B2B Marketing !

B2B marketing and selling  in the tech space is heavy on Push. There is a parallel here to B2C Push as described — with regard to the strong channel influence that manufacturers maintain. But the Bigger “Push” is the heavy-handed salesmanship that is directed at the B2B buyer. Marketing spends about half its budget on demand generation programs. And the Sales function spends four times as much as all of Marketing, trying to persuade buyers.

It is indeed the internet that is changing this dynamic, as IDC VP Kathleen Schaub has written about exetensively in her New Buyer Journey analysis. The self-educated buyer resists Push. In fact, IDC research  shows that Buyers are practically begging their vendors: “Don’t sell so hard!.  So, don’t sell so hard; don’t push so hard. Customers don’t want to be sold to. They want to make self-determined choices.

The mantra for B2B marketers has to be Pull. If we acknowledge that the self-educated buyer will make his or her own choices on where to get educated, our job is to attract them, to pull them,  to our way of  thinking. The new Pull will continue to be advertising and promotion, but it will be more about helpful Social connections; an emphasis on educational marketing content; and greater demonstration that we have deep knowledge of  the customer’s business issues.

As you think about the next round of your marketing planning and budgets, also think about the general quotient of Push vs. Pull that you have in your overall mix. And ramp up the Pull — the gravitional forces that will hopefully draw your prospects into your atmosphere.