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The last decade has shown that few industries or entities are immune to disruption, or fully understand how best to grow as digital changes the playing field.
Threats to the status quo exist at every level of business, but marketing has evolved faster and more dramatically than other parts of the enterprise because it is outward facing, and has to interact with and understand customers on many levels.
This has led to an increasing capacity for flexibility within marketing, largely because it is the only part of the business in a position to respond to the vacuum created as the realities of selling in the digital age pull away from the outdated beliefs most companies have about their fundamental relationship with their customers and markets.
This is why 90% of companies responding to the new Econsultancy/Sparks Grove report, The Reinvention of B2B Marketing, believe that marketing can contribute more to their enterprise.
B2B marketing has long been under-represented, not to mention B2B ecommerce.
But with the entry of Amazon Supply and Google Shopping for Suppliers to the market, B2B ecommerce is quietly catching up.
So much so that forecasts suggest that the B2B ecommerce market will be double the size of B2C by 2013.
This is a real wake up call for B2B companies that have not considered selling their products online.
Monday next week I'm to appear on a webinar panel talking about journalist relationships. You can sign up for it here if you’ve always wondered whether I talk in dulcet tones or a high pitch falsetto.
However I wanted to write a piece of my own, partly to draw attention to the upcoming webinar hosted by Vocus (let’s not veil the truth) and partly to add an Econsultancy staff blogger’s opinion to the debate.
So what are the best ways for PRs to engage with Econsultancy's writers? I’m going to start with some entertaining flippancy that nevertheless holds more than a grain of truth and then move on to some best practice for PRs.
A lot of these are dos and not don’ts, but to fit the commandment theme I’ve had to use a few double negatives. Forgive me.
User-centred design (UCD) is widely regarded as the best way to design a great user experience (UX), with most UX professionals following the international standard ISO 9241 part 210.
As project leader for this standard, I realised that some of the principles which underlie UCD can be applied to whole organisations, so I am pleased to be project leader (with Tomas Berns from Sweden) for a new ISO standard which aims to make businesses as a whole more human centred.
To encourage interest in the new standard, we have drafted an executive summary which can be downloaded and freely distributed and would welcome input from Econsultancy readers.
This new standard aims to engage the ‘hearts and minds’ of executive board level people by explicitly presenting how eight main principles of UCD can apply to organisations.
In this post I look at these eight principles and link them back to user experience with examples (good or bad) on the web.
It was a great year for ecommerce and all signs point to an even bigger, even better year come January 1. What’s on the docket? Plenty.
Building on the success of the last 12 months, 2014 will likely signal a comprehensive integration of mobile with traditional brick-and-mortar along with a boom in gamification, personalization and more comprehensive and accessible methods to test and track.
It’s time to raise a glass to what’s going to be a game-changing year.
If one of the things we’ve learnt so far within digital marketing is that becoming more social is a key ways to succeed, does the installing of a paywall on newspaper run websites effectively mean ‘killing’ their shareability?
The most topical example of this is The Sun’s recent introduction of its subscription service. Named Sun+, this has attracted 117,000 subscribers to its £2 a week service in approximately three months.
With The Times, The Telegraph, Financial Times all having already installed paywalls at various points in their online existences, with varying degrees of success, has this made a difference to how their material is shared?
Do they even care? If they are making enough money from subscribers, then perhaps the volume of traffic is unimportant to them.
Within your own social circles, will followers of your channel be annoyed that you’re posting a link to something they need to pay for? This obviously introduces a whole new argument about the value of content, and whether it should be free or otherwise.
Our editor-in-chief Graham Charlton (pictured above) took an in-depth look at The Telegraph's metered paywall in his article earlier in the year, so let’s take a look at the other newspaper paywalls and attempt to shed some light on the questions raised.
The idea of being helpful, of providing content and resources to prospective and current customers that may not have anything to do with your organization, is a new and radical concept for many marketers.
"You mean you want me to publish content that doesn't sell my product?" The idea is simple: give people want they want and eventually they consider you a trusted resource.
But is being helpful enough? Is helpfulness really useful? Or are marketers spinning their wheels creating content that, even though it's helpful, no one really wants?
Although being helpful is something marketers should strive towards as a way to foster engagement, useful should be the end-goal: giving people content they need to solve their problems, when they need it, and in the specific format they want.
Social media monitoring can be used to perform various tasks in the advancement of your own brand. Generating leads, finding influencers and identifying key sites are just a few that could be mentioned.
However, what is often overlooked is how these tools can be used to analyze competitors. By keeping track of your competition you can become the leader in your chosen area of expertise.
This article is aimed at explaining the methods that can be put in place to track competitors through social media monitoring (smm) and what benefits this could have for your company.
As part of the The Reinvention of B2B Marketing Study, conducted with SparksGrove, Econsultancy looked at the Fortune 500 through a digital lens and found that perhaps 23% are safe from dramatic disruption.
If an organization is a producer of chemicals, raw materials, food or energy products…if they have a very small universe of prospects…then they’re safe.
We're in the midst of a great migration to portable devices and the opportunity for marketers is immense.
It will be much tougher to cultivate a relationship with users than it was on the web, but if handled properly we’ll find the perfect balance between the ultimate user experience and advertisers’ agenda.
One thing marketers can all agree on: advertising makes the digital world go 'round. What's less a settled matter is how, exactly.
21% of the global population will be using mobile apps by the end of the year. Your company may need an app too, but should you build your app for iPad, iPhone or Android?
One and a half billion people will be using mobile apps by the end of the 2013, equivalent to 21% of the global population.
Of course, mobile-optimised websites are clearly vital to communicate with your audience, with the balance now tipping in favour of responsive website design, but there’s still a strong case to be made for providing one or more apps as well.
But assuming you’re ready to commit, should you go for an iPad, iPhone or Android app?