7 Shocking Numbers to Consider When Building Your 2015 B-to-B Marketing Budget

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Dec 18, 2014 9:51:00 AM

Everybody has their own way to build a b-to-b marketing budget. Our newest eBook lists2015 Marketing Budget - 7 Shocking Numbers best practices from some of the most successful marketers we can find, and from several b-to-b industry analysts. The benchmark stats are important – and perhaps even a little shocking!

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Topics: Marketing, marketing automation, marketing strategy, 2015 ad planning

Goldstein Group Named as Hubspot Gold VAR for Lead Generation Programs

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Dec 10, 2014 1:33:00 PM

Goldstein Group Communications earned Gold Level status as a Hubspot Value Added
Reseller (VAR).  Hubspot, a marketing automation software company, has more than 2000 VARs, but only 50 have reached Gold Level status to date.

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Topics: lead generation, marketing automation, Hubspot, Goldstein Group Communications, business-to-business

Marketing Automation Success – It’s Not the Tool, It’s the People

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Feb 27, 2014 3:42:00 PM

Ten years ago companies began installing CRM systems;  today they’re more likely to beMarketing Automation Assessment frustrated than fans of what they’ve put in place.  Three years ago companies all opened their Facebook and Twitter pages as part of their big “social media” initiative;  and today most are still socially learning, not loving their programs.  And now, companies are doing it again, as are we – with Marketing Automation initiatives like Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, etc.  (Full disclosure – we’re a Hubspot VAR ourselves).  So are we going to look back in 2016 at our Marketing Automation implementations and point to yet another failed marketing technology launch?  In some cases yes, but I think less so this time around.  We believe marketers place a greater understanding on process and, for Marketing Automation, the role of content and are deemphasizing the magical powers of the technology tool itself.  That’s good, and we want to help move that along.  If you’re thinking about taking the Marketing Automation plunge, make it less of a leap of faith.  Take our assessment test here, and see where your organization stands in making a Marketing Automation program successful.

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Topics: Marketing, marketing automation, Hubspot

The Three Most Important Questions to Answer for Improving Your Lead Generation ROI

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Dec 3, 2013 7:07:00 PM

B-to-B companies today rely on their websites to generate a steady stream of qualified leads. But too many companies focus on improving their search engine rankings (which is certainly important!) without following through by examining their websites critically. Does the site do as much as it can in converting passing visitors into actual sales opportunities?

Answer these three preliminary questions as a foundation for website lead generation:

  1. What should you pay for a lead? Many companies don’t know what they’re really paying for a lead (it’s important to note that we’re not talking about a sales-ready opportunity but an initial sales inquiry). You can’t improve your performance until you’ve first calculated your current performance, and then benchmarked it against others. Marketing Sherpa, the B-to-B consulting firm, published data showing B-to-B marketers pay less than $20.

  2. What conversion rate should you have? The study went on to calculate the conversion rate of visitors to leads from a site. Is 4% a good rate? Should it be 20%? It’s important for goalsetting to compare your conversion rate to current levels as well as B-to-B benchmarks.

  3. What techniques work best for conversion? It’s pretty simple—now that you know what to pay, and what conversion levels to expect, it’s time to turn your site into a lead machine.

Hubspot, one of the larger inbound marketing software companies, points to its own research, which confirms MarketingSherpa’s findings. Hubspot’s recent data shows that 60% of companies will execute inbound marketing strategies in 2013, and that marketers will allocate 34% of their overall budgets to inbound tactics. That’s a massive shift away from traditional marketing or brand advertising.

Our White Paper publishes all three studies mentioned above, so you can benchmark your own Lead Generation ROI performance.

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Topics: lead generation, marketing automation, website, Goldstein Group Communications, business-to-business

Six Ways to Boost Your Website Lead Flow by the End of the Day

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Nov 20, 2013 12:04:00 PM

Boosting lead generation and website performance today doesn’t require learning any deep, dark secrets. With the lead-tracking capabilities Marketing Automation software makes possible, the source of ROI is clear. Just about everyone has heard this marketing comment: “I know half of my marketing is wasted; I just don’t know which half.” Now, with Marketing Automation software, we can know.

Here are the six most immediate and effective tactics for boosting lead conversion on a B-to-B marketer’s site.

  1. Engage with visuals, by using more pictures, videos, animated demos and infographics. People read less and less than in the past; that’s particularly evident online.

  2. More offers on the home page. Although websites were once thought of as your brand’s front door (and that’s still the case to some degree), a true lead-generating website is crafted with offers and engagement in mind.

  3. “Don’t tell me what you do; tell me what you do BETTER.” Your copy will dramatically improve when you build buyer personas that describe your target customers, their pain points, and how you’re uniquely qualified to solve them.

  4. It’s basic but too often overlooked. Put a short lead form in the upper right corner of your home page, and make sure it includes the “magic question:” Do you have an active project and when?

  5. Remarketing banners are working magic now. They’re a relatively new technique, and they’re proving wildly effective in generating quality lead flow for our B-to-B clients.

  6. Live chat. Long a staple of consumer sites, inexpensive live chat tools are becoming more common – and therefore will be more expected – on B-to-B sites.

Read more about each idea, and see samples, from our white paper on Boost Your Website Lead Flow

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Topics: Marketing, lead generation, marketing automation, website, Goldstein Group Communications

Hire a Marketing Agency or Build an Internal Staff? Seven Reasons Why Hiring a Marketing Agency is a Better Strategy Spend

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Nov 8, 2013 8:29:00 AM

What can you do that I can’t do better for myself?

A salesperson for one of our clients came back from a sales call with that question ringing in her head.  She had a good answer, fortunately, but it’s a shocking question to hear from a customer.  It certainly applies to marketing agencies as well, of course, particularly today where everything changes so rapidly.  And we ask ourselves that every day to make sure we’re relevant, that we’re not old-school.

So what’s the role of an agency today?  Why hire an agency instead of building your own staff internally?  Good question.  Here’s some good answers:

  1. More efficient use of resources.  That may surprise some of you, since agencies aren’t known as being inexpensive. But we are.  When you hire a new marketing executive today, each hire had better bring to the table eleven specific skills to the job:
    • Writing capability
    • PR/media skills
    • Social media
    • Email
    • Paid Search
    • SEO
    • Graphic design
    • Web development
    • Trade shows
    • Video
    • Marketing strategy

    Hired anyone like that lately?  Of course not, and neither have I.  It’s impossible to find one person who brings all of those capabilities, so the agency model of bringing all that to the table with a team of “hyperspecialists” is particularly efficient.  As a corporation, you can duplicate that team by hiring 11 people, perhaps at $50K in salary, with a 12th as supervisor, and you’ve staffed a full service department for $600,000, conservatively.  Now, of course those people are available for you full time, while you’re only getting part of an agency’s time.  And that’s the point.  You only use what you need.  And the right agency brings you hyperspecialist capabilities that are hard to maintain on your staff.

  2. Focus and Accountability.  We’re hired to do one thing, or one area of tasks.  We’re not pulled by the president into a new project, or diverted over to help launch a new division or product.  Take PR:  I’m a PR guy from way back, and I’ve never seen a PR manager who has the time to work with media to generate as much coverage as an agency can.  The internal PR executive is pulled in too many different directions, and those story pitches can always be done tomorrow -- but tomorrow never comes.  Agencies don’t have that luxury.  We’d better have something to show in this current monthly report.  And we know that. 

  3. Best Practices.  Agencies work with a few dozen companies just like you.  They see inside so many organizations, and are in a prime position to bring you the ideas that work best (and keep you away from the ideas that fail).  You can't really do that with your own, in-house, marketing team (unless you spend all your free time networking with colleagues, time you can’t afford.)  The best agencies embrace best practices, harvest those ideas, and bring them to your door faster than if you had to travel to conferences and discover them yourself. 

  4. A View of What’s Next.  In our shop, we’ve realized that every 2 years our jobs will be different.  Marketing changes today that fast, so we’re constantly using and applying new technologies from last year’s Twitter initiative to today’s marketing automation to tomorrow’s WeChat (see Asia!) platforms that are starting to replace email.  Think you have it figured out?  Don’t get cocky -- next year, when Google Glass comes out, it will all change again.

  5. Freedom To Be Creative and Take a Risk. Risk-taking and creativity usually are sucked out of most corporate environments.  That’s not a fault, that’s just how they’re built and how executives are compensated.  And that’s why they need agencies, where we’re encouraged to bring creative ideas that just can’t grow in 99% of corporations. 

  6. Accelerated Learning Curves for Implementing New Ideas.  There’s no shortage of new ideas and programs to put in place.  And most agencies have done them a few times already.  You’ve done them once – or never.  Why learn on the fly when your agency can tell you the eight mistakes to avoid, or get you up and running with faster results in less time.  That new sales portal?  Hubspot Marketing Automation?  Remarketing banners?  Don’t waste time reinventing the wheel or learning from scratch.  You don’t have time.

  7. Objectivity.  A good agency tells you when you’re wrong.  And embraces that role.  There’s enough yes people in life.  An agency isn’t one of them.
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Topics: social media, SEO, paid search, marketing automation, advertising, PR, website, marketing strategy, Goldstein Group Communications, business-to-business

Making Sure Marketing Communications Works

Posted by Cyndi Friedel

Oct 30, 2013 10:40:00 AM

We believe effective Marketing Communications must travel through a disciplined six-step
process if it is to have impact.

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Topics: Marketing, lead generation, marketing automation, advertising, Hubspot, Lead nurturing, Pardot, Goldstein Group Communications

Marketing Automation Spending to Increase in 2014

Posted by Cyndi Friedel

Oct 7, 2013 12:07:00 PM

We’ve said in the past that the b-to-b industry is focused on Marketing Automation today, as much as it used to be focused on social media 3 years ago.  And a story from B-to-B Magazine confirms that companies are aggressively ramping up spending in this area.  An excerpt from an August 19 article:

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Topics: marketing automation, business-to-business

About Us and this Blog:

At Goldstein Group Communications, we believe passionately in the power of great ideas, coupled with the impact of measurable results. It’s a philosophy that delivers customers to the sales team, profits to the CFO, and sustainable growth to the CEO. Inspired ideas that are grounded in the real world demands of the market.

We call it Measurably Better Marketing. 

 

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