Dec 08

Closing the gap between marketing and sales

Guest Post by Deborah Brown, Peppercom

December 8 - gap Years ago, I remember the marking manager of a client desperately ask, “Can Peppercom please help us? I don’t know how to get marketing and sales aligned. There’s virtually no communication and sales is off saying what they want to customers, while marketing is trying to instill consistency with our messages.  What do we do?” Several weeks later, with a sales consultant, Peppercom developed “Pain –Based Selling,” a program that aligns marketing and sales and closes the gap between what salespeople believe is keeping their customers up at night and what actually is. And, about a year later, co-founder Steve Cody co-authored a book on the topic entitled “What’s Keeping Your Customers Up At Night?”

Now, fast forward about seven years. And, guess what? Sadly, very little has changed. To be fair, there is some alignment in certain companies, but from my experience, it’s still very limited or – in other companies – doesn’t even exist. It seems absurd when the two disciplines can greatly benefit from one another. At Peppercom, we try to go on sales calls with clients so that we can understand how messages are resonating with key audiences and get feedback from customers and prospects. Even this is often challenging to schedule. Yet, when we do go on sales calls, we can immediately uncover important information that can further strengthen existing marketing and communications programs or give us ideas for future ones.

I’d like to pose this question to you:  Can your company survive if sales and marketing are on different teams? 

That’s the focus of a FREE webinar from Peppercom this Wednesday, December 9th , from 1pm-2pm EST.  “Coach Nick” Papadopoulos, Sky’s The Limit Corporation Founder and author of the sales book “Championship Selling,” Steve Cody, Co-Founder of strategic communications firm Peppercom, and Matt Schwartzberg, President of A-1 First Class Viking Moving & Storage will discuss this question and the formula for success in 2010. The panel will be moderated by Sam Ford, Peppercom’s Direct of Customer Insights and research affiliate with the Convergence Culture Consortium. The panel will discuss proven strategies for breaking down the walls, how to take advantage of the first signs of economic recovery, the difference alignment has made for A-1 First Class Viking Moving & Storage, and much more.

Please click here for more details.

It’s critical for marketing and sales to understand each others' role and value. Bridge the gap….before it’s so wide that your company falls through it into oblivion.

Nov 04

Stickiness is so 1999

November 4 - Webinar_Sticky3 Remember what a big deal stickiness used to be? Dotcom executives loved using the word. First, they'd talk about eyeballs on their site. Then, they'd wax poetic about stickiness. 'Steve, guess how long the average visitor stays on www.fallenarches.com? Three minutes! That kills our competitors' numbers. Kills! Buries! Annihilates! We are so friggin' sticky!'

 When the dotcom bubble burst, it took those annoying executives and their eyeballs along for the ride. But, somehow the word stickiness survived.

In fact, stickiness is still considered by many as a key barometer in today's social media world.

Stickiness is used to describe the time a visitor spends on a website. Conventional wisdom holds that the stickier the site, the more enriching the end user experience (and the more successful the site).

Not so, says Sam Ford, Henry Jenkins and Joshua Green, who will join me for a webinar on the subject this Friday at 1p.m. EST (Register
here for this free webinar, "Moving from "Sticky" to "Spreadable": The
antidote to "Viral Marketing" and the Broadcast Mentality
")

Messrs. Ford, Jenkins and Green are affiliated with M.I.T's highly-regarded Convergence Culture Consortium, whose mission is to provide some clarity and make some sense of the seismic digital changes happening all around us (note: Sam Ford also happens to be Peppercom's director of customer insights).

The trio believe web success is all about spreadability and not stickiness. Spreadability, they say, should be the watchword of the day. It's not about how long someone stays on a site but, rather, how they share (or spread) the information contained on it and with whom.

Spreadability is critical to success in social media. But, understanding how to create content that others will find spreadable isn't easy.

On Friday, Ford, Jenkins and Green will share best and worst practices, tips on how to create your own speadable content and explain why 'viral' may make sense in medical nomenclature, but shouldn't be included in your tech talk.

Just think: a Friday afternoon with Repman and three academics discussing spreadability on the web. Aside from another Phillies victory, what more could you possibly ask for?

May 01

Cable executives struggle with same C-suite fears of digital

I was fortunate to be among the panelists in a recent CableFAX webinar. The subject was digitalCf
communications and, as was the case with my recent PR News webinar, the topics ranged from best practices and budget spends to lessons learned and ‘digital ownership’ within the organization.

CableFAX leveraged the webinar to release the findings of an industry survey on the subject. Interestingly enough, the results were almost identical to the one we’d conducted six weeks earlier with PR News (note: our sampling of 500 marketing communications respondents represented all sorts of corporations, agencies and non-profits. CableFAX’s reflected opinions from within the cable industry).

CableFAX respondents said digital was still a relatively small part of their overall PR budget (56 percent said it accounted for between 11 and 25 percent of the total). Less than one-quarter expected the budget to increase slightly in the next year. The remainder saw little or no budget increase whatsoever for digital.

That said, forty-four percent of respondents believe their digital efforts to date have been somewhat or moderately successful. And, a whopping 58 percent identified a ‘lack of funds’ as the number one hurdle to advancing digital’s use within their organization.

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