ABM Study: The impact of B2B media on purchase decisions

It is one of these questions many B2B marketers would love to get an answer: How many of the B2B business professionals that can be reached by B2B media and live events are involved in purchasing decisions or supplier selections?

Well, a recent study by American Business Media’s “Value of B-to-B” report, which was based on 6,682 responses from business professionals, 74 marketers and 111 business publishers and released Wednesday, gives an answer: Of those purchase business decision makers responding to the survey 74% can be reached by B2B media and live events.

The web plays a critical role here. The study states that 87% of those use industry-related websites on their customer journey and research in the decision making process. What they predominantly use is print magazines (65%), industry conferences and trade shows (58%) and e-newsletters (55%).

ABM B2B Resource Usage 2013

However, we all think the world is completely digital these days, the study makes clear that 74% use both digital and traditional media to get latest best practices and get the right information for their business. The industry-related focus of the print publications is relevant for (68%) as they spend more time with those publications than with mainstream business or consumer publications.

PS: There are good signs for the media industry, too. Almost half of the responding marketers (45%) expected an increase in B2B advertising budgets for the next 12 months.

Online trolls are simply bored, study finds

trolling road signMany brand managers ask themselves (and us in seminars) how a shitstorm begins. We most often tell them that many shitstorms are not real business problem but more a “verbal foul-mouthed fart” as we called it some weeks ago in one of the courses at the Executive Campus of the University of St. Gallen.

However, it is obvious that trolling increased in recent years with the rise of Facebook pages, online communities and newspaper comment which spread across the web with insults and provocations. Now, a recent academic study by Dr Claire Hardaker of Lancaster University of almost 4,000 trolling cases states that internet trolls travel on the anonymity of the web and can come from all ages on backgrounds.

“Aggression, deception and manipulation are increasingly part of online interaction, yet many users are unaware not only that some of these behaviours exist, but of how destructive and insidious they can be. The image of trolling is that it is mainly the work of young people, but the fact is trolls come from all ages and backgrounds. They will use different strategies to trigger the response they want from people. Some of these are a lot sneakier than others. It is not just about personal abuse.” Dr Claire Hardaker, Lancaster University

In an article of the Journal of Language, Aggression and Conflict soon to be published, Dr Claire Hardaker warns that trolls have become more sophisticated. Still, she gives advice on how to identify troll attacks. She shows the detailed approach that trolls make use of and makes clear that the trigger is often amusement,

Here are the seven deadly sins of trolling and how they are effective
1) Digressing from the topic at hand, especially onto sensitive topics.
Not necessarily overtly argumentative, this tactic frustrates its targets with its pointlessness and circularity. Digression onto sensitive topics triggers the strongest reactions.

2) Hypocriticising, especially for a fault that the critic then displays themself.
A simple tactic, often this is pedantic criticism of grammar, spelling or punctuation in a post which itself contains proofreading errors to provoke exasperated responses from others.

3) Antipathising, by taking up an alienating position, asking pseudo-naive questions, etc.
This tactic is heavily reliant on deceiving the group it is aimed at and covertly manipulates egos, sensitivities, morals and feelings of guilt, usually to trigger emotional responses. It can also create moral dilemmas.

4) Endangering others by giving dangerous advice, encouraging risky behaviour, etc.
A trolling strategy designed to masquerade as help or advice whilst actually causing harm and/or forcing others to respond to prevent harm. It relies on the target’s social responsibility and moral obligation.

5) Shocking others by being insensitive about sensitive topics, explicit about taboo topics, etc.
This appears to succeed mainly due to the strength of feeling provoked by the deeply personal and extraordinarily hurtful nature of the troll’s insensitivity. It triggers a desire to retaliate that is stronger than the desire to deny the troll the satisfaction of a response.

6) Aggressing others by insulting, threatening, or otherwise plainly attacking them without (adequate) provocation.
This is open and deliberate aggression without any clear justification with the aim of antagonising its target into retaliating.

7) Crossposting – sending the same offensive or provocative message to multiple groups then waiting for the response.

Do you have any hints and tips how to work with internet trolls? Share them, we are sure most readers will enjoy your advice.

Study: "Online Privacy is Dead", do Millennials really not care…?

The main concern with new inventions on the web is alway privacy for most users. However, a new study finds that Millenials are less concerned about their privacy as elder people might be. The survey conducted by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz Inc. states that 70% of Millenilas (18-34) agreed with the statement, “No one should ever be allowed to have access to my personal data or web behavior”, compared with 77% of users 35 and older.

“Online privacy is dead — Millennials understand that, while older users have not adapted. Millennials recognize that giving up some of their privacy online can provide benefits to them. This demonstrates a major shift in online behavior — there’s no going back.” Jeffrey I. Cole, Director USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future.

Millenials Data Privacy
The question is whether, the discrepancy of 7% between the two figures shows some significant change in the adoption of online privacy. Getting the data from the Millenials is not much of a challenge. 51% of Millennials are open to exchange their contact details for a coupon or deal, and even more 56% would share their location for a coupon for a local business. Even in targeted adverting, 25% of Millenials evaluate trading personal information for more relevant ads.

“Millennials think differently when it comes to online privacy. It’s not that they don’t care about it — rather they perceive social media as an exchange or an economy of ideas, where sharing involves participating in smart ways. Millennials say, ‘I’ll give up some personal information if I get something in return.  For older users, sharing is a function of trust — ‘the more I trust, the more I am willing to share.’” Elaine B. Coleman, Managing Director of Media and Emerging Technologies, Bovitz.

For me the study shows that there is some kind of change happening in terms of data privacy. The question is how concerned are people really about their data privacy? Is it just the Millenials that don’t care too much? Or are they not mature enough to understand the potential of data fraud?

By age 2, 90% of kids have used computers

The Rasmussen College recently published an infographic explaining the tech development stages for kids. It highlights the main milestones in the development of media use of kids. he infographic and figures are based on studies from Common Sense Media, Ipsos and different other sources. The stats are eye-opening in a way that 90% of kids have been in touch with a computer by age 2. Even more by the age of 5 years, half of children use computers or tablet devices on a daily basis. It is astonishing how young kids are when they get into the tech world, and it seems that the tech touchpoint age is getting younger and younger.

Thinking about my boys, it might be even younger with smartphones and tablets…

Tech Kids Rasmussen College

Tech Kids Rasmussen College

Omnichannel Loyalty, and what it can do for companies…

What is Omnichannel Loyalty (OCL), you might ask yourself? Well, according to a Kobie Marketing infographic it is “an enterprise-level initiative to drive, track, measure, and reward incremental behavior throughout the enterprise and customer experience”.

The OCL approach defines how companies and brands engage customers with personalized messages at different touchpoints and various channels. It offers rewards for customers’ loyalty with the hope for lifelong brand loyalty. However, the challenge is, not to ignore the big data basics that are needed to drive an OCL business. The infographic shows that just 10% of real-time data is effectively used which states missed opportunities.

The infographic also makes clear that companies need to offer customers the appropriaste content in the right context with the right data approach in order to best engage the social customer who is “always addressable”.

Omnichannel Infographic

SoDA: Digital Trends Report 2013 (Slideshare)

SoDA (the Society of Digital Agencies) just recently presented their views and results of their annual Digital Marketing Outlook Survey. It offers some fresh insights and perspectives of how marketers might be turning their creative and technological knowledge into new concepts in their digital agencies. The report delivers thoughts around changing advertising markets, new organizational set-ups, latest technology and budget ideas for companies, brands and digital agencies in 2013. A very interesting resource…

Social Media & Customer Service? Companies have got 60 minutes max. to react

Many companies and brands are asking themselves (and us): “How fast do we have to give some feedback or answer when somebody is pinging us on Facebook, Twitter and the likes?” Or: Do we have to give some feedback on the weekends? And the answers we have heard were quite astonishing. Many managers in companies still think they have got a day or two to reply to their customers – whether they are speaking with them on email or on one of their realtime streams. Many test we have done so far, have shown us that most companies don’t react at all, some not on weekends, and some after one or two days. Be sure, if you offer your clients a realtime channel, they will use it – and they don’t care if the problem comes up on a weekend or not.

In a recent research by Convince and Convert we can find some clean answer now: 42% of the respondents expect an answer in the first 60 minutes! What comes even worse for companies: 57% want the some reaction time no matter what time of day it is or whether it is a Saturday or Sunday. In total, 67% expect some response by companies in the someday.

Still, many companies don’t have the right resources to satisfy their customers Social Media expectations. And there are many reasons for it: not enough resources, lack in modern process management or lack in technical establishment. Some companies started mentioning their opening hours in the info or biography fields which kind of makes sense and becomes a state-of-the-art workaround for the interim period until companies understand what a full-fledged social business with proper community management means. And this definitely goes away from the “9-to-5” workplace we know from our fathers.

Spot On!
The main challenge for companies and brands is to find out what the deeper demand of the status update, the comment, the review or a rating is. Remember the 3R’s? In the end, what we have learned years ago, is that people want to have the feeling someone is taking care of them immediately. This does not essentially say that companies or brands have to supply the best possible answer or solution. Many managers have still not understood the fine difference between these topics.
What we would like to know is: Do 60 minutes feedback time make sense? Should we try to be more patient as users? Is a quick feedback really that important if our lives are not depending on it? You give the answer…

Reasons why businesses move to the cloud

Small companies see the trend, bigger companies are following. Evernote, Wuala, Dropbox, or SafeSync were kind of the first movers and shakers of the cloud wave. Today, more and more businesses are moving their tasks and workplaces to the cloud.

The reasons are manyfold. Sometime it is their competitors that are a step ahead, sometimes it is the smarter working trend which allows employees to work anytime, anywhere at any project. Sometimes it is an IT setup, maintenance and support factor.

More and more companies see the advantages and collected some evidence that it offers mow productivity and flexibility. The cloud solves HR flexibility problems and offers new IT opportunities and destroys IT maintenance issues concerning service and support which the infographic by Yorkshire Cloud illustrates. The main benefits that the Cloud Computing Survey Outlook under 521 IT pros saw were…

– 61% appreciate the instant scalability
– 54% found cost savings as an argument
– 53% prefer the easier management of IT

Forecasts indicate that by 2014 the use of cloud services will increase 27% from 2010. The cloud computing industry is expected to grow to 240 Billion USD by 2020.

Are you seeing your company move to the cloud?

Study: Largest global corporates get over 10 million mentions a month; Twitter rocks, YouTube grows massively

Companies in the Fortune Global 100 get a total of 10,400,132 online mentions in a month. Twitter is the catalyst for them as it generates the majority of these mentions. However, YouTube is the rising star this year. This is the main findings of the third annual Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-Up, which also includes new data provided by Visible Technologies.

The study states that the majority of the big corporates (87%) are using at least one of the major social platforms. The main growth can be seen at YouTube with 79% of companies now using a branded YouTube channel (57% in 2011). The average performance figures showed more than two million views and 1,669 subscribers. The development is illustrating the importance of integrating original multimedia content that can be shared on the social networks.

Twitter is still the rock-star among the popular social networks in terms of corporate usage. 82% of Fortune Global 100 companies have at least one Twitter account with an average mention of 55,970 times on the 140 character platform. The importance of Twitter ca be seen in the fact that stakeholders are following global companies closely.

Compared to 2011, the average number of followers per corporate Twitter account almost tripled to 14,709 from 5,076. On Facebook, the average number of likes per company page has increased by 275% in two years to 152,646 likes this year.

“People want to interact and connect with these major companies, and these platforms are the bridge directly to the heart of these organizations. What’s even more impressive is how much companies are engaging back with followers. Seventy-nine percent of corporate accounts attempt to engage on Twitter with retweets and @-mentions, and 70 percent of corporate Facebook pages are responding to comments on their walls and timelines.”
Burson-Marsteller, Chief Global Digital Strategist, Dallas Lawrence

Some more findings of the study…

– Fortune Global 100 companies have an average of accounts of: 10.4 Facebook pages, 10.1 Twitter accounts, 8.1 YouTube channels, 2.6 Google Plus pages and 2.0 Pinterest accounts.
– 74% of companies have a Facebook page
– 93% of corporate Facebook get weekly updates
– 48% have joined Google Plus
– 25% are on Pinterest

And whatever else you might want to know about the Top Global 100 you can find here, or within their infographic….

Nielsen study: People trust in peoples' word of mouth

Now, I have used this Nielsen graphic in seminars and conferences for two years and always wondered when the next study is going to be published.

Finally today, I came across the latest Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report. And again, the results are similar to what they where back in 2009. People still don’t trust advertising. Well, let’s say… at least not as much as they trust recommendations from people they know like friends, family and peers. However, it is still somehow scary to bear in mind that people trust consumer opinions expressed online… very often without verifying who say what in which scenario and which stage of life.

According to the Nielsen findings, which surveyed over 28,000 Internet people in 56 countries, 92% of the respondents said they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. This equals an increase of 18% compared to 2007. Consumer opinions posted online come in at the second place of most trusted source. Of the consumers surveyed globally, 70% indicated they trust messages from online platforms. This makes up an increase by 15% in the last four years.

Publishing houses and platforms still get a lot of trust from their users. Editorial content (58%) finished in the thread place, just before branded websites (58%), and opt-in emails (50%). The traditional platforms for advertising like print, television, and radio are significantly lower from a trust point of view. The drop in value since 2009 goes down by 24%.

Spot On!
The results show the importance of content marketing carrying the truth about your company, brand or products. Openness, authenticity and transparency are still rated very high amongst your customers. They want to “know what they get”. They want to engage with you but also being told the truth if there is something bad or uncertain to say about brands and their development. And above all they want you to respond to their input. They want you to give them some attention, some feedback, some credit for the time they spend. Then you will earn their trust, and then they will share your voice.