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B2B Study: Marketers Strategies and Spendings for 2009

A recent study from Marketing Profs and Forrester Research amongst 300,000 marketing executives and other management professionals, conducted in late 2008, offers insight in the latest b2b marketing strategies, budgets, tactics and attitudes.

The key findings are that marketers have three deeper needs for the future: measuring effectiveness becomes increasingly important (i.e. webinars and search provide great tactical benefit), understanding customers deepest needs and wishes, plus exploring and learning from best practices for daily business implementation is crucial.

The report makes clear that top marketing business decision makers are relying much more on digital marketing tactics. With a high percentage of respondents saying that their company web site (91%) and email activities (81%) are the top media used for their tactics. Still, it is interesting to see that a lot of marketers work with traditional tactics like public relation (72%) and tradeshows/conferences (70%) as very important lead generation tools.

With the increasing importance of web 2.0 and social media platforms and tools for customers, companies are changing their media mix from ‘[more costly] traditional media and toward [less costly] new tactics’. Nevertheless, the marketers knowledge on tactics for the new social media platforms is still in an ‘infancy’ status.

In average, the budgets are still spend in an ‘old-school’ manner with tradeshows/conferences (20%) and TV advertising (18%) leading the marketing mix spending, followed by inside sale/telemarketing (16%) and print advertising (13%) – the leading field only interrupted by one digital marketing activity: direct mail (14%).

Spot On!
The report reflects in some way the economic crisis when the executive summary is talking of reducing spending and focusing efforts on a narrower segment of their target markets. Meaning… the so called ‘watering can’ marketing strategy is vanishing and marketing strategy will be focused much more on the digital ‘1-to-1’ as well as ‘1-to-many’ approach. The real (or potential) customers, their environment and the people influencing them has reached the marketers mind – so social media is not too far away for them to understand, and offers great opportunity to learn much more needs and wishes.

Nielsen: Facebook best in reach, MySpace in ads

The recent Nielsen study ‘Global Faces and Networked Plazes‘ focuses on the increase of social networks in terms of worldwide reach and extension. The results emphazise the rise and importance of communities but also the dynamic of the intention to grap more market share.

Talking of reach, Facebook -the worldwide leader in the social network market- is showing the strongest user base and has replaced MySpace as the world’s most popular social network. Classmates comes in third, followed by Orkut and LinkedIn. The reasons for the facebook success are obvious. According to the study and Nielsen measurement, the win of the Facebook tactic is based on the ‘simple design, broad demographic appeal and a focus on connecting’.

Reports estimate that in 2008 Facebook earned around $US300 million in ad revenue compared to around $US1 billion for MySpace. If Facebook has made a conscious choice to go for the quantity vs. quality strategy it has yet to overtake MySpace in the all-important revenue metric.

So, monetization is still not Facebook best business activity. MySpace attracts more advertisers and gets twice as much campaigns than the ‘Zuckerberg team’.
The Nielsen view on the reasons is that “MySpace’s offering possibly makes its inventory – of which there is a lot more compared to Facebook – easier to monetize, particularly in terms of immersive advertising.”

Finally important, the use of social networks has outdated email as the first way of online communication: 67% of the users show a regular activity in communities.

News Update – Best of the Day

The fifth annual Digital Outlook Report from Razorfish helps marketers make smarter decisions about their digital media spend – especially in a recession. The latest executive summary of the 2009 DOR summarizes three main statements: Portals continue to lose their grip, social media becomes social influence and long tail TV rises.

Measurement on the spot: How effective are your social media programs? Want to know the ROI of your social media campaigns? Need data on how to make strategic decisions to refine your social media programs? Robin Broitmann has created a ‘Social Media Metrics Superlist’.

Will our business of the future be without email communication, simply done by social networking? Adam Ostrow finds new stats from Nielsen Online showing that social networking has overtaken email in terms of worldwide reach already at the end of last year.

Personal Web Manager – the next web 2.0 job?

Time is the most important asset of the modern job world 2.0. Why? This should be quite clear – we all get booked up (Outlook and Intsant Messaging), burned out by mobility (increasing mobility – thanks to mobile internet we cannot live offline anymore) and above all “networked up” (social media explosion).

People who are seeking to have a good online reputation 2.0 need at least to be present in different XING groups, do some Facebook ‘business-socializing’ and look after their international connections in the LinkedIn business network. Some days ago, Mashable raised the question if it is possible to be registered in too many social networks. Well, this depends on the time you have, or have not…

“It’s time to find some time!” Translation of the new Centerparcs claim on German TV

The active business person has become an identity hiker 2.0. This person finds itself always in a discrepancy between satisfying the company’s business processes, staying up to date as well as producing high-profile mini-statements and thesis which polish the value of the own personal web-ID up. Furthermore companies expect more and more from their employees when facing the financial crisis, cost reduction and personal lay-offs.

And then there are some personal human needs (family life) and preferences like satisfying personal hobbies. The extreme heteronomy is growing. But how shall we cope with all these duties without being in danger of health damages? This becomes incomprehensible for most of the modern business people 2.0.

The surplus work load of web 2.0 and social media does its very best in this context and needs to be filtered as well as canalized. When the world of social media itself thinks about the idea, how to save some time as a business person 2.0, then a solution needs to be found.

But how can we as sucessful business people 2.0 embrace this phenomenon? On a long discussion night some managers I came up with an idea which found attractive interest in Germany and which was born from university memories. In those days we saw busy little bees of ‘professor followers’, so called student assistants, running around extremely motivated. These young energetic people who followed a hybrid life between administrator, aggregator and multiplicator (sounds like the first Twitterati generation…). So, the solution was obvious – a new job description needs to be found. The idea of the personal web manager as well as personal web assistant was born.

Profile of the Personal Web Manager (PWM) und Personal Web Assistant (PWA)
(For the rest of this post we will just use the short version: personal web consultant.)

The personal web consultant gets the title depending on his management qualification. The job will be given preferably to managers with extraordinary web-affinity or internet-enthusiastic or ‘web-addicted’ students. The personal web consultant is in his position a coach and/or assistant for successful ambitious business decision makers who take the course of mankind 2.0 who are reputation optimizer in the company management’s sense for the virtual-real world and who love to start a promising online career themselves.

Administrator of the virtual business
The personal web consultant organizes and segments web content for the business decision maker according to importance of markets and internal revenue expectations as well as projects and topics – except for email communication which can be done by the business decision maker who can concentrate on these duties as he finds more time thanks to the personal web consultant.

The personal web consultant is responsible for the registration on numerous internet platforms of relevance for the business decision maker (from communities to networks) and does the personal monitoring for his manager’s work. This person optimizes the profile of the boss. Furthermore, his work is concentrating on RSS feeds, bookmarks, micro-blogging and social and business networks which need to be brought in a standardized business format. All steps shall lead to one uniform personal web-ID.

Professional News-Aggregator
The personal web consultant collects necessary knowledge, posts, articles and trend ideas in the sense of his bosses entrepreneurial targets. Based on these facts he thinks about intelligent output strategies and elaborates recommendations for group input in networks, phrases these in the best possible version, hands those over to the manager who just needs to check them and do the final click to bring those online. In earlier days business decision makers got their map with documents to sign them, today you get an online folder with the content and/for the relevant links. Copy – paste – done!

Entrepreneurial Contact-Multiplier
The personal web consultant is responsible for the quality and the development of the chief’s business network. Registered as a contact-multiplier, the personal web consultant summarizes, supervises and optimizes the manager’s networks for old and new subject-orientated contacts. The consultant evaluates professional groups in business and social networks for new contacts and advises on necessary contact requests. Options for the moderation of groups in networks are also his duty as searching for virtual and real speaking options or guest comments or contributions.

But how can the personal web consultant be integrated in companies?
Companies are always searching for the ultimate and most efficient motivation incentive or hiring bonus which they can give to middle and top management apart from car allowance, mobile phones or a golf-club membership, all paid by the company in order to find the right motivation shot. Why not accompanying a motivated manager with a personal web consultant? The additional person is productive, innovative, motivated and makes the company live the maxim of web 2.0 – also in times of scarcity of resources.

The freelancer will love the personal web consultant if the order- and revenue situation is positive. This job is terminable from scratch and/or the personal web consultant can work on a freelancer-, trainee- or internship basis.

Spot On!
Some people may say the work of the personal web manager could be done by a automated web services (like Netvibes, PersonalBrowsr, Noserub, etc.). But if we take a serious look at the pace of the personal outputs on Twitter there is not even a 10% chance of effective following of the Twitterati followers. Especially when you are also meant to set the right tone and appropriate good manners when doing your daily business networking. So, all in all… either successful business decision makers have to transform into a virtual-optimized multitasking engine or simply automate the personal communication process 2.0. Establishing the job description of the personal web manager/assistant in companies could be a more professional solution and, talking of the economy crisis, provide numerous new jobs – and the next ‘web 2.0 job’.

Traditional Media: Embrace new modes of communication

One-on-One Interview with Julian Desborough
Publishing Operations Director and Webstrategist, Times Online


Julian Desborough is the content web strategist at Times Online. He helped run the development of the current iteration of Times Online and facilitated the content migration from Vignette to Escenic, after which he became the Publishing Operations Director of Times Online.

The Strategy Web interviewed Julian to get his idea on the ideal web strategy for a traditional media company.

Q: Please tell us in one sentence what webstrategy means to you?
Julian Desborough For me, Webstrategy is defining and maintaining your presence in the appropriate sectors of the digital marketplace.

Q: What makes a great web strategist and why does he become more and more important for a company?
Julian Desborough A great web strategist should spot emerging technologies and opportunities in the digital sphere while advising on corporate exposure and effort on existing channels. The web strategist also has a crucial role in evangelizing the digital space to more traditional areas of the business and leading the call for change within the organisation.

Q: What are the departments in your company that need you most and why?
Julian Desborough There is not one single department that does not need a web strategist. Commercial needs someone to spot the opportunities; Editorial needs someone to maximize the value of the content they produce; Technical needs someone to constantly challenge existing technologies, architectures and workflows to maintain standards of service and ability to future-proof investment.

Q: Did you face any kind of problems and issues when collaborating with departments (reporting structure or hierarchy)?
Julian Desborough Departments that are not “online facing” have a natural resistance to change. Most issues were around new work flows and integration issues with existing technology and workforces.

Q: What are the 3 biggest challenges you are ‘fighting’ against in your daily business?
Julian Desborough (a) Rate of change within the organisation, (b) Ability to keep the company in line with trends within the industry, (c) Technical stability and usability.

Q: Publishing houses are said to be ‘inflexible and not really Web 2.0 focused’? Is this something you can underline?
Julian Desborough The biggest problem for traditional media companies is their inability to embrace new modes of communication and content delivery and provide investment in a manner that does not fly in the face of normal business opportunity planning (there was a time when too much money was thrown at online ideas without sound business cases).

Q: Talking about Social Media und Web 2.0 @ Times Online, did you implement any web 2.0 projects already? Examples like blogs, wikis, youtube, etc.)
Julian Desborough We have been running more than 50 blogs over the past three years (a challenge has been integrating them within our existing content infrastructure). We invite readers to comment on articles that they read (these are displayed within the article) and we embed youtube video clips, google maps and other items into articles to encourage reader interaction. We also have created online communities around small niche collections of content such as crossword clubs and book clubs and we successfully market content and promotions to popular email bulletins that readers have selected to receive.

Q: Will every company have a webstrategist in the near future?
Julian Desborough Sadly, I think not.

Thank you for the interview and your time, Julian!

Company Reputation & Monitoring

Im Sinne des Reputation Managements müssen Unternehmen heutzutage wissen, welcher ‘Buzz’ im Web über sie und den Mitbewerb geschrieben und diskutiert wird, sowie welche Informationen ausgetauscht werden.

Um hier den Anschluss nicht zu verpassen, gibt es zahlreiche Plattformen (siehe Bild), die das ‘Monitoring’ einer Person,eines Brands, von Produkte, des Mitbewerbs und der extrem dynamischen Social Media Welt ermöglichen. Marketing Pilgrim hat diese in zwei Post zusammengefasst. Hier die übersetzte Zusammenfassung in Kurzform…

Die bekanntesten Monitoring Tools
Amazon: Neu und gefragte Produkte via ‘tags’ beobachten und dann ähnlich ‘tags’ beobachten. Gut für Produkt-Management und Entwicklungsteams…

Blog Comments und Backtype: Die Kommentare auf Blogs zu verfolgen, ist schwierig und aufwendig. Auch wenn ein Post positiv ist, kommt er gerne auch mal als negative Nachricht rüber. Über diesen Service verfolgt man die kompletten Kommentare. (RSS-Feed!)

Blogpulse – Conversation and Trends: Links von und zu Blog Posts sowie Key-Word Tracking auf Blogs.

Delicious: Online Bookmark Service, der Bookmark-Sharing ermöglicht und zeigt, wenn jemand ein Bookmark setzt, welches ihre Firma beinhaltet -am Beispiel iPhone.

Digg und Reddit: News, die beliebt sind, machen hier das Rennen und wer den RSS-Feed eingestellt hat, folgt den Nachrichten über die eigene Firma.

Flickr: Mitarbeiter veröffentlicht ein ‘Top-Secret’ Produktfoto? Foto von Top Manager im Bordell? Wenn der Firmenname auftaucht oder der Name einer Person, zeigt der RSS-Feed das an.

Google News: Nennungen ihrer Firma im Main Stream Media Konzept. Firma eingeben, sortieren der Ergebnisse nach Datum und dann RSS Fed aktivieren.

Google Blog Search: Die Bloggosphäre ist aktiv und Google Blog Search bildet meistens alles ab, was in der Social Media Welt ‘pingt’. (RSS-Feed!)

Google Patent Search: der Name ist Programm – wer seine Patente schützen und den Mitbewerb beobachten will.

Google Alerts: Kein RSS Reader-Liebhaber? OK, dann eben per Email alle Informationen rund um Firma, Produkte, etc. tracken und in die Mailbox bekommen.

Google Trends, Trendrr und Trackur (letzterer kostenpflichtig): Was sind die meistgesuchten Keywords? Sogar auf Länder und Städte eingrenzbar…

Technorati und Social Mention: Alles,was sich in der Social Media Welt und Bloggosphäre abspielt, lässt sich hier schnell finden – auch, wer Backlinks setzt…

Twitter: Wer die Suchmaschine von Twitter nutzt, kann sein Brand, Produkte, den Mitbewerb usw. bei seinen Twitteraktivitäten im Auge behalten. Für die RSS-Hasser gibt es alternativ TweetBeep.

Wikipedia: die glaubwürdigste Wissensadresse im Web. Was wird an ihrem Profil verändert oder jemand versucht, zu ihnen führende Links zu entfernen? Der RSS Feeds meldet sich…

Yahoo News and Moreover News: Schneller Firmen-, Mitbewerbs- und Branchen-Nachrichtenüberblick mit RSS-Feed Modell.

YouTube und MetaCafe: siehe Flickr auf der ‘Videoebene’… – am Beispiel ASUS


Weitere nützliche Monitoring-Tools
Boardtracker: Blogs spiegeln nicht immer die hochwertige und hintergründige Kommunikation – Foren und Message Boards schon eher. Wenn ihre Firm ain einem Thread genannt wird, kommt die Nachricht per RSS.

Compete: Suchanalyse hinsichtlich von Keywords – auch um den Mitbewerber und seine Strategie auszumachen.

Edgar Online: Wie steht es finanziell um den Mitbewerb (eher USA)?

Facebook Lexicon: Auf dem derzeit angesagtesten Social Network können Sie checken, welche Key Words auf Facebook verstärkt genutzt werden.

Keotag: Wer nutzt welches Tag. Cool ist es vor allem, wenn man Firmen findet, die ihre Firma und ihre Produkte taggen – oder gleich zahlreiche Firmen sieht, die die gleichen Tags nutzen.

my ON-ID: Für das Business entscheidend, ist ihr guter Ruf hinsichtlich ihrer persönlichen daten im Netz, den die Plattform regelmäßig ‘monitored’ – mit dem netten Nebeneffekt des Eigenmarketings.

oodle: Falls der Mitbewerb an die Mitarbeiter will, findet man hier die Stellen der Personen auf die man selbst besonders achten muss.

Seeking Alpha: Der ‘Lauschangriff’ via Conference Call Transkripten bei Aktiengesellschaften…

upcoming.org: Hinsichtlich Veranstaltungen auf dem Laufendem bleiben. Beispiel: web strategy

User Name Check: Auch wenn man nicht weiß, was man damit tun, aber den Usernamen sollten man haben.

Spot On!
Alle Monitoring-Tools sind kostenfrei! Welche für das eigene Business sinnvoll sind, muss jeder selbst entscheiden. Auffällig ist, was man mit Google alles machen kann (und was Google damit alles monitort)…