Building the (Near) Perfect Database

You may think that a business contact’s direct mail data is accurate, but is it? Like more and more companies today, you may be going back to using direct mail to engage your customers and prospects, especially after experiencing the disappointment of declining email response rates. However, possessing and finding accurate direct mail data for…

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Taking ABM to the Next Level: How surveying your target audience enables 1:1 marketing

“While most marketing leaders continue to strive for one-to-one personalization, achieving this type of tailored messaging falls short, causing most personalization efforts to fail.” So says Gartner, Inc. in a press release earlier this year, following up its marketing personalization survey. The goal of one-to-one personalization in marketing is to create hyper personalized content that…

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Persona Creation for More Targeted Prospecting

ABM uses persona creation to help you and your sales team to focus on your ideal audience and what matters to them. An organization doesn’t take actions, make decisions, or engage in conversations – it’s the people within those organizations who do these things. You can count on a buyer to bring their personalities, their perspectives, and their biases to the decision-making process.

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B2B marketing: targeting the intersection of your offering and your audience’s needs

According to Marketing-Schools.org, “it’s important for B2B marketers to understand their clients’ needs before implementing any marketing or advertising tactic. In consumer marketing, an effective advertisement can be blasted out over wide channels, and a percentage of consumers will be driven to buy the product. However, since B2B marketing is so much more specialized, marketers…

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Database marketing: the foundation for campaign success

Database marketing — you have probably heard the term, but what exactly does it mean?   As opposed to the shotgun approach, where you blast the same message out to everyone, database marketing is the discipline of collecting data about your target audience and crafting a message that resonates specifically with them.   There’s an…

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How to Manage the Chaos of Marketing Metrics

As a company grows, it must adapt new engagement strategies to fill and sustain a pipeline that grows along with it. As a result of more complex engagement strategies and more diverse tactics, companies must manage an increasing ecosystem of marketing metrics to optimize methods, maintain ROI, and continue to generate new sales leads. Think…

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Maximize Marketing Productivity Using These Collaboration Tools

Excessive meetings. Missed deadlines. Emergency fire drills. Conflicting direction. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? At best, an enterprise marketing department has a lot of moving parts to manage. At worst, productivity can suffer to the point of dysfunction. You’re juggling strategy, messaging, content, and metrics for a large number of products, services, and…

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“Security Marketing Disconnect”: New white paper reveals IT industry insights for B2B marketers

At SimplyDIRECT, our expertise usually flows directly to our clients, as should be the case. However, we recently took an opportunity to step back and reflect upon our wide experience across companies, product solutions, and marketing challenges. We had recognized a trend among our IT clients in particular, and set out to do what we…

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6 quick wins for every marketer

Some days, working in marketing can feel like drinking from a fire hose. Other days, you’re not sure which fire to put out first. Whichever fire-related metaphor you prefer, this is a complaint we hear consistently from our clients. They tell us it often seems that everything is an uphill battle. Marketers are constantly juggling…

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Marketing technology: 4 ways to sort through the fray and find the right vendor for you

One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of marketing is the variety of activities that falls within its umbrella. Marketing holds something for everyone, whether it be digital tactics, data analytics, SEO, strategic planning, brand management, PR, or any other number of sub-specialties. Marketing executives are responsible for a broad range of activities within the marketing…

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In Marketing We Trust?

In Marketing We Trust? It’s the job of the sales rep to close the deal, but that’s a whole lot easier if the marketing team is able to foster a trust relationship between the prospect and the company. We live in an era when everyone shares their opinion on social media, and that alone influences…

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Empower sales without burning them out!

Empower sales without burning them out! Wow, is there ever enough time in any marketer’s day to get everything done? Everybody is going to have moments when the requirements of the job seem overwhelming. But if that’s how it feels day-in and day-out, odds are your outcomes are suffering. Maybe it’s time to focus a…

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Getting beyond talk to closing the sale

Getting beyond talk to closing the sale There’s nothing like a good old fashioned face-to-face meeting with a prospect to close a sale. At least that is what most sales reps believe. In this age of electronic communication, there are many gatekeepers that stand in the way. Here’s what you can do to not blow…

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Content Marketing: Seeing What Sticks?

Content Marketing: Seeing What Sticks? There’s plenty of commentary about content marketing available these days. That’s probably due in part to the fact that many marketers are nervous about whether they’re creating the right content. When you don’t have a strategy behind the effort, there’s good cause to be sweating the details. According to one…

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Ad Blocking impact on B2B marketing

Ad Blocking impact on B2B marketing Advertisers may just about have hit the limit on what consumers are willing to tolerate in web and mobile marketing experiences. Apple’s decision to allow ad-blocking on it’s mobile platforms is a sure sign that consumers are looking for more control over what is put before their eyes. But…

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Freedom to fail easier to say than do

Freedom to fail easier to say than do What’s your companies tolerance level for experimentation and learning through failure? If you’re a client of VaynerMedia it must be really high, based on a recent video for AdAge’s Digital Crash Course featuring company’s founder, Gary Vaynerchuk. When it comes to pushing clients onto social media platforms,…

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Analytics investments need a little analysis

Analytics investments need a little analysis Raise your hand if you haven’t felt any pressure regarding marketing analytics. With so much money being invested in digital marketing tools and techniques, there’s growing pressure from the top to justify those investments with hard data that you’re getting some bang for the buck. One survey indicates 80%…

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Blind faith in social media marketing?

Blind faith in social media marketing?  It seems as though everybody in marketing intuitively knows that social media is where it’s at if you want to be on the leading edge of the digital economy. But as an AdAge analysis of the latest CMO Survey shows, while they’re increasing the percentage of budget allocated to…

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Realigning sales funnel assumptions

Realigning sales funnel assumptions Is it time to discard the traditional sales funnel? A newly published Harvard Business Review article, “What Salespeople Need to Know About the New B2B Landscape,[i]” by Harvard lecturer Frank V. Cespedes and Gartner research VP Tiffani Bova provides some good fodder to those who think it’s time to shake up…

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Survey says: Customer surveys top marketer list

Survey says: Customer surveys top marketer list The August 2015 CMO survey report finds that online customer surveys are the top technique used by marketers to learn how to acquire, engage and retain customers online. Asked to check off all the approaches they use in that endeavor, 40.1% selected online surveys, while the second highest…

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How prospect surveys aided Apperian in refining target market

How prospect surveys aided Apperian in refining target market Gaining a deeper understanding of customer characteristics is critical in order to effectively drive future marketing campaigns. Many marketing programs today are focused on content development, but if marketing professionals aren’t able to connect the dots to those customer characteristics, they’re just slinging out a ceaseless…

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If you build it, why won’t they come?

If you build it, why won’t they come? Your digital assets aren’t generating worthwhile inquiries and purchased lists aren’t proving their value. What’s going on? Lets review some common problems. In honor of David Letterman’s recent retirement, I’ve fashioned this as a Top 10 list, captured from a rich pool of resources around the web.…

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Can You Predict the Buyer’s Intent?

Can You Predict the Buyer’s Intent? When you look through your lists of prospects do you sometimes wish for a magical net to capture those that will be productive and flush those that won’t? There is a lot of effort and money being poured into the area of “intent marketing” to try and provide such…

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Do You Know Where That Data Has Been?

Do You Know Where That Data Has Been? Even though marketers collect copious amounts of first-party data, most find they need more in order to optimize their digital marketing strategies. In fact, in a recent survey 6 out of 10 rely moderately or extensively on third-party data[i]. In such cases, they often do so without…

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Are You Cultivating Lookalike Targets

Are You Cultivating Lookalike Targets You may be sitting on a finely tuned, high value prospect database that with care and attention delivers on marketing goals time and again. But rather than rest on your laurels, you could be maximizing its value by utilizing the characteristics of that resource to go after “lookalike” targets.  …

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Will digital content lose the human touch?

Will digital content lose the human touch? The forces of automation and the non-stop demand for more and more content may be leading us in a direction where the robot writers take over. That would be a sad day for the humans they put out of work, so let’s hope it’s not so. “In practice,…

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Don’t overshoot your target

Don’t overshoot your target Just who is making the purchasing decisions these days may surprise you. If your business is focusing on grabbing the attention of the CEO and top managers, you may be missing the workers you most need to impress. According to Google research, 81% of non-C-suite influencers have a say in purchase…

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What Makes Infographics Compelling

What Makes Infographics Compelling In today’s world, most of the people we want to deliver our messages to are overwhelmed by content and often using mobile devices to get their news, information and entertainment. How do you attract their attention with a clear message they will understand and remember? Many marketers are using infographics. The…

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Is Video Content Topping B2B Marketing Priorities?

Is Video Content Topping B2B Marketing Priorities? Some say video content is by far the most effective way to connect with B2B buyers at all levels, from millennials to top executives. But should video dominate content marketing and replace other forms that are the basis of so many well-researched and successful B2B campaigns. One report…

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From Relationship to Engagement

From Relationship to Engagement Forget about customer relationship management; these days it’s all about the customer experience, some say. No, forget about experience, it’s all about customer engagement, others argue. Whatever you call your customer marketing management effort, you can be sure somebody has a technology platform that is certain to be the magic elixir…

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Transforming from Cost Center to Revenue Generator

Transforming from Cost Center to Revenue Generator Marketing is viewed almost equally today as both a cost center and a revenue driver according to a 2015 survey of 478 CMOs and senior marketing executives worldwide by the Economist[i], sponsored by Marketo. Going forward, it will be more often viewed as a revenue driver, less as…

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What’s a lead worth to you?

What’s a lead worth to you? Cost-per-lead (CPL) is a time-honored metric for evaluating generation of sales prospects. But it doesn’t measure the value of a lead. With more digital marketing channels available to generate greater sources of leads, it’s all too easy to focus on driving down the CPL. But does that really help…

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Channel Flipping

Channel flipping Choosing marketing channels is increasingly like clicking the cable TV remote in hopes you’ll land on the best offering amongst a proliferation of choices. The number of choices is only going to grow as buyers increasingly rely on multiple devices and more sources of information, and content providers deploy a growing number and…

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The Trust Imperative, part 3

Research from Forrester last year reveals that B2B buyers are frustrated by what they perceive from vendors as an utter lack of understanding regarding their business context.[i] Instead, buyers lament that vendor communications are too narrowly focused on their own solution, without first gaining an understanding and appreciation of buyer needs and challenges. Clearly, in…

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The Trust Imperative, part 2

Research from Forrester last year reveals that B2B buyers are frustrated by what they perceive from vendors as an utter lack of understanding regarding their business context. Instead, buyers lament that vendor communications are too narrowly focused on their own solution, without first gaining an understanding and appreciation of buyer needs and challenges. Clearly, in…

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The Trust Imperative

Research from Forrester last year reveals that B2B buyers are frustrated by what they perceive from vendors as an utter lack of understanding regarding their business context.  Instead, buyers lament that vendor communications are too narrowly focused on their own solution, without first gaining an understanding and appreciation of buyer needs and challenges.  In light…

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3 Secrets to Maximizing the Prospect Survey Process (Part 2)

This two-part series is focused on how to best leverage the power that a thoughtfully-designed survey has to communicate with a target audience. To recap, the purpose of a prospect survey (survey-based lead generation) – as distinguished from a market/industry survey – is two-fold: to reach, engage, and qualify prospects, while both gaining and communicating…

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3 Secrets to Maximizing the Prospect Survey Process (Part 1)

Here at SimplyDIRECT we appreciate the power that a thoughtfully-designed survey has to communicate with a target audience. The purpose of a prospect survey (survey-based lead generation) – as distinguished from a market/industry survey – is two-fold: to reach, engage, and qualify prospects, while both gaining and communicating insights in one efficient process. The sometimes…

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One of 11 Marketing Trends for 2015: CMO as Chief Simplification Officer

With the possibilities enabled by technology, today’s world is inherently more complex than even a few decades ago. In this digital business context, organizations are likewise increasing in complexity. Consequently, argues international marketer Avi Dan, someone needs to cut across this organizational complexity and “think holistically about the company’s overall value proposition”[i] in order to…

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The sweet spot of combined inbound/outbound marketing

The internet has fundamentally changed how buyers buy and, subsequently, how marketers market. Today’s buyers are firmly in charge of their own buying journey, completing between 60% and 90% of their process before reaching out to their already honed, short list of favorable vendors. Additionally, a survey last year by DemandGen Report, noted that 77%…

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2015’s Best of the Web Marketing Trends – Connecting with People

One thing becomes clear when reading across the multitude of prognostications for 2015 marketing trends: 2015 is set to be the year of ‘humanized’ marketing. It’s about marketing efforts that are more accessible, personable, genuine, and sharable – that is, simplifying complex messaging and humanizing the brand through individualized and inherently more authentic content primed…

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B2B Marketing: 3 Must-Haves for Sales Enablement Success

Getting to the point where our marketing teams can empower the sales conversation with uniquely insightful content and perspectives first requires building a buyer context that has depth and breadth, in both the generic and specific senses.  The generic context informs our knowledge of the language and issues pertaining to our target buyers’ industry, market(s),…

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Critical Insights for Marketing B2B Mobile Solutions

Mobilization of the enterprise is rapidly creating several challenges for businesses, which savvy marketers of mobile solutions can turn into key opportunities. Mobile solutions are rapidly upending conventional approaches to how and where we work, facilitating organizational flexibility and agility, and enhancing operational efficiencies. Likewise, mobile apps create value for customers and change how customers…

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Developing Commercial Insight for Buyers of Integrated Systems

Technology has shifted from a business enabler to an integral component of business operations. As a result, a majority share of the technology budget has moved to business buyers (functional and Lines of Business (LOB) heads). These business buyers look for solutions that prioritize business concerns and simplify technology environments.[i] For marketers, developing commercial insights,…

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Insight for Your Sales Conversations with the C-suite

How well do you really know your C-suite audience, and how prepared are you to engage the conversations they want to have? In search of a winning formula for engaging just this audience, the people at Corporate Visions (a leading B2B marketing and sales messaging company) have published a great eBook entitled, “’We’ve identified the…

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Step into your buyer’s shoes: Creating actionable personas

This month, the Strategyzer team[i] provides us with an elegantly simple approach to create actionable customer profiles. The team, widely known as the authors of the international bestseller Business Model Generation[ii], have complemented their growing toolkit with the release of their new book, Value Proposition Design (a free 100-page preview is available here). This fresh…

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Is Your Lead Gen Program Failing? Key Steps for Your Success

Curious how your lead generation programs stack up against other B2B marketers? A recent Gatepoint Research survey (Trends in Salesforce Marketing, Sept 2014) explored just this topic with marketers attending Dreamforce. Turns out, there’s considerable room for improvement. Among the marketers who responded, websites were overwhelmingly identified as the primary source of leads, yet alarmingly…

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Positioning B2B Content to Appeal to Different Generations: Part 2: Gen X, Boomers, and Traditionalists

Part 2: Gen X, Boomers, and Traditionalists Generation gap: n. a lack of communication between one generation and another. . .brought about by differences in tastes, values, outlooks, etc. Our last post focused on Millennials, looking at their primary defining characteristics and considering how marketers can leverage these for more effective content marketing.  This post looks…

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11 Tips to Improve Your B2B Content Marketing

No two ways about it, content marketing is hard. It’s a long, on-going effort to build a cohesive body of work that is compelling, engaging, and ever-relevant to your market. But that description is the organizational view of content marketing. From your audience’s perspective, they just want content that is of value to them; i.e.…

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Insight Selling: The Power of Visual Communication

The science behind “a picture is worth a thousand words” is of prime relevance to B2B marketers. Pictures and other visual stimuli dramatically affect how we absorb, process, and retain information.     Vision is our dominant sense:   Expediting information processing Visual information increases our ability to effectively and efficiently process information that we…

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Inciting Buying Decisions: Creating a Change Imperative Story

Situation: Your marketing/content team has developed an intriguing message which resonates with your B2B audience as insightful, differentiated, and relevant. You’ve produced content to nurture prospects along the various stages of their buyer’s journeys. Your case studies are rich with data, testimonials, and heartfelt stories of success. Now what? Challenge: As marketers, your challenge is…

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Insight Selling: Changing Mindsets

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” – Anais Nin We each see the world through the lenses ground by the sum of our individual life experiences, coupled with our ideological views. It’s how we make sense of the world; by filtering information through the beliefs and assumptions informing…

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How to Create the Content Buyers Want to Read

Don’t be a lemming. Last fall McKinsey published an article entitled, “How B2B companies talk past their customers.”  The piece focused on new research indicating a significant disconnect between brand messages and actual customer needs. There, was also a “surprising similarity” among themes emphasized by leading B2B companies, “suggesting a tendency to follow the herd…

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5 Ways to Optimize Your Content Creation Process

Crafting great content – and ensuring its continued relevance – requires an adaptive process.  Here are five steps to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of your process:     Define the project & audience – Begin by ensuring you have clarity regarding the goal(s) driving your content creation. What’s its purpose? What outcomes are you…

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4 Content Challenges for B2B Digital Marketing and How to Best Them

With unprecedented expediency, the internet has enhanced our ability to communicate, while altering how we find and consume that information.  This ease of communication has profoundly affected B2B marketers in two ways. It has enhanced our reach for target audiences, while rendering it more challenging to be heard above the resulting barrage of information.  Consequently,…

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3 Critical Stages to Develop Commercial Insight

If your prospects don’t buy your product or service, getting them to read your collateral doesn’t do much good. The key is changing behavior, and changing behavior is the value of commercial insight and “insight selling.”Rather than basing content strategies on features and benefits, insight selling seeks to redefine your prospect’s purchase criteria in favor…

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3 Key Ingredients to Making Sales Enablement Work

“[L]ess than 40% of executive buyers say that meetings with salespeople meet their expectations…”[i]   Depending on your perspective, this recent statistic from Forrester Research is either depressing or a great area of opportunity for your focus. Incidentally, the numbers are even worse for IT buyers, where only 33% are somewhat satisfied with sales meetings. …

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Insight Selling: Make Me Care

“Make me care.”  It’s the greatest story commandment and the ultimate goal of all B2B content creators.  Yet, for all of our best efforts to engage target audiences around our commercial insights, CEB is reporting that many of their CEB Communications members are finding it “increasingly hard to get audiences to pay attention or effectively…

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Marketing and Selling IT Security Solutions

Top 4 survey findings on the marketing and selling of IT Security solutions A recent survey of IT security professionals undertaken by Gatepoint Research investigated key characteristics and requirements of IT security solution buyers. The corresponding Market Brief is designed to aid IT security solution marketers and sellers to better understand the current nature, attitudes…

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Empowering the sales conversation

Here’s a frightening statistic for B2B marketers:  90% of the content produced by marketing is NOT used by sales.[i]  For all of our focus on carefully crafted messaging, we have largely missed the mark.   Forrester’s Laura Ramos recently blogged about this startling statistic from the AMA, noting that as marketers, we need to do…

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Leveraging Surveys to Gain Commercial Insight

What are commercial insights? The internet today is awash with mediocre content, creating a significant challenge for B2B marketers – to rise above this noise. Best practices now call for marketers to craft uniquely insightful, relevant, and valuable content that resonates profoundly with buyers on both a rational and emotional level.  To this end, messaging…

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The Technology Buying Process Evolution Continues

The accelerating rate of technological change in today’s digital context has transformed the B2B technology buying process, while creating unique challenges for marketers of complex solutions. Below we consider the most salient aspects of the different buying-process components.   Buyer Behavior Not surprisingly, buyers seek help in navigating today’s information-rich (and implication-rich) environment. A recent…

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Aligning Marketing and Sales for Better Quality Leads

The logic of alignment A critical component to any organization’s success is its ability to continuously equip its client-facing team members with the capabilities, opportunities, and knowledge necessary to engage buyers in the right conversations at the right time.  We call this developing commercial insights and it’s important that both sales and marketing work together. …

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The Power of Role-based B2B Marketing

Not all lists are created equal, but focusing on roles vs. titles gives marketers of complex solutions a great advantage over their competition. Generally identifying contacts by title is a far easier and simpler undertaking – for example, a quick search on LinkedIn will provide a range of possibilities.  The danger in relying on titles,…

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Using Customer Insight to Drive C-Suite Leads

Customer insights are vital for creating differentiated and focused messaging that resonates uniquely with your target audience in today’s crowded marketing channels.  All too often, we adopt a seemingly rational content approach, only to wonder where the logic failed when the messaging doesn’t connect as intended.  One key to developing useful customer insights of real…

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Reduce Customer Acquisition Costs and Win More Deals

The shift in buyer behavior resulting from the ubiquitous availability of digital information requires continuous adaption of B2B marketing strategies to keep them working effectively and efficiently.   Key factors affecting marketing approaches, especially for the sales of complex solutions, include:   The overwhelming and exponentially growing volume of information available. The corresponding reduction in…

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B2B Content Marketing: Marketing to Business Buyers Vs. IT

The advent of cloud-based services and solutions, in particular software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), are heralding a new age of technology purchasing. The shift from capital to operational funding together with the growing volume of applications targeted directly at business users (e.g. salesforce.com, marketing automation, mobile apps) is moving the center of purchase decision making from…

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Why Commercial Insight Trumps Thought Leadership

Marketers and sales teams recognize how profoundly times have changed in this age of digital, mobile, and cloud.  This holds especially true for providers of complex tech solutions, where the industry is shifting from traditionally licensed software packages, to selling software as a service (SaaS) through cloud-based subscriptions.  Traditional marketing and sales models have encouraged…

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Best Ways to Generate Sales Qualified B2B Leads

We often find that our customers have been previously disappointed by companies selling contact lists or appointment-setting services that simply don’t deliver the goods.  Generally speaking, the culprit tends to be poor-quality lists. The subsequent appointments are with ill-qualified prospects and correspondingly, the yields – in terms of closed deals or sales dollars – are…

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B2B Content Marketing: 6 Guidelines on Satisfying Brand Expectations

  A recent McKinsey article* discusses new research indicating that a significant disconnects exists between brand messaging and what customers value most.  Global B2B enterprise companies promote the following themes most prominently regarding their businesses:   Role-model of corporate social responsibility Sustainability best practice Global reach Ability to shape the direction of the market Innovator…

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B2B Content Marketing: Making the Most of Your Blockbuster Content

A successful B2B content marketing strategy isn’t just about generating great content – although that’s key.  It’s also about deploying focused and targeted content in a comprehensive and deliberate manner where your audience can find it when they need it.  Getting your strategy right requires a two-step approach:  first, create some blockbuster content; and secondly,…

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11 Steps to Building a Digital Marketing Strategy

In previous posts I’ve discussed the pressing need for marketers to adopt a comprehensive digital strategy. This post provides a tried and tested set of steps on precisely how to do that.  To quickly recap, the challenges marketers now face derive from the following trends:     Digital media has revolutionized the sales process, primarily…

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4 Rules for Better B2B Content Marketing

The Internet has revolutionized much of life as we know it. Sharing information and engaging in critical conversations has become more direct, immediate, and yet infinitely more complex. Consider the more sophisticated B2B purchases, for example. The purchase process has actually lengthened now that buyers must do much of their own product research and due…

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Maximizing the ROI of Your Lead Generation Efforts

As year-end approaches, it’s time for B2B marketers to take stock of your lead gen efforts.   Fortunately, early signs point towards a growing confidence among marketers that budgets will either remain the same or increase*.  Regardless, whether you’re flush with cash or operating on a shoestring, the pressure to produce a strong ROI is constant. …

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How Marketers Can Foster Customer Engagement

A recent Korn/Ferry survey* of senior marketers found that, overwhelmingly, customer engagement is their top concern.  Given the changes in buyer behavior brought on by the proliferation of the internet and mobile technologies, this is not surprising. The sheer volume of easily accessible, readily available information has empowered buyers to educate themselves, significantly diminishing the…

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For B2B Marketers WOM Trust Trumps All

Consider this: you’re a B2B buyer in need of a complex technology solution.  Your inbox has several emailed offers from various vendors, only some of which you’ve scanned over with a healthy dose of scepticism regarding their product or service claims.  But then your inbox pings with a forward from a colleague you recently chatted…

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Developing Customer Intelligence for Sales Enablement

Keeping up with prospective customer challenges and needs has become both easier and more difficult at the same time.  The mining of information online today, provides decided advantages as compared to just a decade ago.  Yet sorting through the sheer volume of available data can prove rather overwhelming.  Fortunately, numerous time-saving resources now exist to…

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The Future of Marketing is About Trust

Admittedly, I don’t get a lot of the new world of communication.  I notice my brother putting a post on Facebook about the status of his bathroom renovation, and instantly there are 31 “likes.”  Huh? What are they liking?  Why does he care to share this information?  Why do those in his network even care…

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Going Beyond Thought Leadership to Commercial Insight

As B2B marketers, we know that truly connecting with prospects in a meaningful way requires connecting with them on an emotional level.  Content based marketing employs just this strategy by creating messaging which resonates, identifying timely and relevant issues that address such things as challenges, needs, and values.  A thought leadership strategy takes this approach…

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Discovering Your Prospects Undiscovered Needs

A recent Marketing Profs post* provides a new perspective on an old problem: communicating differentiated value through “unconsidered needs.”  In this post, we’re going to add another layer to that discussion with a slightly different distinction between those “unconsidered needs” and what we’re calling “undiscovered needs.”   The background story is becoming a familiar one. …

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5 Ways to Engage and Win New Prospects

The volume of information available to buyers via the Internet is increasing exponentially.  To gain visibility for their products and services marketers must produce ever more relevant and valuable content. But today’s relevance and value has a short shelf life. Once a topic has been raised and discussed, its attraction value diminishes quickly. In addition,…

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6 Steps to Marketing and Sales Alignment

A recent McKinsey* article touted the coming age of “on demand” marketing, and while it focused on the B2C market, the evolution of digital technology and customer expectations has implications for B2B marketers as well.  Already, the ubiquitous nature of dynamic information today, made easy and accessible by mobile computing, cloud technologies, and Big Data,…

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6 Ideas for Creating Compelling Content

Our recent survey of senior marketing executives asked what their greatest challenge was in developing compelling content.  Predictably, two reasons stood out: time and budget constraints – see chart below:   What constrains you from being able to create compelling online/marketing content?       Here are six ideas on how to overcome this challenge…

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Using Social Media to Accelerate Sales

As part of our latest B2B survey of senior enterprise marketers, we asked, “How has social media changed the buyer’s journey?” Overwhelmingly (65%), respondents answered that social media has accelerated the sales cycle – see chart below.   How has social media changed the buyer’s journey? Naturally we pondered precisely how social media can be…

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When Online Content May Not Facilitate the Sales Process

nA recent SimplyDIRECT-sponsored survey of senior enterprise marketers from major technology companies themed Facilitating the Sales Process asked, “To what extent do you feel online content facilitates the sales process?” The following chart indicates their combined response. You may be surprised that the average score isn’t higher but the decision to invest in online content…

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Most Effective Ways for Marketing to Impact Sales Enablement

Our latest survey of senior B2B marketers reveals that lead generation is still high on their list of priorities. However, of more importance is gaining tighter alignment between sales and marketing. As buyers increasingly turn to the internet to find information on products and solutions before engaging with sales, marketing’s lead generation role is becoming…

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B2B Marketing Strategy: Vertical is Vital Now

Today’s cloud solutions and the related customer needs are changing the service mix, affecting how such services are being sold and, who they’re being sold to. Before software-as-a service (Saas) and cloud computing started to have a major impact, most technology sales teams were organized geographically. It was less expensive in terms of coverage, and…

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How to Make Your Campaign Message More Personalized

As buyers increasingly engage in self-guided online buyer’s journeys, marketers must find ways to engage with prospects via websites, blog posts and other social media.  Adding to the complexity of the challenge is the need to break through the barrage of information competing for each person’s attention.  Ultimately that means finding ways of addressing each…

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3 More B2B Marketing Steps To Improve Sales Enablement

One of the most ubiquitous challenges in today’s business context, crossing departments and industries alike, is the lack of both time and resources – organizations across the board have “gone lean.”  Budgets are tight, staff is scarce, but organizational goals are high.  Consequently, marketing departments are faced with the question of how to do more…

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Six Critical Sales Enablement Strategies for Marketing

With today’s ultra-competitive markets and even tighter marketing budgets, it’s of critical importance to maximize the effectiveness of both marketing and sales organizations. The idea that Marketing cannot provide an acceptable stream of qualified leads to sales or that sales has the luxury of rejecting (or maybe just ignoring) the leads generated by the company’s…

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How B2B Marketers Can Kick-start The Buyers Journey

Finding and getting traction with new customers in today’s highly competitive B2B market remains a major and costly challenge. If you have hot new technology, you might be able to rely on excitement and interest to drive the spread of your message. But if you’re rolling out version 3 or 4 of your solution with…

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Improving Lead Follow-up and Conversion

If your company is like most, chances are it expends significant resources on lead generation and you need to ensure that you are maximizing the value of this effort with great lead follow-up.  If you don’t, these leads likely amount to little more than expensive missed opportunities.  Proper lead follow-up is vital to achieve successful…

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5 Steps to Creating Dynamic Content

The old adage “change is the only constant” seems to become ever more accurate as time goes on. Meaning that the pace of change is accelerating. Try to think of a business sector that hasn’t been impacted by any of the myriad changes that surround us and the phrase “relic of the past” comes quickly…

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Most Disturbing Trend for Marketing Decision-Makers

Our recent survey of 150 senior enterprise marketers from major technology companies offers some interesting insights.  Respondents overwhelmingly felt that, “people doing too many tasks; no room to think,” was the “most disturbing trend they had noticed in the last year.”  Not surprisingly this is the same top response as last year’s survey, given that…

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Building a Better Content Marketing Strategy

With today’s ever-increasing number of channels and platforms for reaching prospects, developing a solid content marketing strategy is now a vital component of any successful marketing program.  A big challenge though is creating content which sufficiently engages your target audience. Great content demonstrates thought leadership, promotes brand awareness, maximizes search engine optimization, and garners you…

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Event Planning to Attract the Right Audience

Lisa Vitale Marketing Maven A recent study found that events are the most effective marketing method for generating demand. But have you ever had to deal with the challenges of putting together a successful event? The biggest problem: how do you get enough of the right people to attend? Nowadays, everyone’s calendar is so chock-full…

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Creating a Digital B2B Sales Process

Lisa Vitale Sales Process ExpertHere’s a sobering thought for B2B sales people and their marketing counterparts: “…today’s buyers might be anywhere from 60% to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor*.” The Internet and broadband access have permanently altered the buying process. If you’re still using the same…

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Will Twitter Surveys Aid Marketing 3.0?

Recently Twitter announced a new partnership with Nielsen and unveiled a new feature called Twitter Surveys1. Twitter Surveys will essentially allow Twitter clients to create mini polls sent out through the “Twitter-sphere” where respondents fill out the survey right in the Tweet itself1. The thought is that advertisers can use Twitter to gauge brand awareness,…

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Account Penetration: Going in Cold

Account penetration is often the first step in the long, long process of making a B2B sale. Where would you prefer to start? Your own network, of course, your eponymous “Rolodex.” Better still, your friends, your relatives, your buds. Remember those things you had to sell for school (magazine subscriptions, wrapping paper) or Scouts (popcorn,…

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How a 40 Year Old Start-up Builds a Prospect List

Often the best answers are found from within.   This is particularly true with mature organizations.  Somewhere, someone has faced the same challenges you have, has built that prospect list before, and has some very usable answers.  Let me begin with a tale.   I cannot name the company, or even make direct reference to their…

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Web Surveys: Grab IT Decision Maker’s Attention

Running a web survey can provide a cornucopia of ideas to “grab” IT decision maker’s attention.  Let me see if we can recharge your muse with these suggestions. First, let’s review the well worn phrase, “IT decision makers are humans”, which means that they will react to the most basic of life’s issues: issues about…

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How to Engage Senior IT Decision Makers in Key Accounts

  We’ve heard this a million times when doing marketing campaigns:  appeal to human instincts.  Don’t think of your prospects as monolithic automatons.  So even when trying to reach that super senior executive in that big, impenetrable key account, keep in mind that he or she gets up every morning, spills coffee, gets grunted at…

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Penetrating Hard-to-Crack Target Accounts

Every marketer or marketing organization has a list of target accounts they’d like to penetrate.  You’re likely to have heard these Holy Grail accounts described, often by the head of your marketing organization.  “Our system would be perfect for an e-Commerce company with over 1,000 accounts, or a company that processes a lot of credit…

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Napoleon Was Right

I heard it again last night. I was attending a marketing meeting, but this time it was a meeting of volunteers whose mission was to recruit physicians for a local free medical clinic. “Let’s try social media!” was the theme of the meeting, to be led by a consultant/expert/goodhearted soul. Nevermind that half of the…

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SimplyDIRECT Good News About Climate Change

While SimplyDIRECT regrets the pain of the current chilly economic climate, it sees signs that the climate is already warming.. Maynard – December 7, 2011 – There are segments in the market that are healthier than others, either lagging the crisis, emerging from it, or immune to it. The challenge is to find those segments…

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Boiling the Ocean Versus Spearfishing

I’ve been guilty of doing way too much spearfishing in my career. But, my God, does it work! You draw up a list of the tastiest accounts you’d like to have, the ones that have it all: marquee value, deep pockets, they align with what you know makes a happy, long-term, reference account, etc… and…

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The Art and Science of Prospecting

SimplyDIRECT helps you identify, engage and qualify prospects with maximum precision through custom database building and survey-based lead generation. We’re on the cutting edge of account-based marketing. SimplyDIRECT was early to recognize that marketers can’t afford a shotgun approach to prospecting—it’s inefficient and costly. Our account-based approach focuses on the right contacts, in the right…

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SimplyDIRECT Breaks 15 Year Record

First Quarter Revenue for 2011 marked the highest revenue in the 15 year history of SimplyDIRECT. Maynard, MA – April 15, 2011 – SimplyDIRECT started 2011 by setting another record for revenue for the company.  The record comes as the company has expanded the sales, marketing and service staff to addresses the needs of the…

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SimplyDIRECT Will End 2010 with Record Revenue

“While 2010 will be a record year for the company, we believe 2011 will see tremendous growth with the addition of Brian Perks, our Vice President of Sales,” said Lisa Vitale, President of SimplyDIRECT. “Brian’s extensive experience in lead generation and databases with Jigsaw and Salesforce.com fills in the final piece needed to make SimplyDIRECT the complete marketing partner for our clients”.

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Tighter Budgets Mean Need for Better Qualified Leads

“Anyone can build you a database of names and numbers, what is important is determining if the list contains truly qualified leads for the sales team,” said Doug Barth, Founder of SimplyDIRECT. “We have focused on providing the highest quality databases with industry leading accuracy and survey-based lead generation that guarantees pre-qualified leads. This is why we are recognized by our clients for providing the highest return for their marketing dollars.”

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SimplyDIRECT Expands Management Team

October 1 2009 – Maynard, MA As tribute – and commitment – to its growth and success, SimplyDIRECT has recently added to its management team. The additions will help to accelerate the company’s growth and success. Effective October 1, 2009 Lisa Vitale replaces Doug Barth as president of SimplyDIRECT. Barth, the founder of SimplyDIRECT, will…

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The Good News about Climate Change

April 10 2009 – Sudbury, MA While SimplyDIRECT regrets the pain of the current chilly economic climate, it sees signs that the climate is already warming. There are segments in the market that are healthier than others, either lagging the crisis, emerging from it, or immune to it. The challenge is to find those segments…

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SimplyDIRECT offers marketing solutions for a down economy

January 11, 2009 – Sudbury, MA “I’ve cut everything in my budget except SimplyDIRECT.” So explains Oonagh O’Regan, Director of Marketing for Vaultus, provider of mobile application access solutions. Except for those marketing departments who’ve stopped all spending, maintaining forward progress often means sharpening your focus only on the targets that matter. To Vaultus, and…

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First Four Months See Explosion in Activity for SimplyDIRECT

April 22, 2008 – Sudbury, MA In the first four months of 2008, SimplyDIRECT added 11 new clients for its database-building and lead generation service offerings. “It seems that marketing departments today are all doing database marketing,” explained company president, Doug Barth. “This is why we’ve seen huge interest in our services around building target…

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SimplyDIRECT Finds Cure for Summertime Blues

August 29, 2007 – Sudbury, MA—Instead of the traditional summer slowdown in marketing activities, SimplyDIRECT is riding a tsunami of new assignments and new clients. “Clearly, we’ve achieved critical mass,” explained company CEO Doug Barth. “Marketing departments have embraced our closed-loop approach to lead generation.” This approach integrates the custom-building of marketing databases, and the…

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SimplyDIRECT Creates High-Response Lead Nurturing Systems

August 28, 2006 – Sudbury, MA SimplyDIRECT announced today the formal release of a service that nurtures leads using content automatically created by the system. “This is really cool,” said Doug Barth, company president. “It’s a closed-loop cycle for lead generation.” The company has long had a proprietary system that links a customer’s database with…

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SimplyDIRECT Achieves On-Going Assignments

March 16, 2006 – Sudbury, MA As often represents the strength of a company’s service offerings, SimplyDIRECT has been successful at retaining and growing key clients. The marketing services the company offers are complementary, so it is no surprise that clients find continued value with integrating SimplyDIRECT’s components. “Think of it almost as a supply…

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Company Wins Multiple Roll-Out Engagements

April 18, 2005 – Sudbury, MA    The second quarter of 2005 has blossomed along with the Spring weather for SimplyDIRECT, as numerous clients have either found considerable success in the early stages of an engagement, or have committed to going forward with a campaign roll-out after trying out the company with an initial Pilot project.…

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Company Debuts New Technology

February 7,2005 – Sudbury, MA    In an bid to offer clients the latest in marketing tools, SimplyDIRECT today revealed a highly proprietary lead portal.   This technology permits clients to not only access leads generated on-line, but also to sort them, route them, and analyze them with a suite of graphics tools.   “Frankly,” said company president,…

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SimplyDIRECT Receives Expanded Assignments

November 15, 2004 – Sudbury , MA As SimplyDIRECT broadened its service offerings in 2004, more of its client based saw reason to award the company with more and expanded assignments. “We give out clients more and more reason to rely on us as a prospecting partner,” company president Doug Barth explained. Expanded assignments included:…

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Company on Pace for Record-Breaking Year

October 12, 2004 – Sudbury, MA Some companies emerge from the doldrums and brag about how they’ve reduced their losses or again attained profitability, but SimplyDIRECT announced today that despite the economic unpleasantness of the last three years, it is on pace to have record-breaking revenues. As a point of context, even though 2001-2003 were…

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Numerous Clients Returning to SimplyDIRECT

October 8, 2004 – Sudbury , MA For SimplyDIRECT 2004 has, to date, been particularly gratifying with the return of many former clients. “It seems many have been in hibernation,” opined Doug Barth , president of SimplyDIRECT. “But there are other reasons, too. One client was very unhappy with the results of a lead generation…

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Company Announces Expanded Database Building Services

May 1, 2004 – Sudbury , MA SimplyDIRECT announced today that it had introduced new technology to leverage its ability to build, update or expand target databases. With the upgraded capabilities – built upon the backbone of its closed-loop, survey-based lead generation system – SimplyDIRECT can more effective match clients’ raw records, rationalize them, assign…

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SimplyDIRECT announces New Products Groups

March 8 th, 2004 – Sudbury , MA SimplyDIRECT announced today that it is offering an integrated prospecting solution to companies that regard their website as a major hub of lead generation activities. While already established as a leader in building target databases – and using surveys to elicit company profiles from executives within that…

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SimplyDIRECT Signs its 100th Client

January 12, 2004 – Sudbury , MA In the first month of the year SimplyDIRECT passed a huge milestone, signing its 100 th client. “Okay, it took us eight years to do it,” admitted Doug Barth , President of SimplyDIRECT. “But it’s an achievement. But what is most gratifying is that we did this with…

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