Friday, March 23, 2007

Let's support sales performance

Several years ago I discovered Sergio Zyman in Paris when he was conferencing for his new book "The end of marketing as we know it". He's not bringing some rocket science to marketing but effectively highlights and helps us focus on the do's and don't of an effective marketing. As a matter of fact, he left me with this quote that I keep in mind at all times:
"The sole purpose of Marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and for more money." -- Sergio Zyman

In light of this quote, I'm always focused on filling the gap between sales and marketing, making sure sales reps are perceiving added value from marketing activities. If you do not enjoy good business relationship with your sales counterpart, start asking yourself what is to be changed in your deliverables. Marketing success is about increasing revenue and lowering cost of sales. Whether in Marketing 1.0 or Marketing 2.0 it makes no difference.

I'm bringing this up as I recently read some interesting numbers about Sales performance Benchmarks, and I wanted to share with you the striking ones out of this survey from 1,300 companies across all industries:
  • Only 60% of sales reps are making or exceeding quotas.
  • Only 37% of firms report they have implemented a formal sales process.
  • 63% of revenue comes from existing business, while 37% comes from new business
  • Only 38% of companies have what they would call "forecasting accuracy."
  • Most have close rates of under 50% of proposals written (average=48%).
This Lewis Green post says it all:
"For at the end of the day, our bottom lines and the value of what we do are measured in sales, not direct mail campaigns, sell sheets or packaging....I also believe that sales and marketing staffs should be in one department and should work closely together on every step of the process, from understanding the customers, to strategic marketing and sales planning, to closing sales" -- Lewis Green
Fellow Marketers, we're in charge on this. Let's make it happen.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Market segmentation to increase attitudinal loyalty

I mentioned behavioral targeting recently on Marketing 2.0 as a way to increase marketing effectiveness. I wanted to come back on this topic in light of a datasheet that you can download from Omniture, to share with you a tip about successful segmentation as described in Wikipedia.

"The requirements for successful segmentation are: homogeneity within the segment, heterogeneity between segments, segments are measurable and identifiable, segments are accessible and actionable, segment is large enough to be profitable.
These criteria can be summarized by the word ADAMS:
  • A Actionable: you must have a product for this segment
  • D Differential: it must respond differently to a different marketing mix
  • A Accessible: it must be possible to reach it efficiently
  • M Measurable: size and purchasing power can be measured
  • S Substantial: the segment has to be large and profitable enough" -- Wikipedia
I won't come back on all segmentation variables (Geographic, Demographic, Psychographic and Behavioral), you can follow the links for more, but I wanted to highlight the behavioral ones: benefit sought, product usage rate, brand loyalty, product end use, readiness-to-buy stage, decision making unit as Wikipedia refers to it in the Marketing 1.0 world. This is still valid of course, but new dimensions do appear with Marketing 2.0 especially around behavioral analysis. Thanks to web techniques you can easily track, using cookies for instance, what a prospect did before landing on your web site and what retained their attention.

More interesting, in our web 2.0 world, is the way a prospect, or for that matter, a customer expresses his relationship to your brand. This has changed significantly with the web 2.0 advent. As a matter of fact, behavioral targeting and market segmentation offers a powerful way to dialog differently with each segment. Defining your segments along the lines of attitudinal loyalty -- more on customer loyalty on wikipedia -- and remembering ADAMS rules will guide you to the appropriate solution to improve it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Web 2.0 goes mobile: 2.7 Billion phones out there

As I was looking for some numbers to support my yesterday's post, I found this very interesting one Communities Dominate Brands: Putting 2.7 billion in context: Mobile phone users, from authors of this Communities Dominate Brands book I didn't read yet, providing interesting metrics to think about:
"800 million cars, 850 million personal computers, 1.3 B fixed land line phones, 1.4 billion credit cards, 1.5 billion TV sets. How many mobile phones in use today? In use today, yes, 2.7 billion. They sold 950 million phones last year and the total worldwide mobile subscriber base grew from 2.1 billion to 2.7 billion. Three times as many mobile phones as automobiles or personal computers. About twice as many mobile phone owners as those of fixed land line phones or credit cards. And almost twice as many mobile phones in use as TV sets." -- Let's draw a rapid conclusion here, mobile phones or more widely Mobile devices will have the next big impact on the web as carriers evolve their business model for Internet access to a flat monthly fee as for broadband. The next massive disruption on the net is already happening: Web 2.0 goes mobile. Consumers will voice their opinion, pictures and videos to share visual news taking place close to them directly from their phones!

Tell me fellow marketers, would you ignore this bidirectional medium when you know Marketing 2.0 is already here? What a big bet!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mobile Marketing: use it carefully, but use it

I was attending Ad Tech Paris yesterday, a good way to capture on-line advertising trends. Among other interesting sessions, I was appealed by the mobile advertising one called "Mobile advertising – the long and winding road" coordinated by the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF). Speakers, see picture from left to right, were Marc-Henri Magdelenat -- Screentonic, Minh Tran -- Nokia Mobile Advertising, Patrick Parodi -- Amobee & MEF, Richard Saggers -- Vodafone and our moderator Gilles Babinet -- Eyeka.

They covered a lot of ground to explain how important was mobile advertising among our marketing tactics and how unique was its approach. Not to forget for instance that permission marketing in this space is mandatory, nothing is more personal than your phone, right? Mobile Phones are the only new device that people carry all the time since watches were introduced. Some do even sleep with these! Keep in mind as well that consumers are actually paying to receive adverts so we should keep ads short and relevant. And finally, coupons on mobile phones -- yes, bar codes on your phone to present to the store you're in or close to -- are far easier to use for consumers than traditional ones or even web ones, especially when coupled with your location.

Having experienced the mobile industry at Sun Microsystems myself, when marketing the Java platform, I could not agree more to the effectiveness of mobile marketing. Europe and Asia are for sure ahead of the curve about it, as mobile devices connected to the Internet are spreading fast there. The UK even have a dedicated web-zine about it called Mobile Marketing Magazine. Amazing!

But I think some key aspects were eluded during the conference. Mobile phones do have key attributes that can nurture marketing ROI:
  • Authentication: we know who you are for sure,
  • Payment: your Telco provider can charge you for what you buy or consume with it, opening an opportunity for Telcos to become trusted party for e-commerce,
  • Impulse and web 2.0: as you carry your phone with you all the time, nothing would be more natural than to use it for an impulsive buying decision and to channel back your opinion to the brand right away.
Not to mention that within the next 3 to 5 years, mobile devices will become the primary Internet access for consumers, as Japan experienced already. The user experience will significantly improve as well, check the iPhone introduction by Steve jobs here in Marketing 2.0 to get a feel for it.

Marketing 2.0 minded marketers cannot ignore mobile marketing when planning for the next campaign. Consider it for sure in your mix, but very carefully as this could be a double edge sword.