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At fist glance, it would seem that most online backup services are pretty-much the same. They provide software you load on your computer to identify files for backup. They establish an Internet connection to a cloud-based storage server. Finally, they transmit an encrypted version of your data to offsite storage for safe-keeping.

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We made some big changes in Tech Support, including promoting Stephanie Wallace to Support Coordination Manager and adding more Tech Support engineers to our staff. We replaced our phone system with a new unified communications system that better links our two offices with voice, data, and audio/video conferencing, and added more bandwidth at both offices. This will result in quicker, more efficient Tech Support. It also provides “work from anywhere” capabilities for critical employees as part of our continuity plan.

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As part of a plan to strengthen its technical support capabilities, Remote Backup Systems, the leading developer of online backup software, is pleased to announce the promotion of Stephanie Wallace to the position of Support Coordination Manager, providing vital resources to the company's entire network of service providers.

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We’ve come to depend on MarketingSherpa to provide the case studies and research to help us further refine how we market and shape our best practices. This year’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report is no exception to the Sherpa collection.

Over 1,700 B2B marketers were surveyed for this report that includes 157 charts and analytical commentary on how to “attract and convert the modern B2B buyer.”

Within its 188 pages, MarketingSherpa reveals the two biggest B2B marketing challenges we face: lead generation (74%) and lead qualification (49%). These results, along with Sherpa’s report that the average B2B deal size declined in 2011, show us that marketing to a lengthening sales cycle has led to more promotional pricing than ever to get the deals closed.

The impact is widespread. Across all industries and sizes (and regardless of process maturity) marketers continue to struggle to achieve the proper balance of lead quality and quantity. MarketingSherpa’s research shows that smaller the organization, the more challenging this becomes.

Other top B2B marketing challenges:

· Generating a perceived value in “cutting edge” products (41%)
· Competing in lead generation across multiple media (40%)
· Generating PR “buzz” (38%)

Further, marketers indicated that an overall lack of resources (time, staff and budget) is the greatest barrier to achieving their marketing goals. This would explain why marketers are struggling to gain maturity in lead conversion processes. There simply isn’t the time, money or manpower to focus on an initiative of this magnitude.

So, how is marketing leadership planning to address these challenges? MarketingSherpa’s data on CMO’s strategic priorities for 2012 includes:

· Gaining greater insight of customers and target audience (56%)
· Optimizing lead progression through the marketing-sales funnel (55%)
· Achieving or increasing measurable ROI from lead generation programs (54%)

What provides the best insight in this most recent report is how MarketingSherpa dissects the data: by industry, by maturity, and by size. These cross-sections illuminate the why’s and how’s of B2B marketing to help us evolve our own best practices.

Download your own copy of the 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report today. With a wealth of industry-specific data, marketers everywhere must have this report to better inform their marketing strategy, improve best practices, and achieve more sales conversions.

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If your company hasn’t yet established its presence on Facebook, take a look at these statistics from Deluxe Rev:
  • Users average 15.5 hours on Facebook each month.
  • On average, users visit Facebook 40 times per month.
  • 50% of users log on to Facebook on any given day.
With Facebook popularity on the rise, it is time to get started! If you aren’t quite sure what to do first, you’ll find plenty of advice out there for the taking. We just found an excellent resource we recommend you download first, Deluxe Rev’s new ebook, “REV Up Your Facebook Marketing: A Guide for Small Businesses.”

Filled with statistics and how-to advice, this is THE Facebook marketing guide to get you going quickly. It includes practical tips like:
  • Don’t worry about your Facebook page being perfect -- it is more important to get started. Remember Facebook changes often and so will your page.
  • If you have more than one administrator for your company’s Facebook page, create a list of guidelines for posting to ensure that your brand standards are being followed.
  • Use “mentions” to help build your fan base. Post some recognition to other companies (think: congratulations and thank-you’s) that also share your target market. When you tag them correctly, these mentions will display in their fans’ news feeds, which will point new users to your company’s page.
Besides real-world tips, Deluxe Rev also has fascinating statistics to share (these are from a 2011 Buddy Media Study):
  • The best length for a post is 80 characters or less.
  • The best times to post are early in the morning or late at night.
  • Thursday and Friday seem to be the best days of the week to post, although there are specific days that are better for specific industries (those are included in the ebook).
  • Simple call-to-actions in your posts are most effective at encouraging participation (Like this…, Post this…, Comment here, and Tell Us).
However the biggest revelation is the importance of Facebook’s feature the News Feed. Social Media Strategist Ekaterina Walter of Intel says, “News Feed Optimization (NFO) is the new Search Engine Optimization (SEO).”

Those are powerful words, and they could not be truer. Facebook’s algorithm for determining what posts end up on News Feeds takes into account page popularity. Simply stated: If you have more fans interacting with you (Likes and Comments on posts) the higher your chances are to be included on your fans’ News Feeds. This is all the more powerful when coupled with this statistic: 70% of fans will not see Status Updates due to this algorithm. Yes, landing on the News Feed should be the number one goal of your Facebook strategy.

But to get on the News Feed, you first need a Facebook page. And to get started, we recommend Deluxe Rev’s “REV Up Your Facebook Marketing: A Guide for Small Businesses.” This ebook will give you the tips and techniques necessary to optimize your Facebook presence (and get on that News Feed), plus it includes some great case studies, too.

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