We reviewed Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics and found it lived up to its title with 70 pages of detailed advice on how to most effectively gather and measure key marketing metrics.

Within the Guide, a new profile emerged: the Revenue Marketer™. Marketo describes them as marketers who, “begin to operate and sound more like sales.” Trademarked by The Pedowitz Group, The Revenue Marketer™ “…knows how their key metrics stack up against their targets, and what they plan to do to improve their results.”

If you don’t classify yourself as a one of these new breed marketers, you’re not alone. 44% of marketers have no idea what profits a 10% increase in their marketing budget would generate (Lenskold Group’s 2010 B2B Lead Generation Marketing ROI Study)

However, we should.

As the Definitive Guide tells us (and as most of us suspected already), to gain more credibility and respect (translation: budget and resources) within our organizations, marketing needs to measure the things that will guide decisions that improve profitability. We need to start speaking the CEO and CFO’s language.

To do so, we first need to understand and develop goals around:
  • How many sales we anticipate our marketing program(s) will generate
  • How much revenue each sale produces
  • What the gross margin percentage is
Next we need to design our programs so that we can effectively measure results. With clearly understood goals and well-defined ROI estimates at the outset, we can then track and connect measurements to our pipelines, revenue, and profits. We also can make adjustments to programs with actionable data to improve results, and therefore improve credibility.

To get started, we recommend you download our Marketing Audit Pack. This group of templates includes our Marketing Plan Audit Template, Marketing ROI Template, Sales & Marketing Scorecard and S.W.O.T. Analysis Template, and will help you:
  • Make well-informed adjustments to your marketing strategy
  • Understand the true performance of your marketing plan vs. the estimate
  • Report your status on a weekly basis to raise awareness about your sales and marketing results
  • Calculate the ROI on your marketing plan
    Think about it. Prospects are taking more time to gather information from the wealth of content online, content that marketers produce. This means we are presiding over a much larger share of the revenue cycle than ever before. If you aren’t yet measuring your ROI, it’s time to start. The Revenue Marketer™ is here to stay.

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Energy drink maker uses mobile campaign to drive awareness of “build-a-thon” contest

From flugtags to x-fighters, Red Bull pumps out wacky marketing events around the world like it’s downed way too much of its homebrew.

From July 7-10, it raised the bar with “Red Bull Creation,” a creativity contest held in a Brooklyn park that pitted 16 teams of the country’s most way-out “hackers, tinkerers and fabricators” in a three-day “build-a-thon.”

The teams were given a theme---“energy in motion”---the night before the competition kicked off, and then had 72 hours to build whatever they’d dreamed up---the weirder, the better.

The event’s mindset is perfectly illustrated by the winning entry from a Minneapolis team called 1.21 Jigawatts. Red Bull described it as a “massive hamster wheel, wired into a mobile network, given its own phone number that received up to 60,000 one-word text messages at a time.” Upon receiving a text message, the wheel would begin rolling and print out a perfect copy of the word on the ground.

Practical, schmactical. 1.21 Jigawatts beat out other entries, including a wheelie-popping shopping cart and a mechanical inchworm named Chillerpillar, on the basis of being “unequivocally awesome.”

Red Bull’s promotional campaign was pretty creative itself. Before the event, it posted ads with QR (quick response) codes on bus shelters all around New York City. Passersby who scanned the code with a mobile device were redirected to a video promoting the event. The campaign seemed to work; on the final day of the event the teams finished their projects onstage before a packed house

Red Bull is no stranger to unique mobile promotions. Last year, it targeted Formula 1 fans with a new racing game built for iPhones and iPod Touchs. This year, it participated in a campaign at 1,400 Canadian convenience stores that delivered instant coupons to shoppers carrying Bluetooth-enabled devices.

--- Bob Pickard

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When MSPs think about the benefits they provide their SMB clientele, they probably focus on internal efficiencies that can benefit the bottom line. But MSPs need to take a broader look at how their services can aid all aspects of an SMB’s operations. For example, managed contact center services can aid your SMBs clientele in providing high quality customer service, and even in charging a premium for them.

A case in point: A new survey commissioned by Fonality and conducted by Webtorials shows that on average, customers of SMBs would pay a 20% maximum premium for exceptional service. In contrast, larger companies could only charge a maximum premium of 15%. In addition, 58% of the respondents prefer to do business with an SMB, compared to only 16% who prefer to do business with larger enterprises.

Fonality is a business communications provider, so naturally this survey has a marketing angle, but one that holds promise for MSPs. Unified Communications (UC) and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions were cited by SMB respondents as important tools to help SMBs achieve greater levels of customer service that would allow them to charge a premium rate. Eighty percent of SMB respondents indicated they were already leveraging VoIP to improve contact center capabilities while reducing operating costs or had plans to integrate the solution within the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, UC, which combines voice, email and chat communications, was either being used, or soon will be, by 64% of those surveyed.

UC, VoIP Can Help SMB Productivity

The survey also shows that SMB users of VoIP and UC-based contact centers surveyed achieved significant productivity gains and cost reduction, with 52% saving 20% or more and almost as many (46%) reporting productivity gains in excess of 10%. Webtorials concluded that smaller budgets and limited skill sets associated with SMBs made them primary candidates to benefit from the greater ROI of cloud-based VoIP and UC services, as opposed to installing and maintaining expensive, complex IT solutions.

MSPs should not focus on the exact figures quoted in the Fonality study, but undoubtedly VoIP and UC services can be of great assistance to SMBs looking to improve customer service and increase profitability. Not many SMBs are equipped to host this type of leading edge technology in-house, making MSPs ideal candidates to enable superior customer service.

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Call it a blessing in disguise. Most recent economic reports say SMBs have been slow to make hires. But most IT research indicates that SMBs continue to expand their IT spending. In theory, that means SMBs will increasingly turn to managed services providers (MSPs) and other external folks for IT assistance to fill tactical and strategic gaps.

Indeed, the US SMB tech support market will be worth more than $15 billion in three years, according to a Parks Associates study which says the combined SMB/household tech support market will reach $30 billion, with households accounting for well over 40% of the spend. That still leaves more than half of a very lucrative pie in the hands of SMBs, which by default leaves much of it in the hands of MSPs who serve SMBs lacking in-house tech support capabilities.

Market Underutilized

It should be no great surprise to MSPs with SMB experience that Parks Associates terms this slice of the tech support market “underutilized.” Study data indicates 44% of SMBs experience computer problems, but only 28% of those SMBs use professional support services.

A combination of many MSPs ignoring the potential offered by smaller clients and basic ignorance on the availability of managed services on the part of many SMBs leads to this market not living up to its potential. Of course, this is great news for MSPs who serve the SMB vertical and aren’t shy about trumpeting the advantages their services provide.

Stay Up to Date with Platforms, Channels

The study also finds that long-term growth in the SMB tech support market depends on the ability to add support for new platforms and scale services to provide for multiple channels of support. Parks Associates advises that expanding to include on-site, remote, and depot repair, with proactive maintenance services for multiple devices, is key to growing the market.

In plain terms, don’t expect to achieve long-term growth by finding some new customers for your existing services. That will gain you some initial new clients, but they won’t stick around long if you can’t grow along with their needs.

Game-changers any MSP seeking long-term growth in the SMB tech support market needs to stay abreast of include tablets, smartphones, cloud infrastructure, and integrated cross-channel platforms. Even your small clients are moving away from a siloed IT architecture toward a more holistic model, your support services need to follow suit.

Previously, I wrote an entry on how big box retailers like Office Depot are trying to capitalize on the SMB tech support market. Parks Associates specifically cites how big box retailers, as well as telecommunications companies and the OEMs themselves, are “important” in the space. But when it comes to personal SMB relationships, can anybody really compete with effective MSPs?

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