The Marketing Hipster Dictionary, Part I: 53 Definitions Every Marketer Should Know

Drumroll, please … Another ambitious post here: The Marketing Hipster Dictionary. When we started, I just wanted to create a post with some definitions of terms used in this blog and in the marketing space in general. Then we started having fun with some “originals.”

Before I go on, I must introduce my band. (Side note: I love when the lead singer introduces the band at concerts. I don’t know what it is — but I get excited.) On the guitar: Tom Scearce (@TLOTL). Tom is a brilliant marketer who understands marketing from brand to process. Follow him on Twitter. And on the electric keyboard: Chris Jablonski (@cjablonski). Chris can do anything. Period. And he does do everything, but he is not a dilettante. He does them all really well.

Ok, so here is the deal, my guitarist Tom wanted me to break this into a series. I prefer the big bang, so we compromised: The dictionary is broken into two: Today is the first 24. We will release the next 26 on Thursday. If you want to have fun and send in some, we may add it so send it over.

1.    Marketing hipster or hipster marketing: The new bleeding-edge marketer. One of the first terms I’ve made up for this blog post but that I like a lot. If you’re doing some of the activities I’ve described below, you are a marketing hipster.

2.    Lead qualification: People (with headsets), automation (CRM and marketing automation – yes, marketing automation) and process dedicated to contacting leads and qualifying them before passing them to sales. If you actually generate leads, you should do this. (See every other post on the People can build this process for you like @bridgegroupinc or Stu Silverman (SalesRamp), or you can outsource qualification (numerous folks, I can’t even mention). Look, this is “old school” stuff, but it works. I sell leads, and what we’ve seen from our data is that companies with lead-qualification (and lead-nurturing) processes convert better than anyone else and, ultimately, buy more leads.

3.    Conversion rate: The rate at which a prospect advances in your marketing process. I included this because everyone assumes conversion rate means landing page conversion. That is not true. Conversion rates happen across the life of a lead: Traffic to registration conversion, registration to lead conversion, lead to opportunity conversion, opportunity to sale conversion. Conversions happen all day in your process (I hope). Track them and watch them.

4.    Lead scoring: Seriously, make it simple: the process of determining which leads are better than others. Don’t make it bigger than that. Use data you have now to start – this isn’t hard, then use marketing automation to implement, optimize and refine. Scoring seems so daunting, but it really isn’t when you finally tear down what it really is. The humans in your “conversion chain” score all the time in their head: They call certain leads more than others because they know they will convert.

5.    Conversion chain: I just made that up in the previous definition, so I figured I would make a definition. The conversion chain is your series of conversion points you track from the top (e.g., Google, white paper syndication) to close. That’s a cool term. If it catches on, you heard it here first.

6.    Metrics: Numbers generated via reporting that tell you something about your current processes. Yes, it can be called reporting or just “numbers,” but remember you want to be a b2b marketing hipster, so use the word: metrics. Here’s a tip: Choose three metrics to look at every day. Look at the rest once a week.

7.    Pay-per-lead lead generation or performance-based lead generation: This is how marketers roll today. If you haven’t jumped on the PPL bandwagon, you should. You can get performance lead generation from media companies (such as the one I work at, Tippit) where you provide some sort of content such as a white paper in exchange for registration information. The media company will determine the number of leads they will deliver and a price. You can control your CPL metrics and organize around particular quantity numbers. This is good for marketers. You can also do this with appointment-setting vendors such as Green Leads, a firm led by one of the most active mavens on the market @damphoux.

8.    Targeted email/email blast: Email is not for spam anymore. As marketers have gotten more sophisticated, they have gotten much better at outbound email. We have seen a big jump in email blasts to our database. You can blast to a third-party database (check out Marketfish for an amazing new targeted email application).

9.     Trade show: Ah, the trade show. Let’s define a tradeshow as a broad industry event (e.g., Interop for IT), with a variety of different talk tracks, trade show booths, etc. Trade shows aren’t dying, they are just never going to be the same again. In ancient times, there were lots of tradeshows with lots of people and lots of vendors. Those days are gone. The trade shows that work are:

a.    Raging parties: CES
b.    Real education value: Sirius Decisions in marketing is a perfect example. They really focus on the content instead of pretending to help buyers, but peddling their own goods.

10.    Live seminars: These can fall victim to the same symptoms as trade shows. The time commitment to travel ratio is minimized and the focus (not trying to be something for everyone) is compelling.

11.    Lunch and learns: These are the same as live seminars but are shorter and with less content. Lunch and learns are small local, lunch events typically put on by vendors. They get 10 people, so the ROI is debatable.

12.    Maven: Two years ago, I admit I had to look this one up. Here is the best technical definition: “A maven is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. The word maven comes from the Hebrew, via Yiddish, and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge.”  A number of factors have made the role of the maven uber-critical in your life:

a.    The role of third-party/thought leadership content in effective marketing practice.  In other words, take a look around and you will find the best marketers incorporating the work of thought leaders and mavens instead of product sheets and data sheets.
b.    Social media: the maven has gone from obscurity (only writing books and speaking at seminars) to global popularity with social media (Twitter in particular) and blogging. When I am doing research in my field, I go to my favorite mavens such as @ardath421 or @brianjcarroll in marketing (there are more obviously, but I need to restrain myself)

13.    Maven marketing: I just made this phrase up too, and I’m hoping it sticks. Today’s marketer does two things with mavens:

a.    Courts and/or works with mavens to create helpful buyer materials that don’t necessarily ever mention their product – that’s right. Mavens get more downloads than you and are TRUSTED. Today’s buyer trusts two people: their peers and their mavens. Those two groups far outweigh the vendor.
b.    Creates mavens from their organization. Here’s one for all those people with social media budgets. Start by creating an internal maven. Here’s an example from the marketing industry: Mike Volpe (@mvolpe), VP at Hubspot, has 15,872 people who follow his every move on Twitter. They read him, respect him and re-Tweet him. That’s hipster marketing.

14.    Marketing automation: This is an emerging software category offered by a plethora of vendors intended to consolidate, systematize and improve your marketing efforts. For some it’s nothing more than an email tool on steroids; for others, it’s delivering on the promise. Check out @cjablonski for more.

15.    Content marketing: An Internet-spawned phenomenon embraced by B2B marketers. It has unleashed a torrent of information intended to build vendor thought leadership by way of educating the customer until sold on the brand. See @cjablonski.

16.    Social media marketing: The marketing trend du jour with vendor outposts proliferating across social networking sites as they join communities and conversations in the effort to build awareness, drive sales and get people to talk about them. See @cjablonski.

17.    Sales 2.0: I grabbed a technical definition from “Sales 2.0 brings together customer-focused methodologies and productivity-enhancing technologies that transform selling from an art to a science. Sales 2.0 relies on a repeatable, collaborative and customer-enabled process that runs through the sales and marketing organization, resulting in improved productivity, predictable ROI and superior performance.” What matters to you is that there are killer tools that make sales better. An example is Connect and Sell which is a new-age auto-dialer that guarantees sales connects. Why does that matter to a marketer?
a.    It’s a great tool for your lead-qualification team.
b.    The biggest lag on your conversion rates come from sales connecting with your leads. Offering them tools to be more effective is a win for you. Period.

18.    Thought leadership: In a world full of information and “me-too” solutions, you need to differentiate and boost your signal-to-noise ratio through the delivery of expertise and original knowledge that your audience cares about. Tap your mavens for this. See @cjablonski.

19.    White paper syndication: Your marketing assets reside on your Web site, but you can get a lot more mileage out of them if you make them available from relevant sites across the internet. Vendors like Tippit can get your content into the right hands to help spread your message and build the top of your funnel. See @cjablonski.

20.    BANT (Budget Authority Need Timeframe): A qualification methodology, or information that must be gathered or agreed to before passing a lead to sales. BANT is an age-old tradition that is coming back in vogue (big-time). Note to self: BANT is not something you achieve in lead generation (don’t put timeframe on forms) but in lead qualification.

21.    Personal branding: This concept is not new, and not unique to marketing. But every marketer needs to understand it and practice it. Interacting with the world through a well-defined “brand of you” gives you a unique perspective on how people engage those other brands that you are paid to promote. See @TLOTL.

22.    Mass expertization: A rapidly growing population of people, typically with commercial or status-driven agendas, publishing original content drawn from their experience, for the consumption of peers and/or prospective business partners. See @TLOTL.

23.    Webcast, Webinar or Web Seminar: A webcast is a presentation delivered over the Internet so that prospects can watch instead of read. Webcasts are typically an hour long and involve a PowerPoint presentation. Webcasts should not be confused with video. Yes, you can use video, but that is not your typical use-case for a webcast. Webcasts are great vehicles for education, lead nurturing, thought leadership and quantifiable lead generation.

24.    Optimization: Overused marketer term but critical nonetheless. Every element of your demand-generation process has hidden pockets of opportunity to improve. Don’t think so? Hire a consultant or design thinker to review your content and your strategy and listen in disbelief. See @cjablonski.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Thought Leadership Interview #8: The Jason Stewart Show: Demand Gen from the Demandbases’ Chief Blogger

This interview was a late grab for me.  I read demandblog: Best Practices in B2B Demand Generation frequently and decided I would just contact the author, Jason Stewart, and see if he wanted in. He did, and we got a great interview out of it. Jason leads online marketing programs for Demandbase Inc.  He founded and leads the user group in San Francisco and was one of the first 500 people to complete the Certified Administrator process. He has a great real-world background in B2B telesales, demand generation, lead management and marketing operations with a variety of public and privately held software companies.  Demandbase is hot and Jason’s blog is top-notch, so I’m excited to have him aboard.

Here’s what he had to say:

1.    What are the three trends you see emerging in 2009?

The first trend is that marketing budgets are going to shift more toward online and inbound marketing, and by “inbound marketing” I mean those prospects that are out there proactively searching for your products or solutions. B2B marketers are paying closer attention to inbound marketing in a number of ways – focusing on organic search optimization and creating more content that’s going to capture the eye of that long-tail searcher with a specific need, right now. Improving online conversion rates is also key, and I think closer attention is going to be paid to the “silent majority” of folks who visit a site but don’t convert. What sorts of businesses do they represent, what were they looking for and what do I need to do to get them to take the next step and identify themselves?

The second thing is an increased adoption of social-network marketing . Businesses are beginning to figure out how to get the word out about themselves in a very tricky landscape filled with dos and don’ts – and more importantly how to track the effectiveness of  campaigns they might run on Twitter or Facebook.

The third is an increase in the need to measure and account for the effectiveness of every dollar spent on marketing. ROI (return on investment) is key, and while businesses might be excited to try new things the tools need to be in place to measure return quickly and efficiently so that marketers can make changes on the fly.

2.    What are the biggest challenges for 2009?

Budgets may shrink, but performance expectations rarely do. We’re all going to need to do more with less.

3.    What are three metrics that B2B marketers should care about and why?

This is a hard one, and I might defer to one general metric that changes from Web page to landing page to email campaign. What was the goal, and how successful were you at accomplishing it?

For example, if you’re running an email campaign with a goal of getting people to register for a Webinar, set your goal for the number of registrations in advance and don’t sweat open rates or click-throughs – as long as you hit your goal. Let’s be clear – I’m not suggesting that you mass email irrelevant contacts in order to hit you goal. Rather, with the right messaging to the right people your goal will come naturally even if your open rates are lower than you are used to. I receive online communications every day with no clear call to action, sent out by marketers who are just “spraying and praying.” If I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, then how are you going to measure whether or not I did it?

4.    What are the top oversights marketers are making regarding lead generation?

This ties back to the previous question, as the most obvious mistake is focusing on the wrong metrics. For example, looking at the cost per conversion of a pay-per-click campaign rather than the quality of the conversion (or how much closed business can be attributed to that specific keyword or ad group) is a big mistake.

Also, not understanding the demographics of the businesses visiting your Web site or landing page – or even in your list rentals or email campaigns –  is a big problem. What if you have a high CPM for an email campaign, or you are paying for a lot of expensive clicks but it turns out the people who are responding are nowhere near your target markets? Insight into that can lead to simple adjustments in list composition or ad copy or keywords that could not only save a lot of money but improve performance of your campaigns.

5.    What will you prescribe to marketers to carry out effective lead generation?

Test and measure, test and measure – and then test and measure some more. There are simply too many great tools out there helping B2B marketers understand what is working and what isn’t for us to have any excuse to keep throwing money at marketing mediums without proven return.

6.    What three Web 2.0 applications, cutting-edge technologies or lead generation sources do marketers HAVE to consider to be successful?

I’ll share four:

  • Marketing automation or lead management systems are becoming vital to maintaining that constant drip of attention that prospects need in order to mature into viable selling opportunities.
  • My CRM/SFA (sales force automation) system has become irreplaceable in helping me to understand which lead sources or marketing campaigns are actually driving revenue. If you’re not tying your marketing campaigns directly to your sales opportunities, you’re missing the boat.
  • A healthy inbound marketing strategy is vital, with realistic social network marketing  and content creation aspects woven in to it. Business blogging is a great forum for content creation as long as it is not limited to product pitching and provides helpful and relevant content in which your prospects are interested. And a simple search on Twitter might uncover dozens of people asking their social network about you or your company. Are you there to answer their questions?
  • Finally, an improved post-click strategy that includes tools like Demandbase Professional, helping to better understand more about the “silent majority” of your Web-site or landing-page visitors that don’t convert, and put mechanisms in place to identify, reach and convert more of them.

7.    What do you hope for in B2B sales and marketing for the new year?

My sincere hope is that tighter budgets will spawn creativity, and not handcuff marketers into “tried and true” types of messaging. While there is more pressure than ever to prove ROI, that doesn’t mean you aren’t obligated to try and be creative. I hope to be wowed this year.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

The Real “Best Practice” Is Test, Test, and Then Test Again.

This Sunday, I got my usual email from Technology Evaluation Centers. That’s right, on a Sunday. These guys are really creative when it comes to email marketing. And I like it.

First of all, I think they emailed me on Christmas Eve. BTW, it was the only email I received that day, so I opened it. Secondly, these dudes hit me on Saturdays and Sundays, and I read them. So much for conventional wisdom.

email/day of the week

The Internet has given marketers “best practices” – which essentially means everyone is doing the same thing. I have blogged on this before. Given what we know, breaking best practices may mean that you will stand out. And how do you know what will work or not work? YOU DON’T. Thus the bottom-line best practice is TEST, TEST, TEST.

Clearly TEC has figured out that emails can convert on weekends. They certainly do not rely on best practice data. Most says to avoid the weekends. This eROI report says that the order of preference for email delivery is Wednesday, Monday, Thursday, Tuesday, Friday, Sunday, Saturday. So, everyone gets this report, herd mentality sets in, and your inbox is barraged during the week. How about the weekend when I got that one email I actually opened?

The moral of the story is best practices data is a way to create a baseline, but to put your marketing program over the top, think outside the box.

Sunday “hit” from TEC:

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Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter