A recent study 2015 Content Marketing Survey by content marketing agency Castleford states that the amount of marketers committed to content marketing is increasing. According to their results 65% (compared to 48% one year ago) of marketers want to boost their content marketing next financial year. Their plans is to invest more in time and resources.
Even more, 97% of participants of the survey said they will increase or retain their current level of investment. And the respondents also face the support of their C-level executives. Of the responding marketers 76% replied their C-level executives viewed content marketing „quite positively“ or „very positively“.
Obviously, there are also some challenges involved in content marketing creation wit time (45%) and budget (29%) being the biggest problem. Just, 3% that mentioned their C-level buy-in is their biggest challenge to content marketing will be probably persuaded over time, we think.
In terms of content marketing tactics the study shows that social media (81%) is still the favorite online marketing tactics in this field. However, the biggest growth opportunity shows video marketing and paid promotion of content for the next year. 61% are already using video marketing, (increase of 13% compared to last year). This is probably also driven by the main players Facebook and Google.
The variety of content marketing is also growing though. Almost every second marketer said that they use five or more different online marketing channels (45%).
Although Castleford director Rob Cleeve is confident with the development of content marketing, he also makes clear that marketers need to deliver results with it as well: „In my experience, content marketing is claiming an increasingly large share of overall marketing budgets, which is going to mean more pressure to show how it’s benefiting the bottom line.“
Content marketing definitely has changed the advertising industry drastically. However, the main challenges involved are the appropriate use of data with content to drive the right story in the right context to the right user at the right time. Here we see massive problems for many marketers still in our work with customers. Post-it recently explained it nicely in a video that leverages their banner and ask many question in terms of how retargeting actually kills good content marketing in terms in the example of banner ads.
The infographic of the study carries all relevant results of the Castleford study.
Last year’s CNBC study examined that C-level execs were more mobile than their senior counterparts in middle management. This year’s CNBC’s Mobile Elite survey -based on more than 600 online interviews across Europe, Asia and North America – shows that the usage and impact of mobile devices amongst business executives is higher than ever. Six in ten executives admitted they are still busy checking their mobile devices when its weekend time and the stock-market is closed.
Managers are even more busy consuming news during the mornings. For those vendors seeking to address the European business decision maker the weekday evening is said to be the right time to get in touch, according to the study. Obviously, many managers have more time during their weekend leisures to digest articles and information. Almost every second executive (48%) reads ‚in-depth articles‘ and 38% has a close look at business profiles.
In that field, LinkedIn has achieved the number one position in Europe as a ‚useful business and recruitment tool‘ (59%) with the highest scores for the ‚respected brand‘ (64%). However, Facebook is also under the top-performers as a ‚useful marketing tool‘ among Europe’s Business Elite. In Europe Twitter scores highest European executives for ‚use for both work & leisure‘ (55%) increasing from 32% in 2013.
TV and tablets are moving more and more together in terms of business impact and parallel screen usage for decision-makers: 80% of US executives stated they were watching TV while using their tablet. Europe is with 71% and Asia with 70% behind the US results. Still, 56% of global executives use their mobile device as a direct result of watching TV.
Their predominant reaction after watching TV content is…
– Web browsing for products or services (69%)
– Purchasing products, stocks or shares (55%)
– Responding to advertising (42%).
„An ongoing trend where work life and private life is bleeding into one another“, thinks Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Cass Business School London, Andre Spencer.
Not surprisingly, business executives are massively using their mobiles and second screens. The more business turns international the more „global business environments work on a 24/7 basis“, thinks Spencer. Staying in touch is possible and needs to be done the more people are engaged in being on the road. The work-life balance gets challenged when organizations are increasingly expecting their top executives to be online and working.
Compared to some previous study, this years CMO Council’s „State of Marketing“ (sponsored by NetBase and Infor) shows that confidence to be a trusted source for the C-level is back with marketers. The online study that asked 525 global marketers in the first quarter 2014 shows that 69% of senior marketers see themselves as a trusted, strategic member of the C-suite and/or are increasing their credibility with the main business decision makers inside their companies. Furthermore, 81% of senior marketers responded that they’re confident to meet management expectations and goals for top-line revenue growth and market share in the next 12 months.
„The level of confidence and optimism is very high. We are seeing the CMO role being elevated to a much larger degree.“ Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director, CMO Council
From a budget perspective, the main areas of marketing spending growth for this year will be social advertising (71%), online video (71%), social engagement campaigns (69%), retargeting (67%) and search engine marketing (66%). However, mobile will go down in the attention of marketing spendings this year. Only 62% said they plan to increases and just 25% project increases of over 5% for 2014. 45% said they expect no change for mobile banners. The report makes no commments on reasons for this stagnating mobile budget growth. In general, 54% of marketers plan to increase their marketing budgets over the next 12 months, 27% will keep budgets stable. The most funding will go into new products and program launches (54%), corporate branding and identity building (53%), lead generation and qualification (50%), and customer retention and monetization (44%).
When asked to identify where marketers will allocate marketing budget across
From an operational and process point of view 12% of the responding marketers said they will invest in product marketing, 12% said in strategy and branding, almost 7% in marketing and planning, 7% in sales and lead management, and 5% in market research, among other areas. It seems that programmatic buying has still not reached the marketing department. Only 1% sees programmatic advertising technology systems an interesting topic to invest in. Maybe they just do not have the right arguments for their C-Suite on programmatic yet.
The senior management expects from their CMOs over the next 12 months to drive top-line growth (56%), grow or retain market share (52%), better define the brand and value proposition (44%), and further customer insights and analytics (37%). As the leading areas of responsibility the marketers see for themselves strategic planning and forecasting (74%), branding (71%), digital (68%), budgeting and mix modeling (68%) and market research (67%). from a C-level perspective the marketers state that their main tasks from the business leaders are driving top-line growth (56%); growing or retaining market share (52%); better defining the brand and value proposition (44%); and furthering customer insights and analytics (37%).
The challenge for marketers as of the cloud technology evolution is to connect with other departments inside the company. Interesting to see from the report to which people marketers are reaching out these days for partnerships. The marketers responded that the CFO (58%), CIO (53%) and chief sales officer (51%) are their main three touchpoints inside the organization to form partnerships with.
The report also states that 55% of marketers want to hire in 2014. Their main focus of reecruiting people or getting knowledge will be on customer analytics (40%), social media (36%) and content development (27%). Interestingly enough, a trend that we also experience with our clients is that B2B marketers (60%) are very active finding new staff. Their main interest is in people on topics like customer analytics (33%), product marketing support (33%), content development (32%) and social media (32%).„About“ page.
The value of such a quote is for some managers marginal and for others massive when using it to explain the transformation of the business into a digital community-centric company or brand. Take it for what it is, and for what it’s worth for you, or let’s discuss it.
For this year the quote will be about social business strategy…
Just before you start asking… By „business freestlye“, I address all departments in your company (like marketing, sales, customer service, HR, or other) that are responsible for planning, using, handling, and organizing the business tactics and strategy around the brand, product line or service offering of business relevance.
PS: If you do it right, your workforce will freak out like the guy in this post. Believe me…!
Year after year, Edelman is publishing their Edelman Trust Barometer. The 2013 version just came out and it is offering some helpful findings, pictures and illustrations how C-level managers, employees and brands can build trust. Edelman polled 31,000 people in 26 countries and as they have the comparison of the last three year (2011-2013), it is interesting to see the changes in the „Edelman Trust Index“. From a global perspective, the positive signs are that the global trust index goes back to normal after some bad development in 2012.
Definitely, one of the main messages the report gives, is that the general public and better „educated citizens“ don’t really trust government officials (13%) and business CEOs (18%) to tell the truth. Business CEOs ended up second to last with 43% only. So, it is not only the marketers that lack credibility in the eyes of their CEOs internally – externally the CEOs seem to be the people – employees, customers and partners – just the human brand economy CEOs need to become successful with their business. The most trustworthy people seem to be academics and experts, followed by technical experts.
The study offers an interesting list of 16-trust building attributes (named „trust performance clusters“) every organization should pay attention to, and live and breath. All points make sense and every single one seems worth-while being considered and double-checked with your own organization.
Leadership seems to face a crisis at the moment. The study makes clear that people distrust their company leaders, or don’t seem to get what they want from their bosses. Globally, the employees expectations in the areas business performance, integrity, products, purpose, and services always score low numbers and don’t hit public’s expectations. Especially under engagement, when it comes to how leaders are taking care and treating their employees, the leaders fall short in their ratings: just 24% feel that businesses do what ever they can to meet the employees‘ demands.
„We’re clearly experiencing a crisis in leadership. Business and governmental leaders must change their management approach and become more inclusive… They must also pass the test of radical transparency.“ Richard Edelman, President & CEO, Edelman
From an industry sector’s point of view technology wins in building trust (77%). Banks and financial services (50%) as well as media (53%%) rank lowest in trust scores. Edelman thinks that transparency in their business processes might help. Also, the way these economies are explaining their businesses could improve trust building as shareholders want to know how these companies operate and make money. Social Media could play an important role.
As long as people don’t understand how organizations operate, what companies and brands do with the money they invest in their products and services, they will doubt that they really get best value and service for their money. Even more, when companies don’t take their responsibility to open communication serious which most companies do when they don’t respond internal and external comments through social platforms. The more companies become social businesses and open up their communication, the more they create an atmosphere of transparency and collaboration, the more customers will engage with their community centers, the more people trust that companies really do whatever they can – WITH the help of employees, partners and customers.
„This confirms the democratizing trend of recent years with influence and authority moving away from CEOs and government leaders to experts and peers,“ finds Edelman. And we agree with them.
Watch their video summary and then start checking on your own trust building tactics. And let us know if you experience the leadership issue in some way as well, or not…?!
This new infographic from CEO.com illustrates that more and more CEOs are figuring out social media and finding great benefits as a result. Some weeks ago, we could see in a study that European business chiefs understand the power of Twitter and support its use these days. It seems Social Media is making its way to the C-levels.
Will the CEO of the future really be more social…? Let’s see…
CMO’s and marketers all over the world and across industries understand the increasing value of Social Media in (their) business. However, I sometimes wonder whether they really recognize how to use Social Capital and Social Business effectively.
How did I get this view…?
Well, studies show me the reality… and many seminars and webinars open eyes. Today, I came across two studies which might illustrate what marketers and CMO’s need to get their heads around. If they are good, they create brand advocate programs, if they act badly consumers will see brands as boring, poor, and even worse… not obeying the rules of social business. And today brands cannot miss out on „Social“. That is a fact, CMO’s understand…
Market Research vs. Social Research
In one of the latest IBM studies of 1,700 chief marketing officers from 64 countries and across 19 industries, 82% of CMOs stated that they will increase their use (or budgets?) of Social Media over the next three to five years. The flipside is that just 26% are currently tracking blogs, 42% are tracking third-party reviews and 48% are tracking the consumer reviews which might help change their market positioning, their marketing insights, their marketing programs. Let’s take the qualitative aspect of Social Research first.
From a quantitative research perspective, 80% rely on market research and corporate benchmarking to rely on as their primary sources for market insights. Obviously, most companies also obey other „non-social“ monitoring tools to value the development of their business: 68% use sales campaign analysis for strategic decision making.
In the end, it comes down to numbers. 63% of CMOs believe the ROI on their marketing invest will be the primary measure of effectiveness by 2015. However, almost half of respondents don’t feel prepared to satisfy those business figure aspects. The reason is obvious: CMOs often don’t have enough influence on radical company-wide change processes. Over half of responding CMOs stated they have no impact on pricing process and even less have any impact on new product development or retail channel selection.
Community and Brand Reputation
On the other hand, another new Weber Shandwick study found out how companies understand and plan their social efforts. So, why are some marketers more social than others?
The challenge is to find the key tactics with best possible metric efficiency. Most marketers know about the impact of the 3 „r’s“… reviews, ratings, recommendations on their business efforts. 52% attribute their brand reputation to their online social presence. And even more, 65% project online sociability will boost their reputation in the next three years. However, I would doubt if they act accordingly.
Today, Social Media is part of CMOs marketing mix. The question is, why only 16% consider their efforts as „world class“. This study also makes clear that marketers have trouble establishing clear goals for their social media strategy. Finding the right KPIs is essential. No wonder, companies state they are not well-prepared for the social future in terms of effectiveness. Most o fhtese companies don’t really integrate their social engagement into their enterprise processes.
CMO’s and marketers need to get insights beyond traditional market sources like page impresions, click-throughs and superficial numbers like fans and follower. The good spot is that 54% of global executives experience rewards to outweigh risks – versus 23% the other way round, and some European bosses even focus their attention preferably on Twitter. Although, C-level often does not know how to leverage Social efficiency. The community gives input on the value of products, services and preferrences. When did we have that years ago?
Somehow, marketers are in a poor position as they are working in the transition period. Top down target-group thinking is out, community centric thinking is the future. In some day, we will publish a new strategic theory on this at the IBM JamCamp. Nice coincidence…
How often did we hear this question in the last three years? Marketers, sales(wo)men and many C-Level’s in the B2B space have asked the question many times in seminars. I am quite happy to have found a study that actually gives some insight in a quite complex business topic.
According to a Demandbase National Marketing and Sales Study in cooperation with Focus, the company corporate website is the top source of new sales leads for consumers. The corporate website still is the primary hub to harness customer interest driven by outbound online marketing activities. However, it is only second to personal connections and referrals. Nevertheless, more than seven times more effective than social media which speaks a clear language, right…? Well, what if referrals lead to websites via Social Media?
Executives see the website as the top online source of sales leads (23%), followed by email (14%), online advertising (7%), and finally… social media (3%). What sounds as a clear message, is more a blur. The most important factor for measuring website effectiveness is the quality of leads generated (34% vs. quantity 9%). However, nearly one-half of executives surveyed do not know where users are most likely to leave their website.
Another interesting thing is that study participants stated that the website still vastly underperforms in terms of lead generation. Although companies think they understand their sales prospects (over 60% respond knowing or understanding their prospects well), driving sales leads is still a big challenge for them. 80% of the respondents said the corporate website is not performing to its maximum lead generation.
Did you ever ask yourself how a consumer found your website? Can a website alone be enough to generate quality sales leads? What is the key to generating more leads from the web? Is it the website only? Well, once your website is ready to attract customers, it needs to get traction.
Often in the last weeks, we came across one of the main effort to get there: content generation. What makes search engines to drive (potential) customers back to your website? Content. And often marketers say: „We have tons of content! Why is no one coming back?“ The answers is easy: Content needs some systematic approach, and that can best be achieved with inbound marketing. And that’s were Social Media comes into the game. So, the website alone is not the answer to lead generation.
„Social media may be heralded as the silver bullet to bring B2B marketing up to snuff but, despite its increasing influence, it’s important to keep in mind that no business sale is made without the buyer going to the corporate website first. Regardless of its origin–social media or e-mail, banners or search–traffic driven from online marketing initiatives always intersects at the website. And, while businesses are investing heavily in their sites, the study shows that they are then ignoring the very audience they worked so hard to attract.“ Chris Golec, CEO, Demandbase
The study shows that there is a lack of understanding how to optimize and generate new sales leads and demand generation. Analyzing websites and drawing the right conclusions from site performance and the clients‘ brand journey experience is what needs to be elaborated on. Obviously, many marketers still have „better things to do“ or not the time to verify the back-end. Marketers need to understand that their web strategy should be focusing on connecting website experience and the brand journey towards it. This in the future will be mainly driven through inbound activities that could find a catalyst in referals. Companies just need to elaborate on the interconnection between website and Social Media. That’s where the answer to lead generation is hidden…
Don’t you agree…?
Is this a good sign for the acceptance of social media in the business world? The use of Twitter as a business and marketing tool has increased from 31% to 61% among Europe’s top business leaders, finds a recent study by CNBC.
Even more, 61% of the business leaders see the growing impact of Social Media. They believed Social Media was changing the way their business is done today. 77% of the business executives have Facebook accounts (from 81% in 2010). LinkedIn gains tracktion from 52% to 56%.
The study polled 650 European business chiefs as part of their CNBC Europe Mobile Elite 2011 survey. The idea was to get more knowledge about the use of the latest technology features in the C-Level area of companies at work and in their free time.
Although the increase of Twitter popularity among business leaders is obvious, the busiens decision makers admit that the are unable to keep track ith the latest technological innovations. Apart from that, another study some weeks ago showed that they are also not sure how to leverage Social Media for business.
The most popular device is the iPhone which 21% of the business chiefs call their own now – up from 19% in 2010. Similar numbers gets the Blackberry in terms of popularity – an increase from 18% to 20%. The iPad is also becoming more popular among business leaders, with 15% of them now owning one.
„In a rapidly changing world, Europe’s decision makers are challenged with not just keeping up with technology change, but also ‚driving change‘ within their respective sectors. Throughout 2010, Europe experienced some the most advanced innovations in mobile technology the region has ever seen.“ Mike Jeanes, Director of Research, CNBC EMEA
The CNBC study states the importance and changing development of mobile use for the business decision maker. The message is that websites will continue to lose value against apps on mobile devices among business leaders. News apps are the most popular application segment for the respondents. 75% of respondents said they use them followed by weather (54%) and social networking (39%). The study makes clear that top management is trying to get in touch and keep up with the pace of technology innovation. However, time still seems to be their biggest enemy…
It seems to be a love and hate relationship: Executives and Social Media. On the one hand, companies see how critical a social business strategy is for their business. On the other, they still don’t know how to harness the value of the new modern media landscape and the feedback channel online world. This is the insight we get from a survey of C-level executives conducted by Harris Interactive for Capgemini.
The findings, which are part of Capgemini’s Executive Outsourcing Survey, were published with their launch of the social media management service. The survey asked 302 senior executives at Fortune 1000 companies.
The question where to position Social Media inside the company seems to be omnipresent: Marketing? Customer Service? Corporate Communications? Or really change the company to become a social business operation? Does someone have a crystal ball? More than half say that Social Media is a part of their company’s customer care operations. However, 64% of those responded that it is a pure responsibility of their social media marketing department.
Surprisingly enough, 74% executives stated in the study they were not even sure how many employees are dedicated to customer care via the Social Web activities of the company. The value of Social Media can be seen by 57% of responding executives who think that it is „inviting customer input on product and services, lead generation, responding to complaints, internal reporting, and measuring customer satisfaction.“
And it is best to forget the 13% who still believe that Social Media is not important for future success of the company.
The attitude from executives towards Social Media also describes the fact that less than half of executives (41%) are monitoring online conversations about their brand, product and/or services. They only respond to an online conversation when a customer poses a direct question, representing a significant missed opportunity for companies to proactively solicit feedback and enhance the customer experience. The ooportunity to engage with the customer is there but executives (and probably their management teams) need to embrace the opportunity and change their business into a social business strategy and align it with their web strategy team.