4 01, 2016

Social Media Works for B2B Sales, Too

By | January 4th, 2016|Customer Strategy & Marketing, Modern Marketing, Social Media|0 Comments

This piece originally appeared on HBR.org. The chief marketing officer at a major technology provider recently voiced concerns that I’ve heard from several other CMOs: “Our customers have gotten way ahead of our sales efforts. Too often, we’re not even getting invited to the dance.” This tech company’s website, like many others, overflows with information about product features but offers few perspectives about how the products truly solve customers’ problems. It’s a common issue in B2B markets. The wealth of information available online for prospective customers has effectively uncoupled buying cycles from selling cycles. This is a terrifying development for B2B firms, and especially for their sales and marketing teams. Bain & Company recently surveyed 370 sales and marketing executives of large technology or industrial companies. [...]

30 12, 2015

How Even the Stodgiest B2B companies Can Benefit from Social Media

By | December 30th, 2015|Blog, Modern Marketing, Social Media|0 Comments

Have you seen Maersk’s Instagram feed? It’s straight out of National Geographic. You’ll see photos of colossal ice sheets on shipping containers, immense cargo ships traveling through ice as far as the eye can see and a day in the life of someone working on these massive vessels. Why would a company like Maersk, a B2B cargo shipping company that’s hardly a household name, bother with Instagram, the photo-centric social network that’s better known for fashion, food and travel (and the Kardashians)? Maersk is part of a small but growing number of B2B companies that are forgoing old-school marketing in favor of the digital-first approaches that consumer companies have long embraced. By creating content on mainstream networks, Maersk is positioning itself where its customers are [...]

15 12, 2015

China’s E-Commerce: The New Branding Game

By | December 15th, 2015|Consumer Products, Customer Experience, Modern Marketing|0 Comments

Every single day of every week, an estimated 150,000 new Chinese shoppers join the ranks of the hundreds of millions in the country who have discovered the world of e-commerce. Online retail penetration in China reached 11% in 2014 and surpassed RMB 2.9 trillion in total value. Penetration is expected to double by 2020, according to our estimates, with the total value skyrocketing to RMB 10 trillion. But this dramatic adoption of online shopping is not the biggest news to emerge from Bain & Company’s latest research on China’s e-commerce market. The exciting finding is the way that e-commerce is now shaping consumer behavior and the profound influence those shoppers are having on online sellers. Despite the massive and steady growth in penetration and value, [...]

2 12, 2015

In a Native Digital World, No One Is Safe from Disruption

By | December 2nd, 2015|Blog, Digital Transformation, Modern Marketing|0 Comments

I’ve been processing Bain & Company’s latest media survey in my mind. When I read about the radical shifts in content consumption over the past few years, I think about other spheres that technology has disrupted. Once upon a time, the idea of sleeping in a stranger’s house while traveling seemed like a crazy idea. Now, it’s the strange to not check Airbnb. It just goes to show you how easy it is for a start-up to challenge old ways of thinking. At seven years old, Airbnb has hosted more than 60 million guests and has taken a big bite out of the multibillion-dollar hospitality industry. The same people who are staying at Airbnb apartments are probably also using Uber to get around and Spotify [...]

21 10, 2015

Generation #Hashtag Ascendant: Think Native Digital First

By | October 21st, 2015|Media, Modern Marketing|0 Comments

Media consumers who prefer native digital content now make up nearly half the audience for entertainment in developed markets and more than a third of the audience for publishing and online services. In developing markets, those percentages are slightly lower, but trending in the same direction. These consumers who, regardless of age, favor content and services that have been designed and distributed exclusively through digital (and especially mobile) channels, are transforming not only entertainment but also publishing and services. Perhaps most important for media companies, a younger cohort among these consumers says that it is increasingly willing to pay for content. These are among the findings of Bain’s annual survey of media use across global markets. Bain’s 2014 report focused on the rise of these [...]

7 10, 2015

Bought Not Sold: Marketing and Selling to Digitally Empowered Business Customers

By | October 7th, 2015|Customer Strategy & Marketing, Modern Marketing, Thought Leadership|0 Comments

"Our customers have gotten way ahead of our sales efforts. Too often, in fact, we’re not even getting invited to the dance!" It’s a common lament among CMOs and heads of sales for business-to-business (B2B) firms. These executives face two major challenges. First, the wealth of information available from online sources has given customers more power. Buyers perform more than two-thirds of their decision-making research online before they even contact a vendor. A company’s digital footprint now serves as its showroom and helps determine whether it makes the short list of vendors long before it even knows a customer is in the market. Yet while the websites of traditional B2B companies often overflow with product features, they offer few perspectives about how the products actually [...]

12 08, 2015

Go big and get smart: Boosting your digital marketing effectiveness

By | August 12th, 2015|Customer Strategy & Marketing, Modern Marketing, Thought Leadership|0 Comments

If you’re trying to maximize the performance of your digital marketing campaigns, experimental design goes far beyond the traditional champion/challenger approach known as A/B testing. What limits A/B testing is the fact that you can test only a few variables at any one time, so you have to do many tests in order to determine the best combinations. Experimental design massively increases the variables that digital marketers can test simultaneously—product offers, website design, merchandising, messages, incentives, interstitials displayed before or after an expected content page, calls to action, and so on. The effect of all these variables can be determined by testing just a few combinations and then using mathematical formulas to model the impact of all the possible combinations. Experimentally designed marketing campaigns have [...]

8 04, 2015

Adding to cart: Digital’s impact on consumer goods in India

By | April 8th, 2015|Consumer Products, Customer Strategy & Marketing, Modern Marketing, Thought Leadership|0 Comments

India stands on the cusp of dramatic growth in Internet and e-commerce activity. While Internet penetration today is only a third of that in the other three BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia and China), we anticipate rapid growth over the next few years, with more than 650 million Indians online by 2020—which would make India second only to China in projected Internet users. Many of these users will be women and “digital natives,” born during or after the introduction of digital technologies. As a result, the retail environment and shopping practices of everyday Indian consumers will change in ways that older generations might find hard to imagine, creating tremendous opportunities. By 2020, these Internet users will generate more than US$50 billion in total online sales. As [...]