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14
Jan
2009

Sales Can Provide Help for B2B PPC Campaigns

Posted by Jon Kontoleon

Most of my blog post involve speaking to B2B marketers about how best to use web tools like PPC search ads. But sales people have an important role to play in the process of not only closing deals but supplying marketing with great insights from prospects. So sales colleagues, if you want better incoming leads to call on, here is a simple way to help your own cause.

On your next series of new prospect sales calls, take specific note of the actual terminology used by the perspective client to describe your service. Yes, forget about what you think you do and your B2B vertical, what is their perception of you? In fact take notes on the exact terms they use. Turn these descriptive words over to marketing. The new and unusual lexicon may form the basis for additions to your keyword list as part of your current PPC campaign. You may help marketing find a whole new group of searchers who want to talk to you. More prospects should mean more sales.

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11
Jan
2009

The One You Keep: Search

Posted by Jon Kontoleon

Being that I grew up in the advertising business, specifically television, I have always noted campaigns that I thought were particularly effective. New York Life Insurance had a clever branding message that stated, “New York Life, the company you keep.” They made the claim that if you are consolidating your insurance policies, you should hang onto New York Life.

Many companies now faced with the economic realities of the global retraction are now trying to find line-items to cut from their expenses. Advertising budgets almost always suffer due in large part to the fact it is tricky to calculate and prove a true ROI for most campaigns. In fact B2B companies, with particularly long sales cycles, find it difficult even in good times to understand what is really working. So when economic indicators go down, the marketing/advertising outlays are usually the first to be reduced.

If I could talk directly to all CEOS CFOs and Marketing VPs of high-tech, B2B companies, I would strongly urge you to keep as much of your advertising programs intact as possible. If most B2B marketing efforts are cut back, the well-known brand names who continue to advertise will only grow stronger. But if that is not an option, just like New York Life, your search effort should be the one advertising vertical you keep. In fact I can think of 4 reasons that you hold on to your search campaigns like an offer for a free ipod. (When I say search advertising, I am talking about both PPC and SEO).

Reason #1. Your search ad or organic listing is the first point of contact between your company and motivated, interested prospects. Many different B2B studies of sales have shown that as many as 92% companies start their investigation of a new technology purchase through a search on the Internet.

Reason #2. Search marketing can provide your warm inquiries with the equivalent of full page ads. The prospects who click on your ad and go to your landing page, at the very least, see an ad for your product or service.

Reason #3. B2B PPC search ads deliver lots of free advertising. Think of all the search impressions (especially the vast majority of companies who see your text ad but don’t click on it,) you get in as part of every search program. You are in effect getting free, yes let me say this again, free branding for many prospects who are there specifically to find you. Conversely, if people doing a search don’t see you, it appears as though your business has gone dark.

Reason #4. The search platform is one of the most nimble, measureable and quantifiable forms of advertising ever devised. If you take the proper approach, you can very quickly test effectiveness of your messages and refine all of your online and offline collateral. By scoring the quality of your inquiries, you can get then a true picture of the success of your program. No other marketing programs will give you that much information in such a short amount of time.

Search. Even in a difficult economic environment is the one you keep.

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4
Jan
2009

Entering the era of the R-Word in 2009

Posted by Jon Kontoleon

It should come as no surprise that we have entered the era of the R- Word. The economic news continues to be sobering, the big three American car companies may become the big one, and all corporations are thinking about advertising in a world governed by the R.
No, I am not talking about the recession.  The government has already confirmed what most business leaders believed as far back as year ago in terms of economic contraction. I am referring to ROI, Return on Investment, the Holy Grail of most online advertising programs.  It is easy to calculate and provides the basis to convince CFOs and CEOs to continue to spend money to reach prospects even in a difficult economic environment.

Certainly, now more than ever, the pressure is on in all companies to justify every dime going out the door. CEOs, CFOS, and board members everywhere are scrutinizing all budgets in attempt to streamline spending. The easiest and seemingly most logical method of appraising advertising programs is to apply ROI.  In fact in terms of consumer programs, especially online efforts where the product can be bought affordably over the web, a return on investment calculation makes sense.

But is ROI a fair way to measure B2B search advertising? Well, no, not really. B2B sales, especially those of high-tech products, are quite different than consumer transactions. The B2B sales cycle is usually much longer, the products far more expensive, and the number of decision makers can be the size of a small army. In fact the follow up and efficiency of the sales department and other factors that are not involved with the marketing efforts can play a huge role in the final decision. Therefore identifying the actual ad, landing page and piece of collateral that led to directly the sale is virtually impossible.

So should you stop all B2B advertising due to the difficulty in measuring its direct effectiveness in this difficult economy? No, in fact cutting back on search ads should be your last resort.  The standard, however, of how B2B demand generation programs are assessed should not be just signed contracts.  A better method of evaluation is lead scoring. Prior to running any B2B campaign, marketing should confer with sales to determine the best prospects in terms of company, size, vertical, geographical location, and all the titles of people involved with the decision making process. (BTW – even the intern from a Fortune 5000 company who downloads your white paper should be considered a valuable inquiry). Only by carefully tracking and scoring your leads, can you then make proper decisions regarding optimizing your campaigns.

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29
Dec
2008

Fishing for the Right B2B PPC Management Company?

Posted by Jon Kontoleon

I like to go deep sea fishing. Here in New England there are more than a few available ocean fairing charters. I spend many summer weekends in Newport Rhode Island, so I naturally go out from that area. My friends and I are very fortunate because we found, in my humble opinion, one of the best, small deep-sea operations in existence. We always catch fish on this boat. Big fish. In fact three summers ago I hooked the largest catch of my life, a 48 inch, 40 pound striped bass. (See the evidence below. By the way, I am the one with the hat and sunglasses.)

I started to think about why this particular Captain is so successful. He is very experienced; he owns a nice, very sea-worthy boat which contains all of the latest fish finding equipment. He blasts Irish music from speakers mounted on the deck as we set up our lines. All of this is good, but I suppose aside from the Gaelic tunes, that description fits just about any small deep fishing charter anywhere. One thing I noticed about this Captain is his utterly complete knowledge about every aspect of fishing in this region. He knows all of the nuances of currents, the right baits (based on conditions and the type of available fish) and even why black sea bass taste so much better than most fish (they are scavengers and feed on tasty shrimp). When he helps us to land a “ledge monster”, he knows exactly where the hook was set in the fish and usually has a notion of what type of fish you have on the line long before it comes to the surface. In fact he is usually more excited than we are when we appear to have a big one on the line.

During one of our trips as we waited to get to the next fishing spot, we discussed our various hobbies. We turned to the Captain and his first mate and asked, “hey what do you guys like to do for fun?” They both looked at us laughed, and said, “well, when we are not officially working, we go fishing”.

What does this have to do with choosing a search marketing vendor? Creating and managing B2B PPC campaigns is a bit like virtual fishing. There are a fair number of agencies that have the right tools, good experience and enough basic skills to run an adequate campaign. But there is one intangible item that separates companies who claim excellence from those who will really go the extra mile to receive outstanding results on your behalf. Passion. Planning and implementing a successful Pay-Per-Click search advertising effort is challenging and complicated. Exceptional results (you know, the ones you can’t wait to email to your CFO) will be achieved by a vendor who can stay on top of the dynamic search environment and at the same time will be not weighed down by the endless details. In short, really superior programs will not be generated by people who describe their job as a 9 to 5 means to pay the bills.

When you are searching for your next PPC management company, ask your prospective partner one last question as part of your interview process:

“Why did you get involved in search advertising?”

The answer should reveal a real love of the work. If not, keep fishing for another vendor.

PS, if you do like deep sea fishing and will be in Newport RI in the summertime, here is a link to Captain Flaherty’s Charter. http://www.flahertycharters.com

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12
Sep
2008

Why Use NetGainz for B2B Demand Generation?

Posted by Jon Kontoleon

  1. We focus on “leads” not “clicks”
  2. We only work with technology companies who have a complex buying cycle and sell to other businesses (B2B)
  3. You will work directly with seasoned professionals not students or recent graduates.
  4. We follow a proven 11-step formula for managing Google AdWords Campaigns- We test everything.
  5. We offer an all-in-one service - nothing is left up to you to handle.
  6. No hidden fees- We charge a flat fee per month for our services.
  7. We save you time and effort. B2B demand generation is challenging. We apply the proper constant attention to detail to ensure success.

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