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How to Build Credibility Via Third Party Content

14 April 2014 by Mike

The Center for Media Research released a Research Brief reporting on a new survey that found “consumers rely on credible, third party content more than branded content or user reviews when making decisions.”

On behalf of the entire public relations industry let me be the first to say, “WE TOLD YOU SO!”

After all, this is the foundation of the PR tactic know as media relations. It’s why you do it and what you hope it will earn you.

The-Role-of-Content-in-Buyer-Centric-Marketing-third-party-content

While not surprising, this research does add some depth to the understanding of the impact of 3rd party content across the buying cycle.  We have developed a killer infographic that tracks the role of content in the BtoB buying cycle. To take a look at it visit:  http://www2.arketi.com/buyercentric

Below is an excerpt from the article and a link to it. Simply put, it is data supporting the need for public relations.

3rd Party Content Appears More Credible

According to a new study from inPowered and conducted by Nielsen, consumers rely on credible, third-party content more than branded content or user reviews when making decisions. (credible: third-party articles & reviews).

Several key findings from the research indicate that the credibility and unbiased nature of the content was critical for consumers:

  • 85% of consumers regularly or occasionally seek out trusted expert content (credible, third-party articles & reviews) when considering a purchase
  • 69% of consumers like to read product reviews written by trusted experts before making a purchase
  • 67% of consumers agree that an endorsement from an unbiased expert makes them more likely to consider purchasing

The study, to determine which type of content was most impactful across the different stages of the consumer purchase process, and to help marketers identify the most effective blend of content types to effectively inform consumers, showed that expert content (such as articles from credible journalists) was the only content type to exhibit a strong lift in all 3 areas of the purchase cycle. It provided the most familiarity lift for 7 out of the 9 products, the most affinity lift for 5 of the 9 products, and the most purchase intent lift for 6 of the 9 products.

For the full article hit:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/222553/3rd-party-content-appears-more-credible.html

Bulletproof Your Marketing Budget

10 April 2014 by Hailee Sosnowski

So, you want to bulletproof your marketing budget? Then it’s time to build an ROI model for your organization’s marketing spend.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! Considering just three key factors to help you get started.

#1 Understand how marketing affects the sales pipeline.

For the other two factors, check out Arketi pricipal Sami Jajeh’s video below:

Want to learn more about how to bulletproof your marketing budget?  Click here.

 

Video Transcript: 

If you want to bulletproof your marketing budget, the key is to build a Return on Marketing Investment model for your organization’s marketing spend. Three factors to consider are your sales pipeline, spend saturation and program attribution. Here’s a quick look at each:

First, understand how marketing has affected the sales pipeline. Start with what revenue has been generated in the past year, and determine how many of these sales, in dollar value, resulted from marketing’s lead generation activities. Then, look at the current active pipeline and determine how much of what’s in there is due to marketing efforts.

Second, understand when a specific program has reached its saturation point. This is the point at which additional investment will have no additional impact on revenue. Make sure you know what that point is and build your budget accordingly.

Third, correctly attribute where a lead came from. A prospect may read about you in a trade pub, or see you at a tradeshow, and later does a Google search to find you. SEO gets the credit, rather than your successful PR and tradeshow programs. Your model must try to attribute these inquiries and leads across all your marketing programs.

By letting metrics drive the conversation, you can build a ROI model that will not only protect your marketing budget, but even increase it. And that’s a marketing budget that’s bulletproofed.

State of the Industry with TAG president Tino Mantella

8 April 2014 by Mike

Join the PRSA Tech SIG for a discussion with Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) president and CEO Tino Mantella as he shares insights into the rapidly changing landscape of the Georgia technology industry.  Tino will discuss where the increase in jobs are developing, how technology is shaping communications, what emerging platforms are sprouting in Georgia, how companies are looking for and hiring talent, and much more.

As the region’s largest technology association, TAG has unprecedented access to technology leaders and innovators that shaping Georgia’s own Silicon Valley.  This session will help PR pros better understand the technology landscape and what trends are emerging both locally and globally.

Register here:  http://www.prsageorgia.org/events/event_details.asp?id=427849

 

Date:  Wednesday, April 16

Time:   5:30-7 p.m.

Location:  TAG Headquarters, The Hodges Room

Topic:  State of the Industry with TAG president Tino Mantella

Speaker: Tino Mantella, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia

 

 

Do Not Underestimate the Value of Good Business Cards

7 April 2014 by Jim Densmore

While driving home the other night I heard a story on Marketplace that reflected a long held belief of mine. That is, despite our increasing need to digitally make business connections, we still crave tangible connections.

And, while it’s true that you can reach more customers in real time electronically, the good ol’ business card is still a very cost effective way to leave a lasting impression with prospects.

Think about it. If a prospect just adds your contact information  into their phone, it merely becomes an entry in a long list with no context or real connection to the individual. But a physical card? The prospect has to do something with it, even if it’s just to take the card out of the pocket and put it in a drawer.

business-cards-Little-card-Big-impact

Years ago, my business card had a unique shape and a clever account of my design services. I can’t tell you how many times people would say, “I remember you, you’re the designer with the cool business card.”

To learn more about the staying power of business cards here, check out this Marketplace article: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/why-business-card-keeps-keepin.

Or send us an email at info@arketi.com for business card design examples or more info.

 

Give Your BtoB Buyers What They Want on Your Website

2 April 2014 by Sami Jajeh

For the majority of vendors, websites exist with one goal in mind: to generate leads and sales. Yet, according to the recent B2B Website Usability Report, B2B vendors are often their own worst enemies when it comes to facilitating the buying process.

Late last year, this study was issued to customers, prospects and others involved within B2B marketing to determine what buyers do once they get to a vendor website; which elements increase a vendor’s credibility, which detract, and which cause them to leave the website. The results were surprising.

BtoB buyers need information to take the “next step.” The three top types of information buyers wanted included pricing (43%), technical information (38%), and case studies (38%). Guess what was most lacking on websites. You guessed it – case studies (54%) and pricing (50%).

Even more surprising, survey results indicate that social media activity has minimal impact on the buying process. When asked “How much does a company’s social media activity impact your vendor decision making process?” only 6 percent stated “a lot” with 37 percent saying “it is not a factor.”

And, how do buyers prefer to contact you: e-mail (81%), phone (58%), and contact form (39%). Interesting that phone is so high, when 60 percent of them prefer they not give it to you on a website contact form. For more fascinating insights from KoMarketing’s 2014 B2B Website Usability Report, visit: http://www.komarketingassociates.com/b2b-web-usability-report-2014/

btob-buyers-website-must-haves

How to Give a Presentation in 9 Words

31 March 2014 by Mary Rose Macaranas

Giving a presentation, even for the most seasoned professional, can sometimes be daunting. However,  Arketi principal Rory Carlton can ease your worries as he tells us how to give a presentation in just nine words.

Tip #1  is to have a conversation! To get all the tips, check out Rory’s video below.

 

 

For a deeper look, check out How to Give a Presentation in 9 Words from Arketi Insights.

 

Video Transcript: 

All communications professionals are called to give presentations from time to time, and for many, the prospect can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be hard. The secret to a great presentation can be summed up in nine simple words.

The first three words are, “Have a conversation.” Think of your presentation as a conversation. It’s not a lecture, and it’s certainly not a stump speech. To get into this frame of mind, imagine the topic of your presentation is something important that you want to explain to a friend.

The second three words are, “Keep it simple.” When building your slides, less is more. The point is, the slides, and the words on them, are not the presentation – you are the presentation. Keep it simple so your audience can focus on you.

The final three words are, “Know your stuff.” This relates to your delivery. When it comes to giving the presentation, what matters most is knowing what you’re talking about. If you know your stuff – not just your speech but the subject – that will create the confidence to carry you through.

Giving a presentation is rewarding, but it isn’t necessarily something that comes easily to everyone. Just hang in there and keep doing it. And remember to: Have a conversation. Keep it simple. And know your stuff.

 

Customer Advocacy: From Buyers to Believers

26 March 2014 by Hailee Sosnowski

Across almost every industry, new customers cost more than old ones, therefore, making customer satisfaction critical for most businesses. Smart B2B marketers are turning buyers into believers. Are you?

Jackie Parker, vice president at Arketi Group, clues you in on three ways to leverage happy customers as marketing champions.

 

 

For more details on customer advocacy, you can also checkout the issue of Core on changing buyers to believers at: http://arketi.com/newsletter/newsletter0412.html.

 

Video Transcript: 

Across almost every industry, new customers cost more than old ones. This means customer satisfaction, as a means to retention, is “job one” for most businesses. Smart B2B marketers are turning buyers into believers, and empowering customers to serve as extensions of their marketing teams.

The first step is to identify happy customers. Techniques for measuring customer satisfaction, such as the Net Promoter Score, can help identify potential brand advocates or promoters. Social media outlets and customer service teams are two additional avenues to identify potential advocates.

The second step is to leverage happy customers as marketing champions. Here are three ways that we have seen work well.

  • First, include your customer on a webinar.
  • Second, use customer stories for PR initiatives, such as media opportunities, press releases and case studies.
  • And third, encourage your customers to speak at industry conferences and events.

While securing customer advocates is crucial, the ultimate goal of customer retention is to form true partnerships. With that in mind, focus your efforts to enhance the customer experience, improve customer retention and ultimately, expand your marketing team with an enthusiastic group of customer advocates.

Do you know about the CEO effect?

25 March 2014 by Joy Reddy

Recent research from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and Penn State examines the “CEO Effect” – the portion of company performance that is associated with who’s in charge. The findings below show an increase in the CEO Effect across the U.S.

Maintaining brand awareness is no doubt a large part of nurturing company performance. As PR professionals, we know how important access to the CEO can be for garnering media coverage.

Check out the article to read more about this trend. Do you agree with these findings?

The impact of CEOs has increased over time

Big Data: Big Opportunity or Big Headache?

21 March 2014 by Kerri Moran

In an age of information overload, learn how to utilize big data in a big way.

Arketi’s vice president and practice director of lead nurturing, Micky Long, shares six tips to navigating big data:

 

  1. Don’t be overwhelmed
  2. Find a senior leadership champion
  3. Develop the plan

 

For the remaining three tips on navigating big data, watch his video below for more!

 

Video Transcript: 

Marketers have long dreamed of having accurate information about customers and prospects. But has the dream become a nightmare?

With today’s social media, CRM, ERP and new tools for data collection, what was once a hard-to-find trickle of customer data has become a torrent. Here are six straightforward steps to help navigate the information stream:

First, don’t be overwhelmed by the volume of data and the need to answer tough questions. Attack big data in small, manageable chunks rather than all at once.

Second, find a senior leadership champion and support your big data mission across all affected business units and functional areas.

Third, develop the plan based on the company’s well-defined, overall organizational objectives and goals and be sure to include marketing metrics.

Fourth, build a strong infrastructure to house your big data. Consider using a SaaS solution that leverages the cloud.

Fifth, review and analyze data thoroughly to understand what buyers care about, how they make their decisions and how they want to receive information.

Sixth, revisit the objectives and goals regularly to ensure they are still relevant and metrics are being hit. If they are not, adjust as necessary.

And there you have it. With these six tips, you can start benefitting from big data in a big way!

The Need to Know of B2B SEO

19 March 2014 by Hailee Sosnowski

Amy Leefe, our very own search guru, spills the beans on the two things you need to know when it comes to B2B SEO, and highlights the three types of keywords you need to utilize to get your SEO campaign going. Watch her video below for more!

 

To learn more about PPC and search marketing, check out A Search Marketing Road Map from our newsletter, Core, or contact us info@arketi.com.

 

Video Transcript: 

To understand B2B SEO and execute search campaigns effectively, you need to know two things: the buyer cycle and the buyer.

A thorough understanding of your buyer cycle not only gives you the means to properly calculate SEO ROI, but also helps you determine which call-to-actions will be the most successful. And taking the time to understand the buyer helps you work out which keywords to target and when to optimize for specific keywords.

Unlike many B2C buyers, B2B buyers typically spend a considerable amount of time on research before making a purchase. The bigger the purchase, the longer the buyer cycle.

Understanding this longer, and often more complex, sales cycle helps when determining which keywords to target in a B2B SEO campaign. Optimizing for a variety of keyword types increases your likelihood of appearing to users in all stages in the buying cycle.

Here are three keyword types to get you started:

The first type is branded terms. Buyers often search for product-specific terms, model numbers, instructions about a product, and data sheets. Be prepared for this by setting up pages targeting these terms.

The second type is product and service evaluation terms. Buyers may be interested in comparing the features of a product or service, or reviewing customer testimonials or online reviews. Examples include “features comparison,” “customer testimonials” or “online reviews.”

The third type is purchase-ready terms. Buyers may want to know the prices of specific products or services, or understand contract terms. Examples include “pricing,” “contract” or “agreement.”

B2B SEO is time-consuming and requires considerable research, but when executed well, it can deliver significant benefits in the long run by delivering more sales-ready buyers.