Core

News and views on BtoB marketing and PR

Get up to speed with the latest thinking on marketing for technology products and services. What works, what doesn't, what's new, what's now – and how to put it all into practice.

Core is Arketi Group's newsletter, offering news, nuggets and information on best practices in business-to-business marketing.

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Our summer reading list


Summer is in full swing, filled with road trips, beach getaways and lazy Sundays, kick back with the Arketi team’s favorite summer reading picks for the communications pro. From tried-and-true classics to new releases, there’s sure to be something to pique your interest. Each recommendation is guaranteed to show you something new about businesses, without feeling like work.

Your essential media relations checklist


Whether you are fresh to the PR scene or a media relations veteran, pitching reporters can be one of the most trying aspects of your job. Why? Reporters are busy. In fact, Cision estimates reporters receive between 80 and 100 pitches per day (and you thought you had inbox overload!). While breaking through the clutter can seem almost impossible, Arketi outlines five ways to help you establish better relationships with reporters and transform your pitches into placements.

How Three Generations of B2B Technology Buyers Decide What to Purchase


Whether account-based marketing a truly innovative concept or just marketing's latest shiny new toy, one thing is for sure. It won't deliver results if you don't do it right.

Five account-based marketing mistakes you’re probably making


Whether account-based marketing a truly innovative concept or just marketing's latest shiny new toy, one thing is for sure. It won't deliver results if you don't do it right.

Prediction is hard. Especially about the future.


It's too soon to declare 2016 the year of anything in particular. Instead, we asked 18 leading B2B marketers to share their thoughts on the trends, tactics and tools to watch for. The weather reports may look dull, but the marketing forecast appears bright!

The 8 videos you meet in B2B marketing


If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more is a motion picture worth? That seems to be the thinking behind the rapid rise of video in B2B marketing. To help ensure success in your next video project, we’ve outlined 8 types of BtoB videos you should be using – plus a few tips to ensure your project goes smoothly.

Winning webinar results in revenue


Let’s face it: document storage isn’t exactly sexy. But as the volume of business data grows exponentially, physical and electronic records management is a concern that can’t be ignored. Recall enlisted Arketi Group to help position itself as an educator and trusted advisor. And the effort paid off, generating $290,000 in sales pipeline from a single webinar alone.

Can’t PR and Search just get along?


With the typical B2B researcher performing 12 online searches before engaging with a brand, search and PR are on a collision course. To ensure that collision results in collaboration rather than recrimination, here are four things worth considering...

Small business, big buzz


For technology providers selling to small businesses, generating media buzz in a crowded market can be challenging. NCR Small Business turned to Arketi Group to help them build awareness and draw more prospects into the funnel. (Spoiler: it worked out pretty well.)

What we’re reading this summer


Whether you’re on the go, headed to the beach or wrapping up the final volume in your favorite series, a good book can help you escape the mundane work week. To add to your current book list, we asked the Arketi team to share some of their favorite reads. From biographies to thrillers, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps a few of these best-selling business books and engaging novels will make it onto your summer reading selection.

Out of many, one


How do you build a brand for a newly-renamed company when many of its products have better-known names than their parent? Here’s how Aptean and Arketi brought order to chaos – and $21 million to the funnel.

Putting the “Y” back in Marketing


The Arketi team has started asking “why?” more. It’s not that we’ve regressed back to our toddler days. Rather, we believe this simple question has the power to make all of us better marketers.

Searching for love lawyers leads online


Online search lets scrappy startups be found by new customers as easily as established providers. Which sounds great – unless you’re the established provider.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Arketi Group!


Every year, we like to kick off Halloween with a little healthy competition – otherwise known as the Annual Arketi Pumpkin Carving Contest.

7 Web Design Trends That Will Stick Around


The web is constantly evolving, and the impact a website has can make all the difference to a discerning customer. After all, your website is the most significant place to share your brand’s story with an audience.

Top 10 BtoB Marketing Blogs to Follow


The BtoB marketing space is getting a bit crowded, don’t you think? And with the growing number of marketers drowning in email campaigns, marketing channels and the next big thing, it can be hard to know where to turn.

Your New Secret Weapon in SEO is PR


Google is understandably secretive about the algorithm it uses to decide how to rank web pages in its search results. However, a recent patent filing may offer some clues – and encouraging news for PR professionals.

Five Search Secrets Every PR Pro Should Know


While they take different approaches, PR and SEO both aim to achieve the same goal – growing an organizations brand presence in the market place. So it’s smart to align strategies to create a bigger impact using both inbound and outbound tactics.

Together, We Did It: Tweet 16 Is A Slam Dunk


The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is dedicated to the advancement of Georgia’s technology industry. TAG and Arketi Group partnered to launch the Technology Tweet Tournament Twitter competition.

Stop Waiting for the ”Next Big Thing“


We were intrigued by Farhad Manjoo’s first 2014 High Definition column in the Wall Street Journal.

Together, We Did It: How Arketi Client Cortera Generated a Firestorm of Leads


Cortera, a provider of comprehensive business-to-business payment and purchase behavior insights, had a simple goal when they engaged Arketi. They wanted to generate several hundred new sales leads each month.

Who Needs a PR or Marketing Agency?


We are often asked, “How do I know when I need an agency?” or “Do we have the right situation to hire an agency?” An agency can be a critical tool and resource to help your organization generate revenue. These four questions should help you decide if you need an agency partner.

A Search Marketing Road Map


Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are distinct activities that are often viewed as opposites. We think of them as complementary with one before the other. Search marketing is best considered in phases, with an overall goal in mind – like a road trip with multiple stops on the route to the destination.

Summer Fling: Books to Help You Get Away


Summer is the perfect time to relax poolside with a good book. To help add to your summer reading list, we asked the Arketi team to share their personal recommendations. Check out the list – we guarantee there is something for every type of bookworm!

Together, We Did It: How Arketi Client PMG Used Survey Data to Drive Thought Leadership


Earlier this year, PMG, a provider of business process automation software, and Arketi Group brainstormed PR strategies to help the company capture more industry mind-share and media attention. The joint team settled on the idea of a thought-leadership survey campaign that would focus on a major concern of its target audience, IT professionals: the proliferation of cloud solutions in the enterprise.

How to Right Size Your Messaging Approach


While many BtoB marketers understand the importance of creating “sticky” messaging that resonates with customers and prospects, they may feel they don’t have sufficient time to develop solid messaging because of a real or perceived need to rush to market. Even with adequate time and budget, others struggle to use a message approach that best suits their company’s need to communicate effectively and drive sales.

How to Give a Presentation in 9 Words


All communications professionals are called on 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.

Together, We Did It: How Arketi Client Brickstream Broke Through at NRF


In November 2012, Brickstream, a developer of behavior intelligence solutions for environments where people shop, gather, work and play, asked Arketi Group to craft and execute a strategy to re-launch the 12-year-old company at the largest retail show in North America – NRF's Annual Convention & EXPO, otherwise known as "Retail's BIG Show."

CMOs Discuss What 2013 Holds for B2B Technology Marketing


The sixth annual Technology CMO Roundtable, presented by Arketi and our media partner PR News, buzzed with ideas, best practices, learnings, questions and – most importantly – actionable insights. With more than 50 marketing and PR executives at 14 roundtables, this was the largest such event to date. During the sometimes spirited conversations, five consistent themes emerged.

Eight Rewarding – and Awarding – PR and Marketing Tips


Recently, Arketi and clients earned 13 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awards at the 2012 PRSA|GA Phoenix Awards Celebration. Upon reflection, we’ve distilled eight learnings from our entries that may be of interest to BtoB marketers.

The Personal Path to Customer Connections


Earlier this year, International Data Corp. conducted its “2012 Buyer Experience Study,” in which the research firm polled nearly 200 BtoB technology buyers on the reasons why they buy. The survey asked respondents to rate how various information sources influence their technology purchase decisions. If the responses were to be summed up in a few words, they’d simply state that, “buyers need love too.”

Best of the B2B Marketing News Blog


Earlier this year, Arketi’s B2B Marketing News was named a best B2B blog of 2012 in The Best of BuyerZone series. BuyerZone applauded Arketi’s strong mix of knowledgeable contributors with diverse BtoB marketing and PR thinking. We’ve reflected on our favorite posts and rounded up six of our best.

Bulletproof Your Marketing Budget


As marketers, we’re all familiar with the adage “Half my advertising dollars are wasted – I just don’t know which half.” During the past decade, our CEOs and CFOs have given up worrying about which half it is – they’ve just slashed the marketing budget, and left you to figure out where to make the savings. And if you want more budget, you’d better have a bulletproof case for it.

Must-Haves for a Buyer-Centric BtoB Website


Arketi clients often ask us what features and functionality they should incorporate into their websites. Here's our top 10 must-haves for a buyer-centric BtoB site.

Stop Pitching. Start Listening.


Media relations is key to the overall success of your company’s marketing strategy, but if you’re like most companies, you’d like more success. We have a suggestion – Stop Pitching. Start Listening.

Stop Pitching. Start Listening.


These days, there is a mobile app for everything. While some enhance productivity and advance our professional endeavors, others are enjoyed purely for their entertainment value. Arketians and a few clients sound off on their favorite apps for this summer. Did any of your favorites make the cut? Check out the list of top apps!

From Buyers to Believers


We’ve all read articles on marketing and client service comparing the cost of keeping an existing customer to the cost of acquiring a new one. Across almost every industry, new customers cost more than old ones – so customer satisfaction, as a means to retention, is “job one” for most businesses.

Stop Selling. Start Listening.


As BtoB marketers, we’ve been bombarded with the mandate to drive ever more leads through email marketing, overwhelmed by the social media du jour, and enthralled by the promise of marketing automation... So much so that we've forgotten who's really at the center of the buying process: the buyer.

CMOs Discuss What 2012 Holds for Business-to-Business Technology Marketing


Some 60 marketing executives from leading technology companies across the Southeast gathered to discuss the current and state of marketing within the business-to-business technology sector – and prospects for 2012.

Could your writing stand to lose a few pounds?


The holiday season is full of family, friends, fun and food. If you’re like us, that homemade pie was just too tempting to resist a slice… or two. Now, as the new year starts, we notice our waistlines seem a little fuller, our motivation kicks in, and we make resolutions to drop the added weight as fast as we can.

Five Rewarding – and Awarding – PR and Marketing Tips


Earlier this month, Arketi and some of our clients earned four Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awards at the 2010 PRSA|GA Phoenix Awards Celebration, and an International MarCom Gold Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

Imagine Yourself the CEO to Craft Quotes with Impact


News release quotes are often the most underutilized communications tool at a PR pro’s disposal.

The Marketing Dream: Make it hard for them to leave


A recent article on a BtoB Marketing website titled “Facebook user satisfaction dips; could face user exodus,” reports that the online service’s customer satisfaction has hit an all-time low.

Is It Time to Say Good Bye?


As a BtoB marketer, I know what follows flies in the face of all that’s instinctive. But I think the time has come for all of us to face a very tough reality – some of our prospect relationships just aren’t working anymore. And it may be time to turn these prospects loose.

LinkedIn Ranks As Top Social Media Site For Business Journalists


Our 2011 Arketi Web Watch Survey: Inside BtoB Media Usage of Social Media is hot off the press and reveals business-to-business media continue to have a rich appetite for using social media tools.

Making Email Newsletters Work Better


Like a stick of butter in a Paula Deen recipe, the email newsletter has become the mainstay of every BtoB marketer’s arsenal, the “of course” ingredient in the marketing mix.

Content Creator or Content Curator?


Now more than ever, content is king. In fact, 90 percent of BtoB organizations are now engaged in content marketing, according to a recent MarketingProfs survey. In addition, more than a quarter of a BtoB organization’s marketing budget this year will be spent on content marketing.

Mobile Apps for BtoB Tech Marketers


As the numbers of mobile device users continue to increase, so does the amount of people who rely on mobile apps on a regular basis. An entertaining article in Lexus magazine on the top mobile apps for Lexus owners, it got us thinking, “What are the top apps for BtoB technology marketers?”

10 PR and Marketing Tips for BtoB Tech Companies


Earlier this month, Arketi and a number of our clients were honored to receive 10 Public Relations Society of America awards at the 2010 PRSA|GA Phoenix Awards Celebration. Given annually, The Phoenix Awards recognize excellence in Georgia’s PR community.

Don’t Miss a Media Opportunity at Your Next Tradeshow


Any BtoB companies have leveraged tradeshows as a vehicle to meet potential prospects and reconnect with current customers. In the last few years trade shows have attracted smaller audiences, yet they remain a solid avenue for companies to reach and connect with key media outlets, bloggers and industry analysts.

The Role of Collateral In a Digital Age


Traditionally, marketers have used printed collateral to communicate key messages and build a consistent brand image among customers and prospects. Now that email and the web are our primary means of information exchange, there are new considerations for what we used to call “collateral.”

Building a Successful Speakers Bureau: Getting Behind the Right Podium and Generating Results


Ever wanted to see the words “Industry Expert” in front of your name? In the quest for thought leadership, the speaker circuit can, if executed strategically, drive both brand awareness and lead generation. Here's how...

5 Elements of an Effective BtoB Video


Over the past year, the use of video marketing has rapidly increased. Researchers have found that half of Internet users watch videos at least weekly and three-quarters watch professionally-produced online videos regularly. Once considered complex and expensive, video is rapidly finding its way into the BtoB marketing mix. So this edition of Core centers on the five elements of effective BtoB video.

So make way to start a Revolution…


Using a content management system (CMS) makes it much easier to update web content, by enabling non-technical authors to submit, edit or change content without knowledge of HTML. Today, open-source CMS systems like MODx are increasingly popular. Recently, Charles, one of Arketi’s digital designers, joined a group of developers, designers and web jockeys at the MODxpo 2010 in Dallas. He captured his thoughts about the conference, which drew more than 1,000 web professionals, to discuss the hottest and most advanced CMS.

Recapturing unfulfilled opportunities


How often has your Marketing or PR team cultivated a lead that failed to produce a sale? And, how does your company address that lead? We have found that a large number of companies allow unfulfilled leads to fall into a great abyss, never to be contacted again. At Arketi, we recommend applying the principals of nurture marketing to recapture unfulfilled sales through strategic communications and continual outreach.

Is your marketing content strategy still one-dimensional?


This year, BtoB companies will invest as much as one-third of their total marketing budgets in developing content to fuel lead nurturing activities. Unfortunately, for many, this investment will not pay off as planned in increased visibility, lead capture or better bottom-line results. What’s missing is an overall, well-thought-out and comprehensive content strategy. Or what we like to call it: 3D Content Mapping.

Three Common Mistakes in Business Writing


Content is still king. According to Arketi Group’s survey of high-tech marketing executives, content has become the marketing fuel for companies seeking to gain market share and accelerate growth. Marketers are planning to spend significantly more on their content marketing efforts in 2010—according to a recent study—and this growing emphasis on content will place a premium on effective business writing.

CMOs Discuss What 2010 Holds For Business-to-Business Technology Marketers


More than twenty marketing executives from leading technology companies throughout the Southeast gathered to share their thoughts on the state of B2B marketing in Arketi’s third annual Atlanta High-Tech CMO Roundtable. The proceedings from the event are featured in Arketi’s latest white paper, The Outlook for Business-to-Business Technology Marketing in 2010.

Video a must-have for compelling BtoB engagement


Once considered complex and expensive, video is rapidly finding its way into the BtoB marketing mix. Given video’s ability to drive engagement with customers and prospects, it has emerged as a must-have tool for savvy marketers seeking a competitive edge. Video’s popularity among BtoB marketers is set to grow in the coming year so now is the time to start embracing the medium.

Is postal mail more effective than e-mail?


Email marketing has matured to such an extent that many marketers have entirely dropped postal mail from their arsenal. But is that the right decision? This was the question posed in a recent issue of DMNews’ popular “Gloves Off” point-counterpoint column, and Arketi Principal and Creative Director Rory Carlton gamely took up the challenge of making the case that postal mail remains relevant in an electronic world.

Webinars: A BtoB Marketing Win-Win


Belt tightening has caused B2B executives to retool their marketing campaigns in the recession. Coupled with a shift in the media landscape, more B2B marketers are putting their dollars online. Webinars are a great tool for generating leads, of course, but they can do much more: such as building thought leadership, and nurturing leads between a website inquiry and an in-person meeting during the sales cycle. When developing a B2B webinar, there are a number of important components to consider.

Avoiding Common Media Relations Missteps


Every year or so, we’ll read a high-profile editor’s blog or reporter’s column that dismisses all things public relations and classifies media strategists as anything but strategic. While we shrug off the unfair blanket criticism and equate it to a reporter having a “bad hair day,” there are commonsense rules we can glean from these rants to employ in our media relations outreach.

The value of loyalty marketing in a down economy


A high-value loyalty marketing program is one strategy that can help you engage with – and reward – your loyal and near-loyal customers, while putting you in a better position to grow your business. In this issue of Core, we discuss tips and best practices to help you create your an effective loyalty marketing program.

Automate or Die! Part II


Last month, we described the principles of marketing automation solutions. This Core offers five specific recommendations for how business-to-business companies can use marketing automation solutions to find, nurture and convert leads more effectively – five proven tactics to help optimize your marketing automation solution to support the Sales team and deliver more qualified leads.

Automate or Die! Part 1


Every day, dozens, hundreds, even thousands of prospective customers are searching for solutions that your company can provide. Smart businesses have figured out how to identify those prospects; rank them based on how likely they are to buy, and how soon; engage them with content that’s relevant to their stage in the buying cycle; and nurture them as they move through the cycle – all in an efficient, cost-effective, automated process.

Crisis communications planning in a BtoB world


Crises occur every day. And although the universe of customers in the BtoB world is often significantly smaller than in the consumer realm, we believe BtoB communications professionals should increase their crisis planning efforts and have a protocol in place in the event of an incident.

Web 2.0 - what is it and how much does it matter for a BtoB site?


Opinions differ on what (if anything) "Web 2.0" actually means. And as a business-to-business marketer, you may be asking yourself how relevant Web 2.0 is to your site? The 2.0 sites that spring to mind first are mostly BtoC. But we believe BtoB can benefit, too...

CMOs Speak on What 2009 Holds For High-Tech Business to Business Marketers


Arketi Group’s second annual Atlanta High-Tech CMO Roundtable provided valuable insight into the current and future state of marketing within the business-to-business and technology sectors.

Two Peas in a Pod: Positioning and Segmentation


If you’ve spent much time in technology companies, you know high-level messaging can be tricky. You have complex, multi-dimensional products. You want to be sure your competitors aren’t saying anything about their products that you don’t say. And you must tailor your messages to multiple buyers.

Can’t Sales and Marketing just get along?


If you’ve worked in a number of marketing organizations, you have probably experienced some that had a great relationship with the sales force, and some that didn’t. What is the difference? Why can’t Sales and Marketing just get along?

The Role of Color in Marketing


Sure, color is important if you’re marketing fashion, cars or even candy, but in a B2B market? B2B buyers are all purely rational decision-makers, aren’t they? So just how important is color? Since color is something people react to instinctively, typically without deliberation, it is a powerful tool for creating an immediate impression. That’s why color can be a great differentiator, even in a B2B environment.

The Importance of Repositioning


Arketi Group recently interviewed Ajay Murthy, vice president of global marketing at Convergys Corporation, about his company’s recent repositioning. When Murthy joined Convergys, it had recently embarked on the creation of a new vision to better articulate the value the company brings to the markets it serves. Following more than a decade of growth and numerous acquisitions, Convergys had become a company with varied and seemingly unrelated lines of business. Murthy recognized it was time to develop brand positioning that tied the company’s collective expertise and experience together.

Arketi Group Shares its Not So Common Desktop Favorites


We polled Arketi Group team members this month to learn more about their Internet surfing habits. From copywriting and design tips to PR and marketing sites, these not so common online resources are useful or just down right fun.

Taking Thought Leadership by the Horns


Business-to-business technology companies often face two combined hurdles: how to generate content for marketing and sales and how to increase leads for the sales team. This article offers an approach to overcoming both hurdles.

10 Must Haves for an Effective Website


In this edition of Core we explore ten must haves to ensure your website delivers maximum impact. This issue focuses on topics like search engine presence, target audience, messaging, website content and effective calls-to-action, to name just a few. Go on, give it a read, you might learn something new!

Understanding Industry Analysts and What They Bring to Technology Companies


In this edition, when correctly engaged, analysts can play a major role in successfully bringing a product or solution to the marketplace. Analysts can help technology companies better understand complex markets, avoid costly mistakes, pinpoint competitive threats and evolve offerings to better match buyers' requirements. Arketi recently spoke with Micky Long, research director in the Strategic Service Management Practice at the Aberdeen Group. He shared with us some industry insight for companies interested in building a successful industry analyst relations program. Core we explore ten must haves to ensure your website delivers maximum impact. This issue focuses on topics like search engine presence, target audience, messaging, website content and effective calls-to-action, to name just a few. Go on, give it a read, you might learn something new!

So You’ve Created a Blog, Now What?


New media is all the rage for marketers these days, so for those just starting out on this digital endeavor, how can you optimize your blog? What blogging tools work best to drive traffic to your site? Arketi Group provides you with the tricks of the trade. From blogrolling to RSS, to social bookmarking and Technorati, you will be well on your way.

How Three Generations of B2B Technology Buyers Decide What to Purchase


Whether account-based marketing a truly innovative concept or just marketing's latest shiny new toy, one thing is for sure. It won't deliver results if you don't do it right.

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