The 7 Second Website Test for B2B Marketers


B2B Lead Generation | The 7 Second Website Test

This is one of our most popular posts from 2010 and since it is relevant today, we want to bring it back.

At the Social Media Camp on Long Island, we got into an interesting discussion about howStopwatch to get attention to drive sales leads. When I shared the “7 Second Test,” one of the experts agreed “That’s why every comedian makes sure his first joke is his best.  That’s what grabs the audience.”

The idea of the “7 Second Test” is that you have 7 seconds to get the attention of the visitor to your website. In those first few seconds, they decide if your website is worth further investigation. If the conclusion is “yes,” they continue on.  If it’s “No,” They leave.

As a B2B marketer, what can we do to measure how well we are doing in the “7 Second Test”

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Get a stopwatch and a swatch of black felt.
  2. Find someone who is unfamiliar with your company. (Your mom’s a good candidate.)
  3. On a computer, go to your company’s home page.
  4. Cover the monitor with felt, so she cannot see it.
  5. Sit your mom down in front of the monitor. Don’t tell her what you’re doing, only that you want her to tell you what she sees.
  6. Start the stopwatch and uncover the monitor.
  7. When the stopwatch gets to 7 seconds, hit the power button on the monitor to turn it off.
  8. Ask your test subject (mom) to describe what she saw.
    1. Can she describe your company?
    2. Can she articulate your value?
    3. Can she state your value proposition?
    4. Can she identify your target market?

If she did not do very well, rethink your website design. How can you grab the reader in 7 seconds?

I think this will open some eyes in your company and you’ll see why Simplicity is one of my “6 Keys to B2B Marketing Success Today.”

What do you think? We love comments and people who share.

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies rapidly grow revenue by transforming how they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers at (516) 495-9350 or by emailing sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Content Marketing: 7 Simple Steps to Get Started


B2B Demand Generation | Guest post by Jep Castelein

We’re delighted to present this guest post by Jep Castelein, of LeadSloth “Smart Ideas for Lazy Marketers.” Jep’s now with Marketo.Jep Castelein Thanks for this great insight on content marketing, Jep.
A top B2B demand generation expert once said to me. “Jeff, if you look at a company’s website and find no good customer-focused content, they are NOT doing lead nurturing.” Sound advice, I think. That’s how important content marketing really is.
____
Jep Castelein
Contributing Blogger

When I started in marketing, content was a necessary evil. Of course, you had to write some brochures and issue some press releases. But communicating the real value of your solutions was done one-on-one with journalists, analysts and your sales force.

How different the world is today! Through web and email, the marketing team directly talks to prospects. Also, you don’t need a journalist anymore to be published–just write a blog post. With this change in doing business, great content is now mandatory.

Content marketing is about creating and distributing valuable content to attract a clearly defined target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Key points are “clearly defined target audience”, “valuable content” and “profitable”. You need to know as much as possible about your target audience to be able to create relevant and compelling content. The ultimate goal is to attract more customers, so that’s how you will measure your strategy. For more detailed definitions, see Wikipedia and Junta42.

1. Develop Buyer Personas

Personas contain a detailed description of your target group. Developing a persona helps understand who you are marketing to, and therefore what content will be valuable to them. If you don’t know who you’re writing for, content marketing won’t be effective.

2. Focus

It’s hard to stand out with content because so much information is already freely available on the Internet. To be successful you should focus on a niche that interests your personas: you can provide your unique view on the market and attract a dedicated audience.

3. Create Value

If you want people to read your content it should be about them, not about you. If the content provides value to the reader, they will continue to read it and recommend it to others. If it reads like an advertisement they will leave and not come back. Use yourpersonas to find out what is interesting, and what is not.

4. Avoid “Gobbledygook”

“Gobbledygook” is a term invented by David Meerman Scott to highlight examples of bad writing. Examples of “Gobbledygook” are powerfulflexibleseamless and easy. These words mean very little and they sound like advertising. For effective Content Marketing, use simple and authentic writing.

5. Keep Content Fresh

Unfortunately Content Marketing is not a one-time effort. It requires a constant flow of new content. You can refine the content based on feedback from the readers. This does not only build a loyal audience, but also creates lots of long tail keywords for search engine optimization.

6. Share information and Link to Others

In this broader community there are lots of great ideas and the best part about social media and bloggers is they are open for comment, dialogue and sharing of information. Take advantage of it. It’s more than ok (as long as you attribute the source!) to expand on others insights.

7. Invest in Search Engine Optimization

And finally, a content strategy really pays off when search engines are rating your content highly. This will drive lots of people to your site, at no additional cost. However,  for this to happen you need to optimize your site, choose your topics wisely, and promote your articles (see also my SEO Optimization 101 post).

Further Reading

For more information you might check out the Essential Marketing Automation Handbook: A How-To Guide for B2B Marketers. Part Two, Content Mapped to Buying Stages, is available as a free download. For those who would like to register you can download the entire handbook by clicking here.

The following are some of the Content Marketing blogs that I follow:

  • Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Fails
  • Web Ink Now blog by David Meerman Scott (also see his books)
  • Marketing Interactions blog by Ardath Albee
  • Savvy B2B Marketing blog

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps midsized companies (150 to 5,000 employees) to rapidly grow revenue by transforming how they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or by emailing sales at findnewcustomers.com

“Find New Customers can certainly help your business dramatically improve the flow of sales-ready leads to salespeople.” Paul Dunay, Buzz Marketing for Technology.

The importance of story-telling in lead nurturing


Lead Generation Company | The Power of Story-Telling in Lead Nurturing and Scoring

reading-timeIf you listened to the VP of Marketing and co-founder at Marketo, Jon Miller, discuss lead nurturing in a Find New Customers podcast, (to subscribe to these podcasts for free, click those underlined words.”)  you heard why it is so important.

The fact is that many businesses are potential customers that are not ready to buy today, but may buy in the future.

Unless you find a way to connect and build trust over time until they are ready to buy, these prospective customers can be lost forever.

In this article, I explore how businesses should talk to prospective customers, especially highlighting the importance of good stories.

I also invite you to watch a video clip of B2B marketing expert, Ardath Albee of MarketingInteractions talking about story-telling in her keynote presentation at Demandcon: Click the link below to watch her keynote address.

DemandCon Video: Storytelling Turns Prospects Into Buyers

In her keynote, Ardath says “How many times can I hear ‘We are the leading provider of?’” Amen, Ardath! She’s right when she says it is just noise. No one cares.

I was presenting to a group of software CEOs in NYC when I noticed a company plaque on the wall “(We) are the leading provider of software to financial services firm in the world.” I said to them “Do you really think any of your prospective customers care about chest-thumping?

Look at the girl reading a book.  Could she be engrossed in product specs and speeds and feeds?  How about your world-class whatchamacallit?  Is she impressed that you “are the leading provider of…”. No, she’s reading a story that captures her imagination.  That’s what your marketing team needs to do. Tell stories that capture imagination.

The first rule every marketing must embrace when they look at lead nurturing programs is this: Companies don’t buy.  People do. Since we’re speaking to people rather than companies, one must engage on an emotional level.  You need to build trust and confidence in your company and the very best way to connect in this manner is through the use of stories.  People react to stories on an emotional level and trust the companies they connect with. Use simple language, as if you were across the table at a diner.

Think of companies you respect: perhaps Apple, BMW, Southwest Airlines, and Singapore Air.  In each case, do you think of the technicalies of the products?  Or do you think of innovative designs, a driver’s car, friendly service and pure elegance?  Those are companies that built a brand by telling stories.

There are no hard and fast rules for story-telling.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Be patient and gentle.  Don’t overdo it.  Think outside the box.  Don’t be afraid.

I cannot tell you what to write in your story.  But here’s a link to a great e-book by my client/partner on Telling Your Brand Story to Grow Sales.  In fact, maybe you need to recruit differently or outsource it — check out my partner.  But think of how you can engage your prospective buyers with stories and you’ll prosper.

Check out the Lead Nurturing and Scoring service from the lead generation company Find New Customers

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies rapidly grow revenue by transforming how they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or send an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

How to Do Great Marketing with (Almost) No Money


B2B Demand Generation | Small Business Marketing

This presentation, based on the popular article I wrote for March Marketing Madness, has Empty Walletnow been turned into a Slideshare.  (with audio), as well as a remarkable in-person presentation.

I  delivered this new presentation to a group of software CEOs in New York City. To say their eyes were opened would be a massive understatement. They were astounded.

Want to transform your company’s marketing? Hire Find New Customers to present “How to Do Great Marketing with Almost (No) Money” to you and your team.  Our standard speaker’s fee is $3,500 plus expenses. Our contact info is below.

How to do great marketing with (almost) no money
View more presentations from Find New Customers, Inc.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by changing the way they attract and earn trust with prospective customers. To contact Find New Customers, please call (516) 495-9350 or send an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

“Find New Customers can certainly help your business dramatically improve the flow of sales-ready leads to salespeople.” Paul Dunay, Buzz Marketing for Technology.

Partners of Find New Customers


B2B Demand Generation | Partners of Find New Customers

We wish to share a quick update on where we are today with Find New Customers strategic Partnerspartnerships. We value these partners a great deal:

  • Find New Customers is a Gold partner for Silverpop
  • Find New Customers is a Referral partner for Eloqua (new)
  • Find New Customers is a partner with the Eloqua services company, Demandgen (new)
  • Find New Customers is partnered with the content framework company, Avitage
  • We also have relationships via partners, like  Marketo, (DemandGen, our partner is a Marketo partner) However, we also have our own strong relationships - Marketo sponsored our superb white paper, How to Find New Customers.

Feel free to contact us if we can be of help for you.

Bonus: Here’s the answer to the question we will ask at 3pm ET on Twitter. “What is the three word business slogan of Find New Customers?” The answer: Always Be Helping

The first person to answer correctly will win a copy of Launch by Mike Stelzner.

We also offer a cheap and easy way to get started – with our $49 demand generation training course (via email). Just click the highlighted words.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He has continually adapted and learned as the years passed by, becoming an expert in social media, demand generation and content marketing.
To learn about Jeff, please click Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

The Power of B2B Blogging in 2011


B2B Lead Generation | The Power of Blogging

Blogs are a great tool for organic search (every blog post is a new webpage), demonstrating thought leadership, and sharing great content with prospective clients. They can even make you famous - sort of.

Recently, I picked up the phone and cold-called the CMO of a fast-growing software company - a prospective client. I had seen his bio, but I had never met him.  I was ready to gently introduce myself, but he stopped me. “Jeff, I’m honored to meet you. I’ve followed you a long time, so I know your great work and am a big fan.

My conclusion: Blogging is not just for companies, it is for people too.

Every B2B company should have a good blog filled with great content and updated at least 2x per week. (Fearless Competitor generally posts about 14 times a week.) We are among the most prolific bloggers on Earth.

A great blob example is the 21st Century Supply Chain blog by Kinaxis - filled with great articles, expert contributors and photos of smiling, happy people.

Two good friends - Authors: Tony Karrer and Tom Pick - wrote a white paper earlier this year which shares insights and ideas from top B2B bloggers, including me, which I share today.

It’s free, so download it today! (Click the picture or the words below)

(By the way, in the next few weeks, some famed B2B bloggers will be contributing guest posts here.) In fact, content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 just published a guest post here - Developing an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy that Works. Kenny Madden of SPICEworks also wrote a great guest post - What would IT buyers say if they were named CMO?

But most companies struggle with their blog - updates are few and far between, and they struggle to create interesting content. In the case of our former client, OneSource, they simply pulled the plug. The B2B Sales Lounge is effectively dead. We consider this a major blunder.

Need help with your blog? Want frequent updates with great posts?

Contact the Fearless Competitor. Several ways to do it. Just pick one.

  • Send an email to jeff dot ogden@findnewcustomers.com.
  • Send a Direct Message in Twitter to @fearlesscomp
  • Send a message in Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/findnewcustomers

B2B Blogging Trends in 2011

What do you think? We love your comments, appreciate your support and are happy when you share our content.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers and is one of the most prolific bloggers in the B2B marketing space with over 55,000 readers.
For more about Jeff, visit Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities for sales teams, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

The Problem with Reliance on Junior Marketing Folks


B2B demand generation | The problem with junior marketing members

A typical young lady in marketing

Had an interesting chat with Todd Lebo, Senior Director of Content & Business Development at MECLABS Primary Research. He observed one of the most common mistakes made by B2B companies - a false reliance on junior marketing team members.

That rang true. I’ve observed the lack of marketing leadership affecting a lot of companies. It’s been confirmed by many other marketing experts too.

While these junior members handle day-to-day responsibilities, they lack the leadership and strategic planning skills a marketing department really needs. It adversely affects a company’s ability to attract and win new customers.

An Example of Junior Marketing - a comment shows the problem.

Find New Customers was meeting with a prospective new client. In the meeting, we turned to the young lady responsible for operating one of the finest revenue management software platforms on the market and asked her to define lead nurturing.

She told me “Lead nurturing is sharing information with prospective buyers to convince them to buy your product.”

I bit my lip and said nothing. But in the back of my mind, I was appalled.

That’s NOT an adequate definition of lead nurturing. (If you cannot even define it, you sure can’t implement it.)  Here’s my definition:

“Lead nurturing is the process of sharing highly relevant content with target buyers, regardless of their timing to buy. The goal is to earn their trust and become the preferred provider for their business challenges.”

It is clear this young lady lacks the experience or knowledge to implement lead nurturing and scoring, though she has the operating role with a fine software product. Interestingly, I spoke to their Chief Marketing Officer - he agreed completely. His team, though hard workers, are novices at B2B demand generation.

The Real Problem - A Failure of Leadership

What we have overall is a failure of leadership. Fortunately, this particular company realizes the problem and may hire Find New Customers to provide leadership in lead nurturing and scoring. The CMO told me he’s a fan of outsourcing talent.

I suggest rather than hiring marketing leadership, you should do what this CMOs wishes to do and turn to outside experts such as Mac Macintosh of AcquireB2B, Paul Mosenson of NuSpark Marketing, or Dan McDade of Pointclear. Their expertise can provide the short term leadership your company really needs and provide the guidance your young and experienced marketing staff needs.

The Effects of Junior Marketing Folks Shows in the Data

The problem with junior marketing folks shows in the data too.

As you see from the chart below, companies do a good job on “top of funnel” activities, such as email, direct mail and events. Those function can be handled by junior folks.

But very few do “middle of funnel” activities such as lead nurturing and scoring. Those functions tend to be beyond the abilities of junior marketing folks. For instance, lead nurturing required deep buyer personas, compelling content and story-telling skills - far beyond the pay grade of most “marketing managers.”

Marketing Programs 250 EmployeesWhat do you think? Do you agree that too many companies, especially smaller ones, have too much of a reliance on young, inexperienced marketing workers?

We love your comments (enter below) and we invite you to share on social networks.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies rapidly grow revenue by transforming how they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findcustomers.com.

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities for sales leads, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

“Find New Customers can certainly help your business dramatically improve the flow of sales-ready leads to salespeople.” Paul Dunay, Buzz Marketing for Technology.

Bye, bye B2B Sales Lounge


Ever see a parking lot with weeds in cracks and looking like it’s been poorly maintained? That’s the B2B Sales Lounge today.

We used to write the B2BSalesLounge for OneSource - publishing great insights from top sales experts. But a few months ago the client pulled the plug - telling me they had a plan for the blog.

This blog used to publish every weekday. Now the latest post is April 21, 2011 - almost 90 days ago.

Since I handed the reins back on March 15th, they have done exactly 4 posts.

It’s clear they pulled the plug on this blog. It’s effectively dead. I know it is intentional, but I believe is a very bad idea.

We believe blogs are essential. Frequent updates, keywords and robust thought leadership content are essential. In fact, since we’ve focused all our energy on this blog, it has grown by leaps and bounds. In just the last 2 1/2 months, over 4,000 unique visitors have stopped by. As a result, FearlessCompetitor.net is one of the most popular B2B lead generation blogs on Earth.

For a great white paper on blogging featuring top bloggers (including me) download this white paper on B2B blogging trends in 2011

What do you think? Please enter comments below.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He presented “How to Build an Awesome Personal Brand” at the 140 Social Media Conference and appeared to discuss B2B lead generation on Sales Lead Management Radio.To learn more about Jeff, please click on Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

Find New Customers | Great content on B2B demand generation and always FREE


B2B Lead Generation | Free content at Find New Customers

“The content at Find New Customers is so good, you really should make it a pay site.”

That has been suggested several times. Problem is, that is not our business strategy.

We use the Elevation Principle (as Mike Stelzner spoke of in this book Launch.) Click highlighted words for “My Totally Awesome Review of Mike Stelzner’s book, Launch.”

Elevation Principle

The elevation principle says that great content combined with other people and without marketing messages will help your business rapidly grow.

The Elevation Principle:

Great Content + Other People - Marketing Messages equals Success.

With about 1/2 of salespeople failing to make quota today (from CSO Insights)  it’s clear they need a lot of help.

With CMOs saying the lack of quality sales leads is their #1 challenge (MarketingSherpa), they need a lot of help too.

This is why Find New Customers will always be free - if salespeople and Chief Marketing Officers are struggling, we’re here to help.

With this new form of marketing you rapidly grow by giving gifts free of marketing messages while your competitors struggle to survive.

As Mike Stelzner says, we believe in giving the gift of free content to those struggling sales and marketing leaders.

What will you find at Find New Customers today?

  1. A free Education section on B2B demand generation.
  2. A Thought Leadership page with articles, podcasts and events for your learning.
  3. Free tools you can use to measure your existing B2B demand generation programs.
  4. A CEO page for business owners and leaders.
  5. And last but not least, our remarkable white papers on lead generation (How to Find New Customers), B2B sales (Definitive Guide to Making Quota) and email marketing (Moving from Transactional to Conversational Email Marketing).

If you manage salespeople or head marketing, why don’t you visit Find New Customers today and take advantage of our gift of great free content on how to solve your most vexing problems?

What do you think? Please post your comment below.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies rapidly grow revenue by transforming the ways they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com. 

To learn more about Jeff, please click on Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

“Find New Customers, can certainly help your business dramatically improve the flow of sales-ready leads to salespeople.” Paul Dunay, Buzz Marketing for Technology.

Chart: Greatest Challenges for CMO’s


Lead Generation Companies | Biggest Challenges for CMOs

A few months ago, MarketingSherpa asked this question of 287 Chief Marketing Officers

“Which of the following marketing challenges are currently most pertinent for your organization?”

The answers probably surprise no one - especially if you’ve talked to your sales teams lately.

Generating high quality sales leads is the single biggest challenge in business today. And it’s even bigger than it was last year.

CMO StudyGenerating High Quality Leads is the problem that Find New Customers helps with. We help mid-sized companies (150 to 5,000 employees) who sell complex products to businesses to design, develop and implement world-class B2B demand generation programs to fill sales funnels with high quality sales leads.

I recently sat down with a marketing executive at a 1/2 billion software company and asked “If I were to call a marketing automation software vendor, give them a credit card number and get a log-in, what changed in your business?” The answer: Absolutely nothing.

The key point: For you to fix the challenge of creating quality sales leads in your business, it will take people, processes and plans - and not just software.

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He presented “How to Build an Awesome Personal Brand” at the 140 Social Media Conference and appeared to discuss B2B lead generation on Sales Lead Management Radio.

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.