Category: Advertising

What I Learned at Dinner with a Top IBM Sales Executive That You Should Know, Too

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I work in a crazy industry. And if you work in advertising or digital marketing, you know what I’m talking about. It’s nuts.

Oh, sure, there are some great things about this business — you’re constantly learning new things, you get to help others grow their business, and you get to work with smart, colorful people.

But one not-so-great thing about this industry is that I need to replace about 30% of my revenues each year just to have 0% growth.

How can that be?

Well, in any given year, about 1/3rd of an advertising agency’s clients leave the agency, cut their budgets or go out of business. So each year, I have to replace the 1/3rd of my revenue just to be break even.

See? Crazy.

I’m Not the Only One Who Has to Keep the Sales Pipeline Full to Stay in Business.

In fact, if you work in software, healthcare, insurance, or just about any other B2B company, you know what I’m talking about. In any given year, a certain percentage of your business walks out the door, and in order to grow, you have to replace that business (and then some).

So, what does all this have to do with having dinner with a top IBM sales executive?

As you know, IBM hires the best and the brightest in their field. They also provide some of the best sales training in the world. So when I found myself having dinner with one of their top sales people, I figured I could learn a thing or two.

We spent most of the evening talking about the IBM brand, their messaging strategy and their sales process. We also talked about their business strategy, their perspectives on the marketplace and even some of the well-documented blunders the company had made over the decade.

But when we talked about the IBM sales process, I was surprised by the simplicity of their approach. Yes, they had some bells and whistles that I hadn’t thought of. And yes, they had a massive team of very smart people hunting down new business all the time. But the one thing that this top executive kept mentioning throughout the dinner is something that you and I have easy access to, if we set our minds to it.

And that something is discipline.

IBM’s Secret Weapon is That They’re Incredibly Disciplined About Staying on Task.

In a sense, I was pleasantly surprised that this top IBM sales executive didn’t need an expensive gadget or technology to make his system work. All he needed were a few basic tools and the discipline to consistently use those tools day in and day out.

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I have discipline. So do you. And with a few simple tools to keep us on task, we can probably do a much better job keeping our sales pipeline full.

So, with that in mind, I did some homework on the essential tools I need to keep my business humming. What follows are 3 of my favorites which are designed to 1) improve my efficiency, 2) streamline my sales and marketing process, and 3) systematize my approach to keeping the pipeline full.

Ready? Here goes:

Act-On Software: I first got to know Act-On when they sponsored our sister blog called the 60 Second Marketer. Over the course of time, I’ve grown to love the simplicity and power that their marketing automation platform brings to the table.

Would you like to manage, measure, customize and optimize your lead generation campaigns? Do you want to track the results of your online marketing efforts in order to figure out what’s working and what’s not working? If so, then you’ll want to take a spin through the Act-On platform, which is designed to do all that and more.

(Side note: I recently wrote an e-book for Act-On called Likes Are Great, Leads Are Better. It covers several important topics, most notably how to turn social media engagement into revenue for your business.)

Oktopost: I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been satisfied with Hootsuite. Even though I paid extra for the Pro version, it didn’t seem as though it had everything I needed. So, I did some exploring and got in touch with the folks at Oktopost.

Oktopost has everything Hootsuite has, and then some. The analytics are better and the campaign management is better. Best of all, the online dashboard is clean, crisp and easy-to-use, which is a big plus in my book.

If you’re ready to take your social media management up a notch, check out Oktopost. I liked it so much, I dumped Hootsuite and switched over permanently.

SalesLoft: What Act-On does for marketing, SalesLoft does for sales. Their platform is designed to provide B2B sales teams everything they need to 1) track down prospects, 2) engage those prospects via email or voice mail, and 3) nurture those prospects through the sales funnel.

If you’re business relies on a dedicated sales team for outbound prospecting, and you’re looking for a platform that will keep your sales team on-task with a specific set of goals and benchmarks, you’ll want to take a spin through the SalesLoft platform. It’s a great platform for businesses that really want to take their sales prospecting methodology to the next level.

The Bottom Line:

In the end, what my friend from IBM taught me was that you don’t need big, expensive tools in order to keep the sales funnel full. All you need are a few reasonably-priced tools that can facilitate the process along with a heavy dose of discipline to stay on task.

If you have those two things — tools and discipline — you can make significant impact on your business and your career.

I’ve covered 3 of my favorite tools in this post. Did I miss any? What are your favorite tools you use in your sales and marketing program?

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an Atlanta-based advertising agency and digital marketing firm that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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What Every Advertising Agency Executive and CMO Should Know About Digital Media

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If you work in an advertising agency or as a marketing director at a corporation, you may have heard a lot of buzz about Programmatic Media Buying and Real Time Bidding.

What is Programmatic Media Buying? In a nutshell, it’s essentially computerized media buying, although that may be an oversimplification. Peter Naylor, former evp at NBCUniversal says that Programmatic is “…advertising’s newer, better mousetrap. (It’s) a catchall term that many people are using to categorize everything from behavioral and intent-based targeting to real-time bidding and exchange-based buying of inventory.”

But Programmatic isn’t the only thing you need to understand. You should also wrap your mind around Real Time Bidding.

Real-time bidding (RTB) refers to the means by which ad inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis, via programmatic instantaneous auction, similar to financial markets.

That definition probably didn’t clear things up much, but fear not — our friends at Fiksu created an infographic that does a good job of laying out what Programmatic is and what Real Time Bidding is, and how both of those technologies can be leveraged in mobile.

The infographic begins to introduce some of the important concepts around digital marketing that you should know about. It doesn’t cover everything, but it’s a great start.

Speaking of which, if you want to learn more about digital marketing, programmatic and real time bidding, stay tuned to these pages. We posted a great overview of the important concepts in digital marketing on this post last week, and will be doing more and more posts on this topic as the days go on.

In the meantime, check out the infographic below. It’s a great overview about a quickly-evolving topic and should get you headed in the right direction on some of the more complex and sophisticated topics that are coming down the digital marketing highway as we speak.


10 Secrets to Improve the Results of Your Next Advertising Campaign

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Are you interested in improving the results of your next advertising or marketing campaign?

If you work at an advertising agency or digital marketing firm, or if you’re a marketing director at a large corporation, then keep reading. We’ve done some research about consumer behavior that should be of help to you. And we’ve distilled our research down into 10 secrets outlined below that can help you improve the ROI of your next advertising or digital marketing campaign.

Ready to dive in? Great, here goes:

Marketing Secret #1: People Buy for Emotional Reasons, Then Rationalize Their Purchase with Logic

Do you think people buy Rolex watches because they’re reliable? Of course not. And while some people may rationalize the purchase of a $50,000 Corvette by talking about the hydro-formed suspension or the pushrod engine technology, the real reason they’re buying the car is because of how it makes them feel. Oh, sure, there are some purchases that are based on logic, but most purchases start with an emotional intent to buy, which brings us to our next point.

Marketing Secret #2: The Path to Consumer Purchase Starts in the Right Hemisphere of the Brain

Recent studies have shown that people must engage with a product before they form an intent to purchase that product. When people engage with a product, the event is stored in short-term memory.

But if a fact or event has emotional significance, it shifts from short-term memory to long-term memory. Once it is stored in long-term memory you’ve taken the first critical step towards building a relationship with a customer, which is one of the secrets behind relationship marketing, a topic we’ll talk more about later.

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Marketing Secret #3: People Lie to Researchers

Well, they don’t intentionally lie. They just say they’re going to do one thing, then behave differently. For example, studies have shown that people who want to be perceived as health-conscious will under-report their alcohol consumption in focus groups and surveys. Some of the more recent marketing research techniques are designed to overcome these barriers to truth. But overall, it takes an experienced practitioner to draw the proper conclusions from any research.

Marketing Secret #4: As Much as 95% of a Consumer’s Thinking Occurs in His or Her Subconscious Mind

This is why your brand is such a critical component of what you’re selling. What is a brand? It’s all the verbal and non-verbal components of your product or service, such as graphics, characters, logos, product names, customer interaction, etc. A well-developed brand helps your consumers feel something about your product – and helps you tap into the 95% of a consumer’s thought that happens on a subconscious level.

Marketing Secret #5: Consumers Don’t Think in Words

Brain scans indicate that the neurons in our brain responsible for conscious thought light up before there’s any activity in the parts of our brain that involve verbal language. This, too, supports the idea that people engage with a product based on how they feel, not what they say.

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Marketing Secret #6: If Your Employees Can’t Explain What Makes Your Product or Service Better, What Makes You Think Your Customers Can?

Try this exercise – walk down any hallway in your office and ask five different people what your brand stands for. You’ll get five different answers. Why would someone buy a product from a company that its own employees have trouble differentiating? Increasing sales and revenue will be a difficult challenge as long as everyone in your organization can’t articulate what your brand essence and points of differentiation are.

Marketing Secret #7: Understand What it is Your Customers are Actually Buying

If you ask people what they look for in a bookstore, they’ll almost always say good selections and low prices. But if those were the only real criteria, would be the only bookstore. What are people really buying when they go to a bookstore? The experience of buying a book. Do they feel at home while they browse? Can they flip through a couple of books while they curl up on a sofa? Does the coffee smell good? All of those experiences are important to the success of any bookstore.

When you understand that customers aren’t buying your product as much as they’re buying the experience of your product, you’ve unlocked one of the keys to increasing sales and revenue.

Marketing Secret #8: If You Want to Increase Sales Tomorrow, You Need to Build a Relationship Today

Unfortunately, the days of running a commercial on prime time network TV to reach the vast majority of your audience are over. Today, consumers are fragmented over a broad spectrum of media some of which are virtually advertising free. If you want to encourage someone to buy your product, you need to build a relationship with him or her over the entire lifecycle of his or her involvement with your brand. Content marketing is a great way to build and grow a relationship with prospects so that you can eventually convert them into customers.

Marketing Secret #9: Most Consumers Would Be Willing to Pay a 25% Premium for their Favorite Brand Before They’d Switch to a Competitor1

Other studies have indicated if a purchaser is buying an over-the-counter medication for their child or spouse, they’ll almost always buy the name brand2. Subconsciously, the buyer believes the national brand works better, even though on a conscious level, they admit that the ingredients are the same.

Marketing Secret #10: The Longer a Prospect Engages with Your Brand, the More Likely it is They’ll Buy Your Product or Service

This blog post is a case in point. A certain percentage of the people who are reading this will email me to find out more about 60 Second Communications. Why? Because over the course of our (short) relationship together, they’ve established that 60 Second Communications represents a level of talent, brains and experience that they’d like to utilize to increase sales and revenue.

Who are we? We’re an advertising agency that creates mobile marketing, social media, digital and traditional campaigns that help companies get new customers, win repeat business or increase their marketing ROI. We have staff experience working with some of the best-known brands in the world (including Motorola, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, AT&T and CNN) and would be happy to use that experience to help you win new customers, get repeat business or increase your marketing ROI.

The Bottom Line

No matter what kind of company you work for, all businesses have one thing in common — they’re trying to get more customers to buy buy more of their products and services more frequently than they did in the past.

The 10 secrets outlined above should give you plenty to work with. And once you’ve digested those, send me an email and I’ll show you several more ways you can use consumer behavior secrets to grow your sales and revenues.

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an Atlanta-based advertising agency and digital marketing firm that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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  1. S. M. Davis, Brand Asset Management for the 21st Century Study (Chicago: Kuczmarski & Associates, 1995).
  2. Gerald Zaltman, How Customers Think, (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press; 2003).

Research on the Impact Advertising Has on Sales and Revenues

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Does advertising work? That’s a question many people who are looking for an advertising agency or digital marketing firm ask themselves.

The answer is … well, sort of.

The truth about advertising is that some of it works and some of it falls flat. But just because your advertising or digital marketing campaign didn’t have an immediate impact on sales doesn’t mean that the campaign was a failure.

In fact, research conducted several years ago by the Information Resources Institute (IRI) found that only about 20% of advertising pays out in the short term. The rest either pays out over the long term or doesn’t work at all.

But the secret to making your advertising or marketing campaign work is to test your way to success. After all, no advertising or marketing campaign works perfectly the first time. Instead, they improve over time via the constant tweaks and adjustments you make.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the findings about advertising effectiveness from the IRI research.

  1. TV Advertising Alone is Not Enough: Only about half of TV advertising heavy-up plans have a measurable impact on sales, although when it does work, it has a big impact. The research also showed that advertising effectiveness is often higher on new products or line extensions than on established brands.
  2. The Impact Advertising Has Lasts Longer Than the Campaign: Evidence shows the long-term positive effects of advertising last up to two years after peak spending. In other words, the flame keeps burning long after you stop adding fuel to the fire. What’s more, the long-term incremental sales generated are approximately double the incremental sales observed in the first year of an ad spend increase.
  3. Payout Statistics on Promotions are Dismal: About 16% of trade promotions are profitable. And the impact a promotional campaign has on sales are often short-term (except for new products).
  4. Allocating Marketing Funds Involves a Continuous Search for Marketing Programs That Offer the Highest ROI: If you have a reliable evaluation system that measures the ROI of your marketing, you can continuously optimize your campaigns as a way to extend your ROI.
  5. Long-Term Spending on Promotions is Not a Sound Strategy: There are strategic disadvantages for brands that rely on promotions for sales. These include losing control to the trade as well as training consumers to buy only on a deal. When all that is factored in, the case for establishing and maintaining a high-value brand makes economic sense. (Just ask Steve Jobs.)

In the end, any successful marketing program is going to involve a balanced, metrics-based approach. Relying too heavily on promotions or on short-term tactics will result in diminished returns over time.

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an Atlanta-based advertising agency and digital marketing firm that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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The Future of Advertising and Advertising Agencies in Atlanta

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If you’re conducting a search for advertising agencies in Atlanta, there’s something you should know — advertising and marketing have changed a great deal over the past several decades.

During the 1960s, widely considered the glory days of advertising and marketing, the list of marketing tactics available to most businesses was pretty straightforward.

Let’s take a look.

Here’s a list of advertising and marketing tactics available to marketing directors during the 1960s:

  • Print
  • Radio
  • Network TV
  • Telemarketing
  • Direct Mail
  • Events

Advertising and marketing professionals during the 1960s were known for participating in three martini lunches. And why wouldn’t they have a few martinis at lunch? There was nothing else to do!

After all, the list of marketing tactics above didn’t really require a rocket scientist to execute. That’s not to say there wasn’t plenty of work going on — it’s just to say that things weren’t as intense as they are today.

(For a closer look at advertising during the glory days on Madison Avenue, read 7 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from An Original Mad Man on our sister website, the 60 Second Marketer.)

Today, marketing is much more complex, not only from an executional standpoint, but from a data and analytics standpoint, too.

Let’s take a look at the tactics available to you today.

In 2015, the list of advertising and marketing tactics is six times longer than it was during the 1960s:

  • Print
  • Radio
  • Network TV
  • Cable TV
  • Telemarketing
  • Direct Mail
  • Events
  • Websites
  • Paid Search
  • Online Display
  • Instant Messaging
  • Landing Pages
  • Microsites
  • Online Video
  • Webinars
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Blogs
  • RSS
  • Podcasts
  • Contextual
  • Wikis
  • Social Media
  • SMS
  • Mobile Web
  • Behavioral
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Widgets
  • Mobile Apps
  • Geolocational Advertising
  • Mobile Beacons
  • Mobile Email

If you’re a marketing director or an advertising manager, you can see by the list above that your job is now much more complex than it was just a few decades ago. But the job of a marketing director or advertising manager goes way beyond simply executing tactics. Today, you have to have a knowledge of statistics in order to be genuinely effective.

The introduction of statistics and analytics into the world of marketing is actually a good thing.

Early in my career when I launched my first Atlanta-based advertising agency, there was no real way to tell if an ad campaign worked. Oh, sure, we had plenty of rationale for why a campaign worked, but there was very little statistical data to support our point-of-view.

Today, marketing directors, advertising managers and advertising agencies are in a much better position because we can review and analyze the digital marketing data that confirms whether or not a campaign actually worked.

The Bottom Line.

What does all this mean for you? It means that your job as a marketing director or advertising manager has gotten more complex over the past several decades, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s good news because it attracts smarter, more talented people into the field. And when smarter, more talented people enter into any industry segment, guess what happens? Salaries increase.

And that, my friends, is good news for all of us.


Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

Book by Jamie Turner