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Five Marketing Myths That Mess Up Your Lead Generation

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If we look at how businesses operate here in the Southeast Asian region, especially those in the IT sector, you might say that B2B lead generation campaigns have not changed at all. Sure, the way we do it may have changed, but the need to generate more sales leads for your business remains the same. And while we are at it, we would be planning ahead with regards to our marketing campaigns, and ensuring that our work really gets us to our goals. Now, the funny part here is that we are often guided in our work by our beliefs. But what would happen if what we believe in are just myths? Would that not mess up the way we handle things? If that is the case, then we should eliminate these myths. Myths such as:

  1. It is all strategic – think of this as long-term plans meant to bring you the B2B leads you are after, but are actually nothing more than experiments on what to do and what not to do. More often than not, this will just lead you to failure. You should try avoiding that. Actually, if you really want a solution in marketing, you should take a tactical approach, more akin to reacting to what market trends and tastes dictate.
  2. Marketing is sales – while, at first glance, this makes sense, in actuality, this is also a mistaken belief. Marketing teams do not bring in the money, sales teams do that. Marketing is all about the analysis and formulation of plans, sales handles the actual implementation. If you want to truly get good results for your marketing campaign, focus on sales. Marketing will pick it up from there.
  3. Marketering is all about the selling – again, another misguided observation. To tell you the truth, marketers rarely do the selling. They are just there to create the tools and processes that enable sales to do their job right. Most of the time, they actually end up producing the wrong tools, or ones that perform sub-par. Still, it cannot be denied that they are what you need in working on winning more sales leads in your telemarketing campaigns.
  4. Brand is everything – it may sound sensible in today’s brand-conscious market, do people really worry about the brand of what they buy? Most of the time, all they care about is whether this is cheap enough and good enough to solve the need at hand. If your business can provide something like that, then you can be sure that your customers really will come. All the better for your B2B appointment setting efforts.
  5. The future can be predicted marketing – to be honest, no one knows what the future will bring, and even if marketing can have a more accurate picture, it is still pretty much an unknown factor. The best you can do is to prepare for any eventuality, and deal with it quickly.

If you can get rid of these erroneous thoughts, then the better your B2B lead generation campaign will be.

PSY-chosis: K-Pop can Teach Marketers how to go Viral

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PSY-chosis - K-Pop can teach marketers how to go viral

Many would think, after the worldwide popularity of Psy’s “Gangnam Style”, that Korean pop music (or better known as K-Pop) is only a new trend in the global music scene. It actually roots back to the early 1900’s when Western culture penetrated Korea after the partition of the North and South peninsula. The first known K-Pop album came out in 1925 and the genre became more widespread when the Americans arrived.

However, it is only until recently that the so-called Korean Invasion (as a homage to the 60’s British Invasion) has grown immense fame. Since 2009, a barrage of Korean artists, usually presented as groups of 3 or more members, began conquering global charts and their songs started to become part of the modern music landscape.

It’s a phenomenon that leaves people asking how, despite of the language barrier and the apparent lack of artistry in music making, do these songs capture the heart of the public across all cultures?

The answer is viral marketing.

When you first hear K-Pop songs, you don’t immediately like them, compared to American and British pop songs. First of all, it’s hard to sing-along (unless you know Korean), and second, they are generally dance tunes with singular and repetitive melodies. But despite this, the industry was able to market them internationally through constant media exposure and viral stretching.

What made it work?

Uniqueness. Even without hearing the words, you’d know right away if a song is K-Pop because of its flashy beats and digital noise. It’s a common formula that they use in virtually all of their songs (even their music video structures are formulaic). Having their own “identity” and believing in their own native talent makes it easy to market them.

Power of the web and social media. Even if the song is not your taste, you would be surprised by how you ended up liking it because of constant media exposure. If you can hear it practically everywhere and see everybody, including famous people, dancing to it, your memory has no choice but to embrace it. That’s viral marketing at its best.

Multi-weapons. It’s almost a pre-requisite for K-Pop artists to dance while they sing, and look stunningly attractive at the same time. They attack on all angles, and watching their music videos is like a blinding showcase of their abilities. In spreading content about a product, marketers should learn to highlight all the strengths in a single-performance to make a lasting impact.

Grabbing the momentum. When streams of K-Pop songs took center stage, everybody else jumped in the bandwagon. Eventually you could see Korean groups left and right, and there seems to be no sign of stopping in the near future. Similarly, marketers must take advantage of a positive trend while it’s still there. You never know when it would last, so relish the glory and make it count.

Waging the battle: Marketing Lessons from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

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Waging the battle - Marketing Lessons from Sun Tzu's The Art of War

It’s no longer a novelty to compare warfare to the business world. Both undertakings deal with strategic planning, predicting behavior, self-improvement and engaging with competition. And when you talk about warfare, it is almost impossible not to mention The Art of War.

Written by a high-ranking Chinese military officer named Sun-Tzu more than 2,500 years ago, the book is devoted on military tactics and ideologies, and has been one of the most respected doctrines that have influenced both Eastern and Western warfare culture. It has been translated into multiple languages and considered a “universal” source of wisdom.

Marketing, just like warfare, is an art bound by principles:

“Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.” Whether through social media, email, events or telephone calls, every marketing effort requires planning and preparation. Dealing with prospects is a delicate process where one mistake can dictate the fate of a company. There’s no room for haste.

“If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” True, only in marketing, your enemy is circumstance. Marketers must understand its own brand before they present it to the world. Peril is when a prospect over the phone feels you’re not knowledgeable enough. Peril is when your online readers feel you don’t understand their needs. In short, peril is when you don’t have a clue of what’s going on out there.

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” There’s no greater regret than letting opportunities pass by. The brutal competition between brands should only remind marketers that opportunities seldom come twice, and opening a door could lead to a more possibilities.

“In war, numbers alone confer no advantage.” It’s the content, not the likes. It’s the closed sales, not the number of leads. It’s the brand value, not the price. Quality is, and should always be, more important than quantity.

“In the midst of chaos, there is also an opportunity.” Tzu was a firm believer of the fact that certain failures give way to better things. Marketers must learn to see past the hurdles and look for a more meaningful, achievable way to attract and be of service to prospective customers.

“Great results can be achieved with small forces.” With just a simple but powerful blog post, or a moving sales pitch over the phone, or a memorable advertising image, or a small but empathetic gesture, companies can achieve marketing heights. Success doesn’t have to come in a huge box wrapped in silk ribbons.

“Never venture, never win!” Those people at the top of the marketing chain, those who have reached the pinnacle of their marketing journey, could only give you one piece of advice: take risks. It’s the lifeblood of marketing – if you exist only within your niche, that’s most likely the place where you’ll be extinct in the eyes of the consumer public.

7 Profound Disney Film Quotes for your Daily Marketing Consumption

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7 profound Disney film quotes for your daily marketing consumption

It’s been losing its magic in more recent years, but the classic ones – they just never die. All the same, we all have our favorite Disney movies, the ones we saw when we were too young to understand, or the ones we saw when we were already old enough but needed to be young again.

It’s the life lessons that stick (although sometimes the cheesy romance gets in the way) and some of the great quotes have been our guide in making sure the child within us will always triumph over our selfish, adulterated desires.

This walk down the memory lane may just be what you need to give you “a whole new world” in marketing:

  • Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one. (Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas, 1995)

Hard-earned success is sweeter. No one ever said everything’s going to be easy, but as long as you’re doing what you think is right, it will be worth the working hours.

  • Always let your conscience be your guide. (Pinocchio in Pinocchio, 1940)

Marketing is an industry of human behavior, emotions, and everything in between. Whatever your individual or business goals may be, there should always be a binding willingness for nobility. People may not see it when your nose grows longer, but ethics and moral principles alone should make you think twice.

  • The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake. (Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, 1989)

This quote has always been regarded as intriguing because it could mean several things. In a nutshell, though, it pertains to contentment and self-satisfaction. Just because others possess something you don’t have doesn’t mean they’re better than you are. Believe in your own qualities and focus on what you can do instead.

  • A single grain of rice can tip the scale. (The Emperor of China in Mulan, 1998)

Marketing may be about influencing a large group of people, but it’s still basically a matter of inter-personal persuasion. It’s always the small, overlooked details that affect the overall impact and make the difference in a campaign.

  • Even miracles take a little time. (Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, 1950)

There are companies who triumph overnight by sheer dumb luck, but most of us have to go the longer route. It’s better, in a way; if you invest time in something you’ve worked hard for, chances are, its success will also be long-lived.

  • All it takes is faith and trust. (Peter Pan in Peter Pan, 1953)

It’s always commendable to put all your efforts into your work, but doing your best isn’t enough – you, and everyone around you, also need to believe in what you do, otherwise there’s no point in trying.

  • Hakuna Matata. (Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King, 1994)

It means “no worries”. Who doesn’t want a problem-free philosophy?