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Posts tagged ‘customer life-cycle’


How to Leverage Big Data in Your Marketing Strategy?



Integrating big data in your marketing strategy is important in todays business strategies. The question is if big data is mature enough today to be usable, practical and beneficial to marketers. Isn’t big data a lot of effort, for little added value to the business? Let’s see…

No doubt data in general, within the field of marketing, is becoming more important. I’m not even talking about big data here, just data. As big data was reaching fever pitch sometime between 2011 and 2014, today the cool kids in data are moving on to obsessing over AI and machine intelligence and deep learning.

The basic idea behind the phrase ‘big data’ is that everything we do is increasingly leaving a digital trace, which we can use and analyse.

Early adopters have experimented with big data, with mixed results. They had to work with big data startups, and cobble solutions together. Today, these early big data startups went through multiple VC financing rounds, scaled their organizations, learned from successes and failures in early deployments, and now offer more mature, battle-tested products.

Is big data really sounding “3 years ago”, or has big data matured and is it more usable for marketers today ?

That’s the question I want to answer in this blog post.

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What is Quality Content that Really Works?

engage with content quality“We buy our blog posts 500 EUR a piece” he told me the other day. “What kind of blog post are that?” I asked. He was buying 10 of these blog post a month, on average 500 words per blog post.


That’s probably the worst approach this marketing manager could take towards content. The output he gets by aiming for 500 words articles is just horrible. It’s usually a “one-pager”, with one single meaningless graphic, pulled from a stock-photo website. Others might tell you that you need 1500 word articles, because these are going to make you end-up higher in search-engines.

I say, that’s crap. Don’t believe them.

Blog Post Summary

In a world filled with content, and decreasing user attention, this kind of simple approach to content is just not going to cut it.

With this post I want to show you, “once and for all”:

  • what content quality really is about,
  • how Google treats good and bad content quality,
  • how consumers and customer in general spot quality content,
  • how long quality content should be,
  • and finally how you can get organized for content quality.

Now let’s get started, and explore the world of quality content…
(oh, this starts to feel like a rant, but don’t worry, this is not going to be a rant!)

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How to Unlock Content Marketing Value in Complex Markets?

Content marketing in a multi-market, multi-product business can become very complicated.

In this blog post I offer some insight on how to solve that complexity, using pain based segmentation and simplification of your content marketing strategy.

The classic buying journey

Customer centric content is what attracts, engages and eventually helps to make the sale.

But when customers move through their relationship with a brand, their focus changes. They constantly go through a changing state-of-mind, depending on a lot of different factors. Read more »


Killer Content along the Buyer’s Journey: A Practical Guide to Monetize Your Content

killer content along the buyer's cycle

The Mafia at Cleveland’s Hotel Statler. Photo:

Content can be actively used to move buyers through the buyer’s journey. Organizations need to visualize this journey. Visualizing this journey allows them to better understand which content they have and which content they are missing. Visualizing the content along the buyer’s journey also allows you to actively move buyers to the next stage in their journey.

Not so long ago Eric Wittlake (@wittlake) wrote an article why you should stop mapping content formats to the buyer’s Journey. He explains how marketers tend to map formats to certain stages in the buying cycle.


This post will learn you how you can:

  • use a practical method to create the right content along the buyer’s journey
  • how you can actively drive buyer’ss through the buying cycle, with content
  • how you can link content with marketing automation
  • understand which data the method produces to show real marketing ROI 

To understand the role of content in this, you first need to understand the difference between content formats and content itself. Read more »


How to build Epic Content as an Organization? 5 Key Tactics Explained

Image: courtesy of Intelsat.

Image: courtesy of Intelsat.

Successful organizations take on a content strategy as a centrepiece of their activities. It’s not an add-on. It’s strategic. Getting buy-in from the organization can be difficult, but doable. More difficult is getting people motivated to build that strategic content.

How do you get an organization to take on content as a strategic part of the business? Here are 5 key tactics that help building a culture of content.

How do you create a culture of content creation and education, internally and externally?

1. Find out what your colleagues care about?

When people do their job well, they get praised. Or get a raise. Or get promoted.

That’s what drives people.

A great way to make content creation a company wide activity is to embed it into what they care about.

  • Service engineers care about solving a customers’ problem 
  • Project managers care about delivering a project on time, within budget, above customer expectations
  • Training managers care about good feedback from trainees
  • Customer support care about how they excelled in helping customers 
  •  …

Find out what makes these people ‘tick’, and let them write it down. Let them know that you expect this from them. Help them in “airing” their personal success stories, insights and helpful stories. And if they do, praise them in public. Read more »


No level of customer churn is acceptable: make it so !

image source: Wikipedia

What would happen if your business ran out of viable customers? What if the pipeline of new blood permanently dried up?

The continuous rotation of campaign taglines, creative messages, and clutter-busting noise helps to keep a baseline level of acquisition activity. OK.

And somehow along the customer life cycle, we loose them. They churn, churn, churn.

I think the starting point of doing business should be:


The cost of acquiring new customers

Companies today are using advertising, promotions and lead generation campaigns to attract new customers. All these tactics take a big chunck out of your marketing budget. I’m not going to repeat that acquiring new customers is more expensive, we all know that.

So we use these tactics to attract new customers, because we know they work.

The problem with these tactics is that they are not working anymore, or not working as good anymore as they used to do:

  • 86% of TV viewers admit to skipping advertisements.
  • 44% of direct marketing doesn’t get opened anymore.
  • 99,9% of on-line advertising is not clicked upon.

Additionally, sometimes your budgets are cut because of a multitude of reasons, giving you even less arm-length to reach our to buyers.

Why do companies churn?

Usually companies switch because of the following reasons:

Read more »


How to listen, and show thought leadership in your industry?

After 2 weeks of publishing a thought leadership presentation on Slideshare, I was blown away with the effect it had.

In only 2 weeks, it had 1000 views. Today, it has close to 4500 views after 3 months. Although for some companies these numbers might not be impressive, for the company I work for and the market we are in, this is great.

Why is this presentation more successful than others?

I believe the real reason to this success is that it is valuable content for buyers because it fulfills a need. B2B companies want to see opinions, and companies that think about the future for them.

Why do you need thought leadership?

Providing thought leadership to your customers doesn’t make sense if they don’t consider it relevant to their business. Customers are faced with lots of questions during the complete buying cycle that need to be answered.

As I wrote before, first customers find answers “in the cloud”, before they turn to you as a vendor for the remaining answers: they visit reviewing sites, read whitepapers of several vendors, and go to conferences or tradeshow to find answers. Based on that they create their shortlist. If you are not giving the answers ‘in the cloud’, you are not going to be on their shortlist!

It is my strong believe that in order to create thought leadership, you first need to incorporate a process within your organisation that listens to the issues and information needs of your customers.

The process should not only allow listening during the buying cycle, but also during the customer life cycle.


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Do you have a listening process ?

Photo by Melvin Gaal / Flickr

Yes I admit. Even in my personal life I pay attention to good and bad marketing. When I see a great advertisement, I think about how they did that. Or when I get a direct mailer, I pay attention to how they have written that text.

Some of these messages really give a reflection of great customer understanding.

Why is that ? Why do some brands seem to perfectly understand your needs, before you became a customer, and more impressive, they know what you want during your time as a customer of these brands ?

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