Starfleet Media recently conducted a study on content marketing – The 2014 Benchmark Report on B2B Content Marketing and Lead Generation:
“While there was already good research out there on B2B content marketing (kudos to the Content Marketing Institute, in particular, for their outstanding work over the past 5 years), we found that there remained a number of unexplored areas that warranted further investigation. We believed that capturing the right data – from hundreds of marketers with first-hand experience – and gaining actionable insights into these areas, could benefit not only our company, given our purview, but countless others, as well.”
What exactly does content marketing entail? According to the Content Marketing Institute:
“Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”
Key findings from the Starfleet Media report have been summarized by MarketProfs. Click the image to see the summary.
When annual sales approach $150 billion, it becomes harder to be agile and flexible in anticipating and responding to the evolving marketplace. This is something that even star companies such as General Electric – whose slogan is “GE imagination at work” — must face.
In GE’s case, it is embarking on new ways of doing business. As Bloomberg Businessweek’s Richard Clough reports:
“GE has enlisted tech entrepreneur Eric Ries to help develop FastWorks, based in part on his bestseller The Lean Startup. As detailed in the 2011 book, Ries’ lean startup philosophy is designed to help companies foster innovation and hasten product development by building imperfect early versions, releasing them to customers, getting feedback, and then ‘pivoting,’ or adapting the products when necessary. Now GE is adopting that playbook to speed the rollout of products ranging from lightbulbs to gas turbines to refrigerators. The company has already trained 40,000 employees under the new initiative, one of the largest in GE’s 122-year history.”
Click the image to read more from Clough.
1to1 Media has just published a new infographic about the use of technology in analyzing speech in business settings. Check it out.
Although these observations by the National Women’s Business Council refer specifically to female business owners, they are equally applicable to minority business owners:
“Like all entrepreneurs, women business owners face many challenges in making their entrepreneurship dreams a reality. Some of the challenges faced by women may be specific to women, due to the historical and cultural context within which they do their work. Women have the challenge of confronting and overcoming the historical barriers of being kept out of business and capital markets until the late 1980s. Even today, women’s access to information (or lack thereof) about financing strategies and opportunities may be limited due to a lack of access to the social networks where many key decision makers and capital players make deals. A lack of information about financing a business may result in more women raising lower levels of capital or pursuing only debt financing, which can limit their growth potential. ”
Click the image to read more from the NWBC.
With the above in mind, Tom Shaw (a Visible Systems Specialist for Magnatag) has published an excellent series of links to resources for women and minority business owners. Shaw provides links to 45 resources!! Click here to access Shaw’s “Women and Minority-Owned Business Resources.”
For most companies, maximizing their return on investment (ROI) is a key goal that drives their strategies. But are they using and measuring ROI properly? Sometimes, ROI is not so easy to determine.
With this in mind, consider the slideshow “How to Determine the ROI of Anything” by Gary Vaynerchuk, working at VaynerMedia: “What’s the ROI of a piano? What’s the ROI of a YouTube channel? What’s the ROI of anything!? After you read this deck you’ll be able to answer all these questions easily.”
For many companies, innovation is the life blood for long-term success. Nonetheless, success with innovations can be elusive.
As Mindjet,which offers a platform for enterprise innovation, notes:
“Innovation is vital to achieve success in today’s evolving marketplace, but it’s easier said than done. In reality, most companies struggle to achieve true innovation, despite acknowledging its importance. Whether due to a lack of resources or ability, many companies remain stagnant. But recent data shows that’s only part of the puzzle, and that a holistic, structured approach to innovation is one that works — and that yields real business results. Check out the full infographic below for more on what really fosters innovation.
For some tips on innovation, take a look at this infographic from Mindjet and Column Five.