Marketing: When The Noise Is Louder Than Your Voice

Noise in Marketing

On a public market the vendors shout at the passing crowd with potential customers in order to draw attention. However almost all vendors will be shouting their messages. The noise becomes louder than each voice.

Noise in Marketing is anything that gets in the way of the audience receiving the entire message which a company is trying to communicate.
This can be anything from bad message distribution, to regional differences, to wrong timing, to poor message execution.
However in many cases it can also be lack of understanding of the receiver.

Marketing noise can refer to similar, conflicting, or misleading advertising or the sheer volume of advertising of the same or similar products or services.

The barriers creating noise

Noise can be created by the barriers who obstruct sending clear messages to the target market.
– Language barriers
– Perceptual barriers
– Technical barriers
– Attention span barriers
– Overload of barriers
These are the important barriers marketers have to over come when it comes to communication.

Eliminating the noise

A company has several possibilities to eliminate as much noise as possible in their advertising campaigns or content marketing:
– Making the message clear and concise
– Applying best suiting marketing strategy
– Hiring focus groups to give feedback on their interpretation
– Test on a small target group
– Using multiple channels in the hope at least one channel will be received without noise

Overcoming noise

There is noise from all the advertising and content marketing messages which requires any company to shout louder or standing out in order to be heard. This requires the advertising or content messages to rise above this noise.
One solution is to have entertaining advertising or content marketing messages. Make sure your audience is listening.

The main goal is to become at the first place of mind awareness for the of potential customers.

How do you overcome this Marketing noise ?

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Can marketing Inflate Sales Price In B2B Too ?

Consumer impulse buys

In consumer business it is almost all about perception of products and brands fueled by marketing in order to be able to sell at higher prices. People buy products of brand names without much rational or reasoning. Many purchases are actually impulse buys and with large ticket buys (like cars) the options are certainly driven by other drivers than real needs.

B2B rational

However the purchase process in Business-To-Business much more rational and reasoning is involved for several reasons:
– Several people from different departments are involved in the purchase process
– A budget has been set previously leaving less room for subjective purchases.
– A purchase decision can weigh on the career of the decision taker (positively or negatively)
– Fear for the risk related to the purchase decision

Marketing influences Sales Price

Still the sales price is influenced by the marketing for the product or for the company brand. Thus even if there are almost two identical products or solutions, the company that influenced the perception with better marketing for the brand or product is likely to be able to sell at higher prices than the competitors.
Through adequate marketing over several years a brand name can become more trusted and obtain the perception of being reliable which allows this company to sell at a higher price as the marketing has created confidence which takes away a part of the decision fear.
It is unlikely people will buy from unknown or lesser known companies due to the fear of risks involved in their buying decision. Instead they will have the tendency to buy from brands that have build the perception of a quality and trusted company.

Hence Marketing does influence the sales price in B2B.

How much does your marketing influence your sales price ?

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Google is killing Content Marketing

Google paid links

If you search for a solution in Google about 80% of your window will be filled with paid links:
– The results at the top
– The right column
A mere 20% – or even less – are the result of the real searches which sit below or besides the paid links.
Hence Google is killing the natural search that made it once so famous, great and popular.

Content marketing traffic

This also is making Content Marketing less effective as people are likely to click more on paid and advertising links than on the results of the natural search.
The amount of traffic Content Marketing can generate will become ever lower as the chances to be found below or besides all the paid links are decreasing.

Alternatives for Google

It is somewhat logic that Google promotes their paid and ad links as that generates revenue. How long they will be able to sustain this is unpredictable, but over time people will start to use Google lesser. However that might take long as neither Bing or Yahoo provide a valid alternative at the moment.
So as long as Google can maintain its’ leadership position as most used search engine there is no alternative.

Will you switch to paid links or ads for more traffic ?

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Organic search on Google is death

Organic search

Once upon a time Google had great organic search. Now the search results are cluttered with advertising links; Actually there are more ad links on a search result page than results for organic search. Instead of the majority of the returned links being from organic search, now only about 13% on your screen is not related to sponsored links.

Google Search Results - Organic links minority

Google Search Results - Organic links a minority

Alternatives: Best SEO or pay for links

In order to get found you have two options:
– Have the best SEO in the business
– Pay for links to Google

Improve SEO

The first option might not even work as Google constantly changes it’s criteria and parameters for showing organic links. If you try out the same search on different computers at the very same moment you will get different results. So even the best SEO won’t give you the certainty of always scoring high on the SERP (Search Engine Result Pages).
In the case of SEO you are fighting with Google which will use every trick in their box to make sure your link won’t show up every time. As Google defines the formula of searches and changes it whenever it suits Google at best your SEO will not guarantee you success.

How Google maintains popularity

As long as people keep on using Google and remaining popular then we have not weapon to fight back. Only when people start noticing the majority of search result links presented are paid links the tide for Google will change. The question is when will that happen, as Google can modify their search results instantly. They even can change the results for each individual as Google uses cookies and probably other methods of tracking throughout it’s World Wide Web net of websites. So when someone starts to search less using Google, Google could increase the organic search results the next time the person uses Google again. This change might just convince the person to use Google again for a while.

Pay for links

The conclusion is that Google is forcing all to pay for links on the search result pages. You don’t have another option if you want to survive on the Internet.

How well do you score on Google compared to a few years ago ?

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You too will be writing ad copies that sell after this!

Ad writing is an art

The art of writing an advertising is gift as it is creating a message that addresses people.
Some people have “it” and others don’t.
Still following the guidelines below, you too will be writing ad copies that sell!

Ad guidelines

1. Know your audience for the ad
2. Start thinking like your audience
3. Investigate why would this type of customer buy your products or services?
4. State benefits not features
5. Limit to a single benefit in one ad: only one message can be communicated
6. Promise a credible benefit in order to believe you
7. The short headline needs to attract, to grab attention and to stay with them
8. The headline needs to state the benefit or suggest the benefit using a question
9. Embed an emotion in your message
10. Connect emotionally with them
11. Address the reader: “You” – Be one-on-one with your reader
12. State clearly what you sell – Your unique selling proposition
13. State clearly how you differentiate from your competitors
14. Stand out from the crowd of the other messages
15. Check upon your competitors – look for improvement
16. get inspired by your competitors but don’t copycat
17. Write using plain language in order to be understood by as many people as possible
18. Never use abbreviations as people have no clue
19. Limit the number words in a sentence and prefer to use short words
20. Keep the number of sentences short in the short paragraphs
21. Invite to take action. The Call To Action
22. Offer a discount, a promotion voucher (coupon) obtainable under fulfilling a simple condition
23. Avoid overused phrases as they have lost their power
24. Provide a testimonial containing a minimal identification, the reason and the benefit
25. Add a visual: the product, a person or anything that relates to your product or solution

Ad rework then publish

Read the ad up loudly to preferable someone you have a high esteem for. If it sounds silly then rework.
Rewrite the ad copy several times before publishing. Improve. Shorten. State more clearly.
Try out by running the ad a few times and learn from the responses and comments.
Then rework the ad copy and republish on a larger scale.

What are you waiting for? Go write your ad copy now.

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Is this the Best B2B Marketing Video that went Viral ?

Aspirational marketing video

This might be one of the best B2B video’s ever made.
This video tells a powerful story of what glass could do instead what glass currently does. This sure inspires for next generation of products: aspirational marketing video.
It sure went viral as it got over 16mio clicks.

Too perfect

Although the video is well made, continuously shows interesting applications and manages to show more possible functions and features with glass which keeps the attention, it could have been more entertaining as it seems to be happening in a perfect world. In most cases a perfect world is not entertaining and lacks sentiment or passion.

Emotion, sentiment or passion is missing

For a start the video is too long and there is no build up in emotion.
Being nice and perfect is not enough to entertain the audience and to be remembered too.
In order to be remembered people need a sentiment or passion: that triggers their brains more than anything else. Something that strikes them in their feelings or emotions instead of just amazement for technical achievements.
As emotions and feelings are personal they will stay longer with the viewers.
What is required is emotion, sentiment or passion in your marketing: emotional marketing even in B2B.

Apple had the emotion, passion and sentiment in this famous 1984 commercial:

What did you think about both video’s ?

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The 14 Marketing Actions Small Business / SOHO Should Take

being a small B2B company and spending a lot of money on marketing or advertising is way too expensive and not economical feasible. You could run your business into problems by spending all on marketing and advertising.

What can a small company (small business or SOHO) do instead, in order to get customers ?

1. Network business district
Network the local pubs in the business district just after business hours

2. Network on sports events
Network in the local football, golf or tennis club on Saturdays or Sundays

3. Network in clubs
Network in the fitness club in the business district during business hours

4. Charity by work
Charity will get you into networking: not by donations which is out of the pocket money but work and help

5. Charity by products
Donate products or a solution that you produce or buy at B2B prices

6. Free advice
Give free advice concerning your business specialty on local events

7. Newspaper or TV coverage
Get mentioned into the local newspaper or on the local TV for any good reason

8. Write articles or guides
Write useful articles or guides related to your business or industry to be published in local advertising magazines

9. Company car and vehicle branding
Advertise on your company car or company vehicles

10. Local billboard
Make sure you have a sign or billboard visible from the main road or highway mentioning at least your company name and the business

11. Illuminate building
Make sure the company building or a part of it is clearly visible by illuminate during the night and dark days as people will remember it and use it as a reference or landmark

12. Display time and temperature
Display time, temperature and company name or brand in front of your building

13. Road signs
Where ever possible and allowed place road indicators to your address

14. Mouth to mouth
Have a discount scheme for customers bringing new customers

There are probably more methods, solutions and opportunities to show your brand or company name or to network.

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Is advertising a dirty habit?

The advertising habit

Once companies in B2B have started using advertising it is difficult for them to stop as it has become almost a tradition. Moreover a change in advertising could bring a decrease in lead generation and sales closing. Any change and decision in business involves changes in risk exposure.

The marketers in a company have probably a good estimate what advertising brings during the campaign directly, but the effects on the long run are unclear and uncertain. This is the long tail of marketing efforts as you clearly know the direct result but are unable to measure the long term results.

To be advertising or not

– If management decides to cut the advertising budget, then in the long run the brand awareness will most likely decrease. This could also dry up the other sources of lead generation and even affect the closing of sales.
– If they decide to continue but the results are not insignificant or near zero, then management is wasting money that could be used for other purposes.

Advertising is very costly and if there is no direct proven ROI then advertising should be stopped as with any investment or expense. However company management will not dare to do this (neither the VP Marketing or VP Marketing & Sales) as the effects could be short as well as long term.

Before taking any decision about quiting advertising, other means and methods for brand awareness should be evaluated after trialing them out: Email campaign marketing, Content marketing, Social Media marketing.

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7 Reasons why online ads are often useless in B2B

Online ads can be very effectively used in B2C, but in B2B online advertising will only work for certain products or services.

Our findings:
1) If your products or solutions are not mainstream then online ads won’t work as you can’t explain the different approach. People won’t notice it.

2) If your product is a new kind of solution then then the message explaining this new concept will be too complex or too long. People will ignore it.

3) If your product is complex with many features, functions and whistles it is hard to explain in a short (25 char) online ad or banner. Too cumbersome to understand.

4) If your landing page is not in sync with the online message people will feel lost after landing. Wondering what they are doing there.

5) If your landing page doesn’t hold the promises that were suggested in the online ad, the ad-clickers will hit the back button fast.

6) Natural Born Clickers also exist in B2B. Strange but true as some people seem to click on any ad without any reason or interest.

7) If your brand is unknown, chances of your ads getting clicked are less likely. Known brand names give trust even for clicking on ads.

Think twice before spending money on online ads.

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Why social media has become a soap opera

Social media is no longer social

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and many others all started out as communications and online relationship building platforms without ads.
Now all social media have become advertising channels for highly targeted ads based on the user intelligence as they need to make money for their investors.
Just like soap opera’s they have become carriers of advertising under pressure of the investors.
In both cases the content draws in the crowd and the ads are carefully targeted.

However the more focus on advertising the less evident it becomes for users to communicate and build relationships as the platforms have become:
– Increasingly more complex in functions and features.
– Cluttered by ads
– Slower in loading the pages due to all of the above
The advertisements are becoming distractions from the real purpose of the people using it and the simple and clean layout is gone.

Social media is no longer social as it is just has become another advertising channel like soap operas.

Google Plus has started out without advertising while still under invitation only but it won’t take long before ads will appear once the gates are open for everybody.

Social media will go like portals

The question now becomes if it is still interesting for a company to:
– Advertise on social media
– Invest time and effort in social media

At the end of the nineties portals were all the hype. They were competing with each other by adding more and more functions and features in order to capture more market share. Their user interface became cluttered and load times increased.

At the same time the Google search engine became popular as it presented a clean user interface without any clutter. Then the decay of portals was evident.

Now the decay of social media is near as they:
– Are competing heavily on functions and features: Facebook vs Google plus / Twitter vs Tumblr
– Are more and more populated by bots
– Have become advertising channels just like soap operas

Moreover the content in social media is not getting any better as more and more companies post their editorials on social media and try to promote their products and services: companies take over from people on platforms intended for people.

Next after social media

If a new communications easy and convenient channel for the public emerges then social media will decrease in importance just like it happened portals.
The new communications or relationship building platform needs to be:
– Accessible easily and convenient in use for all without complex user interface like Facebook
– Bot free – unlike Twitter that has more bots than humans tweeting and re-tweeting
– Capturing the attention and be interest generating

Maybe the new communications channel it is already available – like ChatRoulette ?

Do you still use social media for business or product promotion?

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