Entries Tagged as 'Online marketing'

B2b Online Marketing Tip: Does Your Website Make it Immediately Clear What Your Company Does and Who it Serves?

Take a fresh look at your company’s website. Does your Web site make it immediately clear what your company does and who it serves?

Does it clearly spell out:

  • The products or services your company sells?
  • The most common applications for your products or services?
  • The types of businesses or institutions you serve? business? education? government?
  • The size of organizations your company serves? large? medium? small?
  • The geographies you serve? local areas? states? countries? regions of the world?

And don’t fall into this trap: No matter how hard you try, you can’t have the perspective of an outsider. Come up with a few objectives for your ideal website visitor, have some real outsiders try to accomplish them, and watch and listen to what they are going through. It can be quite revealing and the insight can be helpful to getting the results you want.



Does your website convert visitors to leads and sales?

Here’s a summary of the checklist I use when I evaluate a client’s website. Use it to see if your website converts visitors to sales. That’s what it’s for, right? You might be surprised by the answers.

– Does your website make it immediately clear what your company does and who it serves?
– Is it easy for your prospects and customers to find their way around your Web site?
– Does your website quickly communicate your company’s unique selling proposition?
– Does your website back up those claims?
– Does your website explain the additional resources you can bring to bear for your customers?
– Does your website contain lots of offers designed to engage prospects and start sales-winning relationships?
– Does your website make it easy for your prospects and customers to take the next steps in their consideration or buying process?
– Does your website make it easy to place an order?
– Are there multiple ways for prospective customers to request assistance or additional information about your company and its products or services?

See the full checklist at: B2B website checklist.


How to maximize your online lead-generation conversion rate – a complimentary webinar

Interested in getting some expert advice about how to optimize the lead-generation conversion rates of your web pages?

If so, be sure to attend this complimentary, how-to webinar for B2B marketers:


A complimentary, 50-minute Webinar

This Thursday - February 17, 2011

11:00am PST - 2:00pm EST

Register here

Two experts on online lead generation will share proven techniques for generate more leads and sales from you web pages, email and PPC landing pages.

Your host will be me, M. H. (Mac) McIntosh, a B2B sales lead and marketing automation consultant who I’m honored to say was recently voted #1 of SLMA’s Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management.

My expert guest will be Raquel Hirsch, president and co-founder of WiderFunnel Marketing, the web page optimization experts.

By attending you’ll:

  • Learn about small changes you can test on your web pages and landing pages that will cause big increases in the leads and sales that results
  • See before-and-after examples of weak web pages that have been turned into real winners
  • Understand why following “conventional online wisdom” often isn’t wise, and how to determine what really works best
  • Witness a live web page evaluation of an attendee’s web page (See the bonus offer below!)

We invite you to be our guest at this information-packed webinar.

Click here to register or cut and paste the following link into your browser:


Please note: There are only 100 seats available on first-come, first-served basis, and more than half of them are already reserved. So you must register right away if you want to attend.

***Bonus! Get a live evaluation of one of your landing pages***

When you register, be sure to enter your web page URL for a chance to have that web page evaluated live during the webinar! 

Register today



B2B Marketing Strategies for Small Companies: An Interview with Dianna Huff

This is one of a series of occasional interviews with top practitioners on topics of interest to business-to-business lead generation, marketing and new business development professionals.

Dianna Huff

My guest today is Dianna Huff of DH Communications. Dianna helps businesses with their B2B marketing communications content strategy and implementation.

Dianna, what are some of the marketing mistakes you see smaller companies making with regard to B2B marketing communications strategy, and what should smart marketers do instead?

Mac, that’s a good question. I see companies frequently making these two common mistakes:

First, not having a strategy. For example, someone from a small company will call to say, “We want to send out an e-newsletter,” but the marketer or business owner hasn’t thought through the purpose of the newsletter (except for the generic “We want to send people to our website”). Usually the person doesn’t know what the newsletter content will or should be, the publishing frequency, whether or not he or she wants to use segmented lists, etc., etc.

Smart marketers will sit down and plan out strategy based on a stated objective, whether it’s to increase sales, bring in more leads, better nurture the leads they have, lower their costs (i.e., move from a print newsletter to an e-newsletter), gain more industry exposure, market an e-book, etc., and then plan out the tactics for implementing the strategy from start to finish based on the objective.

Second, strategy doesn’t match the objective. By this, I mean that a marketer or business owner will have a stated objective – i.e., “We want more leads” – and the strategy for getting those leads might be something like writing articles for trade publications or developing a blog. Writing articles and developing a blog are both good marketing tactics for accomplishing such objectives as branding and awareness, but I wouldn’t use them to get leads in the door.

As you know, Mac, smart marketers use other methods, both online and off, to generate leads. For example, marketers would be better off using an integrated campaign that includes e-mail, direct mail and pay-per-click advertising to make offers (white papers, reports, e-books) specifically designed to generate leads.

I know you focus a lot on improving your clients’ websites. Dianna, what are the most common mistakes that small businesses are making with their websites, and what should they be doing better?

The biggest mistake small businesses make is to think of their websites as their “online brochures.” A website and a brochure are two completely different animals.

The other mistake I see is that many small businesses (and large ones too) have absolutely no clue about website marketing and search engine optimization. So they’ll spend a boatload of money to make their site look good graphically, then wonder why they still have no visitors.

To be successful online, companies must develop a strategy for getting traffic to their websites. For example, the site, or rather each of its pages, must be optimized in order to get found by the search engines.

Dianna, what do you think B2B marketers at small companies should be doing differently than their peers at big companies?

Actually, small companies usually already do things differently than their peers at large companies: because they are small, they can implement new ideas quickly. That’s one reason why savvy small-business marketers have flocked to SEO, social media, blogs, etc. It can take a large company months to make a decision on something as simple as optimizing a site, starting a blog or opening a Twitter account.

Small businesses do and should use this “nimbleness” to their advantage – and use the latest online marketing tools to build an Internet presence that rivals that of the “big boys.” As the HubSpot founders say in their book, Inbound Marketing, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” For example, prospects often think that my company is larger than it is, due to my strong presence on the Internet.

I noticed on Twitter that you said your #1-read blog post is the one about marketing communications job descriptions. Dianna, why do you think so many people are interested in that topic?

I think people are reading my marcom job description post because they’re looking for a job and/or they need to write a job description. The post is near the top of the search results in Google for “marcom job description” – that tells you the power of SEO and blogs – which is probably why I’m getting so much traffic to it.

My understanding is that you think marcom professionals – and those who hire them – focus too much on managing projects and copywriting. Please tell me more about that.

As you know, Mac, lots has been written about the negative consequences of the “disconnect” between marketing and sales. In fact, I still remember that wonderful cats and dogs presentation on the subject of integrating marketing and sales you gave at a conference last year.

In my opinion, the marketing/sales disconnect starts with the marcom job description. Just last week I was shown a marcom job description – and again, the company wanted someone who could write well and manage multiple projects. The job description did not address the most important fact: that marketing’s job is to help sales do their job – i.e., get results!

A marcom professional should know how to communicate well, of course, but this person needs to understand a whole other set of skills – as you and others pointed out in your follow-up post to my post.

So, until a company’s leaders start demanding more from its marketing communications practitioners, this disconnect will continue to exist and marketing and sales will continue to fight like cats and dogs.

You mentioned that more companies are asking you about social media marketing. What is your perspective on social media, Dianna? Is it something B2B marketers need to pay attention to?

Social media is definately something B2B marketers need to pay attention to. Why? Because as a Fortune 500 client said to me recently, “Although most of our customers are 50-year-old white men, it won’t be that way forever. Younger people are moving up the ranks – and they are social media savvy.”

Dianna, do you have any last thoughts on the subject of small company B2B marketing you want to share with our readers?

Marketing is changing – literally. It can be difficult to keep up with all that is new, and for that reason, a small-business owner may elect to simply “opt out.” After all, he or she reasons, “My customers have found me in the past via word of mouth, so I’ll keep doing that.”

Word of mouth will continue to work, but it has become what author David Meerman Scott calls “word of mouse.” So it really pays to ensure that you know how to use the Internet to effectively market your business. You simply cannot afford to ignore it.

Dianna, thanks for sharing your expertise with our readers.

Thank you, Mac, for the opportunity.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the subject of B2B marketing for small businesses?

Please add your comments by clicking on the word “comments” in the line below the Share button.

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Business Software Marketers: Finally a Conference Designed Just For You!

Join me and your business software marketing peers at this conference just for software marketing leaders.

business software marketing conference

Capterra: The Conference
Empowering Software Marketing Leaders

September 13-15 in Washington DC

Make the absolute most out of your marketing efforts across the board. That’s the goal of this first-ever business software marketing conference.

You’ll learn cutting-edge strategies for improving everything from your online marketing to your lead generation efforts from top industry experts (including yours truly).

Confirmed speakers include Ramon Ray, Bryan Eisenberg, Wil Reynolds, Robert Wright, David Meerman Scott, Ruth Stevens, Ashish Vij, Stephanie Miller, and Gord Hotchkiss. Learn more about them here.

Each presentation will be tailored specifically for the business software industry, and will deliver highly practical ideas designed for immediate results. Topics will include:

  • Always Be Testing: Marketing Optimization in Challenging Times
  • SEO Tools You Can Use Today To Improve Your Rankings
  • Winning Positioning Strategies For Software Category Leadership
  • Visitors Come and Visitors Go: Why Aren’t They Becoming Customers?
  • How To Motivate Action Online
  • Using The New Rules of Marketing and PR to Reach Software Buyers Directly
  • The latest tools and features in Google Analytics to help optimize your website lead pipeline
  • Successfully Measuring Email Marketing Success
  • The BuyerSphere — A Different Perspective on B2B Buying

The agenda shows my session, A Lead-Driven Approach to Increasing Business Software Sales, is scheduled for Monday, September 14th at 10:00 am.

My presentation will address proven ways to use sales leads to find more short-term sales opportunities that your sales team and channel partners can close before the end of the year.

I’ll also be facilitating a breakout session on Monday afternoon entitled, Lead Generation: A Group Idea Exchange. It will be your opportunity to swap ideas about lead generation with some of the best in the business: your business software marketing peers. This idea exchange will be an open forum where you’ll have a chance to share both your successes, and your challenges, with generating, nurturing and qualifying sales leads.

Will I see you at Capterra: The Conference?

If you are planning to attend, please be sure to take advantage of my special presenter’s discount code capcon09mm when registering. It will save you $100!

Learn more and register here.


Email Problems and Recommendations

It is getting harder and harder for B-to-B marketers to get email delivered and read. Here’s what to do about it.

B2B Magazine Blog Post of the WeekEmail ProblemsI’ve been saying for a while now that email works best as a one-to-one marketing tactic for communicating with people you already have a pre-existing business relationship with, but email shouldn’t be the primary media format for lead generation. Here’s why:

  1. Unsolicited commercial email, although legal in the U.S. if you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, is perceived by many to be spam. (Read the law here)
  2. As a result, much of this unsolicited commercial email is blocked by filters at the ISP, corporate gateway or desktop.
  3. Companies perceived as being spammers often find all their emails being blocked as a result.

Despite the resulting false “opens” as email is being filtered, much (perhaps most) unsolicited commercial email is never read by the intended recipients.

Yet tons of real spam is getting through, clogging up the email inboxes of business people and causing millions of hours of lost productivity as people wade through the junk looking for important emails. This causes more and more businesses to filter their incoming email. It also causes the filtering software companies to be less forgiving about letting unsolicited commercial emails get through.


Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com