How and Why to Implement a Content Marketing Strategy

In today’s over-saturated market with an abundance of choices for nearly every type of product or service, finding new ways to stand apart from the competition is paramount in order to remain successful. One of the quickest and most effective ways to do that is by implementing a content marketing strategy. On average, conversion rates are six times higher for companies and brands using content marketing than those that aren’t.1 Content marketing not only serves as a way to educate and inform your customers about your brand or product, but also helps to set you apart and establish your brand as an authority on the subject. Read more

Delve into a lesser-known feature of Office 365

We’ve all been there. Those frustrating moments when you know you’ve seen some information but just can’t remember where, or when you can’t recall a recent contact’s name, or have forgotten where a colleague has placed a critical file for a joint project. As maddening as this can be, one of the lesser-known features of Microsoft Office 365 can help with situations like these – not only saving your sanity, but considerable time and effort as well. Delve provides intelligent discovery of the information, people, and files that are the most relevant and interesting to each user, and proves to be yet another value-add selling feature of Office 365.

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CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT: THE GROWING NEED FOR PERSONALIZATION

With over 90 percent of today’s customers reporting they are more likely to interact with brands that recognize them and provide relevant offers or recommendations1, it is vital for businesses to implement a personalization strategy in order to remain competitive.

Gone are the days when simply placing a customer’s name on an otherwise generic sales or marketing email suffices as a personalization strategy. The modern customer expects brands to provide highly relevant engagement and offers that account for who they are, what they need, and when they need it. In fact, more than 74 percent of customers are frustrated by receiving irrelevant, impersonal content.2  For companies that wish to survive in today’s aggressive economy, it’s all about engaging the right customer with the right message or offer, at the right time.

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Adobe + Microsoft: Helping simplify big data for more effective customer engagement

Unless you’ve been living off the grid for the past couple of decades, you’ve used Adobe projects, even if you’ve never paid for them. By 2011, Adobe Flash Player virtually owned streaming video with a 99% market penetration in fully developed markets such as the United States, Canada, Germany, and New Zealand. Opened a PDF? You probably did so in Adobe Acrobat Reader, especially back in the dark ages when PDFs were brand new.

Creative professionals—especially those in the marketing business—have invested thousands of dollars apiece in Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and TypeKit, partly because they’re worth it, but mostly because they’re indispensable.

But let’s say your business has crafted a digital marketing experience for your customers that’s as incredible as the Adobe products you used to create it. Now what? Do you have any idea how effective your engagement efforts are with your customers? How about which devices they’re using? Or the level of communication they want from you, if any? Read more

Office Ink – Marketing another value-add feature of Office 365

Among the many hidden gems in Microsoft Office 365 is the ability to use basic touch movements or a stylus to free-hand draw diagrams, notes, and other annotations in Office documents with a feature called Ink. Just one of the cool capabilities of Office Ink is the ability to write math equations and have them automatically converted into text—no more hunting around in the equation or symbol libraries looking for what you need. It can also be used to highlight text or move content around within the document using finger gestures or a stylus. Referred to as ‘Inking’, it is just another great value-add to sell customers on the modern functionality of Office 365 leveraging mobile and touch-enables devices.

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Insights Inspired by “The Conversion Code” (Ch. 1)

At least for most of the clients we work with, it’s not just “need more leads?” (the title of this chapter). It goes well beyond that, because leads are life (at least the life of the business).

Smith claims that people buy because they trust you or your business, and that on the web, great design builds trust. He then gives three sources for his assertion. I think the jury is out on whether great design builds trust specifically, but I’ll agree that clean, effective design conveys a sense of quality, professionalism, and competence. Assuming potential customers want (or even demand) quality, professionalism, and competence from the companies they buy from (and it’s fair to say they do), sure, design can increase a prospect’s trust in your company’s ability to deliver quality products and services.

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Insights Inspired by “The Conversion Code” (Introduction)

Following are reactions, insights, commentary, and notes from the Introduction of Chris Smith’s The Conversion Code. To quickly access the other blog posts with my notes from other portions of the book, search our blog using the tag ConversionCode.

After extolling his virtues, Smith writes:

“I truly believe marketing automation is greatly overrated and is being used too frequently as a crutch. Technology and software have become an excuse not to do the real work of picking up the phone and talking to people about what you sell and whether it is right for them. If you want to make more money by closing online leads, you have to pick up the … phone.”

Smith’s comment echoes that of Jeb Blount in Fanatical Prospecting where Blount also touts the need for phone-based sales in addition to social, email, and other forms of digital marketing. All those things are important. They can generate marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and tee up an easier close, but usually you’re going to need to talk with someone to secure the sale—especially in business to business (B2B).

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Cloud modernization simplified: selling the Azure cloud with just four simple words

The landscape of modern business has become increasingly digitized and data-centric—and it only continues to advance by the day. This raises the stakes for companies to operate on more complex, agile computing environments, making it essential for organizations to modernize their infrastructures in order to stay competitive in this evolving landscape. With the unprecedented demand for businesses to obtain, store, and secure their data, the traditional on-premises infrastructure is quickly becoming a thing of the past, requiring a more modern, scalable, and flexible infrastructure like the Microsoft Azure cloud provides.

By now, most organizations realize the need for modernization, yet many still feel overwhelmed by the cloud, what it takes to get there, and which one to choose. When people are already overwhelmed or confused by options and information, giving them even more to ingest likely won’t help them make a decision. By instead focusing in on just a few key concepts and benefits of the Azure cloud, you can help simplify the decision for your customers.

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Driving enterprise social with Yammer for Office 365

The modern workforce, with employees more often telecommuting and working across different time zones, can present challenges to effective collaboration and communication.  This can manifest into a decrease in employee productivity and an increase in frustration. Fortunately, Microsoft Office 365 and Yammer have joined forces to create an integrated solution that will open up lines of communication and vastly increase collaborative efforts.

For Microsoft partners looking to demonstrate additional value to their existing or potential Office 365 customers, Yammer offers a premier enterprise social networking service that can help companies to connect and collaborate in a modern way. When teamed with the Office 365 suite, the Yammer integration offers a smarter and faster way to bring colleagues together while facilitate sharing and discussion.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key features of this solution that can help position it to potential customers:

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Swaying toward starting a newsletter?

If you have been entertaining the idea of creating and distributing a digital newsletter for your company, congrats! You are taking a big step toward embarking on a journey of commitment—to your craft, your company, and your customers. To make this journey as simple as possible, let Microsoft Sway be your guide.

Sway is a feature of the Office 365 suite you likely already have and use, which helps you create and share interactive content in minutes. Let’s take a look at how you can leverage Sway to create newsletters that wow audiences.

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