The BL[OZ]

Account Based Marketing (ABM) Vs. Lead Generation

By 
Guy Toledano
, 17/08/2023

Are you struggling to decide between account-based marketing (ABM) and Lead Generation for your business? In this blog, we explore the key differences between the two strategies and how they can be used together to achieve optimal results. From understanding the benefits of demand generation to utilizing ABM for "land and expand" tactics. This guide provides valuable insights for marketers looking to boost their ROI. Additionally, the blog discusses how to effectively target the two main types of LinkedIn users to generate leads and increase engagement.

min read
Account-based marketing (ABM) and lead generation are two powerful strategies for generating revenue and boosting return on investment (ROI). While both approaches have their own unique benefits, it's important to understand the key differences between them and how they can be used together to achieve optimal results. Lead generation, the core of demand generation, is a strategy that involves generating a large number of new leads for the sales team by targeting specific markets and industries. This approach is ideal for creating awareness and interest in a product or service, and can be done through various channels such as LinkedIn Campaign Manager. In contrast, account-based marketing (ABM) is a targeted approach that focuses on reaching out to specific named accounts, rather than a broad audience. ABM is designed to engage with the right accounts and create personalized content that captures their attention and drives further engagement. One key benefit of demand generation is that it brings leads in, at the top of the funnel and nurtures them until they become an opportunity for the sales team. However, as the market becomes saturated, the time, money, and resources needed to generate leads can eventually outweigh the results, leading to diminishing returns. This is where ABM comes in. By focusing on specific named accounts, ABM allows marketers to "land and expand" by targeting bigger fish that match the ideal account profile (IAP). This allows for a more efficient use of resources and a higher return on investment. While ABM and demand generation may seem like competing strategies, they can actually be used together to achieve optimal results. For example, demand generation can be used to create awareness and interest in a product or service, while ABM can be used to generate qualified leads and sign-up new customers. This marketing tactic, can start with a broad-based demand generation campaign to create awareness, which will help to identify targeted leads or target market segments, which can then be used to inform a more targeted ABM campaign. An ABM activity can be used to reach out to specific named accounts with personalized content. These combined activities allow marketers to use both strategies to accelerate the buyer's journey and assist with selling. It's also important to note that while ABM and demand generation are both outbound marketing strategies, inbound demand generation is also possible. By using inbound marketing tactics such as content marketing, SEO and other digital marketing strategies, you can drive leads and customers to your website and then use ABM to engage with them. On LinkedIn, there are two primary types of users. The first group is known as "active users" and they exhibit a high level of engagement on the platform, such as performing searches, interacting with content, and sharing posts. These users also typically stay on top of their inbox and respond to relevant messages. These active users can be effectively targeted through an awareness campaign, followed by account-based marketing efforts. The second main group of LinkedIn users are referred to as "basic users." These users tend to have a more limited level of activity on the platform, mostly just scrolling through their feed. They are less likely to respond to private messages. These basic users can be targeted through professional lead generation campaigns that will catch their attention while they are scrolling through their feed, with the use of an appealing message and creative content. It is important to note that there are other types of users who fall somewhere between active and basic user, and by combining efforts of ABM with lead generation it will help in effectively reaching out to all types of users, with the right format and message. In conclusion, account-based marketing and lead generation are both powerful strategies for generating revenue and boosting ROI. While they have their own unique benefits, it's important to understand how they can be used together to achieve optimal results. By using a targeted ABM approach in conjunction with a broad-based demand generation campaign, marketers can achieve their pipeline and revenue goals by capturing the attention of the right accounts and signing up new customers. For more info and questions contact us.
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Google VS Bing V2

Is your website “Bing-ready”?

By 
Orly Gilad
, 16/07/2023

This blog highlights essential points for SEO practitioners targeting Bing and Google. Topics include keyword research, social media integration, backlinks, local SEO, rich media content, and technical SEO. Stay updated with evolving algorithms for the best results. For more information, consult reputable SEO blogs and industry websites.

min read
  With the rising popularity of AI-powered search and ChatGPT in particular, there's a respectively rise in Bing popularity as a search engine. Are you ready for the new audience on your website?
Here are some general points to consider when comparing SEO for Bing and Google:
  1. Keyword Research: While Bing and Google both consider keywords relevancy as an important factor for SEO, they may have different algorithms for how they interpret and rank keywords. It's important to research and optimize for search terms that are relevant to both Bing and Google search results. ➭ For example, After conducting keyword research, you may find that [your company solution] + USA are popular search terms on both Bing and Google. By optimizing your content for these keywords, you'll increase the chances of appearing in search results on both search engines.
  2. Social Media Integration: Bing tends to give more importance to social media integration and social signals, such as social media shares, likes, and comments, compared to Google. Incorporating social media strategies into your SEO efforts may be more beneficial for Bing rankings, so be sure to promote your content on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, encouraging shares, likes, and comments to improve Bing rankings.
  3. Backlinks: Both Bing and Google consider backlinks as an important ranking factor, but they may have different algorithms for evaluating the quality and relevance of backlinks. It's important to understand the differences and optimize your backlink strategy accordingly. Request backlinks from authoritative industry websites or thought leaders to enhance your website's credibility and rankings on both Bing and Google.
  4. Local SEO: Bing tends to place more emphasis on local search results compared to Google. Optimizing your website for local SEO, by including location-specific keywords like "top Global B2B agencies in [Israel]"  ;) will help optimize your local listing, and getting local citations, will be beneficial for both Bing and GMB rankings.
  5. Rich Media Content: Bing tends to place more importance on rich media content, such as images and videos, compared to Google. Including relevant images and videos with proper optimization may help improve your rankings on Bing.
  6. Technical SEO: Both Bing and Google consider technical SEO factors, such as website speed, mobile-friendliness, and crawlability. Optimizing your website's technical aspects according to the guidelines of both search engines can help improve your SEO performance on both Bing and Google. ➭ To find the technical guidelines for both Bing and Google, you can refer to the official documentation and resources provided by each search engine: Additionally, both Bing and Google offer webmaster tools that provide insights into your website's performance, indexing status, and potential issues. These tools can help you optimize your website according to the search engine guidelines, improving your overall SEO performance.
It's important to note that search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, and SEO best practices may change over time. It's recommended to stay updated with the latest guidelines and best practices from both Bing and Google and regularly monitor and optimize your website for both search engines to achieve the best SEO results. You can refer to reputable SEOz blogs, online publications, and industry websites for more detailed and up-to-date information on SEO for Bing and Google.
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Customer Journey

Consumerize the Customer Journey

By 
Nirit Elyovich
, 25/01/2022

Early in my career, a wise woman said customers pay my salary, not owners. It's vital for marketers to consider future customers' needs.

min read
When I just started my career, an intelligent woman told me that only when I understand that the customers of the company pay my salary and not the company owners, will I be able to call myself a marketer. So when you think about the future of marketing, you need to first consider what kind of customers we will meet. Let’s talk about how you “consumerize” the customer journey; how you look at the B2B (Business to Business) customer a bit like a consumer.

The new B2B customer is a digital native

Our childhood determines our future behaviors as adults, the people we become, and the decision-makers we grow up to be. It is also true of the technological environment in which we were raised. consumerize the customer The millennials, also known as Generation Y, were born after 1980. They are now in their 30’s. Generation Z, as you can see in the table, is still young, but we will soon see them influencing our businesses. Since technology is changing very quickly, a sub-generation was born between the Millennials and Generation Z. Zillennials were born between ‘93-‘98 and were influenced by more advanced technology than the Millennials. For their entire lives, digital natives have been surrounded by technology, social media, mobile devices, computers, and the internet. They speak this digital language as their mother tongue. They did not learn this language in their 20’s, 30’s, or later. They do not have an accent, so to speak. Breakfast-Club Breakfast-Club office This impressive figure tells the whole story: More and more millennials and gen zers are entering the B2B decision journey, some as technological or professional influencers and others as decision-makers. It is important to note that among the people involved in decision-making, you usually meet several generations. A few months ago, we at Oz Global B2B did a project for the American agricultural market. The intergenerational integration in the decision-making process that arose there was very prominent.
    • A family business where the younger generation initiates a decision, and the founding generation approves it. Sometimes the founder initiates the decision but immediately passes it on to the younger generation to check online what the options are.
    • A senior manager at a big business closes a deal, but the people in the field - professionals or salespeople - do not “speak” the same language. This will greatly affect the next purchase.
Even if you think your business is less exposed, check again! It does not matter if the decision-makers are digital natives or digital immigrants. Within the process, there will always be a mix of generations.

The Millennials and Gen Zers highly influence who will enter the decision funnel

About 50% of all product searches on the web are conducted by digital natives. The customer journey is long, complex, and involves many stakeholders. About Breakfast club By the time the customer recognizes that he has a problem, we are, in most cases, not there. Identification is an internal stage from which someone is appointed to start researching information to find options for a solution. 50% of those who conduct the research and seek alternatives regarding a product or service, may not take an "official" part in decision-making but are the ones who put the relevant suppliers in the decision-making funnel. They are the ones who build the long list. They are the ones who decide whether or not you will be included in the “consideration group,” which is of critical importance.

Two tips to gain the trust of digital natives:

1. Be authentic!

The generation that grew up on social networks, fake news, and unfounded marketing does not believe in marketing messages and does not believe in unproven statements. They have developed a hypersensitivity to online messages - they suffer from a blatant lack of trust in what is being said online. They continue to consume information online, but with a very large firewall. The bright side of it is that digital natives recognize authenticity when they see it..

So what does authentic marketing look like?

    1. Get your executives to use social media Customers want to know the people behind the executives or the company representatives that they are in contact with.Make sure your site reveals who you are beyond your formal title. What topics do you choose to share? Who are your friends, what groups do you belong to, and to whom do you respond to?LinkedIn is not everything. Feel free to diversify to other social networks - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Tik Tok.
  • Share user-generated content from real people Show real things, with real customers behind them. If you trust your product, let it tell your story.
  • Go live on social media platforms Talk without filters. To digital natives this sounds obvious, to digital immigrants, it is less trivial. At first, the digital immigrants posted posts after editing them numerous times. Then they agreed to post an edited video. The transition to live video is scarier, but this is exactly the meaning of authenticity.
  • Promote employee advocacy Empower your employees to share smart, quality content with their own social networks. On average, employee networks have 10x more connections than a company has followers. Plus, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, people are 3x more likely to trust company information shared by an employee than that shared by a CEO.

2. Consumerize!

This word does not exist in the dictionary yet but already stars in the literature that follows trends in the B2B world. As Mona Akmal, Falkon CEO and Cofounder, once said, “As work and life flexibly intertwine, so must our approach to reaching our target users.” Gone are the days when the customer was a business person between 9-17 and a consumer on evenings and weekends. Studies show that the business customer is very much influenced by his consumer experience and expects to have a similar experience in business purchases. The customer experience touches on all stages of the journey - collecting information, placing an order, contacting the company up to paying.
  • More than 80% of B2B customers stated that they will look for a new supplier if their expectations in terms of customer service and user experience are not fulfilled.
  • According to McKinsey & Co, B2B brands score below 50% on customer experience index ratings on average, compared to 65 to 85% for typical B2C brands.
  • Gartner illustrates that 77% of B2B buyers report that their last purchase was very difficult or complex.
The conclusion is that as customer experience improves in the consumer world, B2B buyer expectations will rise as well. In short, do not compare yourself only to competitors in your immediate area. The customer or client expects from you the same experience as on Amazon, Netflix, or Uber.

To sum up…

  1. The digital natives are digital animals. They were born into it, and it is their playground. It requires us to be present and comfortable in the digital space. Allow them to find us easily and learn about us in a convenient way that interests them. Allow them to easily consult, purchase and pay online.
  2. Life in the digital arena has taught them to be suspicious, not to believe everything they are told. They have developed the skills and expertise to recognize fake news when they see it. This requires us to be authentic in interactions with them, without filters and edits.
  3. Remember, before they are decision-makers, customers, or partners, they are first and foremost human beings. Their personal lives have seeped into their business life and it is very difficult for them to separate the two. So, we have no choice but to "consumerize" the way we treat them.
The different characteristics between the B2C and B2B worlds are getting blurry. Whether we are marketing to a B2B customer or a B2C consumer, we are actually humans who sell to other human beings. So let’s all agree that it is really H2H marketing. Want to talk to Nirit? You can reach her at nirit@ozglobalb2b.com Human to Human markteing
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marketing trends

10, 9, 8…. And counting down marketing trends for 2018

By 
Orit Oz
, 18/01/2018

The New Year is here and we put together a countdown of marketing trends that will affect B2B brands in 2018!

min read
The New Year is officially here and we decided to put together a countdown of marketing trends that will affect B2B brands in 2018! Here goes…..

10 – Visual content

Marketing trends The trend for visualization through video, images and infographics will get stronger. In fact, predictions indicate that by 2019, video will account for 80% of consumer internet traffic. And, according to Facebook, live is even better and live video gets 3x more views and is expected to dramatically increase in 2017. B2B brands can use live videos in lots of different ways, including at events to give followers a behind-the-scenes look, host interviews with key influencers, and launch promotions.

9 – Big (big) data

Big (big) data Big data’s been a big trend for many years now, but it’s become more accessible because of machine learning and AI. As more and more platforms and marketing methods start incorporating big data, the use of big data is becoming an essential part of marketing and understanding what the consumer wants and when is worth its weight in gold.

8 – Authenticity

Authenticity Transparency and trust have become a major component of the customer’s decision-making process as customers’ become less and less tolerant towards fake news and reviews, or in other words, exaggerated marketing. Brands should invest in community management to keep the online community engaged, informed and happy; and can use technology advances such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to connect with users on a deeper, more emotional level.

7 – Content and influencer networks

Content and influencer networks There is no arguing with the fact that content is still king. However, there is a need to deal with the challenge of oversaturation. Now that most brands have some sort of content strategy and social media networks are full of content, the focus needs to shift slightly. Rather than fighting for more visibility, marketers will need to think out of the box and stand out in space that is already taken. This is where influencers come into the picture. By leveraging the networks of influencers who already have a “captive” audience, marketers can increase their online influence and start to reduce the volume of content produced, or in other words, go for quality and not quantity.

6 – Shift of focus from millennials to Generation Z

Shift of focus from millennials to Generation Z Born between 1995 and 2010, this consumer group marks a substantial shift that will affect all brands. These digital natives are different from millennials and they will have increased buying power in the near future. Keep an eye out on key platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram when targeting this young and highly dynamic demographic.

5 – Mobile, mobile, mobile

Mobile, mobile, mobile We cannot emphasize this one enough. Consumers are spending most of their time on their mobile phones. In fact, in 2018, mobile video consumption is expected to grow by 25% and ad spending on mobile video will reach 18 billion dollars next year, surpassing desktop. Even Google has even given priority to pages that are AMP optimized (Accelerated Mobile Pages). So the bottom line is that if you haven’t yet done so, you need to start optimizing your marketing strategies, websites and ads for mobile.

4 – Shift in KPIs

Shift in KPIs While it’s still important to know how many people visited your site and from where, at the end of the day it’s all about sales. For this reason, it’s important to track conversions and revenue, in other words, who buys and at what stage of the buyer’s journey. In this way, it becomes easier to track your return of investment on digital marketing.

3 – Data protection

Data protection The digital age brings with it the need to take multiple aspects including data privacy into account. In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take affect with the aim of improving protection for EU citizens and adapting privacy and data laws to the digital age. This will require marketers to think and act very differently as it will affecter multiple factors in a marketer’s focus, some of which require organizations to start preparing immediately.

2 – Native ads and smart content

Native ads and smart content Native advertising is expected to drive more than 74 percent of all add revenue by 2021. Because of their more natural placement and format, these ads usually get more exposure and engagement than traditional banner ads. However, these ads need to be written according to the preferences of those seeing the ads, and they should also be linked to “smart content” that is adapted to audiences based on NI, cookies and an in-depth understanding of target audiences.

1 – Take advantage of the FOMO effect

Take advantage of the FOMO effect Even though we already mentioned this one in a previous point, we think it deserves to be repeated for emphasis. As more and more people experience the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) effect, marketers need to create unique and original content that makes potential customers feel like they’re the first to know. For example, content that involves a “behind-the-scenes look”, an exclusive with an influencer, or a sneak preview of upcoming projects and product launches can be used to really create a buzz and get potential consumers to engage “before” anyone else does.
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UX

Moo-ving it up a notch with user experience

By 
Miri Peled
, 10/10/2017

To encourage Afimilk’s dealers to make more purchases online and to give them access to marketing materials, OZ designed an intuitive online partner portal.

min read

Afimilk case study: partner portal

In the world of B2B, it’s really important to nurture partner relationships and find ways to make it easier for our partners and distributors to satisfy the needs of their (and our) end customers. In this manner, you can create a win-win situation where both your customers (distributors) are happy and their customers (end users) are happy with your brand. Recently, as part of our ongoing services for Afimilk – a global leader in advanced dairy management technology solutions – we created a unique and creative solution for its partners. With the goal of encouraging Afimilk’s dealers to make more purchases online and give them easy access to marketing materials, we designed an integrated and intuitive online partner portal. This portal provides end-to-end marketing and sales support, and an easy-to-use online ordering system. It includes three valuable tools that are also integrated with Afimilk’s ERP system:
  1. Knowledge center – with marketing resources including brochures, presentations, and supporting materials to help dealers promote Afimilk solutions.
  2. Configurator wizard – builds price quotations tailored to customer requirements while promoting Afimilk’s preferred solutions.
  3. Market gate – intuitive online ordering system tailored for Afimilk partners to encourage online ordering.
By designing a responsive and interactive user experience that adds value for its partners, offers instant marketing support, and integrates with Afimilk’s ERP system, we helped Afimilk take their partner engagement to the next level!
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Business-to-Business-to User model

Moving to a business-to-business-to-user mindset (B2B2U©)

By 
Dina Gidron
, 10/09/2017

Communicate with both intermediary customers and patient-consumers in this new age of healthcare by transitioning to a Business-to-Business-to User model.

min read
We're entering a new age of healthcare, the "Social Health" era, where the focus has shifted to informed patient-consumers. With ever-increasing access to information, our patient-consumers are now empowered more than ever to make choices for themselves by researching and even shopping online for everything from health plans and doctors to medical equipment and insurance policies. As the digital revolution disrupts the way we've traditionally done business in the medical and healthcare space, there is a need to communicate with both intermediary customers (payers) and patient-consumers. This means transitioning from a more traditional Business-to-Business (B2B) model into a newer Business-to-Business-to User (B2B2U©) model. Because at the end of the day, even if you aren't selling directly to your patient-consumers, you still need to engage with them to understand their challenges, meet their needs and ultimately create bottom-up demand for your brand. This move to a B2B2U model starts with identifying your patient-consumers and gathering information about their challenges. Once you’ve identified them, you can then open up direct channels of communication with them, offer them valuable information and also show them how your services or products offer real value and help solve their challenges. One of the challenges in this approach is making sure that you don’t compromise your relationship with your paying customers when you start communicating directly with your patient-consumers. This can be solved by involving them in the process and maintaining full transparency about your goal, that is, to raise brand awareness and drive demand (and not to sell directly to patient-consumers). Interested in learning more about how you can create a win-win situation for both you and your intermediary customers? 
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relationships

It’s all about the people and building relationships

By 
Miri Peled
, 09/08/2017

We worked together to develop a new visual identity that stands out in the global market and is also centered around Trendlines’ two foundational principles.

min read
Trendlines Group case study: rebranding and visual identity As our clients grow and expand their global reach, we are committed to helping them tell the story that sets them apart while staying true to their authentic corporate values. In the case of Trendlines Group – an innovation commercialization company that invents, invest in, and incubates innovation-based technology – global expansion and going public on the Singapore stock exchange were the main catalysts for looking to OZ for rebranding. As we've been partnering with Trendlines for the last 20 years, it was natural that the company turned to us for support at this significant point of growth. Against the backdrop of our long-term relationship, we worked together to develop a new visual identity that stands out in today's global market and is also centered around Trendlines’ two foundational principles:

It’s about the people AND building relationships

Because Trendlines Group’s hands-on investment approach and commitment to improve the human condition through innovation are inseparable parts of the company's character, the refreshed visual identity rests strongly on these principles. The result – a new compelling brand and visual identity – was launched at Trendlines’ 7th Annual Trendlines Company Showcase attended by hundreds of biomedicine industry professionals from around the world, and sponsored by companies worldwide.
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Healthcare

Inbound for Medical & Healthcare Companies Event

By 
Miri Peled
, 23/07/2017

We held an Inbound for Medical & Healthcare Companies event where industry experts shared multiple insights on marketing for medical and healthcare industries.

min read
On 21 June 2017, we held a successful Inbound for Medical & Healthcare Companies event for over 50 attendees. At the event, industry experts shared the following insights on marketing for medical & healthcare companies:
  • Matt Brown, HubSpot Specialist from Boston – US Trends in Healthcare Marketing
  • Dina Gidron, VP Strategy at OZ – Opening New Channels of Communication
  • Mickey Nave, Corporate Marketing Director at Lumenis – Medical marketing: generating leads that your sales team will love
  • Bat-chen Grinberg, Founder of MC Forum – Digital tools that reduce your work overload
Here are some important takeaways from the event:
  1. The age of “Social Health”. The combination of healthcare reforms, the age of consumerism and mobile technology is creating the perfect climate for change in healthcare.
  2. We see YOU, we know YOU, we understand YOU, we want to help YOUThe digital revolution is transforming the way we do business as we shift from a Business-to-Business (B2B) to a Business-to-Business-to-User (B2B2U©).
  3. Patient-consumers are the center of the universe. As patient-consumers become the single most important factor in this new era, we need to open up direct channels of communication with them to understand their challenges, increase brand awareness and create bottom-up demand.
  4. Trends in medical and healthcare. Patient-consumers are avid researchers; marketers are targeting patient-consumers AND payers; digital channels are overtaking traditional marketing channels; and digital content is key to the decision process.
  5. Brands must recognize social health and deliver value across the full spectrum to drive leads, convert prospects to customers and keep them loyal.
  6. Inbound marketing and content marketing are well-suited to the medical and healthcare industry as it promotes targeted communication, trust-based decision-making, long-term relationships, and thought leadership and industry expertise.
 
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patient-consumers

Getting to know your patient-consumers

By 
Orit Oz
, 13/07/2017

When I just started my career, an intelligent woman told me that only when I understand.

min read

Preparing for the age of “Social Health”

As healthcare reforms, the era of consumerism and mobile technology create the ideal climate for positive change in the medical and healthcare arena, we’re ushering in a new age – the “Social Health” era. As we transition into this new era, patient-consumers are becoming the single most important factor in the medical and healthcare eco-system; and as they research and shop online for medical services, products and insurance plans, the medical & healthcare industry increasingly resembles a retail industry. The impact of this shift on medical and healthcare providers is huge as it means they need to open up direct channels of communication with patient-consumers to understand their challenges and offer services and products with real value. Or in other words, there is a need to move from a Business-to-Business (B2B) to a Business-to-Business-to-User (B2B2U©) approach. Social Health As we enter this age of “Social Health”, brands need to recognize the need to deliver value across the full spectrum to drive leads, convert prospects to customers and keep them loyal.
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What’s the difference between traditional and inbound marketing?

What’s the difference between traditional and inbound marketing?

By 
Miri Peled
, 29/06/2017

Inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers through valuable content, while traditional marketing is marketer-centric and uses more interruptive methods.

min read

It's time to attract your prospects instead of bombarding them.

Inbound marketing is a customer-centric approach that focuses on attracting customers to your business through content and interactions that are valuable, helpful, and trust-building.

It’s all about using remarkable content to develop and nurture long-term relationships with your prospects so they ultimately build trust in your brand.

In comparison, traditional marketing, which is marketer-centric, uses more interruptive methods to vie for the attention of prospects.  
Inbound                                                         VS. Outbound
Definition Inbound marketing uses customer-centric tactics to attract prospects, address their challenges and goals, and build trust in your business Traditional marketing uses more interruptive methods to push products and services and get the attention of prospects
Communication Based on interactive communication that engages prospects and attracts them to you Based on one-way, outward communication
Tools/techniques Educational content such as blogs, videos, eBooks, white papers, SEO, and case studies Print and TV ads, banner ads, direct mail, cold calling, and mass email campaigns
Goals Offer prospects value through educational content and earn their trust Drive sales through product-centric marketing
 
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some tips

Get your creative juices flowing with these great blog topic tips

By 
Orit Oz
, 06/06/2017

Here are some tips to get your creative juices flowing to come up with some great blog topics.

min read
In one of our last blogs, we spoke about how content is the fuel behind inbound marketing. The question now is where do you start and what do you focus on? Let’s start with a quick recap of the recommended process for creating content for inbound:
  1. Consider the content’s purpose, format and topics.
  2. Create content that builds trust amongst your prospects.
  3. Get your content in front of the right people at the right time.
  4. Analyze & repeat. Determine what worked and what didn’t, and repeat your successes.
In this blog we’ll focus on the first stage: Plan. But stay tuned for future posts on the whole process. In the planning stage, you’ll need to decide on the content's purpose, format, and TOPICS. And that’s where you’ll need to get your creative juices going. Because you’ll need to come up with ideas that attract potential customers and keep them coming back for more. But how do you get out of your own head and into your potential customers’ heads to find inspiration? The most obvious place to start would be by ASKING THEM. Yes, we know it sounds trivial but when was the last time you actually spoke to your end users and customers about their actual challenges? Another great source of information is your field sales team who frequently interact with your end users and customers.
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nurturing

What is lead nurturing?

By 
Orit Oz
, 24/05/2017

Lead nurturing is the process of engaging with contacts via automated workflows to build a relationship with them.

min read
Lead nurturing is the process of engaging with contacts via automated workflows to build a relationship with them. The end goal is to close more educated and qualified customers faster and to delight customers to become promoters of your brand. Because the reality is that not all leads are ready to talk to the sales team at the beginning of their interaction with your company. In fact, most aren't, and according to HubSpot, research shows that only 5-25% of visitors that come to your site are ready to close the deal. This means that in order for inbound marketing to be effective, you need to engage with your leads along every stage of the buyer's journey until they are ready to do business with you. Which is where lead nurturing comes in. As a key component of your B2B marketing strategy, lead nurturing utilizes automated email campaigns that are timely, offer valuable content, and address your prospects' specific interests to nurture them until they're sales ready. And, because the emails are automated, it saves you a lot of work by qualifying leads and pushing them through the sales funnel quicker, meaning a higher return on investment. In fact, DemandGen Report found that nurtured leads increase sales opportunities by an average of 20% versus non-nurtured leads. As you begin to develop your lead nurturing workflows, always remember these foundational principles:
  • Grow and nurture relationships
  • Offer educational content
  • Use hyper personalization
This means you should constantly consider whether you're offering your customer value, and ensure your content isn't promotional but rather informational and educational. Also, don't forget to target and personalize your communication based on your buyer persona's questions and interests and where they are in the buyer's journey. This keeps your communication efforts relevant and consistent – which is ultimately what produces results.
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Inbound marketing in a nutshell

Inbound marketing in a nutshell

By 
Orit Oz
, 16/05/2017

When I just started my career, an intelligent woman told me that only when I understand.

min read
Inbound marketing is a customer-centric approach that focuses on attracting customers to your business by offering valuable and informative content that speaks to theirs needs and builds trust in your business. As opposed to more traditional, marketer-centric marketing, which uses interruptive methods such as emails, cold calling, and printed ads to get the attention of prospects, inbound marketing creates positive interactions that empower prospects with the information they need to make decisions for themselves.

Why inbound marketing?

We live in an age where people are bombarded with advertising wherever they turn, and for this reason, have become increasingly skeptical of standard interruptive marketing methods. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports that 90% of B2B buyers never respond to cold-marketing. For this reason, instead of competing for consumer attention, inbound uses the fact that prospects seek out the information they need on their own terms. By developing valuable and relevant content with the expectation to be found, potential customers will come to you, become new clients, and ultimately be delighted by their experience.

How does inbound marketing work?

Inbound marketing is based on four phases: attract, convert, close, delight inbound marketing

ATTRACT

First, attract visitors to your website using tools such as blogging, website optimization, and, social media. Tools: blog, social media, keywords, pages

CONVERT

Once you have new visitors, you can convert some into leads by gathering their contact information, the currency of inbound marketing. To do this, it's important to offer them something valuable, usually in the form of additional information or useful content. Tools: calls-to-action, landing pages, forms, contacts

CLOSE

Once you’ve converted some visitors into leads, you need to nurture their interest by providing them with relevant information. In this stage, tools like email and CRM are helpful in selling to the right leads at the right time. Tools: email, workflows, lead scoring, CRM integrations

DELIGHT

Once you close a sale with a customer, your relationship is just beginning. At this stage, you need to continue to delight and engage them so they become happy promoters of your brand. Tools: social media, smart calls-to-action, email, workflows Analysis is critical to making inbound marketing work. Every strategy and technique you use, and content you create, should be analyzed regularly to see if it's working, and adjusted as needed to make it better.
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B2B

Does inbound marketing work for B2B?

By 
Orit Oz
, 16/05/2017

Does inbound marketing work for B2B businesses? Of course it does, because it doesn’t matter what you’re selling or to whom – your customer always comes first.

min read

Attracting customers with inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a customer-centric approach that focuses on attracting customers to your business. Unlike traditional interruptive marketing that vies for attention through cold calls, purchased ads, and email blasts, inbound marketing responds to prospects’ needs and interests by offering them valuable content in the right place and at the right time. “By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.- Hubspot Read more about inbound marketing here.

So how does inbound marketing work for B2B?

It’s often assumed that inbound marketing is better suited for businesses that sell directly to consumers (B2C); and, in the recent “push” to “pull” marketing shift, it appears that B2C organizations have more easily adopted this new marketing model. In contrast, B2B or B2C organizations appear to be more skeptical and adopt the new approach with more caution. The main reason for this is that a lot of B2B and B2B2C organizations are still trying to figure out how inbound marketing can work for them; and they often question whether this new approach is even applicable to business customers.

The answer is — of course — YES!

Because the truth is that it doesn’t matter what you’re selling or to whom, the majority of your prospects are usually partially through the buying cycle before they even consider talking to a salesperson. And that’s where the emphasis needs to be — ON YOUR PROSPECTS. In order for inbound marketing to work, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your value chain and your sales model. Once you have that, you can then create valuable content that attracts visitors to your business, converts them into prospects, engages them until they decide to purchase your product or service, and then delights them so they become promoters of your brand. In this manner, you can use inbound marketing to create a win-win situation where you get closer to both your distributors and your end users, and in the process, increase brand awareness to enhance end-user demand for your brand (even if you they are not buying directly from you). But here’s the thing – you need to be in it for the long haul. Inbound marketing takes time, effort, and patience. But it’s definitely worth the wait!
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Inbound marketing for B2B

Attracting the RIGHT customers to your B2B business

By 
Orit Oz
, 16/05/2017

Inbound marketing for B2B is about attracting the right people to your business – those who become leads, then customers and ultimately promoters of your brand.

min read
Inbound marketing is not just about attracting people to your business; it's about attracting the right people to your business – those who will become leads, and then customers, and ultimately happy promoters of your brand. There are tools for every stage of the inbound marketing process, and the first phase — attract — is all about getting suitable prospects in the door. This is usually done by offering valuable content and using a variety of marketing techniques to ensure that B2B buyers find your business, including blogging, SEO, and social media — but for the moment, let’s leave that for another post. Because before you start anything, in order to attract the right customers, you obviously need to know who your ideal customers actually are — right? Understanding who your customers are and what they want For the inbound customer-centric approach to work, you need to know who you're actually trying to reach. The best way to learn about your ideal customers, their interests, and their buying habits is to develop buyer personas, which are simply representations of your ideal customers. Buyer personas are based on three essential practices – research, identifying trends, and creating persona profile stories. This research and analysis allows you to uncover the mindset, goals, challenges, and motivations of your potential buyers. Once you've determined who your ideal customers are, the next step is understanding the buyer’s journey — which is the active research process your potential prospects go through before making a purchase. This journey, which is usually divided into three stages – awareness, consideration, and decision--, helps you tailor your inbound marketing and content to create meaningful interactions with your ideal customers (buyer personas) at every stage of their process (buyer's journey).
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Content

The power of content in inbound marketing

By 
Orit Oz
, 16/05/2017

Content is the fuel behind inbound marketing – it carries the message your company wants to deliver to your customers at the right time and in the right place.

min read

Content is what sets you apart

It’s the fuel behind inbound marketing – it carries the message your company wants to deliver to your customers at the right time and in the right place. It’s what powers a successful inbound strategy by pulling people from one stage of the inbound methodology to another and addressing their challenges and questions. It’s what attracts the right visitors to your site, converts them into leads, nurtures them, helps close them into customers, and then delights them into promoters.

Content in B2B

Content marketing works for every type of business. In fact, according to a report put out by the Content Marketing Institute, 85% of B2B marketers identified the creation of quality and efficient content as being a leading factor for increased marketing success in 2016. Additionally, based on company metrics, 78% of these B2B marketers report an increase in audience engagement and 57% saw an increase in sales with use of content for their B2B marketing.

The content process

Now that we've established the importance of content, where do you start and what should you focus on? The best way to optimize your content for your inbound marketing strategy is to follow a content process that involves 4 main steps:
  1. Consider the content’s purpose, format and topics.
  2. Create content that builds trust amongst your prospects.
  3. Get your content in front of the right people at the right time.
  4. Analyze & repeat. Determine what worked and what didn’t, and repeat your successes.
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Filterit

Getting creative in B2B marketing

By 
Miri Peled
, 15/05/2017

Yes, branding is vital to success. But what about lead generation, which is also crucial to business and requires creative methods to bring in qualified leads?

min read
We speak a lot about branding — adding value to B2B brands, building global brands, marketing in a digital world, employee branding, etc. Yes, they are all absolutely vital to business growth and success. But we often tend to speak less about or even ignore a less “sexy” component— lead generation. Most people just hear the term and get overwhelmed, which is a major problem as despite the challenges involved, lead acquisition and tracking is a crucial part of any business. And in a world where the heat is always on to win (or maintain) market share and stay ahead of the competition, traditional methods are no longer enough. More of the same just doesn’t cut it anymore and creativity is key! In the case of Amiad Water Systems, a world leader in water treatment and filtration solutions, the marketing team decided to try something different to support and improve the sales process. This came after the company successfully underwent rebranding; and with a solid foundation in place, it was time to get the word out and translate all the efforts into revenue. After getting the go ahead from the sales team and researching potential buyer personas, the team created Amiad FilterIT — a digital tool (app) to help end users understand which of the company’s solutions best suited their needs. The idea was simple. The user would sign up and download the app, add the criteria, and receive information on the products that met these criteria. In addition to helping the end user and collecting highly-qualified leads, the Amiad FilterIT app could also be used to promote new and innovative products, push notifications to customers, track data and optimize products and services based on user behavior and needs. Once the app was implemented in one specific market, Amiad used a digital campaign to promote it and as a result, the sales team received hundreds of qualified leads that could then be nurtured through direct communication. Based on this success, Amiad is currently in the process of implementing the app in additional markets globally.
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Inbound marketing

What’s all the fuss about Inbound marketing?

By 
Orit Oz
, 15/05/2017

We’ve all heard the term Inbound marketing thrown around a lot lately. It’s become the latest catchphrase in a field that’s already packed with catchphrases.

min read
We’ve all heard the term Inbound marketing thrown around a lot lately. It’s become the latest catchphrase in a field that’s already packed with catchphrases. But what does it actually mean and can it help B2B businesses grow?

What is Inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is the process of attracting potential customers and getting them to reach out to you. This is different to more traditional marketing (also known as push marketing or outbound marketing) where you actively reach out to potential customers through methods such as cold-calling, printed magazines, and traditional advertising. But how do you attract potential customers and get them to trust you before you’ve even pitched them your product? The answer lies in content —the foundation of the Inbound methodology. By creating carefully curated content, you’ll establish yourself as a trusted source of knowledge and attract the ideal visitors to your site, convert them into leads and then customers, and keep them engaged so they go on to promote your brand.  “By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.” - Hubspot inbound work

Inbound marketing in a nutshell

Inbound marketing is filled with complexities, but the following four steps (based on the Hubspot Inbound methodology) summarize the main Inbound stages:
  1. Attract. Before you do anything, you need to fully research and understand who your ideal customers or buyer personas are. Once you have identified them, you can get them to come to you.
  2. Find creative ways to “convert” these potential customers into leads by offering them something valuable in return.
  3. Turn your leads into customers.
  4. Continue to engage with your customers so they become promoters of your brand.

Inbound marketing in B2B

At this stage, you may be wondering whether Inbound marketing works in the world of B2B. The answer is a big loud “Yes!” In fact, Inbound marketing creates a win-win situation for you where you can get closer to your direct customers and distributors, and also increase brand awareness amongst end users to enhance end-user demand for your brand (even if you they are not buying directly from you). Read how Elcam used digital marketing to increase brand awareness>>

Combining Inbound and offline marketing

We’d like to emphasize that Inbound marketing does not replace the need for interpersonal interaction with your customers – especially in B2B industries where the customer model tends to be more complex and is often based on long-term relationships. The goal is to find the right communication mix for your specific B2B business needs, market and customers. By promoting your brand through a digital dialog and an inter-personal dialog, you can achieve a more effective and efficient sales and marketing process for better business results. For example, you can combine a compelling digital campaign to encourage potential customers to visit you at a trade show, and then meet them at the event to continue a direct dialogue with them. Look out for our next blog post on the need for face-to-face communication with your customers and creative ways to combine digital and interpersonal communication (coming soon).

Inbound marketing – here to stay?

Another big loud “Yes!” It’s quite simple - as more and more potential buyers turn to the Internet for answers to their challenges, they look to buy from suppliers who instill trust by answering their questions and offering solutions to their problems. This means that in order to stay relevant in the marketplace, you have to be present where your potential buyers are looking for answers - online. And that’s why everyone is fussing over Inbound marketing.
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The changing role of CMOs in B2B marketing

The changing role of CMOs in B2B marketing

By 
Miri Peled
, 15/05/2017

Customer empowerment has led to a changing CMO role as CMOs become the customer voice within their organizations. But what does this role actually involve?

min read
With the evolving nature of the marketplace, the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is quickly transforming and becoming one of the most strategic functions in most organizations. As a result, the skill set required of the CMO and the marketing team is also changing rapidly. Once responsible mainly for market research, corporate brand management and advertising, the CMO now has additional complex responsibilities that extend far beyond traditional marketing — including technology (digital marketing), analytics, customer experience expertise, and content. According to Bill Lee, founder of the Center for Customer Engagement in an interview with CMO.com: “CMOs today have a real opportunity to get a competitive jump by organizing more forcefully around today’s buyer—who is changing rapidly. It’s arguably the most important trend in marketing.”

The customer leads the way

With digital disruption and an ongoing increase in Internet and social media usage, consumers now have almost all the information they need at their fingertips. In fact, research shows that the majority of customers engage in online research and brand comparison before they commit to a specific product or service — even (and often especially) in the world of business to business (B2B) — and continue to use online platforms at multiple points across their buyer journey. This has far reaching effects on the marketplace, and businesses are being forced to adapt their marketing strategy accordingly. Instead of interruptive marketing fighting for a customer's attention and money, twenty-first century businesses need to focus on both offline and online marketing to attract potential customers, increase sales and maintain an ongoing relationship with their customers.

Expanding the CMO’s Role

These changes to customer behavior, as well as the ability of companies to reach a more diverse and global customer base, have led to an expansion or even a complete redefinition of the CMO’s role, in both B2C and B2B marketing. As advocators for customers — or the “voice of the customer” —CMOs will need to lead changes across companies. This involves playing a more active role in areas such as global branding strategy and public profile, product development, leading the move from a product-centric to a customer-centric model, content planning and generation, digital media, and more.
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Using online marketing to generate a buzz (or a moo)

Using online marketing to generate a buzz (or a moo)

By 
Miri Peled
, 15/05/2017

When Afimilk was preparing to launch its new AfiLab, the company turned to Oz Branding for assistance in creating a combined online and offline campaign.

min read

Afimilk case study: all you need is lab

When Afimilk — a pioneer and global leader of management technology for dairy farming — was preparing to launch its In-line Milk Lab internationally, the company turned to Oz for assistance in creating a combined online and offline campaign for the launch.
The two companies had already worked together successfully on Afimilk’s ongoing corporate branding needs, so they eased straight into defining the specific market needs for AfiLab Milk Analyzer, building a compelling visual identity and brand promise for the product, and creating and implementing a creative concept for the campaign. The relaunch of AfiLab was planned for the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California in February 2015. For this reason, the main campaign goals were to create in-person traffic to the Afimilk booth, significantly increase online traffic to all Afimilk web pages and specific mini sites before and after the expo, and also generate a substantial number of quality leads for the sales team. This was done using a combined online and offline approach:
  • Online – including digital ads in a variety of professional magazines, a social network campaign that was launched 6 weeks before the expo, the creation of a specific AfiLab mini-site, blog posts on the subject, a newsletter, a PR, and more.
  • Offline – including brochures, a booth at the trade show, giveaways, printed ads, and more.
This combined methodology paid off —the digital campaign alone generated 195 quality leads and drove in-person traffic to the AfiMilk booth at the World Ag Expo where the new AfiLab was successfully launched. Interested in reading more about the Afimilk? Visit their website: http://www.afimilk.com/
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Event Marketing

The Online Approach to Event Marketing

By 
Miri Peled
, 14/05/2017

This post will explain how to effectively integrate the two to achieve your company's greater marketing goals when it comes to marketing a conference

min read
In the world of B2B, inbound marketing is often thought of as completely separate from your offline marketing. This type of thinking, however, misses opportunities for effective lead generation, especially when it comes to B2B conferences. This post will explain how to effectively integrate the two to achieve your company's greater marketing goals when it comes to marketing a conference in your industry.

1. The More Targeted the Event, the Better

At an industry conference, you want your booth and company to really stand out among the others. The larger the conference and broader the topic, the more challenging it will be for your product to grab the attention of potential customers. One of our customers, Elcam Medical, for instance, started to see fantastic results after attending more targeted events. After undergoing a branding process which sought to position the company as experts in ensuring safety in the hospital environment, they understood that they were marketing not only to their supplier, but also to their end user -- ICU nurses. You can read more about Elcam's success in integrating online and offline marketing strategies here>> As a result, instead of attending the usual larger medical conferences and trade shows, they began to attend more targeted professional conferences of nurses, albeit with a smaller booth. Since the subject was so targeted, Elcam Medical was often able to generate awareness of their product by speaking on the lecture panel at the conference.

2. Be Really Clear About Your Inbound Goals

Make sure everyone in your marketing department is working together towards the same goals. Your inbound marketing activity before, during, and after events can support your greater marketing strategy of lead generation by:
  • Increasing both direct and indirect traffic to your company website
  • Increasing the number of email or blog subscribers
  • Educating potential customers about your specific product or service
  • Increase the number of requests for a product demo
Once you've clarified your goals, make sure you have a way to measure them.

3. Identify your Call-to-Action (CTA)

A call-to-action, or CTA, is an action which you want potential customers to take. This is the method by which you achieve your goal, which you've properly defined in #2. Your CTA could be to convince potential customers to register for the event, download your ebook or white paper, sign up for your webinar, take a survey, or just visit your latest product or service page. By convincing potential customers to take this action, you are driving them further along the sales cycle. Other parts of your company can benefit from trade shows as well, so it is important to sit down and brainstorm with management in different departments to get their input. One of our clients, Afimilk, decided that in order to promote their new product, the AfiAct II at the World Dairy Expo, they would run a lottery during the event to give away the product to one lucky registrant for free. We integrated a CTA into all of their marketing materials for this event, adding it to the Afimilk website homepage,  and creating landing page dedicated to registrations specifically for the event.   afiimilk_afiact_2_campign

4. Create a Dedicated Landing Page to Promote your Event

The best landing pages promote events before and after the event. How? Before the event, they help to schedule appointments with your sales and marketing team, explain exactly what your company will be doing at the event, and promote a particular product or service. After the event, they publish reactions and insights from the event as well as the speaker's presentations on the landing page. Another purpose of your dedicated landing page before the event can be to get specific info from potential customers in order for your sales team to qualify them. But in an environment where you are competing with many other companies for the attention of the same people, you'll need to stand out from the crowd. Why would they want to give you information about themselves? You'll have to offer them something in return. Think really hard about what your potential customer's pain point is and how you can help them – for free, in exchange for their contact information. Here's an example from one of our customers, Plastopil, where we inspired customers to register to an event by offering them a free iPad mini:   Plastopil_landing_page

5. Promote Your Event via Email Marketing

Invite your contacts to the event with an email beforehand, sending them to your dedicated landing page in order to register for the event or schedule appointments, educating them about your services and products, or offering them a free ebook or white paper to show them you understand (and have a solution to) their main pain point. You may want to send an email promoting the event several times beforehand – perhaps a month, two weeks, and then the week of the event.   amiad watec invitaion Follow up afterwards with either a thank you or a newsletter that recalls the event. If you blogged about the event, include those posts in the newsletter as well.

6. Combining Online and Offline for Maximum Results

A major goal in B2B conferences is to build new business relationships and strengthen old ones, both of which are key in lead generation. This offline approach should not be underestimated. However, you can use inbound marketing to gain the attention of new potential business partners, educate them about your products and services, and have that first meeting be as effective as possible.
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Face to Face

Should I Still Speak to My Customers Face-to-Face?

By 
Miri Peled
, 14/05/2017

Are you struggling to find the right marketing mix? Get some tips on creating an offline marketing strategy that is complemented by your online strategy

min read
In today’s digital age, we tend to focus a lot on online marketing (also known as Inbound marketing), which includes the use of social media, email marketing, and other online platforms to communicate with our customers.

Integrating online and offline marketing

With all of this focus on online marketing, we tend to think that we should invest all of our energy in our online presence. But it’s not that simple as customers don’t only spend their time online. While online marketing is crucial to growth and success, you need to also engage your customers using offline methods – especially in B2B industries where long-term relationships with customers are crucial to success. A good way to understand this is to compare it to the use of social media in our personal lives. Most of us frequently share personal information about ourselves, our families, our hobbies, and more, on social media platforms. Despite the fact that these platforms seem to “replace” direct relationships, that’s not usually the case, and most of us still make a lot of effort to meet with our families and friends on a regular basis to nurture our inter-personal relationships. If we apply this example to business, we can build well-balanced marketing strategies by combining the use of social platforms to share knowledge with potential customers and build their trust, with inter-personal, offline interactions. Integrating online and offline marketing

Not mutually exclusive

Using both online and offline marketing doesn’t mean that you need to create separate strategies for each. Instead, you need to create the right marketing mix for your company and field where your offline marketing strategy is actually complemented by your online strategy, and vice versa. Here are some examples:

1. Trade shows

Trade shows may be traditionally associated with “offline” marketing, but you can leverage your investment in them by using a digital strategy to promote your company’s presence at the event. This can be done through digital ads, social media campaigns, landing pages, calls-to-action, and even webinars or videos talking about the upcoming event and where to find you. These promotions can be used to both promote your business in general, and to set up meetings or collect quality leads.At the event, you’ll be able to meet these potential customers (and other) face-to-face and most importantly, to follow up after the event based on what they told you about their specific needs. Again, the follow-up communication can be done through both direct communication and digital communication such as newsletters.

Read here about the online approach to event marketing>>

2. Samples to customer

Offer potential buyers and distributors that leave their contact details via digital platforms free samples of your products (where relevant) or promotions. In this manner, you can collect quality leads from customers, communicate with them directly to get them to try your products, and continue to engage with them through online campaigns. You can also use geo-driven campaigns to attract potential buyers and then refer them to local points-of-sale.

3. Digital campaigns and demos

Use digital campaigns and landing pages to encourage potential buyers to leave their information and then call them to set up a live demo of your product. You can continue to nurture the relationship with these potential buyers after the demo through a combination of offline and online marketing techniques.

4. Join social media groups

Join and contribute to social media groups in your field, use them to increase your brand awareness, and look out for offline networking initiated by these groups, including impromptu meet-ups and offline conversations. You can also initiate such offline events in order to meet potential leads face-to-face.

The best of both worlds

So the answer is yes – you should DEFINITELY still speak to your customers face-to-face, and communicate with them in every way possible to secure and nurture long-term trust and relationships, and meet their specific goals and needs. To get the most out this combined approach, make sure your brand promise, messaging, and visual language is consistent across all platforms so that your potential buyers and promoters recognize you wherever you are.
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Millennial Buyers

Creating an Exceptional Digital Experience for Millennial Buyers

By 
Miri Peled
, 14/05/2017

Exceptional Digital Experience. millennial buyers have the first digital contact and are determining which vendors should even be considered by the C-suite.

min read
Most C-suite executives in the B2B technology world understand the influence millennials have on their decisions to purchase from one vendor versus another. According to recent Google research, it's generally the millennials who have the first digital contact with the vendor, albeit as B2B researchers. That means millennials are determining which vendors should even be considered by the C-suite. Millennial Buyers Image by Google/Millward Brown Digital, B2B Path to Purchase Study, 2014 According to an IBM study, millennials value a hands-on, authentic experience with a brand. The challenge for B2B organizations, therefore, is creating a relevant, seamless digital experience that millennials can connect to – at the right time and in the right digital channel. That's why an exceptional digital experience for all of your customers, including millennials, is so crucial. Since a CEB study found that buyers are now as much as 57% of the way through the buying process before actually engaging with a seller, you need to create a lasting impression that will raise your vendor to the top of the list.

How can your B2B organization transform itself into a digitally mature organization and leave a lasting impression on millennial buyers?

This post will offer three suggestions for creating an exceptional digital experience.

Focus on the Customer Experience

Remember what we mentioned above about creating a relevant and seamless digital experience? You'll need to examine your customer's priorities to provide content that focuses on them and their needs. For B2B organizations, this means not only prioritizing strategic concerns such as customer experience, but also growing revenues and reducing costs. It also means making tactical decisions to improve the digital experience (see the graph below).   Exceptional Digital Experience Digital and customer experience for B2B companies are becoming synonymous, and that's why an engaging and relevant digital strategy focuses on the customer.

Assign the C-Suite Responsibility for Digital Strategy

In order to execute the digital strategy effectively, you'll need guidance from someone who's been assigned responsibility for the digital strategy.In some companies it's the CEO, in others it's a Chief Information Officer (CIO) or chief digital officer.  Whatever the title, someone in the C-Suite must lead the company with their end vision, with any changes being a result of this end vision.   Vision_strategy   In order to capture and sustain the attention of millennial buyers, you'll need to involve the C-suite to align all parts of your business to provide value to the customer – whether R&D, HR and company culture, or sales. An exceptional customer experience will reflect this alignment.

Employ the Right Third-Party Solution Providers

Whether it’s front-end applications, performance analytics, web design or content strategy, your company may realize it needs support from a third party to reduce risk and help them gain expertise. According to this Forrester study on digital transformation in B2B, 87% of companies use a third-party solution for at least one component of their digital transformation. One of the conclusions of the Forrester study is that it is vital to choose a third-party vendor that not only provides time and materials, but an end-to-end partnership as well. Find a solution that understands your broader goals in the marketplace and have them accountable for some measure of quantifiable success (whether it be more traffic, a lower bounce rate, or higher keyword rankings).

Getting on the Short List

By focusing on the customer experience, assigning someone in the C-Suite responsibility over digital strategy and choosing the right third-party vendor, you'll create a digital experience that is successful in catching and sustaining the attention of B2B millennial buyers. In addition, you'll have to provide them with relevant and engaging top-of-the-funnel content in the channel of their preference. For now, these millennial "buyers" may just be influencers determining which companies are on the short list. All the more so that their digital experience be exceptional.
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Overcoming Global Borders

Overcoming Global Borders

By 
Dina Gidron
, 14/05/2017

A Case Study in Effective Online and Offline Marketing. Trends in online marketing, Microtargeting, mobile, content, Amplification and Old-school marketing

min read

A Case Study in Effective Online and Offline Marketing

Note: This is the last of a 5-part series on our annual international B2B marketing conference this past November. Read Part 4 here.  As VP Strategy at Oz Branding, I decided to share our experience with Elcam Medical at the Global Marketing Challenges for B2B Companies conference, as it demonstrated the importance of combining both online and offline marketing approaches. Before delving into the Elcam Medical case study at the conference, howev er, I thought it important to remind you of five important trends in online marketing:
  1. Microtargeting – which involves finding a specific subset of customers in your marketplace
  2. Mastery of mobile – Mobile will dominate your market, no matter what the industry.
  3. Quality content – You'll need to fill that mobile channel with quality content, not to mention all of your other channels (and differentiate between these channels).
  4. Amplification – You'll also want to figure out how to amplify that content so it reaches as many potential customers as possible.
  5. Old-school marketing – Nothing beats face-to-face interaction.
You have to remember that you must have personal interaction. Business to business is all about people to people. It's interaction between professionals. Global Marketing Challenges for B2B Companies

Elcam Medical– No Longer "Just" an OEM

Now that we have those trends in mind, I want to introduce you to Elcam Medical, a medical device company that is a world leader in medical stopcocks. This fluid control application is part of a larger set sold to a hospital through a multinational company. Elcam Medical, whose humble beginnings started at Kibbutz Baram, is a well-known OEM in the medical device industry. The challenge is creating awareness of the product to the end user who benefit from the patient safety and time-savings measures the device offers. Once the end users recognized the brand more, they would be able to create additional demand from the market, rather than relying solely on OEM representatives that may have a different agenda. How then could Elcam Medical go about positioning itself to be recognized more by the end users, in this case, ICU nurses in the medical device equipment industry? Oz Branding has been working with Elcam Medical for the past 4 years. In this case, we helped them devise a two-pronged strategy. The first challenge was to identify and understand their end user, a microtarget of ICU nurses, and develop channels to communicate with them. The second was to continue to strengthen its brand recognition with big multi-national companies, who are purchasers of Elcam Medical, but are familiar with it only as an OEM. Elcam Medical– No Longer "Just" an OEM The purpose of this two-pronged strategy was to create demand with regular companies, and spark a conversation of why this product's value is high enough to justify raising its price. With increased demand generation, sales would rise.

A Risky Yet Effective Strategy

The approach Oz built with them was dramatic and involved big decisions. In truth, multi-national companies don't want suppliers talking to customers. The question became how Elcam Medical would implement its strategy without damaging customer relations. First, all project work was done with complete transparency between Elcam Medical and its customers. The customers understood Elcam Medical would not sell directly to the hospitals and since there was no conflict of interest, sales have increased as a result of this project. Secondly, the idea was to focus on a concept of concern to end-users which wouldn't affect the suppliers. Fortunately, this concept had already been thought of and built into the product and reflected in the Marvelous stopcock, specially designed to increase safety and save precious time for the critical care teams. In order to have this concept strengthen the entire brand rather than one specific product, a designated website was created to promote Elcam Medical's most important feature for the ICU nurses: patient safety. ICU This turned out to be the main benefit for end users. They wanted to know: How did Elcam Medical ensure patient safety? That became the agenda of the website – to position Elcam Medical as experts in insuring safety in the hospital environment, especially within the ICU. As new products develop they will also be shown on the website. More than just a promotion of the company's latest technology, the website helps to share a lot of professional data and information among medical professionals. In order to identify the issues and concerns Elcam Medical's end users face, 12 LinkedIn groups were identified and scoured. Blog articles were written and posted to this website addressing these topics and continue to be expanded upon. For even wider distribution and increased awareness, professional online publications are approached with these same topics, helping to position Elcam Medical as leaders in patient safety. ELCAM Online and Offline Equals 100% Success

Online and Offline Equals 100% Success

The best approach combines online and offline marketing. Simply put: You have to get out there. In contrast to attending the usual larger medical conferences and big trade shows, Elcam Medical started to attend more targeted professional conferences of nurses, albeit with a smaller booth. Whenever possible, they tried to generate awareness by getting on the lecture panel at the conference. Of course, paid online advertising promoting these conferences helped, but at the end of the day, online activity leads to offline activity, which leads to a personal relationship. As a result of this two-pronged branding strategy, many personal relationships have developed, both between Elcam Medical and the end user, as well as between Elcam Medical and suppliers. As an example of the results generated from this type of online and offline approach, I read an email we received from a big company representative who wrote to one of Elcam Medical's representatives she had met at a critical-care nursing conference:   Online and Offline Equals

This email was sent just 6-8 months into the branding process, the results are still in process.

The shift is dramatic in that it has changed the rules of the game – Elcam Medical now talks to nurses directly, creating its own relationships with the end user, which in this case, resulted in a huge amount of leads from one particular nursing conference. It shouldn't be a surprise that sales increased by 35% in 2015, the same year that Oz started working with Marvelous. This email was sent just 6-8 months into the branding process As a takeaway from the conference, I believe that this combination of online marketing and the creation of offline personal connections can move many Israeli companies further into the international marketplace than they are today. As they expand and move abroad, I'd like companies to remember this combined approach when considering how to overcome global borders. This is the last post in our series about the annual international B2B marketing conference this past November.  
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