To Get More Leads, Simplify The Customer Buying Process

Ilene Rosenthal

If you've ever stood in a supermarket aisle and stared at your options in any category - unscented, natural, with baking powder, for sports, for women, green - you know you're not alone as you look toward the heavens and pray:  "Make this simpler, please!"  

It's a key truth that we marketers often forget: Consumers are praying for simplicity; decision-making regarding products and services is often so complex it can actually get in the way of life!

Companies that simplify the decision process for their prospects have a real opportunity to impact sales. 

Am I exaggerating? Let's see what the numbers say.

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Topics: lead generation, inbound marketing

Why Salespeople Hate CRM Systems

Ilene Rosenthal

In the State of Inbound report published by HubSpot, an overwhelming 45 percent of study participants cited either “manual data entry” in CRM systems or “lack of [CRM] integration with other tools” as the top two challenges for salespeople today.

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Topics: inbound sales

How To Create Marketing Impact: Lessons From The Ice Cream Aisle

Ilene Rosenthal

I can still hear the sound of the voice-over announcer, declaring, "Breyers only has milk, cream, sugar and real vanilla beans," ... 

Newcomers were nipping at the heels of this market leader, thanks to new technology that allowed land-shipping over the Rockies without cartons of ice cream exploding from air pressure, 

Fast forward 20 years: All Natural Breyers Vanilla ice cream still maintains its shelf space, despite fierce competition. 

As I enjoy yet another sweet scoop, I can't help but reflect on those long hours at Y&R developing the brand strategy and market position that endures to this day.

What are the lessons for growth-oriented companies without mega-budgets? What's the best way to differentiate your business from competition?

Here are a few lessons from the ice cream aisle.

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Topics: marketing strategy, branding

Targeted Content: A Better Way to Spend Biz Dev Dollars

Ilene Rosenthal

My beloved New York Times left me bereft on Sunday. I peeled away all the sections, looking for the meaty magazine and there it was, bigger and juicier than usual! 

What could they possibly be writing about that didn't show up in digital format over the course of the day?

The answer was a 92-page insert of attorneys in our local area nestled inside 52 pages of journalism. Ninety-two pages of small-print listings and large photos of people in suits. Sigh ...

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Topics: inbound marketing, marketing for professional services, content marketing

How Business Blogging Sets Your Company Apart

Ilene Rosenthal

When we started White Space Marketing Group, we weren't focused on buzz words like inbound marketing. But, after years of working with large corporations, where moving brand performance was challenging and complex, we were moved by the use of metrics to guide marketing decision-making.

What does this have to do with business blogging? 

As you wrap up plans for 2017, with the newest bright and shiny marketing approach competing for your attention, you may be inclined to question blogging -- especially when it's not a new idea, and the results aren't instant.

You should question the results of every marketing tactic -- with a metrics-driven philosophy, so do we! But the impact of blogging is well established, and we wanted to share the latest data to illustrate why we continue to be fans.

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Is Pay-Per-Click Advertising A Shortcut to Inbound Marketing Results?

Ilene Rosenthal

I recently dug out a bookmarked New York Times article from several years back: Small Players Seek an Alternative to the Expense of Pay-Per-Click

The article profiles a few business owners who learn an expensive lesson. While early PPC (pay-per-click) results can be seductive, this initial success is often followed by diminishing returns. In the hunt for other avenues to qualified lead generation, the authors find inbound marketing, a path to generating more leads at a lower cost.

Today, twice as many growing businesses are using inbound marketing as when this article was written. Driving inbound marketing traffic to your website - driving unpaid traffic - is practically a mainstream philosophy. 

In the early days of White Space Marketing Group, we drank that Kool-Aid, too -- but today, I have a slightly contrarian view to share. 

We've found that paid ads - carefully tested and measured - can augment your inbound programs with efficient lead conversion. Here's how.

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Topics: lead generation, inbound marketing, social media, mid market and SMB marketing, marketing strategy

3 More Factors That Can Make or Break Your Marketing ROI Timeline

Ilene Rosenthal

The essence of marketing ROI can be expressed in one word: PATIENCE. 

The typical delay between beginning a new marketing program and seeing those investments pay off can be 12 months or more. 

While the exact timeline varies for every business, the time lag is usually caused by one of three key factors: sales cycle length, building the marketing foundation, or budget.

Last week, we made suggestions about how to manage these three elements to get faster results.  

Today we'll look at three marketing tactics that also have a dramatic impact on your ROI timeline, and offer tips to accelerate results.

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Topics: marketing ROI

3 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Marketing ROI Timeline

Ilene Rosenthal

Marketing ROI isn’t a myth like some kind of marketing unicorn – but business owners and marketers can set themselves up to know what to expect.

Otherwise, waiting for marketing to pay off can be a recipe for frustration.

Many factors impact speed to business results. Some factors are in our control, others aren't. 

Here's a look at the most significant variables that impact your marketing ROI timeline, with a few suggestions to get results faster.

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Topics: marketing ROI

Social Listening: A Smart Marketing Strategy That Pays

Ilene Rosenthal

social_listeningWhen the conversation turns to social media, it helps to ask: Why? For whom? To what end? What is its role in the mix?

There are many ways to use the power of social networks for business. Today, we want to focus on an underused but very powerful strategy: social listening.

Listening for online consumer insights is a very powerful social media marketing strategy that can have a positive impact on your company's bottom line.

Here's how:

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Topics: social media, marketing strategy

Does Social Media Marketing Work? 167 Social Media ROI Case Studies

Ilene Rosenthal

social_media_marketingWe are asked all the time: How much spending is really necessary to support our business on social networks? Does social media really work?

And our all time favorite ... can the intern do it?

Even as there is general acceptance that digital tools help businesses grow, we find that social media networks remain underutilized. The purpose of today's blog is to address the skepticism we still hear from business owners.  

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Topics: social media

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