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  • Benchmarking: A Best-Practice for Improving Marketing Performance (Part 2)
    by Laura Patterson
    Knowing what to improve and by how much is vital to establishing realistic performance targets and metrics. This two-part article discusses how to use benchmarking to assess your organization's performance and to understand what changes to make. Part 1 defined benchmarking and explored its value. This second and final part identifies marketing ... more
  • Make Friends with the Great Disruption
    In a recent post at Harvard Business Online, Scott Anthony coined the term Great Disruption to describe our current economic climate. "In the Great Depression," he reasons, "demand, output and wages declined across the board. Today's times are different. It isn't just that demand is sagging. It's that change is ... more
  • How Packaging Your Offering Enhances Your Brand
    by Anthony Cirillo
    Is your company packaging experiences? Are they sought—or are they sold? And, drilling the concept down one more level: have you ever looked at yourself and considered the package that you offer and the experience you provide? In the current downturn, where layoffs loom large, those with the better shot at ... more
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer
    "Online behavior is not limited to purchasing activity alone," says Sheldon Gilbert in an article at MarketingProfs. "To truly understand someone's buying potential, you need to see more than that. You need to know what they are looking at, what they are searching for and what they have recommended to ... more
  • I Will Gladly Pay You Today for a Hamburger on Tuesday
    Once upon a time, when customers didn't have enough money to make an immediate purchase, they would put it on layaway. Laya-what? you ask facetiously. "Doesn't that involve some kind of a system where you pay for the merchandise BEFORE you take it home?" notes the Direct Dispatch blog. "We ... more
  • Case Study: How a Diving Equipment Retailer Leveraged Targeted Web Site Promotions to Lift Revenue, Conversions
    by Kimberly Smith
    Senior management at scuba-supply outfit Divers Direct weren't convinced they needed to run promotions or offer discounts to increase Web sales. A test using Sitebrand's personalization platform quickly changed that perception. more
  • Gimme That!
    Sales promotions that offer either price discounts or free goods (premiums) are often used to entice customers to buy products. But which is better? Every family has one or two bargain shoppers—always looking for discounted products, and priding themselves on never paying full price. So, logically, marketers would assume that ... more
  • The Price-Hike Gamble
    No doubt you've noticed it with your cable bill, your phone bill or anything else you pay on a regular basis—prices that creep slowly, and steadily, upward for no readily apparent reason. Most of us shrug off the extra cost as a minor annoyance; we won't go to the trouble ... more
  • I'm Rubber, You're Glue
    Imagine you're Alissa Bayer—owner of the upscale milk + honey day spa in Austin, Texas—and a client has directed you to the Church of the Customer Blog, where a post by Jackie Huba takes your business to task for selling gift certificates with a $1.50 "handling fee." You scan through ... more
  • Snare That Sale with a Decoy
    In a post at the Neuromarketing blog, Roger Dooley talks about staring at a shelf filled with shaving gels and creams, unsure of the actual difference between those labeled "Aloe" and those touting an "Advanced" formula, when a particular can caught his eye. "[It] was identical to several other cans ... more
  • The Power of Free
    If there's one thing your customers can't resist, it's the idea of getting something for free. Those who want some proof need look no further than an article written by Alina Tugend for the New York Times, in which she discusses the results of a study headed by Dan Ariely, ... more
  • Case Study: How a University Embraced Social Media and Scored Millions in YouTube Views
    by Nettie Hartsock
    How does a university up its visibility with an increasingly wired target market of both students of alumni? By orchestrating a Web 2.0-focused Web site redesign that set the foundation for an ongoing social media campaign. more
  • Case Study: How a Web-based Company Increased Leads 90%—and Sales 23%—via PPC-Visitor Profiling, Landing Page Personalization
    by Nettie Hartsock
    Continental Warranty used pay-per-click ads to generate leads by providing free quotes for extended-warranty coverage. But lead volume had plateaued. So it began to profile its web visitors, then direct them to microsites matching their profiles—and nearly doubled leads. more
  • Case Study: How MyFax Upped Customer Engagement, Achieved a 79% NetPromoter Score
    by Nettie Hartsock
    Internt fax service provider MyFax wanted to tap into the power of word-of-mouth referrals by improving the customer experience and maintaining highly personalized customer interactions. But as an online company, it faced the issue of how to individually engage customers to ensure long-term relationships. Here's what it did. more
  • Case Study: How an Online Software Biz Doubled Its Sales Leads, Increased Site Traffic 75%
    by Laurie Lande
    Makana Solutions needed an inexpensive way to reach the elusive small business market. Rather than chase small businesses, it hired an online "inbound marketing system" to help small businesses find Makana. The results: Web site traffic climbed 75%, and sales leads have doubled. more
  • by Jacquelyn A. Ottman
    A strong commitment to environmental sustainability in product design and manufacturing can yield significant opportunities to grow your business, to innovate, and to build brand equity. In fact, if you don't manage your business with respect to environmental and social sustainability, your business may not be sustained! more
  • Case Study: How a Software Firm's Soft-Sell, Educational Webcasts Helped Double Sales
    by Kimberly Smith
    Softrax Corp.'s enterprise software automates a company's entire revenue cycle. With the advantages of automation not always apparent to potential customers, Softrax based its marketing strategy on educating the market, while competitors relied mostly on advertising. Webcasts featuring government and industry experts—with only an indirect connection to Softrax apparent—formed the ... more
  • Case Study: How a Manufacturer's Sales Team Found the Secret to Efficiently Service a Low-Tech Customer Base
    by Laurie Lande
    The manufacturing sector is more traditional than most. Many of its customers aren't high tech—some don't even have Internet access. Fabcon, a Minnesota builder of precast wall panels, struggled with marrying its desire for high-tech operational efficiency and its need to service customers in the method that they preferred. more
  • Case Study: How an ISP Used Online Chat to Lower Customer Service Costs and Achieve an 80% Customer Satisfaction Rate
    by Laurie Lande
    Earthlink, one of the country's smaller Internet service providers, serves just over 5 million customers. To differentiate itself, it has decided to provide superior customer service. An early adopter of chat technology, it has sought to actively offer efficient online customer service via chat—both shifting customer support away from the ... more
  • Case Study: How a Nonprofit Used Member Resources to Increase Brand Awareness Across Multiple Markets
    by Kimberly Smith
    The nonprofit Oregon Sports Authority (OSA) was striving to bring new sporting events, teams, and tourist dollars to the state. It also wanted to become the official sports resource for state residents. An overhaul of its promotions and more compelling communication of its brand were the ambitious goals that the ... more
  • Case Study: How a Web Services Firm Used 'Fanatical' Customer Care to Increase Sales 60% Year Over Year
    by Jennifer Natsu
    With Web hosting fast becoming a commodity, Web hosting firm Rackspace realized it needed to stand out from the pack. Its founders decided they would stake a claim to "fanatical" commitment to customer service. Rackspace wove the concept into its very business structure, even trademarking the term "Fanatical Support." And ... more
  • Case Study: How a Software Company Became a Marketing Partner By Adding Mobile Data
    by Kimberly Smith
    When the clients of SalesTrac, Inc., were looking for more in-depth consumer insight to determine the effectiveness of their promotional events, SalesTrac seized the opportunity to provide increased value through an all-in-one system that added survey management and real-time reporting of consumer feedback to its services. Check out the results. more
  • Case Study: How an Insurance Company Web Site Achieved Significant Increases in Click-Throughs and Conversions
    by Jennifer Natsu
    By dynamically changing content on its start page to targeted segments of site visitors, along with testing the placement of additional product offerings within the transaction funnel, American International Underwriters upped the conversion rates of several of its products. more
  • by Nilofer Merchant
    Can you make money by giving away your product? Absolutely—and companies like Adobe (PDF Reader) and Macromedia (Shockwave Player) have proven it. With Web 2.0, consumers have gotten a lot of things at no cost due to various monetization practices—and that's good. But should you give away your product? That's another ... more
  • Case Study: How a Nonprofit Moved Toward a For-Profit Marketing Model to Advance Its Nonprofit Mission
    by Kimberly Smith
    For more than a century, Boston's Museum of Science has depended on government grants and donors to finance its stated goal of encouraging "interest in and further understanding of science and technology and their importance for individuals and for society." The Museum attracts about 1.6 million visitors a year, including ... more

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