Borenstein Group CEO Gal Borenstein’s blog discussing digital marketing buzzwords was featured today on PR Week publication The Hub. Gal details which buzzwords should be killed from our digital marketing vocabulary in 2014.
Social Media Marketing
Let’s face it: No one wants to be that person – the one who uses a tired cliché that’s been overused in advertising, marketing, branding or public relations to the point of diminishing return. Yet, as 2013 comes to a close, it seems the only way to get our culture to evolve is to single out these buzzwords by name and kill them before they kill all creative thinking in the boardroom, management meetings and brand communications.
- “Hashtag”- Hash tagging has become one of the most rapidly overused social media terms heard on daily basis. One recent example is network television, desperately trying to compensate for lost market share by capitalizing on Twitter and Facebook followings. Networks leverage hashtagging via social media sites in an attempt to build their shows’ brands and increase engagement with teenagers and young adults by promoting series, characters and episodes. Oddly enough, most people didn’t know that the same hashtag symbol existed on their push button phones since the 1980’s!
- “It’s The New Normal” – Yes, the economy has sucked over the past two years, stunting growth and forcing people to reconsider spending. But it’s time to stop falling into ‘Learned Helplessness” behavior, (a psychological term that explains why people can’t get out of their depression). The only thing constant in business is change, be it in technology or the economy. Nothing is the ‘new normal’. Your ‘new normal’ should be ‘abnormal’ if you want your branding to succeed despite the odds. Accepting the mediocre isn’t an option.
- “Your company must be active in social media”— While social media certainly plays a strategic role in building and disseminating messaging for many brands, not every company culture is conducive or appropriately positioned to effectively utilize Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. The social media peddlers who are pushing “must be active” must cease and decease.
- “Engagement Marketing”—The concept of total client engagement is very much alive and important. That being said, when everyone refers to their direct marketing and advertising efforts as part of their “engagement process,” it becomes something I want to divorce and declare 40 years of marketing celibacy. I would argue marketing will always be about “consummating the marriage” and not “being engaged.”
- “Print is dead” – Print publications have continuously declined to the point of oblivion but just the way HP didn’t usher in the era of the “paperless office” in the 90’s, newspapers are simply going digital and successfully building new paywalls. Next year you will see Amazon, who recently purchased the Washington Post, making a case for a future where books and newspapers will combine print and digital to produce a sustainable readership ecosphere.
- “How do we measure it? It Depends” – This year, I observed that more digital advertising platforms are moving away from Google’s traditional KPIs in an effort to convince clients that their metrics are more meaningful. So, instead of measuring Cost per Click (CPC) and Click-Through, they say, you should measure “Cost per Acquisition” and “Quality Scores”. But at the end of the day, they say, ‘it all depends what you want to measure’. I predict that in 2014, digital measurements will be recalibrated, since “it depends” isn’t an acceptable answer to accountable marketers.
- “Thought Leadership”- Descartes’ philosophical declaration of “I think, therefore I am,” has certainly been adopted in recent years in the marketing world. In the business of public relations and branding, we have created a monster. Everyone thinks they are a thought leader. The term is so overused to a point that diminishes the original intent, which is to generate new ideas, provoke discussions, and promote intellectual discourse. No, sir, publishing a white paper on an over-chewed topic doesn’t make you a thought leader. In fact, it is quite thoughtless to assume it.
- 8. “Using Big Data”- 2013 shall be remembered as the year where every technology marketer decided to overuse the term “Big Data” to describe the conglomeration of information in multiple formats across an enterprise. In reality, Big Data isn’t new. It’s been bottled up in the enterprise data center since the days of Disco Inferno. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope marketers will overcome their fear of getting specific and provide real business terms to educate consumers without resorting to “Big Data.”
- 9. “Let’s use a Word Cloud”- The intention was good but the execution has been horrible. The practice of using words in a visually compelling way to illustrate amplitude and effectiveness has overwhelmed us in the marketing world. In reality, the practice of going to Wordle.com and generating a meaningless graphic that simply confuses your audience should cause marketers pause and promptly discard it from their lexicon in 2014. At the very least, limit its usage.
- “It’s all about the User Interface”—2013 was the year were every presentation started and ended with the saying “…and remember it’s all about the user experience.” While there is no denying that marketing is about satisfying requirements in order to evoke a reaction or, more preferably, a transaction, User Interface doesn’t mean ignoring business fundamentals such as “back office operations” that fulfill the user experience. With more business analytics at hand, marketers should grasp why UI is a construct and not the end goal of business.
So how many cliché’s have I used in this article? More than I can count. Hence the most important lesson. As branding, marketing and PR professionals, we must be aware that one person’s cliché’s is another person’s innovative gift to the world. Never forget to contextualize your choices before killing a good cliché’. As I often quote an old friend of mine: “There is no dead horse that is too dead to beat; as it’s already dead.”
Content marketers in the B2B space know that the game is always changing. First, it was all about the blog, then Facebook ruled. Now, case studies and video content are each surging in popularity and importance. Recently, MarketingProfs along with the Content Marketing Institute released a fascinating study of “The State of B2B Content Marketing In North America,” with loads of great insight into the content tactics top B2B marketers are using to raise brand awareness and generate new leads. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
- 91% of B2B marketers rely on content marketing as the central component in their integrated approach. That other 9%? Well, we probably haven’t heard of them anyway.
- Social media takes the cake as the top tactic for B2B marketing, with 87% of survey respondents citing it as a primary focus. The top 30% of effective tactics are all digital. Web articles, videos, case studies, blogs, all direct email marketing all ranked in at 70% or higher. Games/Gamification is a newcomer to the list, but at 11% definitely indicates a trend toward interactivity as a lead gen tool.
- LinkedIn rules the roost when it comes to social media channels that B2B markets identified as most effective outlets to distribute content. The use of LinkedIn is up almost 8% from 2011 with 83% or respondents referencing it at the top spot. In a lot of ways, this makes sense. B2B marketing is often a matter of appealing directly to decision makers. LinkedIn is where the decision makers dwell. In fact 59% of respondents tailor content to directly appeal to individual decision makers.
- In the past year, the use of videos as a B2B marketing tool has increased by almost 20%, with 70% of respondents listing video as a primary tactic. (Check out this Borenstein-produced video created for a client in the defense-aerospace sector)
- Good news for content creators: 54% of respondents say they intend to increase their content marketing budget in 2013. That means the focus on content as a B2B brand promotion and lead gen source will only intensify over the coming year. Also, it’s the small companies that will be spending a larger percentage of total marketing budget on content. Micro biz (less than 10 employees) is expected to spend 42%, while big business (1000+ employees) will top out at only 24%. So, keep those keyboard fingers nimble!
For most marketing professionals, the biggest challenge in content marketing is simply keeping up with the demand for new, meaningful content. And It’s not enough to produce quantity – quality content is still king. If you’re considering ways to improve B2B content marketing efforts for your business, or you’ve got great ideas of your own, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our Contact Us form, or give us a call at 703-385-8178.
In the sea of small business, the fish are hungry. Getting them to bite is easy with the right bait. Check out this new Borenstein infographic to learn more about the sea of digital inbound marketing, and a catch a few great tips on how to generate leads using digital strategies. For example:
- 67% of B2B companies surveyed earned new business through Facebook
- 61% of B2B companies converted leads using LinkedIn
- 63% of B2B companies used blogs to earn new business
- 53% used Twitter to connect and converse with potential clients
- 85% of respondents feel that blogs are useful, important or critical to earning new business.
This shows that inbound marketing (blogs, SEO, Social Media) far outweighs outbound marketing (direct mail, trade shows, telemarketing) when it comes to ROI on marketing dollars.
Organizations that rely predominantly on inbound marketing report a 62% lower cost per lead than organizations that focus solely on out-bound marketing.
Ready to bite? Give us a call at 703-385-8178 or visit our Contact Us page for more information on how the Borenstein Group team can help your business hook new leads through smarter digital marketing strategies.
FAIRFAX, VA – The Borenstein Group is proud to announce that it has been nominated as Best Mobile App Finalist in the Ragan PR Daily’s Digital PR & Social Media Awards 2012. The Borenstein Group’s app, “Turtle or Soup: Survival of the Smartest,” is a fast-paced racing game that teaches players how to use social media and digital marketing strategies to improve return on investment. The app has already brought home multiple national and international awards this year.
The Ragan Awards competitions are the most prestigious in the PR and corporate communications industry. With nearly 800,000 readers monthly, Ragan’s popular news sites are followed by communications professionals in every country in the world, with nearly 600,000 daily readers in North America alone.
Ragan PR Daily received submissions from hundreds of entries to the inaugural annual awards event, from in-house communications departments to PR and Marketing Agencies of all sizes from across the nation. The Borenstein Group was named finalist among industry PR icons such as Waggener-Edstrom, and Xivic Inc. Categories included Best Blog, Best Digital Marketing Campaign, Best Content Marketing, Best Website, Best Social Media Campaign and many more. Judges narrowed down the submissions to an elite group of finalists to be recognized at an award luncheon in New York City on January 24, 2012.
“We’re delighted to be honored with this exciting nomination,” said Borenstein Group President and CEO, Gal Borenstein. “Especially considering we were up against some of the brightest minds in app development in marketing today.”
The Borenstein Group’s app, “Turtle or Soup: Survival of the Smartest” is available for download on iTunes or the Android Marketplace. The action centers around Roi the Turtle, who represents small business, and Biggie the Rabbit, a greedy embodiment of big corporate competitors. Roi and Biggie race around Washington, DC landmarks in a head-to-head heat for marketing success. To win, Roi must collect social media icons, rocket boosters and coins – each important tools in smart marketing strategy. More information on Turtle or Soup is available at www.turtleorsoup.com.
“To us, marketing is always a competition,” added Borenstein. “You’ve got to go for the gold. In our app, Roi the Turtle is the classic underdog. But with hard work and smart strategy, he can overcome any obstacle to win the race.”
Ragan PR Daily is a trusted source of industry information for PR professionals and digital, mobile and social media marketers worldwide. The firm offers conferences, webinars as well as digital and publications. The firm’s parent site, Ragan.com, offers insight from distinguished contributors and boasts an expansive audience of communications professionals. For a full list of Ragan PR Daily’s 2012 Digital, PR & Social Media Award nominees, CLICK HERE.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 18th, 2012 — The Borenstein Group announced it has won the coveted Number 1 spot in the Washington Business Journal-Capital One Social Madness Challenge. The Borenstein Group, a premier branding and marketing firm, is the region’s only creative agency to make it to the national round, outscoring over 20 area competitors in the “Companies under 100 Employees” category.
The Social Madness Challenge is a national social media competition sponsored by the Business Journal network and Spark Business from Capital One. Competitors are grouped by number of employees into bracket-style matchups where performance is judged by the level of growth in likes and fans on Facebook, the growth of followers and frequency of posts on Twitter, and the expansion and activity of companies’ LinkedIn networks, in addition to the number of votes scored on the Social Madness website.
The Borenstein Group won the challenge by a wide margin, earning more than double the votes of the nearest competitor in the final round. Throughout the completion the Borenstein Group maintained its lead over the distinguished challengers by actively posting fresh marketing and social media tips, sharing engaging new content on Facebook, by recruiting new Twitter followers and tweeting often, and by using LinkedIn as a venue to demonstrate thought leadership.
“Social media is where today’s business engagement happens. It’s where customers and companies connect locally, regionally, and vertically,” said Borenstein Group President and CEO, Gal Borenstein. “Strategic and effective social media activity is a critical component to a successful digital marketing strategy. Today’s world is digital, and we’re helping our clients thrive in it.”
To demonstrate the company’s social media prowess, The Borenstein Group recently released “Turtle or Soup: Survival of the Smartest,” a mobile social media gaming app for the Apple and Android smart phones and tablets, in which players learn the value of social media marketing while racing around a simulated I-495 to a backdrop of the D.C. skyline.
“The point of the game is simple,” said Borenstein, “Be the turtle, or be the soup. It’s a tortoise and hare adventure for the mobile gaming market. As Roi the Turtle, you’ve got to use smart strategy and the right tools to beat Biggie the Rabbit. Our small business clients are like the turtle – with the right tools you can easily beat any competitor. It’s what we did to win Social Madness, and it’s what we do for our clients every day.”
Now representing the DC region, The Borenstein Group enters the national competition alongside fellow regional winners the Society for Human Resource Management, and Embassy Suites Hotels in the medium and large business categories respectively. The national Social Madness challenge begins July 24th, 2012.
“Integrated digital marketing is the future, and we’re ready to help companies embrace it” added Borenstein.
The Borenstein Group helps businesses achieve higher ROI through creative, cutting-edge integrated marketing strategies with enhanced capabilities in digital, mobile and social media. From mobile app development to digital branding and online advertising campaigns, The Borenstein Group enables growing companies to expand market share, raise awareness and earn new business. 188.8.131.52/~borenst1.