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Build B2B Engagement with a Marketing Campaign

As we’ve discussed recently, brands can strengthen their hold on customers with a brand identity: this is the combination of characteristics that makes the brand attractive, special and memorable to its customers.

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How to Combine Content to Engage Audiences

From blogs to infographics to video, all forms of marketing content should be able to do three things: Create a meaningful difference for the brand, attract and retain interest from target prospects, and build deeper connections with these prospects through ongoing, related messaging campaigns.

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What Makes Customers Connect with Brands

Think about some of the most successful brands in history, and you’ll find a common thread: each of them has developed a specific identity and story to make a connection to its buyers.

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Add These Elements to Your Next Marketing Automation Campaign

Forbes magazine recently reported that the marketing automation software industry could reach $7.63 billion by 2025 and grow at a CAGR of 13.3%, according to a study by Grandview Research.

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The Many Dimensions of Paid Search

The beauty of paid search as a component of the digital ad campaign is that it helps put a brand’s message in front of the right audiences at the right times. And achieving that sense of clarity in terms of reaching the right audience is especially valuable for B2B organizations that want to test different messages with their audiences to see how they perform.

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Using Website Analytics to Drive Marketing Strategies

Research from Dun & Bradstreet and Forrester indicates that only about 50% of the marketing decisions made by B2B organizations are based on some sort of quantitative analysis, versus their gut-based intuition.

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How to Get More from Paid Media Campaigns

The challenge for most B2B organizations when it comes to paid media is refusing to settle for status quo.

It would be easy to mimic what competitors are doing in the paid media space, or to repeat an existing paid media plan because it’s ready to go and has always been done that way. Or to ignore paid media entirely, thinking it’s not necessary.

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5 Essentials of Search Engine Optimization

 

What’s optimal in search engine optimization is something that changes by the day. It changes rapidly in response to things like trending topics, relevant happenings, Google algorithm updates and new terminology in the industry. Because of all this constant change, optimizing a website has become an ongoing, continuously evolving process.

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How B2B Organizations Should Be Using Social Media

Most B2B brands already know that being present and active on social media platforms is beneficial to their business. According to research from Forbes, most senior executives use social media for business purposes, and 83% of C-level officers that choose a vendor for their company use social media to do it.

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Two Ways to Identify Targets in ABM Campaigns

A crucial step in developing account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns is identifying the list of best-fit accounts for sales and marketing teams to pursue.

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Tools for Successful ABM Campaigns

Account-Based Marketing has been a B2B marketing buzzword for some time now. While everyone’s talking about it, it can be complicated to execute. As we’ve said in the past, ABM is built on a number of components and steps.

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Lessons from Content Marketing World 2018

If there were lessons to be learned from Content Marketing World 2018 held in Cleveland, Sept. 4-7, it was the staying power of long-form marketing content, the rise of social responsibility messaging, and the value of taking the less-traveled or overlooked routes to inspiration.

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Rookie Mistakes in Account-Based Marketing

Some of the more widely promoted benefits of account-based marketing (ABM) are pretty hard to discount: They include, according to this Forbes article, faster buying cycles, higher close rates, higher value sales and increased organizational alignment.

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Why Personalized Marketing and Account-Based Marketing Aren't the Same

Many B2B organizations think that account-based marketing (ABM) and personalized marketing are essentially the same thing. But lumping these two specific practices into the same category doesn’t do justice to either one.

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Myths and Misconceptions About Account-Based Marketing

With 80% of marketers reporting that Account-Based Marketing (ABM) provides a greater return on investment than other marketing measures, according to the Curata blog, there’s no question the strategy continues to find favor among B2B organizations.

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Components of a Successful Account-Based Marketing Campaign

With all the focus on the tactic of account-based marketing in recent years, a lot of clients ask what’s actually required in a successful account-based marketing (ABM) campaign.

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Why Account-Based Marketing Isn’t Just for Tech Firms

B2B organizations outside of the tech sector could learn a few important lessons from those inside the tech sector when it comes to the value of Account-Based Marketing (ABM).

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The Future of Trade Show Marketing is Innovative Engagement

While marketers’ strategies and opinions on exhibiting have changed — and display manufacturers have incorporated a slew of digital bells and whistles that make you forget you’re underground in a convention center — one thing remains. It’s the unmatched opportunity to shake hands, build in-person rapport and create connection.

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Four Types Of Content To Use In Home Builder Marketing

We’ve written at length about The Forgotten builders — the small, green, custom and regional builders that make up the other half of the production-builder dominated U.S. home building market — as well as strategies that develop relationships with them.

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How Marketing Can Address The Construction Labor Shortage

Every month, new labor statistics are released that paint a clear picture of strength and demand in the construction industry. Housing permits, sales and starts have been on the rise since the recession. Unemployment numbers have been at their lowest ever in almost two decades. Hundreds of thousands of construction jobs have been added in the last year, and wages for construction positions have steadily increased year-over-year.

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How the Connected Marketer Uses Data-Driven Insights

For the last several weeks we’ve talked about B2B organizations with varying levels of marketing sophistication when it comes to gaining customer insights, understanding and responding to these customers.

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How the Aligned Marketer Makes Marketing Personal

The Informed Marketer, as we covered last week, already has a solid grasp of their customers. And if they realize what’s to gain by learning more about their customer journey using accelerated business results, they’re likely to advance to the next stage of marketing sophistication: the Aligned Marketer.

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Marketing Basics for the Informed Marketer

If the uninformed marketer is unaware of its target audience’s interests and concerns and unprepared to effectively engage them about these things with marketing or with a buying experience for that matter, the informed marketer has many of those questions answered.

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Advanced Marketing Solutions for the “Uninformed” B2B Marketer

It’s not that surprising to hear that customer insights are the foundation of B2B marketing and sales success. What’s not as well known is how marketers can increase what they know about customers and use that information to drive their businesses.

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Moving Ahead on the Digital Marketing Roadmap

Recently we introduced the Digital Marketing Roadmap, a marketing blueprint designed to help organizations gauge the sophistication of their marketing efforts.

The roadmap has four stages characterizing the level of sophistication a marketer has reached. They begin with “the uninformed marketer” and progress to the highly sophisticated “connected marketer.”

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Assess Organizational Alignment with this Digital Roadmap

No marketer wants to believe their marketing isn’t sophisticated. But there are definite signs to show just how capable some efforts are.

One is unimpressive B2B sales growth, as we discussed in the past. Another is a lack of alignment between customers and the organization. Marketers have to succeed in cultivating audience and customer insights and in using those insights to direct the organization.

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Infographic: The Construction Labor Shortage

Since the Great Recession, strength in the construction sector has returned: building activity is projected to further grow, industry wages have increased, and unemployment is at an all-time low. But the ranks of workers who left the sector in the wake of the financial crisis have not returned, and the industry is struggling to keep up with a growing workforce demand.

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Why Even The Best B2B Sales Strategies Need an Upgrade

B2B sales organizations sometimes blame sales people for second-rate sales numbers. But in the current B2B marketplace, they may be mistaken.

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Nine Metrics To Measure Site Performance By

Today, website performance is aligned to the health of your business, and if you’re not tracking and refining your onsite efforts, you’re hurting both. Where to start? In the past, we’ve written about the top seven metrics that matter in website performance, and now, we’re digging in again to see what’s changed.

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Top 10 Ways to Engage Time-Crunched Builders & Contractors

What’s the typical day for a builder, GC or tradesperson? In 2018, it’s not all that typical. All of these professionals are used to wearing many different hats: scheduler, planner, designer, and buyer; as well as employer, recruiter, HR manager, and trainer.

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When And How Construction Specifications Are Produced

We’ve discussed the who and what of construction specifications. Continuing a review of specification basics, let’s look at when and how the building products specification process occurs.

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Marketing New Building Materials in a Time-Crunched World

Think about the following building materials and what they have in common: SharkBite EvoPex push-to-fit plumbing; the Covestro PUReWall prefabricated, insulated structural wall panel; and DryVit’s NewBrick, brick that weighs a fraction of conventional brick.

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Why Building Products Companies Need to Rethink Marketing Analytics

Customers that specify building products don’t have time for outreach efforts not useful to them. Marketers need to think differently about whether conventional levels of measurement are “good” enough to build market share.

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Use Marketing Technology To Get Through to Time-Stretched Builders

I’ve been saying it for a while: If you want to see more results in the building products market, you need to create ways to save customers time.

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Quit Wasting Your Customers' Valuable Time

In the last five blogs I’ve mentioned numerous times what you already know: a labor shortage is upon us. And I’ve written about ways to respond by looking at customer service, product performance, ease of purchase and more. But what about messaging?

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Powerful Brand Promises for Builders Experiencing a Labor Shortage

Does your brand have a purpose? Has that purpose changed in the last few years? If not, is it still aligned with your target customers’ needs?

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How to Leverage Customer Service Insights to Save Your Customers Time

The ongoing labor shortage the construction industry continues to face may be viewed as bad news, but it also brings opportunities for building products brands. The biggest one: it’s a great time to find out what your target audiences are dealing with when they do business with you.

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What Your Target Audience Really Thinks About Buying from You

The line at the deli was 10 deep. So I decided to head over to Starbucks, where I could order my coffee plus my lunch from my phone. When I got there, my order was paid for and sitting on the counter. And it had my name on it.

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When Finding Labor's Not Easy, Buying Building Products Should Be

Worker shortages continue to hamstring builders and contractors: A few statistics bear this out: While employment in the construction sector has increased since 2011, according to U.S. Labor Bureau statistics, the number of construction sector employees is still below pre-Recession levels: around 7.1 million in January of 2018, compared with 7.7 million in April 2006. Industry unemployment also continues to run lean: The current measure of around 7 percent is almost four times lower than the 2010 high.

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Google sets July 2018 as HTTPS Migration Deadline

ATTN: This message applies to any websites who are not currently running with a HTTPS version. If this applies to your website, please be aware of the following actions Google will be taking impacting all non-secure websites.

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How to Build Demand in A Time-Strapped Market

You can make more money. You can buy and sell more products. You can build more relationships. But you can’t replace time. As the American entrepreneur Jim Rohn said, time is the most valuable resource, because once it’s spent, you can’t get it back.

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How To Influence Product Specification In An IoT World

The Internet of Things (IoT) has entered the B2B space in full force. According to a December 2017 article in Forbes, “B2B IoT segments will generate more than $300B annually by 2020, including about $85B in the industrial sector.”

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Why New Building Products Need Built-In Data Analytics

Curious about the state of new product development and what it means for those selling building materials, I recently attended Industry 2017, an annual fall conference organized by Product Collective, a Cleveland-based cooperative organization that’s focusing on the future of product management.

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Creating Trade Show Customer Engagement If You’re Exhibiting or Not

The promise of the trade show, for some building products manufacturers, is beginning to lose its luster. As a demand generation agency, we hear conflicting views about the pros and cons of the trade show exhibit as a way to increase demand.

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How to Increase Market Share in the Construction Products Segment

Take it.

You heard me: Take it. In the quest to market and sell construction materials, take ownership of the additional market share that your organization deserves.

And, take on a level of organizational growth that’s greater than the industry’s overall.

We can look to the U.S. economy for perspective. While we are not in economic doldrums, we certainly aren’t in a boom either. The U.S. economy is projected to grow , according to estimates from the International Monetary Fund.

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A Slow Climb: Construction's Complex Move Into IoT

It’s no secret that building product brands are attempting to reposition themselves from traditional product manufacturers to technology-centric solution providers specializing in the categories they offer. Today, many manufacturers are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing users to send and receive data, often in real time, in addition to leveraging a product’s automated and connected features.

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How Manufacturers Can Help Ease the Construction Labor Shortage

It’s been over 10 years, but the construction sector is still talking about the Great Recession. These days, while strength in the construction industry obviously has returned, its workforce is struggling to keep up with demand.

With many skilled construction workers leaving the industry in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, the ranks of workers that replaced them have been challenged to fill their shoes.

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Highlighting Building Automation System Concerns & Opportunities

Building Management Systems (BMS) or Building Automation Systems (BAS), which control automated HVAC, plumbing, lighting and other mechanical and electrical building equipment, are garnering a lot of attention lately from architects, engineers, building owners and facility maintenance professionals.

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How to Market High-Tech to Hands-On Builders

From Wi-Fi friendly thermostats to Bluetooth-enabled range hoods and automated mechanical parking lifts, this year’s Pacific Coast Builders Conference continued to showcase the latest and greatest in automated, connected and smart home building products. Yet, as brands proudly highlighted their unparalleled energy savings and consumer convenience benefits, one thing became abundantly clear.

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Demand Generation Takeaways from the Pacific Coast Builders Conference

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, the largest homebuilding trade show representing the West Coast region. In addition to interacting with exhibitors and products, I took part in a few education sessions to discover the latest industry trends that are impacting building product manufacturers and their professional audiences.

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Graymail: What It Is and What To Do About It

When it comes to email marketing, there’s a range of analytics — from sends to clicks to bounces, that senders tend to focus on.

Then there’s the lesser known and checked statistic referred to in the industry as “graymail.”

Don’t know what this is? Graymail is the portion of email sent repeatedly by a company that is never opened by recipients. This signals out which contacts are likely still viable but aren’t being engaged by your content.

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6 Ways B2B Companies Can Leverage Social Media


Today, there are more than 1 billion people with social media accounts.

But, contrary to popular belief, they’re not all searching for funny cat videos and selfies from their BFFs. Quite a few are business people who could benefit from the products or services you offer. In fact, more than half of B2B buyers search for product information on social media. Which is why more and more B2B companies are entering this brave new world.

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The Rise of the Demand Generation Marketing Agency

Like all industries, there is an evolution of marketing strategies as well. As new technologies and tools emerge, companies continue to alter the ways they reach out to potential customers and engage with them.

The rise of television back in the 1950s, for example, allowed marketers to create exciting new visual experiences for their customers. It enabled them to connect with their audiences in uniquely emotional ways.

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Tactics for a better Account Based Marketing Program

Does this sales strategy sound familiar to you or someone in your organization: You build a list of prospective companies. Search for decision makers. Find contact information. Send emails. Find new contact information. Dodge gatekeepers. Voicemail, voicemail, voicemail. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

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Customer Personas: Understanding Your Audience To Maximize Engagement

One of the important objectives of a content marketing strategy is to effectively engage with customers and key influencers, both online and offline. To accomplish this, you must provide these audiences with a continuous stream of information that is uniquely relevant to them — information that solves a problem, answers a question or addresses a top-of-mind concern.

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What Buyers Want vs. What Sales Is Giving Them

Sales priorities haven’t changed much in recent years. HubSpot’s recent State of Inbound 2017 survey reveals, most sales teams remain focused on one priority: closing more deals.

But the way they accomplish that goal has changed, HubSpot’s findings show. The annual survey of some 6,400 sales and marketing professionals from around the world sheds new light on the top sales challenges and priorities organizations are facing today.

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Digital Marketing Ideas for Targeting Contractors

The world has gone digital. In our lives and in our professions, we all reach for our laptops, tablets and smartphones to get things done.

Building contractors, of course, are no different. In the past five years, there has been a dramatic shift in how they gather information, interact with building products distributors, and purchase products. In fact, in a recent Point To Point research study of building products distributors, almost one-third of the respondents said 50% or more of their sales came from online purchases.

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Targeting Niche Builders through Content Strategy

As a general rule, building materials brands focus the majority of their marketing efforts on large-scale builders. It’s a sound strategy, as these builders can be reached more efficiently, and they ultimately deliver a higher marketing ROI.

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5 Essential Skills for Content Marketing Teams

It’s no secret that the world of Content Marketing continues to evolve, mutate and change. It seems that every time we turn around, there’s a new platform to explore or a new trend that promises to increase sales leads and improve ROI.

In 2017, the trend toward decentralizing content continues to accelerate, as marketers experiment with new channels and new opportunities within existing channels.

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5 Reasons to Invest in B2B Content Marketing

As each fiscal year passes, content marketing is becoming more and more of a necessity for B2B companies.

No longer are traditional sales tactics enough. Potential customers are doing their homework online. They’re researching vendors. They’re checking everything from blogs to LinkedIn to videos for content that will help them separate the industry leaders from the rest.

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How Service Level Agreements Help Sales and Marketing Alignment

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Historically, marketing and sales teams haven’t always “played nice” in the sandbox. Marketing blamed sales for not following up on and closing enough leads. Sales blamed marketing for the lack of quantity and/or quality of the leads generated through marketing efforts. And round and round they went.

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7 Types of Content That Will Enrich Your Website

B2B organizations create, run across and discover some of the most highly tailored, specific and exclusive types of content on the planet.

This content might take the form of statistics on product use from target audiences, success strategies from customers, or even new alternatives relating to how certain products can be used.

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7 Emerging B2B Marketing Trends for 2017

Everyone knows what happens to New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. Personal commitments like sticking to an exercise program or learning a new language may or may not remain in effect as the days unfold. And their staying power could depend on the return on investment you’re beginning to see.

With that reality in mind, we think some of the best business-related resolutions to make center around emerging marketing tools and technologies that are new to the territory and rising in their ranks. By adopting these strategies early, before the competition, you’re likely to see a stronger return and have fun at the same time.

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The Future of Trade Shows: Lessons from IBS 2017

It occurred to me while walking the 2017 NAHB International Home Builders’ Show in Orlando.

The bag is dead.

Every year manufacturers and attendees ask me the same question: What have you seen that’s new and different?

My answer this year is not about a new product or emerging technology, but rather the change I witnessed in attendees’ behavior.

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Make the most of the 2017 International Builders’ Show

Headed to the 2017 National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show (IBS) next week? That’s great news. You’ll be joining some 60,000 visitors from around the globe converging in Orlando, Florida, for one of the industry’s biggest events of the year.

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What To Do When You Need Content Strategy Ideas

It may be tempting to decide on topics for your website’s articles or blogs based on the hot, controversial or timely topics from within the industry. And while this approach may be effective on some occasions, generating views, clicks and shares, a more discerning action plan often begins with a bit of digging.

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Data-Driven Marketing is Built With Brand Awareness

In this day and age of limitless online interactions, prospects can get forgetful. There’s a danger, as well, that brands will become forgetful too.

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Successful Email Marketing Solutions for Home Builders

Want to get through to home builders? Let’s talk email marketing. Specifically, let’s talk about the reasons why yours don’t get the traction you expect. Why they’re being ignored, trashed or marked as spam. And what you can do about them.

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3 Tips for Selling Building Products to Home Builders

Aren’t you tired of being dictated to by the top 100 production builders? Of being beaten up on price—and competing with other suppliers for shrinking margins?

It’s time you looked at the builders we refer to as The Forgotten. The smaller builders. The regional builders. The custom builders. The green builders. The businesses that altogether represented a cool 42.72% market share of the U.S. homebuilding market in 2017.

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Keys to Reducing Callbacks for Building Products Brands

There’s nothing good about callbacks for home builders. They delay closing dates, affecting when a builder gets paid. They impact margins and bottom-line profitability. And they mess with the home builder/home buyer relationship, turning a “Satisfied Sam” into a “Doubting Thomas” unwilling to recommend the builder, but more than willing to write a negative review on Yelp or Angie’s List.

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Managing Today’s Information Sources: One Builder’s Approach

Second in a series of interviews conducted by Point To Point to better understand the players that comprise the building products industry, how they engage with brands, and the sizable market forces reshaping their worlds. Check out the first blog in this series here.

Independent builder Jared Jones has big plans for his company, Copper Hills Construction in Yakima, Washington. A graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in Construction Management, Jones recognizes the power of information in today’s digital age. Consequently, his information sources are as varied as his daily routine.

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Key Ideas On How To Manage Distributor Relationships

One in a series of interviews conducted by Point To Point to better understand the players that comprise the building products channel, how they engage with brands, and the sizable market forces reshaping their worlds.

From the moment you start talking to Alan Brown, president of custom home building company Premier Custom Builders, you know you’re talking to a guy who knows what he wants. It’s a quality that colors his distributor expectations and how he manages the distributor relationship.

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Strategies for Marketing to Home Builders

Are you tired of being dictated to by the top 100 production builders? Of being beaten up on price — and competing with other suppliers for shrinking margins?

Now’s the time for a blue ocean strategy.

In the book of the same name, the authors describe how companies traditionally battle each other for a share of the marketplace, drawing blood that creates red oceans. Conversely, blue oceans are created by companies that seek out uncontested market space ripe for growth, creating new demand through the pursuit of differentiation.

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An Affordable Approach to User Research Methods

“Test early. Test often.” It’s the mantra of many user researchers trying to rate the appeal and effectiveness of a particular website, app, campaign or collateral.

This advice certainly makes logical sense. Test what you’ve got, be it a digital app, training program, brochure or website. Then make improvements. Test a little more, and make further updates. Repeat. Who wouldn’t see the practical value in doing that?

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6 Quick Ways to Improve your Content for SEO Performance

Ever want a simple checklist you can incorporate to quickly boost your content’s SEO performance? If so, then I have the plan for you.

Since one of your goals is probably to increase your website traffic—or at least it should be—you’ll want to make sure you’re utilizing simple best practices to help your website content appear in organic search results. And sometimes, just sometimes, a simple checklist is a good way to knock out fixes to improve website organic performance.

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Engaging Contractors with Content Marketing

For building products brands hunting more market share, contractors are more important than ever.

They’re also more elusive.

Empowered by technology and hyper-connected, today’s contractors are a whole new breed of smart. With different expectations and lots more options.

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Residential Remodeler Persona Insights [Infographic]

What’s going on inside the mind of a residential remodeler? What are his concerns, his goals, his pain points? Here’s what we learned, based on in-depth interviews with remodeling contractors conducted by the Point To Point research team.

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Building Customer Loyalty With Contractors

Let’s face it: building customer loyalty with today’s contractors isn’t easy.

Empowered by technology and hyper-connected — with different expectations and lots more options — they’re a whole new breed of smart. Marketing to contractors today requires new approaches rooted in trust.

So what’s a manufacturer to do to build brand loyalty?

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Interview with a Millennial Residential Remodeler

One in a series of interviews conducted by Point To Point to better understand the players that comprise the building products channel, as well as the sizable market forces reshaping their worlds and how they engage with brands.

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How One General Contractor Sees Business Today

One in a series of interviews conducted by Point To Point to better understand the players that comprise the building products channel, as well as the sizable market forces reshaping their worlds and how they engage with brands.

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Using Social Media to Reach Contractors

Here’s the reality: today’s contractors can make or break your business.

Empowered by technology and hyper-connected, they’re a whole new breed of smart. With different expectations and lots more options.

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Training: the Engaged Way to Drive Contractor Loyalty

Question: what’s a building products brand without contractors?

Something too frightening to contemplate.

But don’t worry. If you want to strengthen your connection with -- and better market to --  this all-important part of the channel, there is a win-win-win strategy for brands.

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6 Things You Don't Know About Building Products Distributors [Infographic]

Check out our infographic to see the differences between non-millennial and millennial building products distributors. 

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Why Creativity Still Matters in the Age of Demand Generation

 

Leads. Everyone wants more of them. Constantly. So much so that there are plenty of articles debating the best ways to qualify, grade, and then distribute these leads to sales reps. And more articles will direct you on how you should properly engage and market to these leads. However, both of these commentaries still leave out an increasingly influential part of the process: creativity.

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Top 3 Reasons Manufacturers Should Use Inbound Marketing to Drive Leads

Industrial manufacturers often discuss the need to use marketing to help increase sales, yet most never pull the trigger.

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What Contractors Expect from Distributors. Or Should We Say Brands?

In a recent Point To Point research study, we asked 499 building products distributors what contractors expect of them in two areas: product information and sales/marketing assistance.

It was clear from the data that contractors know what they want from distributors.

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What Building Products Distributors Fear, and How Brands Can Help

Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote “There are no facts, only interpretations.” But interpretations can reveal a lot about the reality facing those doing the interpreting.

For instance, in a recent Point To Point research study, we asked 499 building products distributors to tell us what they saw as the biggest trends in distribution and the greatest threats to their business.

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Top Seven Website Metrics That Matter

Traffic sources, bounce rates, exit pages, time on site, and pages per session. These are just a few examples of the hundreds of web metrics you can measure to help determine if your marketing program and website is performing they way you hoped it would. In light of all the possible gauges, deciding which ones to focus on can seem like a daunting task.

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3 Ways Mobile Technology Impacts Distribution and How Brands Respond

Remember Apple’s MobileMe from a few years ago? Now it’s mobile you, mobile me, mobile we…in other words, mobile everybody.

Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever—whether through smartphones, tablets, laptops, watches or even glasses. And builders, contractors and architects are no exception. According to ProSales, the 2,800-plus construction apps available in the Apple app store are evidence of that.

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How Brands Impact Building Products Distributors' Social Media

It’s not that distributors aren’t social; they’re very social. So the question for building products brands is, if distributors are already social, why should you help them be more social?

The short answer: build sales. The longer answer is a little more humbling.

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What Building Products Distributors Are Reading and Why You Should Care

Let’s face it. There’s a whole different kind of reading going on these days. And building products distributors are into it in a big, big way.

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How to Be Discovered by Distributors Who Are Too Busy to Look

“Build it and they will come.” That misquoted line from the movie “Field of Dreams” is an apt description of how many building products brands have preferred to relate to distributors. But today’s time-crunched and spread-too-thin distributors? “They” won’t be coming to find you or your new products any time soon. They’re simply too overloaded to do their job effectively. Which means building products brands who seek to boost distribution need to be much more proactive in getting found and building product preference.

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How Distributor Time Issues Are Crunching Your Sales

In a recent Point To Point research study of building products distributor attitudes and behaviors, time management was revealed as their biggest business frustration. Responding to today’s evolving technological landscape and changing buyer behaviors, distributors are increasingly spread too thin, suffering from digital and communications overload.

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Use Industry Segmentation to Win Product Specification

It’s impossible to be everything to everyone. For example, while some architecture firms are multi-disciplined, others, particularly small- to mid-sized firms, specialize in key industries including education, healthcare, retail or hospitality. Depending on the industry, architects have varying perspectives and opinions surrounding the design and functionality of a space and the products used in it. 

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Adoption of BIM Software Gives New Opportunities for Building Products

Technological advancements continue to drive change and innovation in the architecture and construction industry. The latest industry evolution is referred to as the BIM Revolution.

Revit, a type of building information modeling (BIM) software, is specifically designed to support BIM workflows and documentation surrounding design and construction.

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Pros and Cons of the Design-Build Method for Manufacturers

Over the past few years, traditional design-bid-build method has given way to the design-build delivery method. Design-build is a more streamlined approach to deliver projects faster and more efficiently. Instead of two contracts, two teams and multiple project ideas and directions, you have one contract and one integrated team throughout the project implementation.

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Three Types of Construction Specification

Now that you know  drives product specification in construction, do you have a clear understanding of the various types of specification architects can use in a given project? The needs of each project dictate the unique specification requirements.

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Three Effective Strategies for Increasing Your Odds of Specification

You’ve developed your architect persona and established your marketing strategy to speak to architects. Nice work! But sometimes, even the most informed plans fall apart.

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How to Get Specified by Architects

As mentioned in a previous post,  Know the Differences of Your Product Specification Team, if you want to get your product specified by architects, you must have full comprehension of their product specification process, what they care about and how they determine what product to specify.

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Survey Design & Data Quality in a Mobile World

I recently attended the 2016 Cleveland American Marketing Association Conference and it did not disappoint. Like last year, there were a variety of speakers from different areas of the market research industry, each covering relevant and interesting topics. The first speaker, Bob Graff, Director of Cincinnati-based research firm MarketVision, caught my attention with his discussion of best practices and considerations surrounding mobile survey design.

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The Role of Building Information Modeling in Specification

As the architecture segment has evolved, it has consistently been led by innovations in technology. Technological advancements have helped architects become more impactful in nearly every facet of their job by helping them make better design decisions, build more efficiently, and manage and maintain building portfolios more effectively.

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Top Trends Influencing How Architects Work

Like every industry, architecture must evolve to meet demand. Evolving trends shape the way architects think about their craft and the products used to build their creations. According to a recent AIA Foresight Report, there are a few key trends that are driving change in the architecture industry. Here is our take on a few:

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Top 3 Spec Sites To Support Product Specification

When marketing to architects and specifiers, one of the first steps to getting your product specified is making sure the product is included on specification websites, which architects visit regularly to support their product evaluation efforts. There are three primary categories of spec sites: listing sites, general spec sites and spec inclusion sites. Below are examples of each of these sites as well as our take on the pros and cons of each.

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3 Steps to Drive Product Specification with Architect Personas

Do you feel like your marketing efforts to drive product specification by architects are less than effective? Are you struggling to even determine how to get your products specified by architects? You may be missing a critical piece of the puzzle to pull it all together: truly knowing your audience.

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Lunch and Learns for Architects: Do They Still Work?

Architects have taken advantage of lunch and learn education and training for years as these sessions serve as a way to earn AIA continuing education credits. However, as the industry has evolved to accommodate tighter budgets and timelines - reducing the flexibility in an architect’s schedule to attend educational sessions - building products brands have been forced to reevaluate how they approach the ideas of lunch and learns and ultimately, improve how they work with architects.

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Know the Differences of Your Product Specification Team

The inner workings of product specification can be complex and difficult to navigate. If you want your product to be specified, you need to know your audience, what matters to them and their role in the specification process.

The four key players who make up the specification dream team are architects, specifiers, general contractors and interior designers.

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Understanding the Interior Designer

If you want to engage an interior designer and convince her to recommend your product, you need to understand her role as a creative influencer and provide her with the tools to do her job more effectively.

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What Makes Architects Tick

Before you can begin marketing to an architect in hopes of getting your product specified, you have to first understand what makes them tick. It’s not only important, it’s absolutely necessary to have a clear understanding of how their creative minds work, what their challenges are, and how they evaluate and select building materials for projects.

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I Just Got My Marketing Automation Platform, So Now What?

There’s a perception that once you license a (MAP) Marketing Automation Platform, all your marketing problems are solved.

Not even close.

All too often we see B2B brands making significant investments in marketing automation software after buying into impressive presentations by vendors of the wonderful things these technologies can offer.

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Why Your Email Campaign Kinda Sucks

Save it by giving your audience what they really want

Here’s typical email marketing in a nutshell:

  1. Find (or buy) a list of potential buyers.
  2. Email them to convince said buyers to buy stuff.
  3. Keep sending emails to convince said buyers to buy stuff.

Are you guilty of doing this? Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

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Why Email Marketing Still Matters to Building Products Brands

LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, Periscopeand the list goes on and on. With all these ways to connect, it looks like email is on it’s way out, right?

Wrong.

In fact, more people use email today than ever before. Which is great for building products brands that need to connect with their audience. According to a recent report, more than 3.8 billion people have email accounts.

Whatever the channel, each digital connection still depends on great content and context. Remember what we said here? If the email is not tailored or educational, it will have hard time breaking through no matter what stage the buyer is in. And the only way to ensure the content is tailored is to always, always, know your audience and approach email marketing as a part of an overall Inbound Marketing strategy.

Here are five more reasons why email still matters to the building products industry:

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4 Ways to Evaluate Your Marketing Automation Platform

There are several Marketing Automation Platforms (MAP) out there for B2B brands. The list includes HubSpot, Marketo, Oracle Eloqua and SalesForce Pardot. Each provide unique benefits depending on a company's end goals.

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Content or Context? Here’s Why You Need Both

Both content and context marketing are an integral part of Inbound Marketing. Let’s start by explaining both.

Context Marketing is all about delivering the right content, in the right format, to the right people, at the right time. This will create a closer relationship and a more personalized, relevant experience to your target audience by taking what you already know or what they want to know and using it to engage and advance a visitor into a buyer.

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Turn Your Content into Cash

Leveraging what you already have to grow your business

This isn’t a shady “get rich quick” scheme. It’s a tried and true way to further leverage and scale the investments you already made in developing effective content. As a B2B marketing agency, we define effective content as information that helps a buyer discern, understand or solve his or her problems.

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Inbound Marketing—Fad or Future?

Creating content that attracts your customers

As a B2B marketing agency, we believe Inbound Marketing is one of the most effective approaches to marketing. It’s a term coined by the creators of HubSpot, a marketing software platform, who recognized that cold-calling and email spam were far beyond obsolete. Nowadays, buyers are in control more than ever and have their pulse on the pause button—able to skip forward, rewind or change the channel all together.

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Minding Your Research Q’s

QualQuantQuantQual…, if you are looking to “get to know your users” you are probably sick of hearing these descriptors.

Let’s talk about their differences, their strengths and why I will always advise you to use both.

Qualitative and Quantitative research are both extremely valuable methodologies, but there is a distinct time in your research process for each. First, you need to ask yourself, “What do I want to know?” Think of the actual question you want answered. Really think about it. Right now…

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4 Reasons Why You Need a Buyer Persona

I have to be honest, I was a different kind of researcher a long time ago – a lab coat and Bunsen burner type researcher. When I first learned about buyer personas I thought, “Hmm. Now that’s a little cheesy.”

Now, as a much older and wiser researcher, I am a converted buyer persona believer.

Here are the top four reasons why I believe in buyer personas:

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Sell More with Sustainability

How Levi’s Stadium Already Won the Big Game

It’s that time of year. When we all gather together in living rooms across America, armed with chips, salsa and all the beer we can fit in the fridge. The Big Game is upon us. On February 7, the Denver Broncos will face off with the Carolina Panthers in what is sure to be a grueling fight to the finish, and we here at Point To Point are just as excited as anyone.

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Top Three Takeaways from Content Marketing World 2015

Less than two months into my new position at Point To Point, I had the opportunity to spend a day at Content Marketing World 2015 in downtown Cleveland. Even though my day began at 7:15 a.m., it was exhilarating to be at the industry’s largest content marketing event surrounded by like-minded professionals.  

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Can You Pass the Test of Design-Build Construction?

Pop Quiz: The design-build construction method is:

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Meet the New B2B Buyer

Can you recall how you used to get from one location to the next prior to GPS? I mean beyond relying on the help of clunky maps, gas station attendants and pay phones, do you remember the specific experiences you had and journeys you took? Rarely were they the most efficient, or even worse, the most accurate of potential paths. Thankfully, today’s technology creates a more efficient journey and because of it, our experience is vastly different.

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Your Product May Be Spec'd, But Will It Get Installed?

Part of the Architect Series From Point To Point

The architect’s specification may be the first hurdle for your product, but there are others, from cost to availability and even relationships. This third video of our architect series examines what happens as a spec becomes a final build, and the implications for building products manufacturers.

Miss either of our first two videos from the Architect Series? Find out what inspires architects during the design process and what they look for when creating a specification.

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Get Building Products Specified: Avoid These Marketing Mistakes

It’s been said that drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty. For building products marketers trying to get specified by architects and designers, this couldn’t be more true.

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What determines if a product gets specified?

Part of the Architect Series From Point To Point

When architects select building products to fulfill their design inspirations, they take two approaches: consulting trusted salespeople and exploring online sources. In this second video of our Architect Series, find out how digital experiences can drive architects closer to specification, or hold them back.  

Did you catch the other two videos in our Architect Series? Find out what inspires architects during the design process and the implications for building products manufacturers once their products are spec’d.

 

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Where to Start to Get Specified Products by Architects and Designers

By a quick show of hands, how many out there have ever listened to a sales pitch from someone who had no idea what your role was within your organization, your responsibilities or who you were in general?

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Is This the Death of Flash?

The News
Recently, Google Chrome announced that it will stop the auto-play functionality on all non-essential content on a website. And this week Firefox announced that it will now block Flash until Adobe fixes the security issues associated with it.

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Think you know what inspires an architect? Watch and find out.

If you’re trying to get your products specified by architects, it helps to know where they find inspiration. In this first video of our architect series, we present one architect’s in-depth point-of-view on what inspires him.

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How Many Interior Designers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

If you asked a commercial designer that question, they might say, “The real issue isn’t the installation, but rather the relationship between the light bulb and the ceiling around it, and if you were to introduce a new light bulb at this point, it would throw off the entire balance of the room and require massive changes which would, of course, result in budgetary issues, so I’m not saying I couldn’t change it, but it’d be best to establish a baseline for this at an early stage.”

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Millennials Just Don't Get It

Narcissistic. Self-entitled. Lazy. All in all, Millennials just don’t get it. And not only are they tough to work with, they’re even tougher to attract to grow the building products and construction industry workforce.

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Three Lessons on Marketing Building Products From the Cleveland Cavaliers

As a born and raised Clevelander and avid sports fan, I was glued to my TV for the Cavs playoff run in hopes that they would finally end Cleveland’s 51-year championship drought. And while the Cavs eventually fell to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, they put on a performance of which the entire region could be proud. They also taught us a few lessons on marketing building products. Here are my top three:

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Want to Understand Your Customer? Here’s the Team You Need.

Point To Point’s Customer Engagement team focuses on gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ audiences to inform and ensure sound marketing recommendations that best support the goals of both our clients and their buyers and customers. Our research methodology is used to define who an audience is, what their goals are, where, when and how they expect to accomplish those goals and why the experience with a brand is or is not working.

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Neuromarketing: Advanced methods to understand the B2B mindset

I recently attended the 2015 Cleveland AMA Market Research Conference, which allowed me to nerd out for an entire day with market research professionals like myself.

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Getting Smart at LIGHTFAIR International

It’s time to get smart. Regardless if you prefer Mel Brooks’ classic series from the ‘60s or Steve Carell’s more recent rendition of the inept yet surprisingly successful Maxwell Smart, one thing's for sure: Agent 86 would be impressed with today’s smart lighting technology (and likely a little tongue-tied too).

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To understand your audience, you must first ask the right questions

I recently attended the 2015 Cleveland American Marketing Association Market Research Conference and loved. Every. Single. Minute. While the event featured several industry experts in the field of market research, I was especially impressed with the insights shared by David Harris, a leader in questionnaire design and qualitative research. He authored The Complete Guide to Writing Questionnaires: How to Get Better Information for Better Decisions.

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3 Must-Knows for the B2B Buyer Revolution

A Blueprint for New Market Realities

In this short video, Point To Point CEO Mark Goren discusses the current state of marketing in the building products industry through the lens of the three key imperatives of the B2B Buyer Revolution: identifying stealth buyers, utilizing ubiquitous technology and fusing sales and marketing.
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Tradeshows: What Not To Do

We’ve been to a zillion (yes, a zillion) tradeshows over the years and have seen our fair share of spinning wheels, bowls of candies and branded swag - all with the goal of encouraging attendees to visit a booth and engage with that brand. Whether or not these efforts are effective, we believe it takes more than cute tchotchkes to garner the greatest return on your tradeshow booth investment. As noted in my previous post, we recently attended the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas and were happy to report that tradeshows are making a comeback for brands that know how to effectively engage customers. Now that it’s been a few weeks since we’ve returned from Vegas and have finally earned back the money we lost at the blackjack table, we thought we’d highlight what not to do when looking to attract an audience at your booth.

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B2B Digital Marketing, All Grown-Up

I don’t really see my boss as an overly emotional guy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if I believe he doesn’t have a sensitive side, it’s just that he doesn’t normally go around showing it. (Of course, as I’m writing this he’s uncharacteristically, and gleefully going around the office wishing everyone a good morning. Go figure.). So, one day when his eyes got wide and his face softened up a bit as he started to tell me about the Richard Linklater film, “Boyhood," I realized that there must be something going on that I needed to understand.

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Tradeshows Making a Comeback for Brands That Know How to Engage Customers

Exhale, everyone. The building products, kitchen and bath industries are back. While the homebuilding industry is growing at a slow but steady pace, the 2015 NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), held in Las Vegas last week, were filled with optimism about the future. Exhibitors at IBS/KBIS had only positive things to say about the increased traffic to their booths, quality of conversations with visitors and overall energy compared to previous years.

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Do You Know Where Your Buyer Is Right Now?

We’ve all heard the PSA asking, “Do you know where your children are right now?” What you didn’t know is that the same could be said for your buyer.

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Designing for the B2B Customer

Designing for a B2B customer requires a more intimate understanding of how your audience interacts with your brand. It means taking the key insights from your target audience, rinsing it with the data you’ve gathered from them and tailoring the messaging and visuals to these insights and behaviors. It means being customer-centric, as opposed to product-centric.

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Is Your Advertising Dumb Enough for Your Customer?

There’s a (possibly) apocryphal tale about the original advertising Mad Man, David Ogilvy, confronting a client who insisted that his customer was a moron. “Your customer is not a moron,” Ogilvy apparently replied. “She is your wife.” Or words to that effect.

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Stop Talking About Yourself and Start Listening to Your Buyers

What are the most important features and benefits about your brand and product that you want to tell your buyer?

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Kevin Spacey Knows More About Storytelling Than You Think

We were honored to hear Kevin Spacey speak at last month’s Content Marketing World. I know what you’re thinking. What does he have to do with content marketing?

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Top 5 Free SEO Tools

SEO strategy, execution and measurement can be extremely complex, particularly for large organizations with various divisions, business priorities, websites and content. We’ve seen it all and have utilized a number of tools (both paid and free) to help our clients execute solid SEO strategies with real ROI.

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Top Five Differences Between B2B and B2C Creative Advertising

I’m told that people look for easy-to-scan lists in a blog. With that in mind, here is my take on the major differences in approach between B2B and B2C advertising creative.

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Top Five World-Class Presentations at Content Marketing World 2014

I was one of 2,500 fortunate marketers from around the world who had the opportunity to attend Content Marketing World in Cleveland this month. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

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Google Panda 4.0 & B2B SEO Strategy Refinement

Earlier this year, Google rolled out Panda 4.0, which contained both an algorithm update and a data refresh. We took a deeper look at the implications of this update, particularly for B2B organizations, to identify what types of websites were affected and how marketers can further refine their B2B SEO strategy to avoid being negatively impacted by Panda.

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