Why Local Loyalty, Big Data & Content Matter in 2014

Last week we had the opportunity to learn about the hot marketing trends for 2014 with three leading B2B marketers.  "What's Hot in B2B Digital Marketing in 2014" was hosted by our own Rob Fuggetta with panelists Sharon Crost, Lauren McCadney and Rishi Dave. As three of the best and brightest minds in digital marketing, we were excited for these three speakers to discuss the following with us: 1. What's hot in B2B digital marketing in 2014?

2. Why is it a major trend?

3. What should marketers be doing about it?

SharonCrostSharon Crost of Hitachi- Senior Manager Manager, Social Business 

Local Loyalty:

An innovator in social media and visiting professor, Sharon joined us to discuss Local Loyalty. So, what does that mean? Simply put, people aren’t buying from robots or social media spam- people buy from people. TwitterBird  "Local" has a wide variety of meanings in digital and social media; it could refer to geography, a topic areas of interest, or a conversation with someone who is influential.

In 2014, customers want to work with influential leaders, not spammers- business today is all about working relationships with prospects and sales, and each experience should be personalized. To do so, the influencers must be identified and advocates must be provided with content.

LaurenMcCadneyLauren McCadney of CDW- Senior Manager, Social Media

Big Data:

According to McKinsey Global Institute, "Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity." Unfortunately, 82% of CMOs are feeling underprepared for Big Data (MarketingCharts.com) and the data explosion. Lauren shares the keys to Big Data Success:

1.What are you trying to learn or solve for?

2. Amassing the right data

3. Finding analytical talent: Buy it? Borrow it?

Lauren explains how each company has huge volumes of data, but is it actionable? Big Data projects can deliver information and impressive Powerpoints, but effectively using this data is crucial to Big Data success.

RishiDaveRishi Dave of Dell- Executive Director, Digital Marketing


93% of B2B Marketers are using content, but only 42% believes it is effective (MarketingProfs / The Content Marketing Institute.) Rishi believes that companies are struggling with content quality because in the past, content was produced once per quarter, launch or campaign. Today, our open channels with customers require many pieces of marketing material per day, so marketers struggle with maintaining high-quality and engaging content.

While content is one of the best ways to generate qualified leads, it is important to keep in mind that it can take time. Content does not automatically convert leads, but with a constant funnel of content creation, prospects will find you when they are ready to connect.


Connect with the speakers on Twitter: @RobFuggetta@RishiPDave@SharonHDS & @LMcCadney




Advocate Recommendations: Much Stickier than Olympic Sponsorships

Do you know who's sponsoring the 2012 Summer Olympics in London? According to AdAge.com, it's statistically understandable if you don't. A survey by Toluna Global Omnibus found that many consumers are unable to correctly state who sponsors The Olympics.

Out of the 1,034 U.S. Consumers surveyed...

  • 19% incorrectly identified Burger King as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 40% who correctly identified McDonald's as a sponsor.
  • 28% incorrectly identified Pepsi as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 47% who correctly identified Coca-Cola as a sponsor.
  • 37% incorrectly identified Nike as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 24% who correctly identified Adidas as a sponsor.

In the eyes of an Ad Man (I've been watching MadMen recently) this data is not impressive. Not only do brand advertisements fail to stick in consumers' heads, many consumers think that brand competitors are in fact sponsoring The Olympics. Adidas must be pissed.

Attaching your name to The Olympics is expensive. AdAge reports that Adidas spent £100 million ($156,570,000) on its Olympic Marketing in the last four years, part of which gave Adidas exclusive marketing rights within the United Kingdom. Why should Adidas waste their money if when asked who sponsors The Olympics, more consumers say Nike?

Marketers are spending money in all the wrong places. Instead, brands should invest in finding and activating their most effective salespeople- their Brand Advocates. In an earlier ZuberRants postRob Fuggetta breaks down what a brand could achieve through an advocacy program instead of investing $3 Million in a 30-sec Super Bowl ad. We're talking 2 million energized Advocates, 10 million authentic recommendations, and a 10X ROA (Return on Advocacy).

Adidas, I encourage you to put more eggs in the Advocacy basket. Because let's face it, consumers don't trust brands, they trust their friends.

-Beau Cowan, Marketing Coordinator, Zuberance

Taco Tuesday: Neighborhood Advocacy in Action

I was part of Word of Mouth (WOM) and Brand Advocacy (more like Taco Advocacy) long before I truly understood what these terms meant. When I was in high school, my friend, Nate Kristoff’s family had everyone and their mothers over for tacos every Tuesday afternoon. Believe me when I say everyone and their mothers.

What started out as a small, weekly tradition for families and friends, grew into something larger as unknown members of the Marin Catholic High School community were encouraged to go to the Kristoff’s for swimming and tacos once a week.

I remember my first Taco Tuesday. My friend John always talked about it and insisted I go. He was constantly spreading his taco excitement by recruiting newcomers. Hardly anyone knew me my first time, but the genuine hospitality the Kristoff’s displayed not only made me feel welcome, it made me come back multiple times—often with a guest of my own. Five years later, Taco Tuesday still thrives.

The Advocacy wiz might already see the relevant marketing mechanisms at work in my story. But for the rest of you, let’s break down my experience.

  • Taco Tuesday and the hospitality of the Kristoff family created highly satisfied guests and enthusiastic Advocates.
  • Taco Tuesday grew quickly because Taco Tuesday Advocates (like John) recommended Taco Tuesday to others in the community.
  • John and other Taco Tuesday Advocates were trusted sources as they weren’t incentivized by the Kristoff’s in any way—it was genuine advocacy at work.

Now, in this case, Taco Tuesday and community bonding at the Kristoff’s wasn’t about dollar signs; but imagine if it was. Kristoff Tacos could have been commoditized and sold for a profit, and with all the other elements of my story in place, you can guess what would have happened. If you’re thinking soaring sales, you are on the right track.

The WOM for Taco Tuesday occurred offline. But what if Taco Tuesday Advocates like John were given the means to spread their excitement via Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, or email?

These ideas and their value are seemingly obvious, but marketers and business owners should go beyond simply hanging a “write us a review on Yelp” sign in their store windows. Instead, marketers should be systematically identifying Brand Advocates, giving them the tools to spread the word quickly and conveniently, and tracking the boost in sales that are surely to come.

-Beau Cowan, Marketing Coordinator, Zuberance

How Much are Negative Reviews Costing Your Business?





Harshly critical comments like these on TripAdvisor, Amazon, Yelp and other shopping or review sites are killing your sales and ruining your brand’s cherished reputation.

Depending on the size of your company, negative reviews like this may be costing your business hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Here’s why:

1.       Online reviews influence what people buy. 83% of online consumers say reviews influence their purchase decisions, according to Opinion Research. In the hotel industry, travelers are 3X more likely to book a room at a hotel with 5 stars vs. a hotel with 3 stars, Morpace has found.

2.       Negative online reviews are a “silent killer.” Prospects don’t call you and say, “Hey, I just decided to eat at a different restaurant because I heard your service sucks.” They just go to a different restaurant.

How to Estimate Impact of Negative Reviews

Here’s a simple formula of how much business is lost by negative Word of Mouth in the form of negative reviews, using a restaurant as an example:

Brand Under Attack? Fight Back!

Identify and energize your Advocates, those highly-satisfied customers who act as champions for your brand and products. Invite them to rate and review your products and services. Make it easy for them to share and publish reviews on shopping and review sites and elsewhere.

Here are a few real-world case studies:

-Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance

Whitepaper: Top 5 Myths of B2B Word of Mouth

Download: Top 5 Myths of B2B Word of Mouth. Word of Mouth (WOM) is the "world's most powerful sales tool," according to Nielsen. Today, thanks to social media channels like blogs, Twitter, review sites and more, WOM and online recommendations are more influential than ever. But is WOM effective in B2B environments? Discover what's fact and what's fiction in B2B Word of Mouth marketing.

Download this whitepaper and learn:

  • What role does social media play in influencing business purchase decisions?
  • How to measure B2B Word of Mouth
  • How B2B and B2C WOM compare.

We want to hear from you!  Share your thoughts on the whitepaper here.

Whitepaper: Turning Social Media Into Sales

Download: Turning Social Media Into Sales. The  Holy Grail in the Social Media Age is how to leverage social to drive leads and sales. As Ellis Booker, the editor of BtoB Magazine and BtoB’s Media Business, said recently: “How to best use- but not abuse- social media for sales conversion is the $64,000 question, and will preoccupy marketers, agencies, and media companies for the foreseeable future.”

This report features real-world examples of companies generating online recommendations, qualified leads, sales, and positive Word of Mouth now from social media by energizing their highly-satisfied customers (AKA “Brand Advocates”) via the award-winning Zuberance Social Recommendations Service

Download this white paper and learn:

  • What role social media plays in influencing business purchase decisions.
  • How to generate qualified leads via Brand Advocates.
  • How B2B and B2C WOM compare.

We want to hear from you!  Feel free to share your thoughts about the whitepaper here.

How to Combat Negative Word of Mouth: A Consumer Electronics Case Study

Download: Consumer Electronics Company Gets 5% Conversions By Energizing Brand Advocates

This case study highlights a leading consumer electronics company that was recently facing a marketing crisis. Negative Word of Mouth for their new flagship product was hurting their reputation and sales. So they turned to their most enthusiastic customers (AKA their Brand Advocates) and energized them to create social recommendations for the brand and product.

In only a few months the company has:

  • Energized thousands of Brand Advocates to create social recommendations
  • Increased its star ratings on a leading shopping site from 2.8 to 4 stars
  • Recorded a 5% sales conversion rate, 10x higher than normal

Download the case study and learn how to:

  • Identify Brand Advocates by name and email address
  • Mobilize Advocates to create social recommendations and drive sales
  • Track results from social recommendation programs in real-time

We want to hear from you!  Feel free to share your thoughts on the whitepaper below.

Sponsor your audience to energize Word of Mouth

In an effort to juice conversations, Intuit gives grants to small businesses to get people talking about small business, explained Laura Messerschmitt of Intuit.

This is not a “pay-for-play” solution which is a major “no-no” when seeking out recommendations for Advocates. Intuit is just trying to show general support for a community, especially at the local level.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

Build a relationship with an Advocate like you would with a friend #NYBAS

For so long brands have operated on this model of selling and showing product, explained Avi Savar, Founder of Big Fuel at the New York Brand Advocacy Series event he co-sponsored with Zuberance at his offices.

Brand Advocates can’t be bullied into liking your product. You need to create a relationship with them. That can often come from just having a great product, great customer service, or both.

If you want Brand Advocates, you need to shift your communications from a “Show me/Sell me” model to a “Help me/Entertain me” model, said Savar. Building a relationship with a customer to turn them into a Brand Advocate is no different than building a relationship with a friend.

The best way to create engagement with customers is through social and digital platforms, Savar suggested. Content drives conversation and advocacy. It is a commodity which can be leveraged on behalf of a brand. Audiences are engaged by content especially when delivered in the right context.

If you do it right, you can build a relationship with the customer for life, said Savar.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

VIDEO: Excellent customer service creates Brand Advocates

Is there a brand that you enjoy more because of the personal attention they've given you? Most often this is in the service industry, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. Sometimes it's because you had a problem with a product and they handled it so well that you immediately became an Advocate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk3vHSfWRuw

Ted Rubin, a consultant with Zuberance, loves Virgin America, Dell, BlackBerry, and Verizon. They won him over because he just loves brands that do excellent customer service. When they handle his problems well, he appreciates it, and he tells people about it. (Read Ted's recent blog post that highlights the importance of customer service here.)

The brands that get the most advocacy from Rubin are the ones who engage and interact with him on Twitter.

-David Spark, Social Media Jounalist, Spark Media Solutions