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Factastic Findings – March, 2016

Content Strategy Earns a “C”

Saurage Research B2B Key FindingsContent marketing is all about strategy, yet most B2B marketers are doing it haphazardly and without a strategy. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report, fewer B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy compared with last year (32% vs. 35%). CMI defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” In content marketing, strategy is about going back to the basics while at the same time looking ahead to the ultimate objective. The best content strategies are innovative, different, and evolving with a shifting audience.

Last year, 35% of B2B marketers had a documented content strategy, 48% had a verbal-only strategy, and 14% had no strategy. A documented content marketing strategy impacts effectiveness:


  • 53% of the most effective marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.
  • 40% of the least effective marketers have no strategy at all.

B2B marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy get better results from their content marketing tactics, social media platforms, and paid methods of content distribution (i.e., they rate them as more effective when compared with their peers who don’t have a documented strategy).

There are three key elements to determining your content strategy. Understand your identity, who you are as a company and what you offer. By thoroughly understanding who you are as a company you can situate your content in the best way. Know who you are reaching and clearly understand the end user. What are their interests, their habits, and their behaviors that touch upon using your product or service? Know what it is you are trying to accomplish. In most cases you want to see your audience’s behavior change. Remember, content is not merely for consumption; it is for action. Your content should have an intent – the goal of moving the user to action. This is where many content marketing efforts fall flat, they fail to engage with the user’s behavior. Not every piece of content you produce will be a call to action, but every piece produced should be connected to a call to action.

While content creation sounds like a pretty straightforward task – come up with the idea, create the content, review and approve, publish – content production is a process, a set of stages all geared toward creating content that performs. Great content isn’t stumbled upon; it’s carefully designed for a specific goal. There are lots of moving parts and the process is not typically one size fits all. Content production planning helps you to establish a fluid workflow around the creation and management of your project content.

Bad things happen when content is treated as an afterthought. Projects run late and budgets are compromised. Poor quality content gets rushed through. Overall user experience suffers which means business objectives fail. Establish goals for each piece of content. If you set goals before the research and writing start, the rest of the process will be much faster. Clearly articulated goals help you know what questions to ask and what to write. They also give your approvers and subject experts a framework for evaluating the content.

Meet the Mobile Elite

Saurage Research Brand Strategy Key FindingsMeet the mobile elite, a group of tech- and culturally savvy individuals who make up approximately 20% of the general population and are farther along the mobile adoption curve than the rest of the population. They spent more than $750 in the past year buying via mobile channels, or spent more than six hours per week with media and entertainment apps or mobile websites. This group of mostly Millennials (44%) and Gen Xers (29%) is deeply connected to mobile devices and see smartphones and tablets as the primary device for purchases.

Companies need to invest in well-defined mobile strategies, and they can start by better understanding this select group. No, they are not technological royalty, they are simply people who are highly engaged with their devices and use them to address every social, financial and informational need possible. Despite generational differences, a 2015 Adobe Mobile Consumer Report indicates that Millennials and Gen Xers tend to behave similarly when it comes to their mobile devices. Both groups are more active on their mobile device, preferring a smartphone as the primary device. They are more likely to have tried emerging technologies, such as mobile wallets and augmented reality apps.

Mobile Elite use smartphones and tablets for everything, but a few areas that stand out are finance, travel, shopping, and media and entertainment. Below are some statistics for each of these verticals*. Having a better understanding of your customers who use mobile, as well as when, how often, and for what purposes allows you to reach more of them more effectively.


  • 67% elite vs. 49% total make person-to-person payments
  • 39% elite vs. 19% total research or shop for new financial accounts
  • 44% elite vs. 21% total review brokerage account, individual stock or mutual fund positions


  • 81% elite vs. 47% total research travel destinations
  • 71% elite vs. 39% total compare travel prices


  • 70% elite vs. 52% total check product and price information
  • 52% elite vs. 38% total product comparison

Media and Entertainment

  • 59% elite vs. 39% total post information on social networks
  • 60% elite vs. 38% listen to music
  • 35% elite vs. 18% total stream music

*Source: Why Targeting The ‘Mobile Elite’ Will Make or Break Your Business

Mobile usage is growing fast, so fast in fact that mobile accounted for almost 52% of all digital ad spend, surpassing desktop ad spend. By 2019, eMarketer predicts that mobile spend will account for just about 70% of total digital spend. Mobile devices have transformed from just a means of voice communication to multi-function devices that allow users to engage in financial services, health tracking, news and information sharing, and more. At this rate it is crucial for brands to embrace mobile and invest in the tactics and technologies that deliver engaging mobile experiences.

Power to the Wind

Saurage Research Energy Key Findings2016 looks like it could be a windy year. We aren’t talking about the weather, but rather the surge in wind power expected this year. Improved technology and better access to financing are making wind more competitive with fossil fuels in many regions of the U.S. In a Washington Post article that reported 2016 as a potential record breaking year for wind energy, Dan Reicher, Executive Director of Stanford University’s Steve-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, agreed a renewable revolution is under way. He went on to say “Renewables have turned the corner in a fundamental way… The policy base for renewables has strengthened, both on the incentives side and through mandates…At the same time, the financing of renewable-energy projects has become a mainstream business for Wall Street. The early-stage investments from Silicon Valley for clean energy were small potatoes compared to the massive investments Wall Street is making. It truly is a global business.”

Companies such as IKEA, Google, and LEGO are increasingly choosing wind energy to power their operations because it makes sense economically. Wind is inexpensive and emissions-free (aside from initial manufacturing and installation and service), thus making it very appealing to companies that want to reduce their emissions and want access to reliable, inexpensive power. Technological advancements and increased U.S. manufacturing have decreased wind’s cost 66% over the last 6 years, according to a report by NPR.

Wind installations during the fourth quarter of 2015 represent the second strongest quarter ever recorded, and significantly more than the 4,854 MW installed in all of 2014. The total installations across 2015 trail only 2009 and 2012. Altogether there is now 74,472 MW of installed wind capacity in the U.S. and more than 52,000 operating wind turbines.

“The U.S. wind industry hasn’t seen this kind of rapid growth for years,” said John Hensley, Manager, Industry Data & Analysis, for AWEA. “After surpassing the 70 gigawatt (GW) milestone late last year, American wind power is on the verge of reaching 75 GW of installed capacity in coming months.”

Gut Feelings

Not all gut bacteria are created equal, there is “good” gut bacteria and “bad” gut bacteria. With the number of cells reaching more than 100 trillion it’s hard to know which ones are which. “Good” gut bacteria improve digestion, strengthen your immune system, and manufacture the vitamins your body needs. “Bad” gut bacteria can cause digestion nightmares, mental problems, skin conditions as well as a whole host of other problems.

A healthy gut is made by balancing the bacteria, limiting the bad guys and encouraging the good guys to grow. But how do you know if you in balance? Here are 7 things to look for.

  1. Digestive Issues such as gas, bloating, heartburn/acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome are all signals of an unbalanced gut.
  2. Depression, anxiety, brain fog, OCD, and even Autism could be a result of an unbalanced gut. Scientists have discovered that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters and people with certain mental disorders also tend to have disturbances to their gut bacteria.
  3. A healthy gut plays an important role in helping your body produce and synthesize vitamins and minerals. When gut bacteria are out of whack your body has a hard time getting enough of certain essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins D, K, B12 & B7 as well as magnesium.
  4. Antibiotics, when used correctly, are one of the greatest innovations of modern medicine, but in addition to wiping out bad bacteria, they also wipe out good bacteria that are essential to your health.
  5. Stress can wear you down, make you anxious, and increase your blood pressure, and it can also wreak havoc on your gut. Stress is inevitable, but unmanaged stress raises cortisol levels, which can stop the gut from working properly.
  6. Many skin conditions aren’t necessarily from a problem with the skin, but rather an unhealthy gut. An unbalanced gut can be the cause of acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.
  7. Research is emerging linking autoimmune diseases, the body literally attacking itself, to unhealthy guts. From Hashimoto’s to Rheumatoid Arthritis, an unhealthy gut could be the culprit.

The digestive system is really the cornerstone of our wellbeing and when it is in order we feel great. With a bit of planning and time it is possible to restore your gut to optimal health. One way to do this is to adopt a new approach to the foods we consume, and this can be done by starting with the “Four Rs” – remove, repair, restore, and replace.

  1. Remove – remove the offending foods and toxins from your diet that could be acting as stressors on your system, things such as caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, bad fats, and any other foods you think may be causing issues, like gluten or dairy. All of these irritate the gut in some form and create an inflammatory response.
  2. Repair – heal the damaged intestinal lining by consuming an unprocessed diet and giving your body time to rest by providing it with substances that are known to heal the gut, like L-glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, antioxidants, quercetin, aloe vera, and turmeric.
  3. Restore – restoring your gut’s optimal bacterial flora population. This is done with the introduction of probiotics, which are good bacteria that helps reinforce and maintain a healthy gut and helps fight illness. A healthy gastrointestinal tract should contain around 85% good bacteria. This helps to combat any overgrowth of bad bacteria. Unfortunately, in most people these percentages are skewed and this allows for the gut health to drastically decline. The human gut is home to bad bacteria like salmonella and clostridium, which is fine as long as they are kept in order and don’t get out of control.
  4. Replace – this involved getting your bile salts, digestive enzymes, and hydrochloric acid levels to optimal levels to maintain and promote healthy digestion. This can be done by supplementing with digestive enzymes and organic salt to help make sure you have enough hydrochloric acid.

In the end, trust your gut. If something is wrong, your gut very well may be trying to let you know.

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