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March Key Findings: 2013

Changes and Challenges Shape Today’s B2B Marketers

challenges ahead1Marketing has experienced massive change in the past decade, driven largely by new technology mostly nonexistent just five years ago.  And while much of this new technology offers a host of opportunities for marketers, it also brings just as many challenges. So, what does it take to be an effective marketer in this new environment where data analysis is king and programs are driven by digital channels? BtoB and marketing automation company, Eloqua, Inc., polled nearly 600 marketers in January, and found most (65%) believe they fall short of having the attributes of “the ideal marketer” today, but are “strongly” or “fully” committed to improving (68%), and believe they are getting better at their jobs, despite limited budgets and staff. About 60% said the ability to track marketing ROI with technology is their biggest challenge. Using social media effectively was cited by 58%, while the shift in the power from the brand to the customer was listed by 42%. Mobile marketing was selected by 33%, media fragmentation by 30% and improvements in data cleansing by 19%. Identifying key drivers pressuring today’s marketers, those polled cited the need to achieve fast and relevant touch points in the market (60%), coping with reduced staffs (55%), challenges of measuring ROI (48%), increasing difficulties in conveying timely offers and messages (35%), and a general decline in the awareness of brands (12%). One high-level marketing director quoted in the study said, today’s successful marketer must take on a quasi-sales function and understand his or her job is about relationship-building. Another respondent said being strategic and tech savvy are also very important. (

Pop Up Evolution

pop-up-amsterdam-nyc-1First spotted as an emerging trend in 2004, Pop-up marketing is still flourishing today, but continues to evolve as marketers reinvent and integrate the concept with new and old tools to give customers a “360-degree product experience.”  The original idea of Pop-up marketing was to suddenly open a temporary gallery-like shop, a one-off exhibition or a mobile unit in an unusual and/or empty space, quickly drawing in surprised consumers, and then, disappear. Pop-ups are now being tapped to market, co-brand and promote new designer product lines, limited edition or limited quantity products, as well as eateries, venues, seasonal items, international brands and much more. Emerging or hot designers are also selling products via Pop-up displays inside big brand retail stores looking to add a bit of “cool” to their fixed locations. Other brands are setting up customized mobile stores near prime/targeted consumer locations such as universities, hospitals, parks, trade shows, beaches and more. Dozens of online pure-plays are also using Pop-ups to get offline visibility.  Marching toward “the Holy Grail of relationship building,” marketers are using innovative Pop-ups as part of their overall marketing mix to give consumers a face-to-face experience. This allows them to touch something in person and digitally, as marketers promote Pop-ups and get feedback via social media. (

Finding the Green in Going Green

dollar sign and earth

Going green often results in saving green, as in money, for both large institutions and individual homeowners alike. Texas A&M was recently honored with the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 Energy Star Award for its efforts to reduce energy consumption and find ways to boost energy efficiency on campus. While the campus grew by 20 percent in gross square feet from 2002 to 2012, its energy use dropped 40 percent, saving the university $140 million. Faculty, staff members and students have all pitched in to implement a plan developed by the college’s Utilities & Energy Services Team to generate electricity on site by recovering otherwise wasted heat, and reducing demand on existing transmission and distribution infrastructure. For six years, students competed in the Residence Hall Energy Challenge to see which building could reduce its energy consumption the most. Oklahoma’s electric and natural gas utilities recently rolled out a number of programs and installed Smart meters to help residents of that state go green. Rebates on energy efficient appliances, incentives to remodel homes using energy efficient materials and techniques, and information on ways to reduce energy bills all contributed to helping the state eliminate about 240 megawatts of generation demand. Utilities in Oklahoma have set a goal not to build any new fossil-fuel energy generation plants until at least 2020. And so far, they are sticking to that timeline. (

Technology to Replace 80% of What Doctors Do

computer stehoscopeAirplanes fly on auto-pilot, algorithmic trading drives the stock market and self-driving automobiles are being readied for market by a number of companies, including Google. Data-driven healthcare is the next frontier. Fact, some say computers will eventually take on 80% of what doctors do today. This will not only reduce costs and medical errors, but is expected also to improve patient care and allow physicians to interact more with patients. This is based partly on the exploding amount of medical data, diagnostic information and research becoming available digitally, and new technologies that enable healthcare practitioners to access it. Human cognitive capabilities restrict the average doctor from realistically being able to adequately review and digest say, the latest 5,000 articles on heart disease, or the symptoms associated with the 10,000+ diseases humans can get. Routine activities by most physicians such as checkups, testing, diagnostics, prescriptions, patient behavior modification tips and more can be effectively managed by digital sensors, passive and active data collection and analytics. Increasingly, technology  can compensate for human deficiencies and amplify strengths, enabling MDs and other medical professionals to focus on more critical areas such as gathering harder to measure information and explaining diagnoses and treatment plans to their patients. Granted, this evolution will take time, but according to experts, not as long as many people believe. (


Business to Business

  • 80 percent of 120 human resources executives polled said their companies currently offer some form of telecommuting option to employees with 97 percent of them saying there are no plans to eliminate that benefit. (
  • More than eight in 10 online Americans (85%) viewed online videos in 2012. (comScore; 312-777-8801)
  • Owners of iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices send more than two billion iMessages daily. (Apple; 408-996-1010)
  • More than nine in 10 liquor brands have Twitter accounts. (L2 Think Tank; 805-441-3233)
  • 44% of small to mid-sized business decision-makers use social media; 86% of those SMB decision-makers use Facebook, 41% use LinkedIn and 33% use Twitter. (
  • While 85% of consumers are searching for local businesses online 63% of small businesses don’t have a website and 25% of small businesses don’t show up in the search results. (

 Brand Strategy

  • Almost half of women worldwide (48%) look at brands’ social networking pages regularly. (Ipsos; 310-736-3440)
  • More than half of consumers (55%) use manufacturers’ and retailers’ websites to help them make purchase decisions. (WSL Strategic Retail; 212-924-7780)
  • More than seven in 10 consumers (73%) who post about brands on social networks weekly believe the brands see posts made on their personal social network pages. (JWT; 310-559-9222)
  • Companies’ Facebook posts that contain photos earn 53% more “likes” and 104% more comments than the average posts made by companies on the site. (HubSpot; 888-482-7768)
  • Most watches displayed in advertisements are set to 10:10 because the hands of the watch frame the watch brand name and they make a smiling face. (
  • A new study finds that the best strategy for advertisers trying to persuade a skeptical audience is to leave out facts and focus more on emotional ads. On the flip side, it found that those who are less skeptical are more persuaded by more information-based ads. (


  • The two biggest sources of pollution remain coal-fired power plants and vehicular engines. Both of these can run on natural gas.  Natural gas can be produced synthetically from a variety of carbon sources: coal, biomass, and garbage. Methane can be produced biologically using digesters or microbes. In addition, gas power plants are superior to coal plants because they run on a turbine, which is similar to a jet engine and very flexible to operate. The operational flexibility of gas power plants makes them complementary to wind and solar. (
  • Manufacturing is a dirty business. Industrial facilities in the United States generate 7.6 billion tons of nonhazardous waste annually, according the Environmental Protection Agency. Most of it ends up in landfills. (
  • While it may cost anywhere from $70 to more than $200 to dispose of one ton of garbage, a well-managed recycling program can reduce costs by as much as 35%.(
  • Americans waste a huge amount of oil. It has recently been estimated that 350 million barrels of oil are wasted on food that is thrown out. American drivers waste an estimated 1.9 billion gallons of fuel (roughly equivalent to 45 million barrels of oil) in congested traffic every year. Simply making sure that all tires were properly inflated could save 1.2 billion gallons of fuel per year, another 28 million barrels. (
  • Six million Americans are using geothermal energy in their homes – three million receive electricity from geothermal power plants and another three million use geothermal heat pumps to heat & cool their homes; more than 100 new geothermal power projects now under development in 13 states will more than double the county’s geothermal capacity over the next five years. (


  • Pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing than research: According to ScienceDaily, a “new study by two York University researchers estimates the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spends almost twice as much on promotion as it does on research and development.” (
  • More than a third of parents (35%) have received prescription pain medicine for their children at least once in the last five years. (C.S. Mott Hospital at the University of Michigan; 734-936-6641)
  • More than a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) have used walk-in health clinics located in pharmacies, retail stores, or work-places in the last two years. (Harris Interactive; 585-272-8400)
  • More than one in five children ages 5-13 (21%) have had three or more dental cavities filled. (American Dental Association; 312-440-2807)
  • Researchers report that women’s magazines have 10.5 times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men’s magazines do, and over 75% of women’s magazine covers include at least one article title about how to change a woman’s body by diet, exercise, or cosmetic surgery. (

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