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How to come up with fresh ideas for social media

Now more than ever, your social media channels are where strong, lasting relationships with your customers are born. The average person will spend over 5 years of their life on social media – that’s a lot of opportunities for you to get your brand in front of their eyes!

The best way to get their attention is, of course, by regularly posting engaging content. And that’s easy, right? All you need is a few popular hashtags and some pretty stock photos.

Wrong. Content is only truly engaging if it’s original. If your customer has 73 other #MondayMotivation posts clogging up their newsfeeds at the start of each week, what’s going to make yours stand out from the crowd?

Beginners Analytics: Five Fundamentals of Tracking Marketing ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is simple in theory: How much are you spending on your marketing, and how does that expense compare with how much business you are getting in return? You should always get more out of marketing than you’re putting into it. Simple.

From there, however, things get much more complex. As marketers and business leaders, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details – often because this internet age allows us nearly unlimited access to data. We can measure everything and, because of that, there is great pressure to measure everything. Some people find themselves reporting on vanity metrics that don’t matter. Others find themselves bogged down with deliverables or spending hours on tactics that yield few results.

7 Steps to be a More Effective Leader

Your “to do” list is likely as long as your arm. And the last thing you want or need is me giving you more stuff to add to your list. BUT, I also know that you are always looking for ways to be a more effective leader.

Well, having learned lots of lessons the hard way, (meaning I have blown it numerous times), and having studied successful leaders for many years, I have come up with some simple steps that you can take to get you there one day at a time.

Becoming an effective leader is a process that can be learned through disciplined actions. The old adage, while kind of gross, holds true:

3 Questions to Assess Sales Force Effectiveness

Every company wants a more effective sales force but few know where to start. Seeking quick results but unsure as to what is broken, sales leaders often launch a dozen or more initiatives simultaneously, hoping one of them is the real root of the problem.

Unfortunately, this approach often creates entirely new problems. Scarce resources are stretched thin. Sales teams, pulled in many directions at once, are unable to execute well. Results are typically poor when trying to focus on too many initiatives rather than three or four ideas that might really matter. As effectiveness slides, frustrated leaders must ask again, “What levers should I be pulling to boost performance?”

4 Ways to Make B2B Sales as Smart as B2C Sales

Analytics define the business-to-consumer journey. With the long history of data availability available to B2C salespeople, they’re able to better track, recognize, and understand their prospects and the buying trips they take.

For business-to-business, there’s an added layer of complexity. You’re not just thinking about prospects as a company but as a bunch of individuals within a company; each has his own persona as both a businessperson and a consumer, meaning there’s a lot of data to digest and disseminate.

You have old-school firmographic data, new data elements, and beyond that, elements indicating business intent. All this information comes together to form analytics that can tell you whether a prospect has a particular need and whether your product or service is the one to fulfill it.

Use intent data to catch big fish with your marketing automation platform

Is your marketing automation as smart as it should be? Columnist Thomas Koletas explains how using intent data can help make your automation program more intelligent and efficient.

Marketing automation software (MAS) is all the rage among B2B marketers. Frost & Sullivan predicted the MAS sector will expand by a whopping 300 percent from 2014 to 2020, growing to $1.9 billion. And a full 63 percent of B2B marketers invest 10 percent to 29 percent of their budgets in marketing automation.

The unfortunate downside of all this growth is that marketing automation is simply not as smart as it could be. I don’t mean the concept isn’t a smart one; I mean the platform itself just isn’t smart.

What Marketers Need to Know About Facebook

Last week, Facebook opened up Messenger usernames for all businesses, encouraging them to promote their Messenger presence in the same way that Facebook once encouraged brands to promote their Facebook pages. Here are the main questions marketers need to understand about Facebook Messenger to determine just what role it will play in their marketing mix going forward:

1. Will it be all pull, or also push? Currently, Messenger operates as a mechanism for pull marketing. If you're a shoe store, a customer may message you to find out your hours or ask whether you have a certain brand and size in stock. If this store is very responsive on Messenger, then it has a chance to get the sale over a less responsive competitor.

“Spray and Pray”: A Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Targeted Sales Prospecting

Some salespeople view prospecting as a numbers game. They reason that the more emails they send and calls they make, the more conversations they will have, and the more customers they will eventually sign. So instead of spending time customizing and personalizing their outreach for each individual prospect, they mass blast generic emails, and follow the exact same script on every single call.

Seven Essential Mobile Apps for Marketers

By Kerry Gorgone, {grow} Contributing Columnist

Back in 2014, I wrote a post on essential mobile apps for marketers. It’s been a while, and since apps change more often than Kim Kardashian’s phone number, I thought it was time for an update.

These days I have 144 apps on my phone. That sounds like an insane number of apps, but I have them neatly grouped into categories, so I have just a few screens of icons.

Mastering the “Four Ps” of Office Communication

Don’t just wait for the next company meeting to keep your team informed.

We have never been so connected. With modern technology, countries all over the world are, quite literally, at our fingertips. Why, then, does it seem so hard to spread the word about something as simple as, say, the company picnic on Saturday, the new HR policy changes or that big new client the sales team has been courting for months?

Good office communication flow boils down to what I call, the “four Ps” — portions, packaging, placement and point-in-time. In other words, you’ve got to pass the message at the right time, in the right place, and in nicely packaged, digestible bites.

How Product Marketing Has Become a Sales Enablement Challenge

Product marketing professionals find themselves as the lynchpin between Product, Marketing, and Sales. However, most functions are notorious for not investing enough time in supporting sales efforts. Sure, they are effective at product launches and using feature/benefit language, but they often fall short when it comes to effectively enabling their sales team.

While this stigma can be true, it would be wrong to assume that product marketers don’t want to help their sales team. Instead, they often lack the adaptability required to support the dynamic aspects of the sales process. This is what makes marketing and sales alignment so difficult. Language and tactics that present well in an internal strategy meeting don’t always translate to effective customer conversations.

11 important content marketing metrics I bet you don’t measure

Eighty-eight percent of marketers use content marketing—up by 2 percent from last year (86 percent). Seventy-six percent of them also plan to create more content in 2016, according to Content Marketing Institute.

However, measuring content effectiveness is among the top challenges faced by B2B content marketers.

As a marketer, bringing tangible results should be our top priority. However, determining the success of content is not as simple as it appears. While there are several metrics to dig into, there is no particular set of metrics to answer your questions.With businesses allotting more of their budget to content marketing, marketers must align their goals with the results they want. Let’s learn about the metrics that determine the overall performance and health of your content campaign—not just those that are easy to track.

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