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October 31, 2013 10:07 AM
As the blathering bozos in Congress say (when they’re not reading from Dr. Seuss books), I yield my column this month to the distinguished gentleman Michael Chasen, who helped build the education software startup Blackboard into a booming business that sold for $1.64 billion in 2011. Chasen summarized five brilliant rules for authentic B2B brand communications recently, and I didn’t have room for it in our special section on the topic, which begins on page 30. I share it here with you.
October 31, 2013 10:52 AM
Founded in 1891 and based in Fort Worth, Texas, Acme Brick is a manufacturer of bricks that are sold largely through the building trade. A good portion of their $1.5 million marketing communications budget goes into image building and strongly branded tactics including partnerships with professional sports celebrities and teams, PR, charity events and outdoor boards.
October 31, 2013 10:30 AM
I felt like I was in a war zone. The slides were bombs and the presenters were firing in every direction, but nobody was getting hit. It was just a bunch of loud bangs.”   – A business development manager at the eastern region of a large networking firm
October 31, 2013 11:17 AM
“We can’t all be Zappos or work somewhere supercool like Google. And I’m glad that we can’t, because if we were all the same, we’d all be perfectly ordinary,” states Scott Stratten in “The Book of Business Awesome/The Book of Business UnAwsome.”
October 31, 2013 10:18 AM
Lead generation is a goal shared by every company that wants to sell through social platforms, but the success rate varies substantially. The difference is often the process that you use to prospect, says Shannon Belew in “The Art of Social Selling” (AMACOM, 2013). Are you working toward lead development or stopping at lead scraping?
October 31, 2013 10:48 AM
A recent study conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) found that the design and experience of a group incentive travel program offers a microcosm of the culture of its sponsoring organization.
October 31, 2013 11:39 AM
The third edition of IMEX America, which was held in Las Vegas in October, proved to be the largest yet. IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom announced significant increases in all areas of the show.
October 31, 2013 10:50 AM
According to the American Express Meetings & Events 2014 Global Meetings Forecast, following two years of modest budget and activity increases, flat or slight declines in meetings spend per organization are expected across all regions heading into 2014.
October 31, 2013 11:04 AM
A funny thing happened at the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo in 2009 — some famous names showed up. The Expo, which is held each January in Las Vegas, is a smorgasbord of inexpensive giveaways and gewgaws that can be used in promotions, marketing campaigns, loyalty programs and to reinforce traditional advertising.
October 31, 2013 10:33 AM
QuintLoyalty is a full-service, performance improvement company specializing in programs to engage and reward all people who interact with your business. We build customized programs to ensure that program participants, from employees to channel partners, are continually aligned and engaged with your business goals and objectives. Using industry leading technology, our innovative rewards platform s and over 100 years of program design and management expertise, we guarantee positive results .
October 31, 2013 10:24 AM
In the classic “My Voice Will Go with You” by Sydney Rosen, there is a story in the foreword by Dr. Lynn Hoffman that reaches the very essence of persuasion.
October 31, 2013 10:15 AM
More companies are splitting out their lead generation function; a dedicated staff focuses on generating leads, while more senior sales staffers spend their time taking those leads through to closing. There are a number of benefits to this approach, says Brian Cotter, co-founder and president of PSG Global Solutions, the world’s largest provider of outsourced recruiting support to the U.S. staffing industry.
October 31, 2013 11:26 AM
“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence — only in constant improvement and constant change.” That’s one of thousands of brilliant insights that Tom Peters has shared with business leaders. Peters is passionate — reallypassionate— about the importance of managing people with respect and reinforcing their importance, which is why it’s appropriate to sprinkle additional “Peterisms” throughout this review of recognition ideas from our advertisers.
October 31, 2013 10:20 AM
Content marketing – the convergence of media and technology – has grown so big so fast that it’s having a crisis of conscience.
October 31, 2013 11:10 AM
Marketing is a verb, says Scott Stratten. Awesome is, too. So is sales.
October 31, 2013 10:22 AM
When star designer Marc Jacobs announced in October that he was leaving Louis Vuitton, it caused Andrew Shipilov, a blogger at Harvard Business Review(hbr.org), to muse about the upside of losing top talent.
October 31, 2013 10:41 AM
Every organization wants to be thought of as “innovative,” but simply asking your employees to think outside of the box is unlikely to be enough to drive those game-changing ideas.
October 28, 2013 08:23 PM
According to basketball expert Brian McCormick, Tim Duncan has a problem – a consistency problem. While you don’t hear much about it, Duncan only shoots 60 to 70 percent from the free throw line despite being one of the NBA’s best players. What’s really interesting, however, is why Duncan struggles from the line.
October 25, 2013 12:00 AM
When launching a new company or rebranding an existing one, businesses seek to find a name that distinguishes them from competitors and increases their recognition. In a crowded marketplace, it’s critical that consumers be able to find and remember a business easily. The dilemma: if your company name is a generic description of what you do, like Orange Juice Inc., how do you stand out as unique and memorable? Alternately, if your name has no association with what you do, how will consumers intuitively find you?  
October 18, 2013 12:00 AM
A new study conducted by the Incentive Federation confirms that the non-cash incentives market is thriving with 74 percent of U.S. businesses spending $76.9 billion annually on incentive travel, merchandise and gift cards. The study also reveals that half of this market is driven by smaller businesses (between $1 million and $10 million in annual revenue), whose budgets may be tighter, but whose total volume generates $39 billion annually.
October 15, 2013 12:00 AM
October 13, 2013 12:00 AM
B2B marketers are facing an inevitable transition to mobile platforms. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. But the opportunities inherent in mobile solutions dwarf the challenges. Some of these opportunities include: Mobile applications allow for always-available, up-to-date product information. These devices are highly interactive, touch-based platforms. As with most digital environments, real-time analytics are available
October 11, 2013 12:00 AM
Most companies recognize their direct competition but frequently underestimate the indirect competition and completely overlook the invisible competition. Invisible competitors don’t look or feel like competition and, by definition, are not obvious at first.
October 7, 2013 12:00 AM
In many spheres of life, timing is everything – and nowhere is this truism more relevant than in B2B sales. Sometimes an executive decision maker can be ready to pull the trigger on a purchase, while at other times, the sales cycle can take months or even years. For this reason, arming your sales reps with as much timely and accurate sales intelligence as possible can spell the difference between success and failure, between closing and walking. 
October 4, 2013 12:00 AM
One of the mainstays of group incentive travel programs is the theory that they are excellent camaraderie builders for high performers. What’s more, they provide an opportunity for participants to rub shoulders with corporate executives, and allow those at the top to express their gratitude for a job well done.