Lead Generation

Emerging Markets + the Internet = ebocube model


Emerging Markets + the Internet = ebocube model

Emerging markets refer to countries experiencing relatively recent industrial, political and technological change resulting in rapid economic growth. Emerging markets cover more than the BRICs, however; these countries are amongst the buoyant emerging giants.

Large populations generally characterize these markets, as is obvious with China and India. They tend to be dominated by young populations and rising middle classes.

As revenues plateau in saturated, developed markets, expansion into emerging markets is a popular means for reaching new growth targets. They were hit by the global recession, however; many remain in a robust growth position, but the endeavor involves uncertainty and risk.

Bringing the Next Billion People Online

Developed countries have long defined the Internet, however, at least 500 million new users of the Internet are expected to come from emerging markets from 2012 to 2015, according to Google. And the cyber-landscape is set to drastically change.

The Internet and social media were instrumental in facilitating the Arab Spring and have brought a new wave of Internet businesses and active users to the region.

China’s current online retail market size is second only to the United States and is predicted to explode over the next five years. (A.T. Kearney Retail e-Commerce Index of Emerging Markets)

Global Digital Era Transforming the marketing agenda

Senior executives in developed economies, working in organizations, small and large, are asking the following questions:

  • How can we get ahead of competitors in emerging markets?
  • How can our business mitigate risks when we enter risky, high-growth emerging markets?
  • How can we measure marketing activities and sales-related results in these markets?

 ebocube B2b digital marketing model

Foreseeing this need, international B2b Digital Marketing Manager Lara Fawzy developed the first tested end-to-end b2b Internet marketing model laid out in her book, Emerging Business Online: Global Markets and the Power of B2B Internet Marketing (FT Press, ISBN 13: 9780137064410, 291).

This robust framework is based on tested processes and results from Cisco, and other multinational experience.

It’s designed to provide B2b electronic customer relationship management (CRM) for global professionals.

It shows marketers how to plan, execute, track, measure and learn from global digital marketing. It demonstrates key marketing metrics in relation to the sales cycle; for the purpose of B2b lead generation, and how to measure them.

The model is called ‘ebocube’, which stands for emerging business online, with cube referring to the visual framework of the three-phase model.

The structure is low-cost, and has helped organisations to make significant cost savings and high return on marketing investment (ROMI); it’s a sustainable business-to-business global model, underpinned by the Internet.

ebocube model can be implemented with the following three phases:

Phase One: The Dashboard and the Datacube.

This phase focuses on reporting on marketing, sales, and company or contact data for the businesses being targeted in emerging markets. It measures what’s working (or not working) and which market is generating the highest return on marketing investment (ROMI). The datacube also represents the quality of contact data to leverage an eCRM strategy. These reports mean business decisions are not based on instinct or assumption, but on numbers and business intelligence.

Phase Two: Campaign and Data planning.

Using the ebocube commercial cycle (contact buying cycle/decision-making process and data life cycle), phase two discusses the proposition, messaging, the incentive, localization, budgeting, and integrating the media mix (online and offline) to achieve ebocube commercial cycle goals.

Phase Three: Marketing Operations or mops.

Phase three covers budgeting, planning, executing, tracking, and measuring campaigns to feed the dashboard with meaningful metrics. It also demonstrates how  to feed your company database, with contact and company data, which can be represented in the datacube. Phase three closes the loop on marketing, data, and sales in global markets.

ebocube model demystifies sales and marketing practices as relationships crisscross digital, business, and national borders.

Emerging Business Online, Global Markets and the Power of B2b Internet Marketing is concluded with this powerful quote:

“The previous generation of marketers used to say: “Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half ” (according to John Wanamaker). Today, in this innovative, global-information century and with ebocube business model, that excuse is obsolete. Because of marketing operations and the ebocube dashboard, it’s clear which part of our budget is being wasted. “

The time is now.

Categories: B2b, Emerging Markets, Global Marketing, Lead Generation | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

B2b Marketers rekindle the flame of your CFO this Valentine’s Day #ShowMeTheROMI


It stands for return on marketing investment. Quite simply if you want to rekindle the flame with the finance people this Valentine’s you ought to be discussing financial metrics with them; their language. Your number of retweets may be great for spreading a message, creating brand awareness, getting traffic to your e-commerce site even, but Retweets is not a figure the  Chief Financial Officer (CFO) can add to the profit and loss sheet. Retweets, shares, click-through rates, open rates, impressions,  bounce rates are not metrics that will save the board of directors’ jobs at a share holder’s meetings.

Investment vs expense:

Rather than complaining about marketing budgets being cut again, or that CMOs are still the first to go in a “restructure”, how about working to reposition marketing from being a cost to an investment? That’s what marketing should be today, with all of the metrics available to us with the power of digital, marketers should be able to identify what’s driving sales, leads, high response rates, traffic and conversions.


B2b sales/marketing cycle:

As B2b marketers we need to take buyers though the sales cycle, we need to target them with relevant content for each stage of the buying cycle. We do this with database marketing and looking at responses to previous campaigns.

Yes, it can take one or two quarters for sales to be closed, if not longer, however, that’s what we should be aiming to do with marketing eventually and we should be tracking this carefully. If deals are not closing, then perhaps we need to look at targeting our loyal segment  more often for further revenue, with highly targeted bespoke content. We need to take two different approaches when targeting loyal customers vs prospects with marketing campaigns.

Eventually we should be looking at B2b leads generated and opportunities closed, there are sophisticated tools, like Sales Force.com SFDC which can help to track this. Sales, leads, closed deals, revenue generated and profits are metrics that can help marketers to rekindle a flame with the finance people, we need to talk in terms of finance, revenue, to demonstrate return on marketing investment (ROMI) and to continue to receive investment in terms of budget.

The metrics which are represented in the higher end of the funnel above are informative to us as marketers and help us to generate the latter results, providing we are capturing contact data throughout the cycle with marketing communications we should be able to get the final end results of sales, leads and closed deals. I’m not saying that finance have no interest at all in these results, they can help to tell a story, however, their key performance indicators KPIs are based on financial metrics and they’re responsible for budget allocation.


You should place your metrics on the diagram above to determine their relevancy or value, you should also be capturing contact data for follow up at each stage or using your database to take contacts on the sales cycle journey. Learn to love metrics as a B2b marketer, but make sure they’re relevant, don’t swim in  a sea of metrics.

Marketing ans sales alignment 

In order to get some of these financial metrics we will rely on sales, there’s still a gulf between sales and marketing teams in many firms and marketing and sales teams need to work closer together to report ROMI.

It’s not easy

It’s not easy to demonstrate ROMI, it involves using campaign tools, regular reporting, campaign management tools.

There are several ways to align with sales:

  • keep sales well informed in advance before launching campaigns
  • Meet with sales after a campaign/event for a de-brief, feedback
  • Use incentives to encourage sales to report and follow-up on leads if all else fails
  • Regularly meet with sales teams and senior members
  • Communicate to sales and the organisation with regular e-newsletters


It’s not always easy to report ROMI, it takes time, however, every marketer should aspire to report it, with digital marketing this has been made significantly easier. It also involves working closely with other teams such as marketing I.T., sales, data marketers in large organisations, however, off-the shelf campaign management tools can help smaller companies to do this well too. Using good call to actions can help to generate ROMI.

To learn more about reporting on ROMI for B2b digital campaigns in a global context you can read:

Emerging Business Online, Global Markets and the Power of B2b Internet Marketing an New York FT Press Publication.

Hard copy: http://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Business-Online-Internet-Marketing/dp/0137064411

Kindle Version: http://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Business-Online-Marketing-ebook/dp/B0045U9W96/ref=tmm_kin_title_0/279-9376293-6540405

Categories: B2b, Budgeting, Global Marketing, Lead Generation, ROMI | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Are your call to actions delivering #ROMI? #LeadGen

What is a call to action (CTA)?

The “call to action” is one of the most important concepts in marketing and promotion.

Simply put, after you’ve established that you have something of value to offer and that you’re the perfect company to deliver it, you want to ask your prospect or customer to take the next step.  You deliver a call to action (CTA). A CTA  is the message which tries to convince a person to perform a desired action immediately —often the next step that a consumer/business should take toward the purchase of your product or service.

On digital communications CTAs are often in the form of attractive buttons. CTAs also offer methods for consumers or businesses  to communicate with a company/ brand or to respond to an advert, they’re interactive.

Why use a CTA?

Omitting a CTA from marketing communications typically leaves the target audience unclear on the appropriate next step, which results in dismal response rates and less than optimum return on marketing investment (ROMI). If you do not use CTAs you cannot take the contacts, interacting with your brand or advert, onto the sales cycle journey. You will lose the opportunity to collect data, build your marketing database and follow up with contacts or convert prospects into sales.

Fluffy CTAs

CTAs are a basic concept, however, I still see companies using them ineffectively.

It is far more easier to get people to click on CTAs on digital marketing content, and there are ways to improve click through rates i.e. by keeping them simple, placing them above the fold, making buttons attractive and using strong incentives or offers like free whitepapers  gadgets or the opportunity to attend an event online or offline.

I still find it all too common that billboards,TV advertisements and radio ads omit or use ineffective call to actions. Above the line is certainly not low cost and so I often wonder why and how a company either  is not using a call to action, or isn’t making  the call to action painfully clear on the creative, or hasn’t used a unique call to action to track traffic for that one particular piece of creative. For example, sometimes a company’s main website is the CTA, sending traffic to the main company website domain with offline ads makes it impossible to tell where the traffic has come from, it also opens up a host of other issues too, visitors may get lost on the main website and advertisers may lose conversions, data and leads.

I’ve lately seen billboards promoting company Facebook pages,  as CTAs, and Twitter hashtags, again I have issues here. You may be able to track how many new users have come to your company Facebook page since running an advert, they may find your offer/ advert on your Facebook page, however, they may get lost, the likelihood of that is high.

Twitter hash tags are great for conversations, and I guess advertisers can find out how many  people are engaging in conversations about their brands, but my query is how do you capture data for these contacts, move them along the sales buying cycle? I do love hashtags, but I’m not sure if they’re place is right in the context of advertising and as CTAs, especially if the purpose of the campaign is to drive sales. They may be great as secondary CTAs but I don’t think they work effectively for lead generation.

Effective call to actions:

Using inbound phone numbers, email addresses,  unique vanity/friendly URLS (driving respondents to landing pages) for the purpose of tracking, are very effective  for the purpose of capturing responses, leads and converting contacts into sales. It’s often effective to drive traffic to customised landing pages, contacts cannot get lost on simplified landing pages which clarify the further action users should take upon arrival, they should be optimised to ensure high conversions. Further call to actions should be above the line and offers advertised on media or ads directing users to the landing pages should be easy to find.

If an offline adverts is within a prospect or customer’s reach you could test a QR code as a CTA, they’re encoded with information which can be used to automatically trigger a range of actions on the user’s device when scanned, including:

  • Enabling a contact to view a mobile website or landing page
  • Dial a phone number 
  • Send a Text Message
  • Send an Email
  • View a message or special offer
  • Download contact details (VCARD)

Compelling offers:

In order to get people to follow your CTAs you need to use incentives, e.g. offer discounts, competitions, an event or a free whitepaper.


Responses to CTAs from various pieces of creative should be traced individually and measured for effectiveness. This can be done by:

  • Using and tracking  click to  individual vanity/ friendly urls per offline piece, which should redirect to a main landing page
  • Adding tracking code to your landing pages/ emails to determine which online advert/ email has driven the most traffic
  • Using promotional codes on creative so that when a contact follows up they can use the code either by entering it into an online tool or when speaking to a call centre agent – enabling advertisers to track where the response has come from


Effetcive call to actions and follow up should enable you to capture marketing contact data and enable you to identify the creative that a contact has responded to, you should be able to update your markeitng database with this data, which should be used for nurturing, follow up programs or lead generation


Alternatively, you may not need to nurture a contact, they may buy directly from your landing page or call centre agent, however, data should be captured and stored in any case for follow up, cross sale, upsale opportunities and future marketing.


Effective call to actions measure what’s working (or not working) and which marketing creative is generating the highest return on marketing investment (ROMI). Call to actions should not be an after thought, they should be key to the creative and the user journey. They should always encourage users to provide their data. Repeating the point made earlier, omitting a call to action from marketing communications, or making the call the action unclear, unconvincing, or using ineffective CTAs, typically leaves the target audience unclear on the appropriate next step, which results in dismal results and less than optimum return on marketing investment (ROMI).

To find out more about call to actions, ROMI and  B2b Digital marketing in a global context, you can read Emerging Business Online, Global Markets and the Power of B2b Internet Marketing an New York FT Press Publication.

Hard copy: http://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Business-Online-Internet-Marketing/dp/0137064411

Kindle Version: http://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Business-Online-Marketing-ebook/dp/B0045U9W96/ref=tmm_kin_title_0/279-9376293-6540405




Categories: Advertising, Lead Generation | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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