Author Archive

Quantifying Benefits is Like Flossing Your Teeth

By Melissa Junge, Moog Animatics Marketing

In addition to brushing your teeth, you know you should be flossing regularly. But this task takes extra time and effort and is easy to overlook. Same thing goes for quantifying benefits. Most marketers promote their features and competitive advantages, and good marketers remember to equate those with benefits. But how many take the extra time to really clean up their value proposition by quantifying those benefits? Especially in B2B marketing, where what you sell directly affects your customer’s bottom line, quantifying benefits can have a tremendous influence on the buying decision.

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To develop a FAB-Q (Features, Advantages, Benefits – Quantify) that differentiates your product or service from your competition, start with the FAB that’s most important to your customer.  For example:

Our motors have an integrated advanced motion controller (feature), so there’s no need for cables and a large control cabinet (advantage), which reduces the cost of materials and required floor space for the customer (benefit).

Now go one step further to quantify the FAB: Machines built with our integrated motor use 50% less floor space than competitive solutions, resulting in $118,000 annual savings in overhead. Plus our integrated motors save customers up to $100,000 in cabling costs.

To arrive at those figures, I used the following quantifiers:

  • Average machine square foot space is 40 sq. ft. compared to 20 sq. ft. with integrated motors
  • Cost of leasing factory in Silicon Valley: $0.99/sq. ft. per month.
  • Average factory floor size filled with competitor’s machines is 20,000 sq. ft. compared to 10,000 sq. ft. with integrated motors.
  • Savings on factory overhead is $118,800 (20,000 – 10,000 = 10,000 sq. ft.  x $0.99/sq. ft. per month  x 12 months)
  • Cables cost $50 each. Competitor’s machines use eight cables compared to four with integrated motors = $200 savings per machine.
  • 10,000 sq. ft. could hold 500 machines (20 sq. ft. each). Saving $200 of cabling per machine = $100,000.

Quantifying and calculating benefits takes time, research and a little creativity. Start by using your best estimates. Remember, those estimates can be changed as more information is gathered. The key is to start somewhere quantifying your benefits. Make FAB-Q a marketing habit and, like flossing, you’ll inevitably see long-term gains.

 

2013 Will be Full of SMAC

PRSA Silicon Valley’s Media Predicts Event honored a premiere panel of  journalists, including Ina Fried (All Things D), Michael Liedtke (Associated Press), Jordan Robertson (Bloomberg News), Maryfran Johnson (CIO Magazine), Bruce Upbin (Forbes), Nicole Perlroth (New York Times & Bits), Joseph Menn (Reuters), Scott Budman (NBC Bay Area, Tech Now!) (Master of Ceremonies),and Jon Fortt (CNBC & TechCheck) (Moderator). While there was a lot of tweeting about one panelist’s comment that Oracle is like Kanye West (no one is really interested but we watch the award shows anyway), the memorable acronym for the night came from CIO Editor-in-Chief Maryfran Johnson. She predicted that 2013 will be full of SMAC. (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud.)

SOCIAL — While using social media to connect, share, bookmark and tweet has been going strong for years, Johnson wondered how long it will take before these services are monetized. As long as a prospect or customer remains in the social media system, companies are very restricted on how they can market to them. To monetize those fans, companies need to find ways to move Facebook “likes,” for example, into their own marketing and sales systems.

MOBILE — Currently about half of the U.S. population uses smart phones. That means more often than not websites are being viewed on small mobile phone and tablet screens instead of on PCs and laptops. Also worth noting is that more companies and events are implementing BYOD (bring your own device), making user-friendly apps and easy-to-read-in-miniaturized websites even hotter in 2013.   

ANALYTICS — Big data is going to continue to be “big” this year. Major retailers and grocery chains such as Target, Walmart and Safeway analyze mountains of data to calculate what coupons to send and when to email prospects. They probably know more about our shopping habits than do our close friends or spouses. As many large enterprises are also analyzing big data to predict key trends, everything connected with IT will be on the rise.

CLOUD – Storing data and images online in Google Docs and DropBox is nothing new. In 2013, more companies will offer additional “cloud” services such as automatic backups. With more vendors in the mix, the variety of services will go up and costs down.

By Melissa Junge, Marketing Coordinator, Moog Animatics

Make ‘Em Laugh, Get More Reads: Humorous Hashtags

After a long day at the office, no one wants to read a tweet saying “Our company X just released widget Y for problem Z.” Not only are you probably saying the same thing as 100 other business Twitter accounts out there, but more than likely that post will receive a few more ZZZZ’s than you’d hoped for. So stop taking yourself so seriously, and make your followers laugh!

A great way to spice up your tweets is with humorous hashtags. As you may recall, hashtags are like keywords searches in SEO. Trending topic hashtags can usually be found at the left side of your homepage. Want to know what’s going on with the #Olympics? Does your tweet include a #Video? Just add the little ‘#’ before the word you want to be noticed and you’ll show up in any search with that word. Hashtags are also used at events such as #SEMICON2012.

But there’s another way to use hashtags that is on the rise: humorous, individual hashtags. Trendsetters have started to use hashtags to bookmark their own funny thoughts about their tweets, and it’s just starting to catch on in business as a great way to spice up a tweet. Take a look at the examples below:

Tweetorial for the Twitter-Challenged

Tweeting has become the terrific (and for some, the terrifying) trend in social media territory. Not everyone tweets, but like skydiving and chocolate-covered bacon, you’ll never fully “get it” unless you try it.

Twitter is easy. Really. Even if you think Facebook, LinkedIn and Delicious are too complicated, you can use Twitter to spread the word. Be the first to tweet about breaking news, new products, industry events, funny things you hear, great articles you read, great articles you write, and more. Here’s the lingo demystified:

Follow people you are interested in. That can be customers, clients, coworkers, your children, grandchildren, competitors and especially magazines, editors, and industry leaders.

Hashtag(#) any tweet phrases you want other people to be able to search by, organize, group, list. On the right hand side of Twitter, you can see “trends” that are the most popular searched and tweeted things on Twitter. Animatics, a manufacturer of integrated servo motors, uses #manuf, #robots, #automation and a number of others. Recently a trending topic was #smallbutpowerful, a perfect description of their product. Hashtags are also useful for event tracking. On any marketing brochure, tradeshow, program and more you can make your own hashtag phrase (just search it first on Twitter to make sure it’s original).

@___________ is how you “tag” other people in your tweets. If used at the beginning of the tweet, it implies you are replying to that person’s earlier tweet or telling them something directly. Used at the end of the tweet it’s more of a “head’s up” to that person. Think one of your followers in particular would like your tweet? Want to mention someone else you ran into at a tradeshow? Just place an @ symbol in front of their Twitter username and tag ‘em!

RT @__________ If you hover over someone else’s tweet there’s a small button that says “Retweet.” But before you click away, know that hitting that button will send the other person’s tweets, along with their profile picture, to all the folks following you, with only a tiny text message at the top saying “via “your twitter name”. A better way to pass on the info is to copy other’s tweet text into your text box, then right before add “RT @(tweeter you got info from). This way, you’re still active on Twitter and people see your profile and picture, but the original author still gets credit.

Shorter Links and Tweets = More Retweets We tend to like http://bit.ly for shortening links because it gives you the power to see how many people actually clicked on the link you tweeted (and we love measurable results). The shorter your links and your tweets, the easier it is for people to RT @______ your tweets themselves.

Direct Messaging (aka Weinergate Scandal) To send a direct message, click on “Messages” at the top menu bar of your Twitter page. Then you can click “New Message” on the top right side to send someone a message through Twitter that no one else sees. You can only send direct messages to people who follow you. Or you can “unknowingly” message someone through the regular Twitter box to everyone “by accident” and then try to cover it up and bask in the flash of the media bulbs. We suggest the first.

There you have it!  Now get out into the Twittersphere and start tweeting!

Melissa Junge is a Marketing Associate at Animatics