Amazon versus Book Depository

This is why I always use Book Depository these days.

Book Depository is more expensive for the books themselves, but Amazon totally fucks you over with the shipping. And their shipping timeframes are ridiculous too (4 weeks to ship a book, seriously?)

Book Depository total for 3 books: $72.20

Amazon total for 3 books: $127.18

Book Depository:
Book Depository Total

Amazon total

btw worth mentioning that buying through these sellers was the only option available for two of the books.

Also worth noting that those crazy shipping prices were only revealed on the final page of the checkout. Here’s what the pricing looks like when selecting the book (and I was logged in when doing this, so Amazon knows where I live):
Amazon selection BS

Summary: I love Book Depository

UPDATE: Have just been informed that Amazon owns Book Depository – which just makes this even worse. ie they have the infrastructure in place to make this better, but haven’t bothered to. Crazy.

Cost of Acquisition versus Cost of Nurture

One question customers ask semi-regularly is: how do I reduce my contact database cost?

That is, they feel that the cost of keeping their contacts database is too expensive – and they want to know how to reduce the cost – ie by removing contacts.

This applies (obviously) to contact databases that are priced on a per contact basis (eg MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, etc).

I’m going to suggest that if your focus is on reducing the cost of the contact database tool, then possibly you’re focussing on the wrong problem[1].

Reason being: if you are a growing business your contact database should be growing also. Hopefully rapidly.

And thus having a growing expense for your contact database is a good thing.

In terms of costs, it’s all a matter of perspective…

Cost of Nurture

Let’s break down a few cost scenarios. We’ll start at the inexpensive end (eg MailChimp) and build up to the expensive end (eg HubSpot).

Consider the cost of having 10K contacts in your database. Here’s the cost comparison:

MailChimp: $75 = 0.75c per contact per month or 9c per year

Active Campaign: $350 = 3.5c per contact per month or 42c per year

HubSpot[2]: $1050 + $68 x 9 = $1662 = 16.6c per contact per month or $2 per year

So for the sake of argument, we’ll say that at the expensive end it costs $2 per contact per year to keep nurturing them. We’ll call this the Cost of Nurture (or perhaps Cost of Retention).

Cost of Acquisition

Now we’ll compare this with the cost of acquisition.

Often B2B companies are happy if they can get a lead for less than $100 per lead (eg via AdWords).

On Facebook we’ll often get leads for less than $20, and this is considered an excellent result.

For the sake of argument, we’ll say that it costs $20 per contact to acquire them. We’ll call this the Cost of Acquisition.

Summary: B2B businesses are usually happy to pay $20+ per lead to acquire them, but will baulk at paying $2 per lead to nurture them.

Solve for the problem: Cost of retention is usually NOT the problem

Paying $2 per lead per year is probably not the problem.

Instead think carefully about where your real problems are:
– improving conversion rate
– reducing cost of acquisition (eg a 10% reduction in CTA will cover the nurture cost)
– increasing lead quality
– improving lead to opportunity processes
– improving opportunity close rates

Real Problems

One more thing. Real problems require hard work. If you find your focus is on ‘solving’ easy things eg cutting some minor costs here and there[3] – use it as litmus test of whether your focus needs rethinking.



[1]: I’m assuming you have regular database hygiene processes in place eg removing bounced emails, deleting cold contacts, low lead score contacts, etc – if you aren’t doing that at least, then yes, make that a priority.

[2]: I should actually use USD pricing as this would be comparable with the other two examples, but our customers are in AUD so I’ve kept that for now

[3]: Not to say you shouldn’t worry about minor costs – plenty of companies go bankrupt from nickel and dime costs that add up over time – of course you should always be prudent. But not at the ‘expense’ of the big problems.

Setting Facebook’s Conversion Attribution Window

Jon Loomer on why your Facebook conversions often don’t match other conversion tracking reports.

Number 4 in his list – Facebook’s attribution window – is the biggy:

By default, Facebook reports a conversion when either of the following two conditions are satisfied:

  • Someone who clicked your ad converted within 28 days
  • Someone who viewed your ad converted within 1 day

Do you see the potential for different calculations now?

You can always control your attribution windows by clicking in the option in customise columns:

Facebook attribution window

eg I like to set mine to 7 days after ad click:

Facebook attribution to 7 days

Interview with Kipp Bodnar, CMO of HubSpot

Ian Jacob, Kipp Bodnar and Craig Bailey

A few weeks back we were lucky enough to interview Kipp Bodnar, the CMO of HubSpot.

We interviewed him on HubShots, our HubSpot focussed podcast for marketing managers.

We chat about how he manages work/life balance, how he approaches marketing strategy, and also his continued involvement in tactical decisions even though he’s the head of arguably the worlds best marketing company. We finish with some future thinking.

You can listen here.

The Never Use Facebook for B2B Myth

It seems the ‘B2B never use Facebook’ myth just won’t die.

On the PnR podcast (This Old Marketing) with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose – one of my favourite podcasts – they tend to mention this regularly. Especially for B2B Manufacturing companies – the opinion being that if you are in B2B manufacturing then you are wasting your time creating and promoting content for Facebook.

My view is a little different to theirs, mine is: test and measure

It may work, it may not.

Just this week the topic came up again in a meeting with a B2B company – we won’t be using Facebook for much/any of our promotion… “after all CIOs and IT Managers aren’t on Facebook…”

I’m puzzled how this opinion continues to be accepted. The test is simple: ask the marketing manager, or IT Manager, or CIO of the company you work for if they themselves are on Facebook. Although there will be exceptions, most will answer with an affirmative.

The irony (to incorrectly use the word) of it all is that often when marketing managers in B2B marketing companies spout forth the ‘B2B isn’t on Facebook’ opinion it sometimes turns out they’ve learnt it from an ebook or whitepaper that they themselves found via Facebook.

Take Pardot for example. They are currently running an amazing retargeting campaign on Facebook. Visit their site and navigate through a few pages. Then wait for the retargeting on Facebook to begin. It’s a beautiful campaign, because once you’ve downloaded their first ebook they then target you with the next. In all I’ve been pushed through 4 campaigns by them – all on Facebook. And their content is excellent.

Account Based Marketing

The other important piece to understand in all this is that most B2B sales involve multiple people through the process – it’s classic Account Based Marketing. The research may begin with a more junior position and guide them through consideration points. Once they’ve got their list of options they then take it to their CIO or IT Manager. So even if the CIO is’t on Facebook (a view I challenge obviously) guess where those more junior people are…

I’m not saying B2B marketing on Facebook is a guaranteed thing. Rather I’m saying that you should always test and measure. To assume that FB isn’t a good fit is a missed opportunity at best and big mistake at worst.

Solve for the Problem

One more thing though. Make sure you are solving for the problem. If your problem is that leads aren’t converting to sales, then no amount of Facebook or any other channel promotion is going to help that. You have sales process issues. But if you have an awareness or lead generation issue, then considering other channels – even those you may previously thought not a fit – is definitely recommended.

The Wellness Industry is Doing Well

A few years ago when I went to get some physiotherapy done (eg pulled a shoulder muscle or hurt my neck) it would all be fixed after two sessions, and we’d possibly have a third session just as a check up.

Two week ago I hurt my shoulder and went for some physio. The first session was mostly discussion and exploratory with a bit of actual physio and improvement. Next session was two days later. And then a third follow up for some more work on the issue. In the fourth session I was taken through my 3 Stage Treatment Pathway recovery plan which includes 4 more sessions and then a recommended global assessment program with an exercise physiologist.

So that will be 8 sessions in total plus a future program of unspecified length. Oh and also recommendations for regular remedial massage as a preventative.

Welcome to ‘The System’. It’s what happens when improving system efficiency (which is a good thing) gets too focussed on profit (not a good thing). It’s where too many meetings discuss customer up-sell, lifetime value, average customer engagement duration etc, and not enough discuss providing real value to the patient.

I’m all for proper treatment and full recovery. But lately I’m starting to feel as though I’m just a wallet being massaged down a revenue maximisation pipeline.

Which kinda makes me sick.

Always take Option A

Option A: As soon as you realise you’ve done something wrong or stupid or even just accidentally, apologise. Fix the relationship (business, personal or other) as soon as possible. This is your top priority.

Option B: Let some time go by while you think through whether you ‘really’ were at fault or not. Assume that as time goes by it will blow over and things will return back to their original state no problem. Hold fast to this assumption and then get frustrated when it doesn’t.

Presented this way, Option A is the obvious path.
In real life emotions get in the way.

Note to self: Craig, this post is for you.

Terrible cold outreach email from major software company

Received this terrible outreach email from a major software company:

Outreach email

I get lots of spam, but it’s usually from low quality companies I’ve never heard of. This is from a major software player – which is probably why it managed to avoid the spam filter make it into my inbox.

Everything about this is bad, from the missing data (ie they didn’t even bother to search for my name), to the false pretence, to the terrible grammar.

Sad that this spammy attitude is now being adopted by the established and usually much better behaved companies.

I am a thought leader

This parody doing the rounds is spot on:

It seems as though the disdain we had for self-proclaimed social media experts (#SMEGs) is transferring to so-called thought leaders. And rightly so. Everyone wants to be a thought leader these days.

And it’s just getting ridiculous.

In the race to be seen as thought leaders it seems that actually having any critical thinking is considered a hurdle. Instead, wanting the fast track, they substitute actual thinking with silly antics – Exhibit A: the rash of ‘thought leaders’ driving their cars and speaking to dash mounted camera. Making us all want to shout ‘watch the fucking road dickhead’.

Being in the agency business I’ve discussed content and digital strategy with enough companies to know that everyone wants to be considered a thought leader. And innovative. And cutting edge. And whatever other buzzword they can recall at the time.

We’ve had customers ask us to manage all their content strategy so they are seen as thought leaders.

The obvious question we ask: “Is anyone on your team exhibiting thought leadership?”
Their response: “No, that’s why we’re outsourcing our digital to you”.

This is real. Sadly, thought leaders often aren’t.

Why Facebook Messenger matters for B2B marketers

Mary Meeker’s latest report highlighted the rise of messenger app usage (and the Facebook gap). This slide was particularly telling:

2016 Internet Trends slide 104

Notice the results: a 20x increase in messages received by Hyatt. This is significant, and important. People are extremely comfortable using Facebook Messenger to engage with companies. A few other items to notice:

  • Hyatt only started offering this in November last year ie it is only 6 months ago – and thus a very new trend
  • The response was rapid ie within a month – it wasn’t a slow build

You may be tempted to dismiss the finding, especially if you aren’t in the hotel business. I’ve had two customers do that this past week. They (understandably) say:

‘But we’re not a hotel chain, we’re a B2B technology company – IT Managers and CIOs don’t want to interact with us via Facebook Messenger’

This is limited thinking. And dangerous. You can be sure that IT Managers and CIOs are interacting with Hyatt via Facebook Messenger, so why wouldn’t they want to interact with other (perhaps all) companies in the same way?

It’s not just the *young kids* who are using Messenger (although it may well be the majority at the moment). Everyone (and I mean everyone) is getting familiar with Facebook[1] in Western societies[2]. You need to be interacting with your prospects in the manner they find most comfortable.

An additional consideration: currently Facebook Messenger interaction is associated as being part of Customer Service. Prospects often prefer talking to customer service because the think they’ll get answers, as opposed to marketing guff (from marketers) and sales pressure (from ‘business development managers’). This won’t last long once marketing departments jump on the messenger trend.

As ebook fatigue sets in and prospects no longer want to fill in forms on landing pages, the shift to chat options, particularly messenger channels that have identity[3] built in, will be rapid. Many will be taken by surprise, especially if they miss the opportunity.

Now’s the time to take advantage of the shift.


[1] Note that there is a big difference between Facebook user demographics and Facebook Messenger demographics, but finding reliable data to compare them is difficult. For the purposes of this post I’m possibly conflating them too much – so keep that in mind.

[2] In non-western locations, obviously you’d need to embrace the platforms that are prevalent there. This is especially important for multinationals who service multiple cultures eg country needs to have it’s own clear understanding of the best communication channels.

[3] The days of having to fill in chat popups with lots of identity stuff before you can even interact are fast disappearing. If you don’t have identity easily integrated you’re adding a hurdle to interaction.