Making waves in B2B: Current goings-on in the marketing world

In short, a compendium of interesting developments in and around the marketing industry.

Festive Moods

What is it?  The Holiday Shopping Mood Meter, introduced by Netbase, tracks social media chatter during the holidays and gauges consumer sentiment about how top retailers are navigating their sleighs toward the big day—or days, if we’re talking Hanukkah.

WIIFM?  A free and instant metric of the performance of retailers that may well be your business partners. Choose among Amazon, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Old Navy, Sears, Target, Toys R Us, and Walmart to see consumers’ current mood about that company–and enjoy the sheer holiday fun of basking in the high positive rating of your favorite stores or wallow in low-negatives for  those who aren’t delivering the holiday goods.

Who’s talking? Netbase, which recommends that shoppers access the meter to answer such pressing questions as, “Is Best Buy out of iPhone 5 cases?” and “Was my local WalMart store looted by couponers?”

Economic development: cheap lists

What is it?  Worldata‘s List Price Index tracks seasonal changes in list rental pricing, and its Fall 2012 edition shows significant price decreases for two permission-based email categories: consumer files and medium-to-large business files. Other lists registering notable price drops of 2.5% or more were paid-circulation business magazine subscribers and business merchandise buyers.

WIIFM?  As general economic conditions remain flat, lower CPMs are available to marketers at both the high and low ends of the list price spectrum. Permission-based consumer email is the lowest priced list available to marketers at a cost of $74 per thousand, $7 less than it was a year ago. The highest priced list at $388 per thousand—permission-based interntional email—is down $13 from 2011.

Who’s talking?  Permission-based B2C email lists saw the largest price drop this quarter, and it’s no coincidence that this was during a presidential election time,” says Worldata SVP Ray Tesi. “The surge of available data in the consumer email category was directly related to the election cycle.”

A new twist on content marketing

What is it?  J2 Global, the cloud-based services company that owns Campaigner email marketing platform and eFax online faxing, has purchased legendary tech publisher Ziff Davis for $167 million–and now will publish titles including PCMag, ComputerShopper, and ExtremeTech.

WIIFM?  Content, it appears, is truly king. Ziff Davis was once the first and final word in technology reporting and analysis, and now those words are controlled by a company that markets online fax services, email marketing tools, and other business services.

Who’s talking?  J2 Global CEO Hemi Zucker, in a prepared statement, said his company bought Ziff Davis because of its “significant interest in the digital media and online marketing space.”

Pinterest in businesses’  interests

What is it?  Pinterest introduces new tools and separate terms specifically for businesses.

WIIFM?  Business users will be able to identify the types of businesses people seek in searches, add buttons and widgets to increase engagement from pinners, and receive updates on future B2B products and services.

Who’s talking?  Commenters on the Pinterest blog:  “Great to see this development! You did an excellent job on the case studies– really bring to life the types of benefits brands are seeing on Pinterest!” writes user Daniel Patrick Maloney.

New knowledge from Oracle

What is it?  Oracle introduces Oracle Knowledge 8.5 software, which supports web self-service, agent-assisted service, and customer communities.

WIIFM?  Among the new capabilities of interest to direct marketers is the iConnect feature that delivers contextualized knowledge directly into CRM applications used by sales and customer service personnel.

Who’s talking?  “Oracle Knowledge 8.5 creates new opportunities for organizations to efficiently harness their content to empower their customers and frontline employees,” says David Vap, Oracle’s group VP, products.

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