Reflections and a Look Ahead
Posted December 28th, 2018
Looking back, as people tend to do this time of year, we are pleased with all that we accomplished in 2018 and also grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to expand our reach and influence for the benefit of the customers we serve as well as the tens of thousands of industry practitioners in need of guidance for making smart technology decisions. We are grateful for our dedicated team of seasoned professionals, for the continued loyalty of our wonderful clients, many of which have been with us since the beginning, and for the continued collaboration of our ever-expanding partner network. It was truly a banner year for Starfleet Media and Starfleet Research, our IT market research arm, with the addition of more than a dozen new clients in the hospitality, retail and healthcare IT sectors, the addition of several high-profile content distribution (and other) partners and expanded relationships with others, including UBM (medical IT), HospitalityNet, 4Hoteliers, Nevistas, (hospitality IT) and Restaurant Activity Report (restaurant IT), the rollout of new types of custom research projects and content deliverables, and the official launch of two new industry publications, Hotel Technology News and Restaurant Technology News, that have fast become leading resources in their respective domains. Which isn’t to say we accomplished all that we set out to accomplish (not by a long shot) or there isn’t a lot of work ahead and room for improvement as we continue to scale our operations and expand the scope of our research coverage areas and content marketing and demand generation capabilities. On the contrary! We look forward to tackling a host of new business challenges in 2019 while finding new ways to better serve our customers.
Making a Splash with Smart Decision Guides – Case Study: Oracle Corporation
Posted November 30th, 2018
No introductions are needed for Oracle Corporation, which ranks as the third largest software company in the world. We’re proud to count Oracle — in particular, the Oracle Hospitality and Oracle Food & Beverage divisions of the company — as a loyal client partner. Their top-notch marketing professionals excel at utilizing co-branded content assets such as Smart Decision Guides and commissioned eBooks (here is a new one) from Starfleet Research, our IT market research arm, to do what every leading technology solution provider needs to do so as to compete effectively and progressively grow their business: demonstrate thought leadership and educate target prospects (preferably, in an unbiased manner), raise brand visibility and stand out in the crowd, and fill their sales pipelines with qualified leads. The good news is that a solution provider need not have the marketing resources of a multi-billion-dollar software behemoth in order to make a big splash with their licensed version of a Smart Decision Guide. To be sure, many sponsors run marketing campaigns that include paid tactics such as email blasts and banner ads on industry trade publications. That said, some of the most effective tactics, including ones that leverage the company’s own website and social media channels, cost virtually nothing. Here are examples of how this client partner is promoting a new Smart Decision Guide that even a small solution provider can successfully emulate.
More Solution Providers Look to Starfleet Media for Custom Lead Gen Campaigns
Posted October 28th, 2018
Content development and lead generation are our bread and butter. Usually, the two go hand-in-hand. We’re particularly well known across the core industry sectors we serve — namely, hospitality, retail and healthcare IT — for our Smart Decision Guides program. As part of the underwriting benefits, solution providers receive perpetual licensing rights to a customized version of the Smart Decision Guide (featuring their logo and company description) as well as a guaranteed number of qualified leads based on their target prospect criteria. Perhaps less well known are our co-branded eBooks, produced and promoted on behalf of leading solution providers, which also generally come with a lead generation option. Increasingly, our customers are taking advantage of this option, leveraging our SEO/SEM expertise and content distribution network to generate any number of leads on their behalf through scrubbed downloads of the content asset. This turnkey solution addresses one of the biggest marketing challenges facing any solution provider: how to create high-value content while filling the sales pipeline on an ongoing basis.
Starfleet Leads the Pack with Co-branded eBooks in the Hospitality Sector
Posted August 17th, 2018
It was a busy summer at Starfleet Media and Starfleet Research, our IT market research arm, in terms of content production and demand generation of co-branded eBooks, with more than a dozen new titles recently (or soon to be) released in partnership with some of the world’s leading technology solution providers. Hospitality IT has long been one of our industry focus areas. It’s no surprise, then, that more than half of the new eBook titles (some of the covers are shown below) explore various aspects of technology-enabled business improvement for hotels and resorts. We are proud to lead the pack of market research firms (and all others) in the production and distribution of commissioned eBooks for this dynamic industry sector. Starfleet Research brings an unmatched “cloak of credibility” in the eyes of hotel operators that invariably results in more leads and higher quality leads. And our market presence in this sector continues to grow with the success of Hotel Technology News, which is fast becoming a leading industry resource. The fact that all of the solution providers previously partnered with us on other co-branded eBooks speaks to the value of these resources for use in content marketing and lead generation activities and the overwhelming demand we continue to receive for new commissioned eBooks.
Want to See Your Data? All You Have to Do is Ask
Posted July 2nd, 2018
Starfleet Media, its affiliates and subsidiary properties deliver high-value content to industry practitioners. We also deliver qualified prospect information (“leads”) to B2B technology solution providers. GDPR regulations allow people in the EU to review their personal data from an organization. If you would like to see the data that Starfleet Media may have collected and retained about you, please fill out the Request My Data form and submit your request. We will deliver the information on record, if any, or provide you an update on your query. We generally respond within three (3) business days. Continue reading
Starfleet’s B2B Content Assets Speak Your Language
Posted June 19th, 2018
Given that most of our client partners have a global presence, many of them with offices scattered across various parts of the world, including Europe and Asia, it’s no surprise that we’re often asked to translate our content assets into foreign languages for localized content marketing and lead generation campaigns. We’re happy to comply and are humbled by the fact that, increasingly, our content assets on technology-enabled business improvement in industry sectors that include hospitality, retail and healthcare are becoming recognized as authoritative resources even in non-English speaking markets.
Capturing Purchase Intention: The “If”s and “When”s of B2B Lead Gen
Posted June 23rd, 2017
The dictionary definition of intention is: “An act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.” In the context of B2B lead generation, we talk about intention in terms of whether – and when – a decision maker or influencer plans to purchase a specific type of technology solution. Granted, it’s hard to read people’s minds. The best we can do is ask them about their role and responsibility in the decision-making process and also their plans for making the decision as far as timeframe. In the next 6 months? In the next 6-12 months? We do this in the last field of the lead capture form they are required to complete in exchange for gaining access to the desired content asset — e.g., a Smart Decision Guide. Do people answer honestly? In our experience, the answer, in most cases, is a resounding “yes.”
Content Marketing Tactics: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
Posted April 2nd, 2017
Sometimes, as they say, the pioneers are the ones with arrows in the back. Astute B2B marketers recognize that improving the outcomes of their content marketing campaigns means learning from others – preferably, from other companies operating in the same competitive arena. Marketers need to understand what works and what doesn’t in terms of tactics, tools, channels and content assets.
It only makes sense, therefore, to closely observe and emulate the practices of top-performing companies. In fact, according to preliminary research for The 2017 Benchmark Report on B2B Content Marketing and Lead Generation, which publishes next month, 72% of B2B content marketers indicate that they spend time benchmarking best practices in content marketing and lead generation. This helps them mitigate failure and replicate success stories in the context of their own content marketing activities.
Fewer Than One-Third of B2B Companies Use Social Data to Improve Content Marketing
Posted March 2nd, 2017
According to preliminary research findings for The 2017 Benchmark Report on B2B Content Marketing and Lead Generation, 0nly 30% of survey respondents report that their companies use social data (monitoring online conversation in social networks) to try to improve content marketing activities — e.g., by identifying more relevant topics and/or audiences. And only 24% say that their social listening efforts have been “somewhat successful” or “very successful.” More than half (56%) indicate that social data is not currently being used at their companies for content marketing purposes.
With New Benchmark Reports, Starfleet Media Broadens Its Scope
Posted February 15th, 2017
By consistently delivering high quality content and qualified leads through our Smart Decision Guide titles, Starfleet Media has earned a reputation as the leading provider of content marketing programs for leading solution providers in selected niche markets. These markets have been vertical in nature – namely, hospitality, retail and healthcare. But with the publication this month of The 2017 Benchmark Report on Application Performance Management, along with several other recent benchmark report titles, we’re continuing to expand our research coverage to include topics that are horizontal, or cross-industry. Without exception, these topics speak to emerging business trends and rapidly-evolving technology capabilities that are of paramount importance. Application Performance Management, which is pertinent to every application development and operations team as well as every database system administrator charged with maintaining the uptime of both internal and external IT systems in their organizations, regardless of industry, is a perfect example.
Take the Survey and Learn How B2B Companies Have Evolved their Content Marketing Capabilities
Posted December 11th, 2016
We’re going all out for the next edition of our benchmark report on B2B content marketing and lead generation, expanding the scope of the survey questions and nearly doubling the sample size of the qualified participants. To liven things up, we’re also revamping the design and populating the pages with an animated cast of characters.
Set to publish in April, The 2017 Benchmark Report on B2B Content Marketing and Lead Generation will offer fresh insights into how B2B companies have evolved their content marketing and lead generation capabilities over the previous year. It will also uncover their plans for the future, including specific business outcomes they aim to achieve in terms of key performance metrics. Click here to take the survey that serves as the basis for the research.
Gated Content: A Stern Warning from a Medieval Guard
Posted September 17th, 2016
At Starfleet Media, we’re generally in the business of licensing high-value content assets, including Smart Decision Guides, co-branded eBooks and Benchmark Reports from Starfleet Research (our IT market research arm), to other B2B companies, and not the other way around. But when we came across a recent post from Tom Fishburne, a “career marketer and cartoonist,” that highlighted some of our market research on content marketing and lead generation along with his cartoon depicting an encounter between a modern-day decision maker and a medieval guard, we decided that it was our turn to acquire licensing rights to a content asset.