Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Surviving the Sequester

Important numbers for B2B marketers

Just like Y2K, 12/21/12 and the Fiscal Cliff, the world didn’t come to an end on March 1 when Congress failed to come to a consensus on the budget. The resulting “sequester” may actually be a silver lining to the economic clouds (see below). Key learning point here: Don’t let any of your clients or prospects use the prospect of automatic federal spending cuts as an excuse to delay a decision. By the time they get the all clear signal, it will be too late for them to regain market share they lost by not investing appropriately in their marketing, advertising and demand generation programs.

Important numbers for B2B marketers

Like it or not, most of you who read this blog regularly are numbers people. You may not think of yourself as a “quant” or a “cruncher,” but you’re measured regularly by your clients, prospects, superiors and board by quantifiable measures of the return on your marketing investments. Here are some quick stats that we think you’ll find useful in your next planning session.

Tweet the numbers. Market research firm Compendium says including numbers with your tweets will result in 50 percent more clicks for B2B marketers. Again, you’re not in the consumer space where tweeting with numbers provides only a 3.5 percent lift.

Tweet with substance. Sure Twitter’s character limit is pretty, uh limiting, but Compendium found that B2B buyers were drawn to tweets of 11 to 15 words, not the 1-to-5 word tweets that resonate with consumer marketers. If you can produce 11 to 15 meaningful word in just 144 characters, that’s where your skill comes out.

Blog 300. According to Internet Marketing Report (IMR), Google rates blog posts of more than 300 words as valuable content and posts of less than 300 words as “fringe content.” If your goal is to improve your search engine optimization and overall Google presence, then go long (provided you can remain relevant) and try to publish on the same day(s) each week.

Blog 1-2x. According to IMR, One or
two well-crafted blog posts each week will do more than daily or more frequent posts that don’t have any substance.

Macro View
Despite mandatory federal spending cuts imposed by the sequester, it’s hard to argue that the overall economic outlook is trending upward. Not a sharp hockey stick mind you, but a gradual upward slope nonetheless. Here are some signs we like:
·         * Banks are lending more to business and industry.
·         * Consumers are more confident and are buying more new homes (and fixing them up).
·         * Sales of new homes jumped nearly 16 percent in January to their highest level in 4-1/2 years.
·         * Home prices were almost 7 percent higher in December 2012 than they were in December 2011.That was the
  biggest year-over-year increase since July 2006.
·         *  Residential fixed investment, which includes spending on home improvements, advanced 17.5 percent in the  
  fourth quarter
      * The Commerce Department revised its stats upward on business spending in Q4—to a 9.7 percent gain, from
  its initial estimate of an 8.4 percent gain
             * The financial markets continued the momentum started in January and are near their all-time highs
·         * The Conference Board consumer confidence index surged to 69.6 in February from 58.4 January suggesting that     
        consumers are getting used to their 2-percent smaller paychecks.

Surviving the Sequester

The $85 billion in automatic U.S. federal spending cuts may not be all that bad. In an interview on the
DJ FX Trader podcast, Sri-Kumar, president of Sri-Kumar Global Strategies said the so-called sequester is actually a longer-term positive for both the U.S. economy and the U.S. dollar. Say again?!?

"This is a pain which ought not to be avoided,” he said. For one, the equity market needs to see a significant correction that reflects the “fundamental problems” the U.S. economy has, and that could happen Friday, Sri-Kumar said. More importantly, the U.S. needs to get its fiscal act together, and the sequester is one way to do it, despite the likely negative short-term impact.


The government may finally do something that cash-strapped homeowners have been forced to do for years—get their house in order and then spruce it up. Check out the lines this weekend at your local Home Depot or gardening center. Bet they’re longer than usual.


TAGS: Sri-Kumar Global Strategies, housing market, sequester, business confidence

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