Four Keys to Building an Effective Content Strategy

Dec 17, 2013

An article from chiefoutsiders.com recently published the statistic that most buyers are usually 70% through the sales cycle before they make initial contact with a sales person or company representative. As the article points out, this has some serious implications for marketers and how they go about their job. Where I think marketing has the biggest impact on the sales cycle is in the content it delivers, whether directly or indirectly, to support the sales team.

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Tags: internet marketing, content strategy, sales, marketing, MRM, content, buying cycle

What Happens in Cincinnati: A (Marketing) Meeting of the Minds, Featuring Mike Dover

Nov 21, 2013

Discussing the marketing value of branded online communities with some of the area’s top marketers

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Tags: branding, Twitter, messaging, credibility, marketing, metrics, social media, mike dover, wikibrands, communities

The Difference between Customer Experience and Customer Relationship (And Why One is Better)

Nov 20, 2013

As the relationship between businesses and customers continues to evolve, the value of the customer experience has been magnified greatly. Customer-facing social media channels and the general ease with which anyone can find information about anyone/anything online have made businesses and their employees and managers more accessible than ever before. This means businesses – the whole business – must be ready to address customer needs across any number of outlets. But good customer experience doesn’t just mean effectively handling complaints, issues or questions; it means having a real relationship with your customers.

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Tags: branding, engagement, marketing, social media, customer experience, service

Why Social Media Skills Are Not Optional

Oct 23, 2013

It’s an inevitable point in the life cycle of every great advancement or leap forward: that moment when the exceptional becomes the norm. It happened with phones, televisions, automobiles – things that were revolutionary concepts when they first arrived, but eventually nearly everyone had one, and suddenly owning such items isn’t viewed as remarkable, rather as necessary.

The same holds true for business skills, and that was the focus of a book I recently read by Jay Baer called “Youtility.” New technology has always demanded new skills, but as we’ve seen time and time again, as the technology becomes more prevalent and “the norm,” so too do the skills required to operate it, and that has an impact on how businesses should look for and asses new talent.

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Tags: digital marketing, facebook, Twitter, sales, LinkedIn, marketing, human resources, customer service, social media, Retail

Perspective, Empathy and the Art of Marketing

Oct 09, 2013

It struck me on a recent visit to a local playground: "Boy that play-set is small!" I had first visited this park when my child was just a toddler. Back then, this play-set looked enormous to me and I shadowed my youngster's every step, nervous they would plunge into the mulch far below at any moment. 

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Tags: big data, messaging, marketing, personalization, perspective, psychology, character, personas

“Thinking Big” as a Marketing Professional

Sep 19, 2013

International Literacy Day was Sept. 8, but we’ve decided to celebrate and promote it all month long with a series of blog posts based on marketing and business books we’ve recently read. Today’s post comes from DocuStar Marketing Director Martha France and features David J. Schwartz’s “The Magic of Thinking Big.”

We know the role of the marketing leader is changing. In fact, a recent article from CMO (a new media title from IDG Communications) goes so far as to say that, “today’s CMO will be tomorrow’s CEO.” For marketing executives, leadership skills, the ability to inspire your team and influence departments across the organization, have never been more important.

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Tags: CMO, marketing, career planning, CEO, literacy, leadership

Can Agencies and Technology Live Together?

Aug 27, 2013

Friend or foe? It’s a question many creative agencies are asking when it comes to new technology. Does new software that improves creative production workflow give in-house creative teams the confidence and bandwidth to replace agencies, or does it make the agency more appealing because it augments their ability to serve the client? Let’s take a look at some ways technology is helping creative agencies adapt to a changing advertising, marketing and PR landscape to try to answer that question.

Crossing channels
There has always been some crossover between marketing, public relations and advertising, but the lines between those functional areas have never been blurrier. All of those functions are now, for the most part, carried out on the same channels, and there are a lot of those channels to manage and keep an eye on. Part of the problem is when one thing happens on one channel, it’s not long before it spills over onto another channel (think about the concept of “going viral”).

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Tags: marketing, technology, advertising, data, pr, public relations, creative agencies

Is it Time to Hire a Social Media Marketing Expert?

Aug 06, 2013

There was breakdown in the assembly line and no one on Henry Ford’s staff could fix it. As the story goes, his production lines were down for hours; hours turned into days, and Ford was frustrated. In desperation he called an electrical engineer friend whom he trusted to come to his plant, diagnose and repair the problem. His friend promptly arrived and after about ten minutes the Ford lines were up and running. A most grateful Henry Ford thanked him and told his friend to invoice the Ford Company for the repairs. A few days later Henry Ford received an invoice from his friend in the amount of $10,000. Flabbergasted, Henry called his friend on the telephone and protested, “You only tinkered around for ten minutes! Ten-thousand dollars?!” His friend agreed that he would re-invoice the repairs. A few days later Henry Ford received a modified invoice:

Tinkering…..$10

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Tags: branding, facebook, google, Twitter, sales, LinkedIn, Klout, blogging, marketing, marketing strategy, social media, social media strategy

How to Localize Social Media Marketing

Jul 23, 2013

We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog discussing the challenges and benefits of localizing your marketing strategy across both traditional and digital marketing channels, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a marketer that doesn’t see the value in the practice. But there’s one marketing channel where questions about localization remain and answers are hard to come by: social media.

When I was at the Integrated Marketing Week Conference in June, this was a continuing theme and topic of conversation, whether it came up in presentations, questions to speakers or simply conversations among attendees, so it’s clearly an issue of great consternation in the marketing community. That being said, let’s take a look at some possible strategies that can help businesses overcome the challenges of social media localization.

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Tags: branding, facebook, Twitter, engagement, LinkedIn, messaging, marketing, social media, localized marketing, local marketing, customer segmentation, SMB, integrated marketing week conference, content, strategy

Making Sense of the ‘Data Cycle’

Jun 20, 2013

Everyone has caught themselves daydreaming of a scenario where they said the right thing at the right time in the right place. Maybe it was about a marriage proposal, or falling into a dream job; either way, that goes to show that all (or at least most) of us at some level recognize the inherent value in the relationship between message, time and place. These elements are no less valuable when it comes to marketing and sales. Think of all the legislation that exists to prevent businesses (legit and non-legit) from saying anything in the “wrong place.” The CAN-SPAM Act and the National Do Not Call List are the biggest examples that come to mind.

The point is, no matter if it’s getting engaged or sending a webinar invite via email, it’s hard to know exactly what the right thing to say is, when to say it and where to say it. In business, the challenge is two-fold:

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Tags: big data, data analysis, sales, messaging, relevance, digital age, marketing, business results, audience engagement, can-spam act, technology, metrics, measurement, data

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