Saturday, January 26, 2013

Good blog post about positioning and content

I ran across this blog post on LinkedIn.  Nice read about how content and positioning work together.  I especially like the way the author thinks about positioning.

"The problem is that corporate positioning has traditionally been seen as a way to differentiate a company from its competition. In today's market environment it should be designed around the intersection of your company's strengths in relation to your customers' needs. Quite a different proposition, but one that can truly serve to help prospects become predisposed in your favor."
  -  The Marketing Interactions blog

Too many companies think they can magically enter a market that looks good and make a profit.  The good firms understand that a key success factor is to leverage your core competence to match an unmet need or a poorly met need in the marketplace.

Check it out at The Marketing Interactions blog.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The 'Digital' in Digital Marketing

I read an interesting post this morning on the LinkedIn Group, CMO Network about the term 'digital marketing'.  Does your marketing department include a person or group called 'Digital Marketing'?  Isn't all marketing now digital at some point from creation to distribution?  There are many so called Digital Marketing Agencies that dot the landscape on all continents.  Typically, or traditionally, the term means all those things related to the internet: web design, SEM, SEO, email marketing, marketing automation, etc.  The post asked if it was time to retire the term 'digital marketing' because all marketing is digital.  I agree, if you are a modern marketer, then you are working in digital world.

Perhaps you disagree and feel we should differentiate.  What would you call the marketing people who design and publish the product brochures using a digital program and ultimately get printed on a digital press?    What about the trade show that is promoted digitally, has digitally produced graphics and may even offer digital videos?  Is a virtual trade show digital marketing or is it event marketing?  I suggest it's time to move on into the modern marketing era where all marketing is digital.  If I had a free hand to set up a marketing function at a company (let's keep it B2B since that's what I know) today, I would break it up to inbound and outbound.

Inbound

  • Web site management
  • Content management
  • SEM
  • SEO
  • Technology and Platform management
Outbound
  • Strategy & Messaging
  • Event management
  • Social media
  • Advertising (all outbound messaging)
  • Collateral management

It would be interesting to hear if anyone uses this type of marketing department structure and how well it works or not.  But, isn't is so that everyone of us Modern Marketers must be competent with all digital tools, channels, processes and marketing automation?  I suggest the answer is a hearty YES!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Message Creation

We've all had that day come along where your boss or the sales manager or maybe the CEO stops in and says something like, "we need a new message, see what you can come up with".   So you think to yourself, 'how tough can it be?'

Well let me tell you, message creation is very tough.  A proper message requires you, your team and maybe the executive team to revisit the fundamentals of the business plan and, specifically, the marketing plan.  What's that you say, your CEO doesn't believe in business plans or marketing plans.  You can't find your marketing plan?   You never created a marketing plan?  If that is the case, do not despair.  This is an outstanding opportunity for you, my fellow Modern Marketer, to shine.

The message must communicate the value proposition in a very clear, concise and relevant manner to the target audience.  The message is built from the fundamental elements of your business; the positioning statement and the value proposition.  These two elements should be well defined and reasoned within the marketing plan.

Once a message is defined and agreed upon, it shall be communicated throughout the organization.  Everyone in the organization must be ready, willing and able to communicate the message and state the clear value proposition.

Beware, there are many so-called Marketing or Public Relations companies who claim to be able to help you with your messaging.  The good ones are few and far between.

This company, Open View, puts out some good information and an interesting Case Study around Competitive Messaging.  I recommend checking them out.