Saturday, November 30, 2013

Great Collection of Marketing Infographics

I came across this post from Vanessa Bright's blog, 'Online Marketing Moment' with a link to a great collection of infographics about marketing.  Every topic you can think of is covered.  I haven't looked at them in detail, but would love to have you check them out and call out any you think are exceptionally relevant and real.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Have You Ever Heard of Marketing 2.0?

You've probably heard of Web 2.0 or Sales 2.0 which generally means a newer, updated, more effective framework.  I'm introducing Marketing 2.0 defined as: 
  • A revenue generator.  A revenue engine for the business. 
  • A strategic partner providing high value in aligning modern marketing strategy, tools and teams to the business goals. 
  • Metrics obsessed to ensure it is known what works great, what works OK, what does not work and what has failed in order to optimize and iterate for the absolute growth. 
  • A high value, clean and comprehensive database from which to market, cross sell, up sell and analyze. 
  • Maintains a website designed to have a conversation with visitors, deliver relevant dynamic content tailored to the visitor. 
  • Strategic positioning, value propositions that resonated, messaging about the customer’s needs. 
  • Tactics that funnel large numbers of qualified leads who are ready, willing and able to buy. 
  • Producing high value, useful, helpful marketing material, events and activities engaging early in the purchasing process. 
  • Understands technology, fully leveraging technology for efficient and scalable marketing activities.
If you're not there already, it can be a very difficult journey.  The rewards, however, will be huge!
Check out this Prezi for a bit more detail about the Journey to Marketing 2.0.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Epic Content Marketing in Action

I love this Volvo ad.  It evokes a number of emotions that most of us subconsciously tie to the reliability of Volvo trucks .  The ad is about the stunt, not about the product.   This video has been viewed 43,560,622 times as of this writing!  People remember it.  I guarantee that anyone who happens to be in the position to influence the purchase of a commercial freight liner will shortlist Volvo and possess an inherent bias towards the reliability of the Volvo truck line.

Anyone who watches it first says "Wow" then says "Is it real?" It's real baby!  There is very little mention of the product until the very end.  If you consciously think about it, we, as humans, will attach these emotions to the Volvo brand.  The video creates extremely high credibility for the Volvo truck and places the Volvo truck brand and product top-of-mind, perhaps, for years to come.

Granted, a small portion of the 43 million views are from the target audience.  However, there are also thousands of people among the viewers who will influence the purchase of a commercial truck over the next few years.

To borrow a phrase from Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute, in my opinion, this is epic content marketing!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Marketers Must be Allowed to Succeed and to Fail

I ran across this while I was reviewing Tweets or Blog posts today.  I highly suggest reading it, living it and assimilating the 'you are allowed' philosophy & practice within your life and within your marketing teams.

And one not just for the leaders, but for all of us every day.

Check out this one and more quotes at Addicted to Success

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Marketing Revolution - 5 Ways to Embrace the Fear

There's a revolution happening.  Technology is disrupting our world of buying and selling.  We'll never buy something in the same way we bought 10 years ago.  As a Modern Marketer, this is a scary thought. I suspect CEOs and CFOs are just as scared about the future of their firms.  The playing field is flatter and more level than ever.
  • Barriers to entry are falling like dominoes.
  • Commoditization of products and services is accelerating.
  • International shipping rates are normalizing.
  • We can buy anything at anytime from anyplace in the world from our phone.
  • Technology is accelerating at an exponential rate.
We're all buyers and we're all participating in the revolution.  As Modern Marketers, we can embrace the revolution or we can hope it goes away.  Newsflash!  The revolution will happen with us or without us.  Changes won't slow down, but will continue to accelerate. Control of the message and perceptions of our target audience is non-existent unless we adapt and adapt quickly.

What's a Modern Marketer to do?

The good news, no, the great news is that there has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer!  We're on the cutting edge of the buying revolution.  There has never been a time in the history of marketing when we had such a fantastic opportunity to listen to and communicate with our target audience.

If you're scared of the changes and not sure how to embrace the revolution, you're not alone.  Here are a five things you can start today to turn fear into excitement:
  1. Learn, learn, learn and learn more.  Set aside at least one hour every day dedicated to educating yourself about technology, business disruptions, new ideas, and more.  There has also never been a time in the history of humanity where information is so easy and abundant.
  2. Participate in the discussion.  Talk to thought leaders in the marketing space and in your particular industry.  Debate.  Put your critical thinking hat on for the discussion.  Use your social media tools (blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, et al) to comment, share and be active.
  3. Test, test and test.  It's OK to be a critical thinker.  Not only is there a ton of information out there, but there is a ton of bad information out there (and a ton of great information).  If something looks interesting, test it in your own lab.  Consider your business as a laboratory for testing marketing strategy and tactics.  This mindset leads to innovation and creativity.  Some things will work and some will not. What better way to participate in the conversation than sharing success and failure of your tests.
  4. Get out of the office.  Attend conferences, panel discussions, trade shows, seminars, etc.  Talk to your colleagues within your industry and other circles.
  5. Collaborate with your vendors and suppliers.  Vendors and suppliers are an excellent source of information.  Attend their webinars.  Download their content.  You could even (cringe) talk to their sales people.
Bottom line advice, don't sit on the beach and watch the tidal wave come to you.  Embrace the revolution.  Set a goal to learn something new each and every day.  Use your business as a modern marketing laboratory.  It's not scary.  It's exciting!

Good luck and please, feel free to call me or comment.  There is no time like the present to begin!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Comments on 'Youtility'

I just finished listening to the recording of Jay Baer's keynote presentation, "Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype", at Content Marketing World 2013 and I've got to say, I'm inspired.  I'm a huge believer in 'Youtility'.  'Youtility' is the title of a book authored by Jay, but more importantly, it is a concept or perhaps even a philosophy about marketing by helping people in the target audience be better.  I understand this is a broad definition, but it is a good definition by which to judge your content.  If you ask yourself and your team this question, "will this piece of content help the people in our target audience be better?", it will put you on the right track towards effective content marketing.

These are a couple of key points/quotes I wrote down as I listened to Jay's presentation:
  • Just be useful.
  • Be the best teacher.
  • Those firms who become the best teacher in their competitive space will eat everyone else's lunch.
  • The problem with most content is that it's about you.
I know from personal experience that the type of content marketing described by Youtility works exceptionally well. I recently worked for a global electronics manufacturing company making electronic devices that measured humidity.  How boring is that?  The product was perceived as a commodity in the eyes of the target audience.  Sales relationships were the only differentiators in the marketplace.  Advertisements talked about reliability, accuracy, robustness and global leadership.  Every competitor said the same things about their very similar products.  We shifted from a strategy of promoting products and their related attributes to a strategy of education.  Believe it or not, humidity is a tough measurement. Certain processes like semiconductor or drug manufacturing require very stable environments which require very reliable measurements.  Our customers were frustrated and perplexed with measuring humidity.  We decided to educate the people in our target audience about how to make a better measurement of this pesky parameter, humidity.  The response was tremendous and the business began to grow at a much faster rate! 

This company gained top-of-mind awareness and increased credibility within a commoditized market.  We gave away white papers, application notes, seminars, webinars, calculators and more about how to make a better humidity measurement asking nothing in return.  We didn't talk about the product, we only talked about how to make the measurement.  Our audience loved us for it and it worked to grow the business and gain market share.

Take a look at  your business from a new perspective.  Identify a specific expertise within your company and figure out how that expertise can be given to the people in your target market in order to help them be better at what they do.  You don't have to be the only one with the expertise, just be the best teacher.

One last thing, buy Jay Baer's book, Youtility.  You'll be glad you did!