Expanding Your Marcom Horizons: When to pass and when to tag along

ball[a quick checklist for adopting new marcom tactics]

The B2B marcom world has had an interesting last decade trying to navigate its way through the latest digital marketing trends (and we don’t just mean social media!). As consumers in our personal lives, we are marketed to almost entirely differently than in our business lives. By now we all know that new tactics that have emerged for B2C aren’t always beneficial for B2B. This isn’t a new concept, but it is one that should get an update every now and again. Just because a new digital tactic is trending for B2C doesn’t mean we can’t give it a try here in our more niche B2B space. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Back to School Time! And Not Just for the Kids……

Aug1.Continuing EdIt’s that time of year again….back to school. Excitement at the anticipation of a new learning year is upon us.  But it doesn’t just have to be for the kids… We, as adults, should continually embark on a new journey of learning and self-betterment.

 

Our clients rely on us for advice and counsel on marketing communications techniques and tactics. In order to best perform our jobs and remain a source of information, we seek out ways to hone our skills, learn about the latest trends and discover new ways to employ best practices in our clients’ programs. Our agency could not survive in this digital era if we had stopped trying to improve and innovate while everyone still relied on only print media in the 1980s.

 

A lot has changed in our 30 years of business, including how we learn. Right at our fingertips are endless supplies of webinars, blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, videos, seminars, community forums, and more… and that’s just what’s found online. Throughout the year we also look for ways to come together with our marketing peers in person. Workshops, conferences, even semiformal gatherings of regional or national associations keep us acquainted with the latest and greatest technology, tactics and team members.

 

And not only do we try to stay ahead of the curve in our own marcom community, but also within our clients’ markets. It does us, and our clients, no good to know all about SnapChat if we don’t also know that that platform is not really suited to our B2B audience needs. We say this not to be condescending, but to be an example.

 

Just last week a client recommended a conference for us to attend, right in our backyard, that we hadn’t heard about yet. Sharing information about where to share new information is the essence of community learning! It strengthens us all to help everyone continue to learn and push the industry forward.

 

Continuing your education, be it through seminars and workshops or attending graduate school, is a true investment in yourself and your career.  Just like going to school broadens the minds and horizons of kids all around the world, it does the exact same thing for adults.  We can easily take advantage of this wonderful opportunity by attending courses, seminars and talks that teach us all that is new in our respective industries, while sharpening our skills, getting new ideas, obtaining feedback and making us more marketable.

 

If a client or customer asks about a new trend you aren’t yet fully embracing, or maybe haven’t even considered, we encourage you to not only research the topic, but look at potential certification programs. There are many free training programs for marketing strategies that can help people from all industries. Consider looking at what is available from Google for its many platforms, or perhaps other software technology you use regularly. Not only would you potentially enhance your skills, but your success and expertise could inspire someone else to learn more as well.

 

As they say, you are never too old to learn…

A quick sidebar on creativity through email

July2.brainstormingA quick sidebar on creativity through email

We can all agree, creativity isn’t a linear process—it best thrives when varying perspectives are all given equal weight and the something that has been looked at a thousand times in one light is suddenly seen in a completely different one. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to Pack Your Bags

July1.pack-your-bags

It’s summer.  Not only is everyone gearing up for vacation and big plans away, but also getting ready to hit the second half of the year strong. Maybe there have been some adjustments to your marketing goals after the first half. Maybe the second half has the potential to be a game changer for your company. Either way, it might also be time to pack your bags for another big reason: tradeshows.  Read the rest of this entry »

Putting a Positive Spin on Things

June2.positive spinLet’s face it, things don’t always turn out as well as you had expected.  Sometimes you need to deliver news that isn’t particularly flattering to your company or its products. And although we would love to keep a lid on negative publicity and not let the world know about it, sometimes it is unavoidable.  So, what are we to do? Sweep it under the rug? Lie? Act like it never happened?  The answer to each of these questions is a resounding NO! Read the rest of this entry »

Hitting the Bullseye: a new era of direct email

direct email, bullseye, targeted email, marketing automationMarketing automation has breathed new life into email marketing.  That which was once destined for junk folders and blacklists is becoming useful again by not merely spamming the reader with potentially relevant information, but instead providing value driven material that matches the interests and needs of the recipient.

 

The intellect a well-run marketing automation program provides allows companies to cultivate prospects with personalized, laser-focused content that helps turn these potential buyers into customers.  You aren’t randomly throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing how much will stick—you’re following a unique recipe that suits their specific requirements.

Read the rest of this entry »

Keep Your Shovel in the Dirt: gardening tips from a not-so-green thumb

 

Farmer on local sustainable organic farmI’ve never been very good at gardening, even though I still try each year.  I till my little patch of land so that I can sow my vegetables, spending far more on plants and preparation than my meager harvest would ever come close to paying out.

Each year, my timing seems to be off.  Right around the time that my tomatoes are ripe for the picking, I’m typically out of town for my family reunion.  My house sitter says they are delicious, though.  Read the rest of this entry »

Measuring Your Return – Can We Determine ROI of an Advertising Campaign?

WebWhile recently reading On the Near Impossibility of Measuring the Returns to Advertising by Randall A. Lewis and Justin M. Rao, it was stated that the average American sees 25-45 minutes of tv commercials, multiple billboards and an array of internet ads per day.  They go on further to say that industry reports place annual advertising revenue in the US in the range of $173 billion, or about $500 per American per year.  In order for advertisers to break even they need to net about $1.50 in profits per person per day – translating into about $3,500 -$5,500 per household per year. So is this possible?  Is it possible to measure the exact return on investment metrics of an advertising campaign? Read the rest of this entry »

Why All Startups Should Invest in Public Relations

April1.bill-gates-prAs I often do when writing these blog posts, I harken back to early in my career.  This one in particular made me laugh a bit to myself because it reminded me of something I said to my mother when I was desperately trying to figure out what to do for a living.

During our discussion, she had mentioned that she thought I would be good in ‘public relations’.  I remember literally looking at her and saying ‘I have no idea what that means, but when you can tell me what it is, I’ll do it…’. At the time, it was a flippant remark.  Because A) I had no idea what public relations was and B) It annoyed me that she already had me pegged into a field that I knew nothing about, nor did I think I would ever be interested in.

As we all know, mom is always right! Not only do I know firsthand now what public relations is, but it has become my career and passion to understand its importance and why companies, especially startups, should invest in it. Read the rest of this entry »

How Well Do You Know Your Brand? 4 quick tips to give you a baseline

Mar2.personalbrand_bannerSo many companies focus on identifying their brands by sitting around their own conference room discussing what they think their customers value about their brand.  Few step outside the office to truly figure out what resonates from an end user perspective.

 

Time, money and sometimes even ego are the often the root causes of a misguided branding strategy, but let’s look at how a few simple outward-facing steps can help you start to formulate a valuable branding strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

Knowing the Limitations of Marketing Automation

Mar1.marketing-automation

Robots vs. Humans

Marketing automation is an exciting topic these days. Very few other management platforms combine both marketing, sales and analytics functions effectively into one package. When done correctly, marketing automation can save time, automate routine operations and provide analytics. Read the rest of this entry »

Put your money where your mouth is*

Knowing how far your claims may reach

In doing some research for a client about the role of safety in manufacturing environments, we came across a very interesting piece of news…a major manufacturing company had appointed the first ever safety advocate, designated to oversee worker health and safety. Wow! Nice work protecting the little guy, Corporate America.

 

Of course, we had to know more.

 

Read the rest of this entry »