Integrated Marketing

Content Marketing Plan- Part 2

Creating a Content Plan: Part 2Part 2 of 4: Getting things in order

Last time we discussed getting your content marketing campaign off the ground. We gave you the tools on how to get your strategy in motion. In this round, we will discuss how to get the momentum going and touch on auditing your current content, documenting your new content strategy and how to create topic ideas to fuel your content strategy.

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How to Create a Content Marketing Plan and Be Successful

Part 1 of 4: What to do the first 3 weeks to prepare

how to create a content marketing planLet us start out by saying that content marketing is a long-term strategy that takes commitment and discipline.  It is not a strategy that works overnight or even in the first six months, but when it does finally kick in, the benefits are immeasurable.

Now that that is out in the open, let’s get started…

Vertical Measures, a digital marketing agency that helps other clients and agencies broaden their content marketing strategies, does an excellent job of teaching us how to get your content marketing campaign off the ground.  They recommend accomplishing one major task per week for 12 weeks in order to get the ball rolling.  This article will run in a four part series, breaking the down the 12 week program over four posts.

Let’s take a look at the first three weeks…

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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 »

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 »

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.

 

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A/B Testing – Algebra and Statistics in Marketing Communications

a/b testing, testing campaigns, marketing testing, marketing efficiency, marcom efficiency, marcom ROI, measuring ROISomeone recently asked me about A/B testing and how it relates to marketing and business. I had to do a little bit of research as I wanted to make sure I could explain it. As I started to read up on it, I could feel the anxiety build in my chest. Terms like ‘randomized experiment with two variants, A and B’ and ‘two versions (A and B) are compared, which are identical except for one variation that might affect x’s behavior’. What the heck?!?!?!?!!??! I’m a communications professional!!! Math is not my forte! Read the rest of this entry »

Today’s code word: Nimble—but what about tomorrow?

spy%201_jpgWe keep hearing it. Nimble, agile, responsive…it’s all the rage among marketing folks today.

From big companies to small, from email templates to lead automation, marketers are realizing that, in order to play the game, they need to be able to move quickly to tailor their message to the unique attribute of a prospect or customer. Read the rest of this entry »

Blog, schmog. What does this have to do with business marketing anyway?

blog, business blog, blogging for business, business marketing, b2b blog, company blog, content marketingI know, I know, you hear the word blog and you think, ‘what in the world does this have to do with business marketing? Isn’t a blog simply a place to express your own personal viewpoints and opinions on something you are passionate about?’ Read the rest of this entry »

Is your Marketing The Beach Boys or The Four Seasons?

integrated marketing, harmonization, collaborationWhen we talk integrated marketing, we’re really talking about harmonization. And if there’s a lesson to be learned from the varied vocal styles of two of the greatest quartets of all time, this synchronization can be created in a number of different ways.

 

Take the Beach Boys—they used the similarities in their three or four part harmonies to seamlessly blend into a rich, full sound—kind of like the sum of the parts becoming greater than the whole—which keeps you humming long after it has stopped playing.

 

The Four Seasons, on the other hand, were masters at pulling together disparate vocal pieces into one utterly engaging melody, with Frankie Valli’s falsetto delivering that unforgettable punch, making sure Sherry Baby is on your lips for hours to come.

 

So, which is your marketing program more tuned to?

Is there one consistent element that carries throughout every piece of collateral, on your website, even down to your eblasts? This common thread could be visual in nature or could be a tagline, or maybe a stylized logo supporting your company’s overall objectives. Something that when people see it they know who it’s from.

 

Or is it more a collaboration of different elements that support a larger message (think Geico here)? The elements don’t need to be exactly the same—stuffed into the confines of one graphical treatment or a key phrase that doesn’t exactly fit a datasheet the same way it does an ad—but they work together and still support the main objective.

 

Regardless of how it is done, it’s integrated, and as we’ve learned from music icons of the past, harmony in your marketing program can work different ways and still be music to our customers’ ears.

 

And if you’re thinking, “Hey, what about the Beatles? They did harmony, too!”…well, let’s save them for a post on taking the world by storm…in relation to integrated marketing, of course.

Today’s Push/Pull Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be a Tug-o-War

Business men pulling ropeThe Internet has brought the term ‘savvy consumer’ to a whole new level, especially in the realm of product marketing.

 

Today’s B2B audiences are real-time researchers with the ability to quickly ascertain data on a product as well as a company to make very informed decisions based on:

 

-Comparative data (think side-by-side datasheets from you and your competitor)

-Community insight (such as online reviews and comments in user forums)

-Corporate support (when others within an organization back a decision)

 

Traditional B2B marketing has always employed a hybrid ‘Push/Pull’ strategy that integrates the needs and requirements of an end user with the objectives of a company.  But in today’s digital world, where fragmentation has split once-broad audiences into very niche communities, some marketers may be struggling with getting a firm grip on the rope.  Smart marketers will recognize that the larger change is in the overall messaging, with only tweaks needed to the tactics themselves.

 

The anchor position:  The web makes it easy to consume content, but can also make gathering information an overwhelming proposition.  To get it right, keep your message clear and focused on how you benefitting the user.

 
The muscle: Users now chose the environment in which they obtain information.  There is something to be said for strength in numbers, so make sure you deliver your message throughout multiple channels (analog & digital) to ensure you’re hitting your audience at the appropriate stage and within the correct medium.  A modern B2B marketing strategy not only uses the familiar tactics where audiences consume information—company website, trade publications, eblasts–but also areas where engagement and communities are growing, such as LinkedIn or Pinterest, which are currently building out some good marketing avenues.

 

Today’s Push/Pull marketing doesn’t need to keep the tension on the rope.  To fully integrate this B2B marketing strategy, alter your messaging to match what your audience is looking for—make it concise and informative.

 

Then, look at the different channels your audiences are using to obtain their information and start to bring your messaging to them through those channels.

Maintaining the Brand…in Good Times and Bad

Aries Electronics: a Marketing Communications Success Story

Frank Folmsbee, Aries Electronics

Frank Folmsbee, Aries Electronics

Aries Electronics does a lot of things very well.  One is the way they design and manufacture interconnect components and assemblies for the electronic original equipment manufacturers market.  Another is the way they market their products and technologies. Adhering to an age old, time-proven adage, and guided by their close and long-term relationship with The Simon Group, they do it with consistency…in good times and bad.  And, as a result, have had very few “bad years”…even during economic downturns, such as the last one.

Aries was founded in 1972 by Bill Sinclair who remains at the company’s helm today, both as chief executive officer and chief new product designer.  The company has had only two marcom agencies in its 41-year history. Aries reluctantly moved on from its first agency, recognizing that they had outgrown what that agency could provide.  Several of the area’s leading media reps had talked to The Simon Group about Aries…and  to Aries about The Simon Group.  And, in 1991, Aries president Bill Sinclair and sales and marketing manager Frank Folmsbee made a visit to The Simon Group farmhouse.  The rest, as they say, is history.  We’ll let Frank tell the story…

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