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Integrate Online Marketing Channels

October 19th, 2010

Marketers have many software vendors to choose from. There are laundry lists of companies willing to upgrade your website analytics, email marketing, display ads and almost any other part of your online business.

The growing list of platforms is making the job more complex. Work is done through several dashboards, and data comes from several directions. You have to spend time with each platform to achieve a single goal.

That is why Lisa Arthur, CMO, Aprimo, argues for marketing integration. Aprimo is an integrated marketing software provider. Arthur says integration can help marketers get back to focusing on driving higher ROI.

“The goal and promise of marketing integration is to simplify the complexity of marketing and allow marketers to spend more time on the strategy, the messages and the content, instead of chasing data and ad hoc processes,” she says.

Integration essentially pulls fragmented marketing processes under a single, centralized platform. The approach can free up some of your time, as well as:
o Streamline a multi-channel ROI calculation
o Cut campaign launch time
o Align disparate marketing goals
o Give executives and managers a quick view of overall marketing performance
o Give multiple marketing teams a central platform to work from

A key to starting the integration process is to align business strategy and marketing objectives with the goals of the effort. Consider how aligning marketing data and technology under a central platform help your company achieve its goals.

Second, marketing integration is more of an on-going journey than a short project. The process can continue for years and will require an executive sponsor. If you’re interested in integration and you’re not an executive yourself, find an executive to champion the project and point to how it will improve business goals.

Third, you should track and benchmark operational and strategic metrics. For example, on an operational level, will your team get campaigns planned and launched faster after integration? Strategically, will your team improve campaign performance?

Not all of your marketing needs to be integrated at once. Your team can start small by centralizing a disparate and manual process — such as creative review. Emails, ads and landing pages can be viewed and approved from a single, central location, rather than through an endless chain of emails.

Your team may not have a conversation around integration tomorrow, but if your number of marketing channels continues to grow, you might want to consider having the conversation soon.

Office Politics During Meetings: Implement the “Six Thinking Hats”

December 17th, 2008

This tip came from Franke James, editor and founder of Office-Politics.com. When holding a meeting with your team, try using the “six thinking hats” model. It’s meant to build consensus and get people thinking in the same direction.

It also allows for optimistic ideas to grow, while letting negative ideas be aired, she says. It can control the naysayers in a group. Read more…

Office Politics Pre-Budget Meeting: Make a “Mind Map”

December 16th, 2008

During my quest to find best practices about how marketers should defend their 2009 marketing budgets, I came across some useful information that didn’t make it into the special report.

Franke James, editor and founder of Office-Politics.com, contributed the idea of making a “mind map.” Her advice is to take out a piece of paper pre-budget meeting and map out the relationship between you and key decision makers (the people who will be in the budget meeting). Read more…

Corporate Blogs: A Mini-Guide For Finding The Best Bloggers

September 22nd, 2008

When I spoke to Christopher Barger, manager of GM’s FastLane blog, the other day about best practices in managing corporate blogs for a MarketingSherpa article, something that struck me was just how hard it is for these managers to find employees within their companies who are willing to blog on a regular business.

It’s not something we at MarketingSherpa have to worry about too much because most of us are writers. But I’d imagine it’s something many blog managers struggle with.

Read more…

B-to-C Marketing on a Shoestring: Focus on Customers

July 10th, 2008

Tracy Drumm found herself in an unpleasant situation three years ago. Tracy, the Marketing Director for plastic surgeon Steven Dayan, MD, FACS, was told that she had to clamp down on marketing spending, big time.

She didn’t panic, though. Instead, she got creative.

Read more…

Humor Has Its Viral Place: But Tread Carefully

June 26th, 2008

Viral marketing is hard to nail down. It’s hardly a science, but there are recurring themes, like humor. Many successful viral campaigns are just friends sharing funny ads.

The problem is humor is hard, too. Jokes can walk a fine line between offensive and corny. And those are relative terms. Your audience decides if your ad is funny, stupid or appalling.

Read more…

Longer Subs Give Higher Lifetime Value

May 12th, 2008

Here’s another eye-opening session at the MarketingSherpa Selling Online Subscriptions Summit in New York City. Michael McCurdy, Director CRM, and Leslie Semegran, Director Online Marketing, TheLadders.com, talked about maximizing customer lifetime value.

TheLadders.com is a site for jobseekers looking for $100K+ jobs and recruiters. They offer subs for a month, six months or a year. And they found that six-month subscribers have a 29% higher lifetime value than monthly subscribers and that annual subscribers have a 39% higher lifetime value than monthlies.

Read more…

Find Some Consulting Success with LinkedIn

April 23rd, 2008

It can take a long time and lots of experience before you are “ready” to become a consultant. Even then it might not be right for you.

That’s the big takeaway I found while researching the characteristics of successful marketing and PR consultants for a MarketingSherpa article and quiz. But there are other traits that should be mentioned. Read more…