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Posts Tagged ‘Wisdom’

Marketing Wisdom: Your peers share the surprising foundation that shaped their marketing efforts for 2011

December 6th, 2011
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Please forgive me for opening this post with a trite statement, but I simply cannot believe we’re already approaching the end of 2011.

(That was for my dad, who spent most of his 50s lamenting the speed in which 365 days can pass.)

Platitudes aside, the end of a calendar year marks a time of reflection, where marketers look back at the year, and use this knowledge to better plan for the one ahead.

This also means that it’s time for you to send us your wisdom for the MarketingSherpa 2012 Marketing Wisdom Report (sponsored by HubSpot). Our 10th annual collection of anecdotes, ideas, test results and inspiration from marketers like you, will be distributed for free in January to all MarketingSherpa and HubSpot readers and customers.

As I prepare to digest a slew of submissions for this year’s go-round, I felt it was only right to take one last look at the 2011 edition, to see where we were a year ago, and what we’ve learned along the way. While combing through the pages, I was reminded of some notable pieces of advice, as well as a prominent common thread that ran throughout:

Communicate.

You’d think with all the exciting new technologies that have come about, 2.0 would have dominated the marketing landscape in recent years. But that’s not what marketers told us in our last wisdom report. No, it was the basics — the most fundamental marketing practices — that helped marketers achieve success in a questionable economy.

In 2010, you sowed the seeds of “back-to-basics” efforts, all centered on communication, and built forward-thinking campaigns around them. From stories of elaborate, innovative social media outreach, to the most basic expressions of thanks, it was clear that communication – both internal and external – was a foundation of your 2010 marketing efforts.

Below are some of the memorable entries from last year’s report. Read on to see if last year’s wisdom still proves valuable as you prepare for 2012.

Read more…

Inbound Marketing: Invest in content to generate leads

December 21st, 2010
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I was digging through last year’s Wisdom Report and found a great quote supporting some recent research I’ve done on inbound marketing.

Jon Miller, VP, Marketing, Marketo, told us last year that although marketing budgets are in a 10-year shift out of brand advertising and into more measurable channels, he recently saw an uptick in brand-building tactics.

“Instead of mass advertising, today we are investing more in smart ways to build brand such as in social media, search engine optimization, and content marketing,” he said.

You need to take baby steps

Miller’s advice was for marketers to take a portion of their budgets normally spent on trade shows and list purchases and to use it to hire writers to publish and promote content.

“By getting your company’s expertise out there, you create broad awareness and affinity for your brand. Those investments will turn into leads, but they will be very early-stage leads. So don’t just send them to sales: be sure to score them to identify the best ones, and nurture and develop the rest with more great content and thought leadership,” Miller said.

This strikes a close resemblance to a conversation I recently had with Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute. Pulizzi noted that a well-planned content marketing strategy can achieve a range of goals — including lead generation. However, marketers just starting out should start small.

“Just because you have a content-marketing focus does not mean that you stop doing traditional media,” Pulizzi says. “Good content marketing takes time. If you completely shut off your other channels, someone is going to get fired. You need to take baby steps… I would never say ‘kill your advertising’ because in a lot of cases it works — it just works differently.”

Make a serious commitment

Taking ‘baby steps’ helps avoid marketing disasters — but you also need a serious commitment for any chance at success. Using high-quality content to attract leads is a strategy that takes time and effort.

Writing one blog post per week and spending 10 minutes per day on social networks is not likely to bear much fruit. Instead, you should set concrete marketing goals and select the best tactics to achieve them. Then you must regularly publish the high-quality content that your audience needs most — whether it’s a series of how-to videos, an e-book series, or something else.

Content creation can be expensive in terms of dollars and time spent — and some tactics are better than others. Here are the most effective tactics for creating content, as reported in MarketingSherpa’s 2011 B2B Benchmark Report:

1. Repurpose and reformat existing content: 64% of respondents
2. Encourage customers to submit testimonials and case studies: 53%
3. Recruit authors internally: 48%
4. Outsource to a consultant or agency: 27%
5. Use social media to encourage brand advocates to produce content: 20%

Creating compelling content is never easy — but more marketers are finding that it is helping them fortify their brands’ credibility and attract prospective customers. Take a look at your budget and schedule for 2011 and see if your team can find the time to give your audience the content it’s looking for.

Related Resources:

Content Marketing: How to get your subject matter experts on your corporate blog

Personal Branding: The five elements of being seen as a thought leader through crowdsourcing

Send Out Some Kindness: Hot PR Tactic in ’09

January 23rd, 2009
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I’m working on MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Wisdom Report, and I’m surprised by how many PR entries there are. Last year, we didn’t get near as many. (For those of you who don’t know, our Wisdom Report is an annual compilation of bits of wisdom marketers share with us from the past year.)

In addition, our end of year survey shows that PR best practices are a priority for marketers in 2009. I can’t help but think this must be a reflection of the economy and, subsequently, of marketers’ tightening budgets. PR, after all, is inexpensive and can be very effective. Read more…