If you’ve been involved in marketing for more than a few years, you were probably taught to always focus on solutions. Keep it light! Keep it upbeat! Don’t ever have a “negative lead” in your copy. Well, my friend, the times are changing. What marketers have come to understand in recent years is that today’s prospects don’t want their business challenges sugarcoated. What they want is to have their problems solved.
The days of Mad Men—the golden years of the agency business—may be gone, but rocking someone's world with great creative and the smart use of technology make life in a boutique digital marketing agency equally as exciting, even if not quite so glamorous. And given the very changed world we live in today, the results are arguably more impressive.
Thank you for returning as we continue this series of posts on developing an effective digital strategy. Because your strategy should define your goals, as well as the specific tools and tactics you are going to use to accomplish those goals, we're offering this list of topics that your documented strategy should include. Again, we know that there is some redundancy/overlap among these sections, but it's because the tools and tactics work together to form a solid strategy.
Marketing has never been an easy job. But an argument can be made that it’s more difficult today than ever before. From the time-strapped, distracted target audience you’re trying to engage to competitors encroaching on your turf from all over the globe, marketers face a wide range of challenges every day.
In the good old days of mass-media marketing, agencies and marketing executives were loath to provide quantifiable evidence of the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. But as Internet marketing took off, companies began to realize that they could use online metrics to (at least partially) measure the success of their marketing efforts and it could be as simple as counting the number of information request forms or online purchases submitted from their website each month. Interestingly though, content marketing—while the most powerful strategy for growing small to medium-sized business today—has actually complicated the process of quantifying success.
Before I even get a full sentence into writing this post on whether it’s better to utilize in-house marketing resources or a marketing agency, I’ll acknowledge that I am the president of a marketing agency. That said, if I didn’t believe in the value agencies provide and the advantages of working with them, I would no longer be the president of a marketing agency. I’d find myself a job as a VP of marketing somewhere and go that route.
If you’re like most people, it takes you a little time (and more than a little coffee) to get yourself up to speed and fully productive in the morning. For marketers, that slow start can often lead to you feeling like you’re a step behind all day. “I’m just not a morning person,” you say. True as that may be, there are things you can do at the end of the day today that will help you come out of the gate hot tomorrow and have an incredibly productive day.
If you think Instagram is only for people who want to share photos of their vacation to Mexico or their pet’s latest antics, you need to take a second look. Companies are having tremendous success connecting with their target personas through this powerfully-visual medium. Yes, the Instagram demographic does skew toward the 18–34 year old crowd, but: (1) if that’s your target, bingo! and (2) technology tends to find favor with younger age groups first, but middle-aged and older folks inevitably follow.
Many companies see blogging as a one-and-done type of exercise. You come up with a topic. You explain that topic. You move on to the next. The resurgence of an entertainment format called the “serial” has smart marketers rethinking that approach.
By definition, a prospect who downloads and reads a white paper, case study, or other piece of content has “engaged” with it. And that engagement, even in its simplest form, is definitely a good thing. But what marketers are becoming increasingly focused on is taking engagement to new levels, because the more engaged a prospect is, the more likely he or she is to become a customer.
Customer-centric, prospect-centric, persona-centric… All terms that, when applied to “marketing”, refer to an approach in which you are very tightly focused on a prospect’s wants and needs—both what those needs are, and how you can meet them. Now, marketers are all quick to say, “Of course we are customer-centric! All we think about is what our customers and prospects are looking for.” But that emotional (and often, defensive) reaction and the objective truth are sometimes quite far apart.
The sense of urgency is one of the most powerful motivators humans experience. It’s wired deep within our brains—so deep that psychologists say it can cause us to temporarily ignore common sense and act with fairly reckless abandon. While we don’t recommend overusing it, the urgency principle is one that every marketer should understand.
Ah, the holidays! Parties, potlucks, charitable events… There’s no better time of year to give your customers and prospects a look inside your organization. But, of course, not everything that takes place now—or throughout the year—is appropriate for posting. That video of your VP of Sales singing karaoke after he’s had one too many glasses of wine at the holiday dinner may seem like great social media material in the moment. However, the next day you might realize that it has cast that person, and your organization, in a negative light.
At 30dps, we are a proud HubSpot partner. HubSpot, for those not familiar with the company, it is the provider of one of the leading marketing automations systems—and that short description doesn’t do their truly outstanding offerings justice! They are an innovator in many areas. One that I admire most is their leadership in the concept of transparency.
The “Customer Journey.” It sounds very philosophical, maybe even a little grandiose. But it’s more than an abstract concept that deep-thinking marketers ponder as they swirl their glass of wine. Rather, it’s a thoroughly studied and well-defined psychological path that prospects follow between first learning of your products and services and ultimately purchasing them. And understanding how to effectively move your prospects from start to finish can have a dramatic effect on the success of your marketing efforts and your company.
With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about all I have to be thankful for. A loving wife and family, the success of our content marketing agency, a talented and hardworking staff, fantastic clients here in Colorado Springs, across the state, and around the country… and the list goes on and on. I very naturally feel a strong sense of gratitude toward all these amazing people and organizations.
The drawbridge is up. The walls are lined with archers. There are kettles of boiling oil at intervals between them. This is not going to be pleasant.
Founded in 2006 and joined with LinkedIn in 2012, SlideShare is one of the 100 most-visited websites in the world. More than 70 million professionals browse the over 18 million uploads (from slide decks to infographics to video) looking for informative content. Wouldn’t it be great if they found yours?
If you’ve got a product or service that can be delivered anywhere in the country, it only makes sense to market to that national audience. It’s simple math: the more prospects you reach, the more orders you receive. But as you’re putting together your marketing plan, you might consider allocating some extra budget to reaching out to prospects in your home state and even your city.
For all the advances in the way we share information digitally, people still love talking with people. It’s in our nature. Webinars are a great way to meet that need for human connection and form a bond with your prospects or customers.