The Point

Archive for the ‘Marketing communications pointers’ Category


100 Ways Your Company Loses to Better Online Marketers

It's a jungle online

It’s a jungle out there.

Online marketing has become a wild animal. But you don’t have to be a gorilla to dominate. Nor do you have to go ape and do absolutely everything. However, you do indeed need to understand what’s working for the leaders of the pack.

I thought I’d survey the landscape and give you my take on how the most cunning companies are killing it with online marketing tactics. So here you are: 100 ways companies are thriving on the wild, wild web.

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Smart Marketing Decisions vs. the Personal Bias Getting In Your Way

smart marketing

Check me out. A new client told me he hates pop-up opt-in boxes on websites. As website tactics go, this one seems to be high on people’s hate list.

Know what I said? I said, “It doesn’t matter if you hate them. We’re going to do what works.”

Now if you know me, you know I’m not for everyone. I say what I think. I always tell clients, “You don’t have to agree with my opinion, but you do have to hear it.” Nothing wrong with that, right?

I mean isn’t it my expertise you’ve hired me for? If you call a plumber to come out and mire through the shit plumbers have to mire through, you’re not going to crawl under the sink with him and tell him how to fix the problem, are you?

I have one client who refers clients to me now and then with a warning, “Barry’s kind of opinionated.” I’m smiling. I don’t apologize for being opinionated. And I don’t attempt to hide the fact that when I’m giving you advice for making your online marketing more effective it’s because I know how. So, yeah, if you have thin skin, I’m not your guy.

email optin

[Pardon the interruption… Kristi Hines published a tremendous post on pop-up optin forms including examples, stats, case studies, tools, and way more, so if this subject interests you, see you soon. FYI, her posts are always intensely informative.]

Back to my story. I was a bit brash, I guess. So in the silence that ensued, I felt obliged to jump back in and explain. That went like this:



I Am What I Am: Personal Branding Tips from Michael Hyatt and Me

personal branding tips

You. Me. Michael Hyatt. Popeye.

Perhaps we don’t have that much in common. Ah, but we do. Personal brands are we. Our agendas may differ—better job, more clients, book sales, or (your goal here)—but we seek the same things: recognition, respect, influence and success.

You, my friend, are a brand.

A photographer. Life coach. Presentation expert. Alternative energy entrepreneur. Website developer. Skin care clinician. These are six simplified profiles of clients who have hired me recently to help them create more effective online marketing by developing their personal brand.

This is no trend. It’s social media, publishing, marketing, sales, work, play, passion and everything you read about all rolled into one.

I realize now it’s what I’ve been doing (and sometimes struggling with) since I went to work for myself. Or is it? It’s probably more accurate to say it’s what I’ve been doing since my bar mitzvah—defining the man I am.

With that in mind, I submit to you personal branding is something you need to understand. It’s something you need to develop deliberately—even if what you’ve been doing and saying to this day has been largely accidental.

I’ve been thinking about you.

I’ve been thinking about me too. And I’ve been thinking about the professionals I mentioned above who have put their trust in me to feed ‘em the spinach they need to nourish their personal brands. There’s a lot to consider.

To learn more, I turned to some personal branding experts and bought some helpful books:

There’s a lot of great information in these books and each author offers tons of great advice via their blog.

I’ve found when I get in conversations about personal branding, Michael Hyatt’s name comes up a lot. A former publishing executive, Michael shares his wisdom via a blog, podcasts, videos, books, information products and speaking gigs.

As luck would have it, Michael was scheduled to speak at New Media Expo in January, where I was also headed to speak. I went to his session and gathered some great tips for getting started with personal branding. (more…)


5 Delusions that Derail Online Marketers

My friends, would you please welcome to The Point, a friend, amazing writer, and the 8th wonder of the web… 

Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing.

5 delusions

Is your online marketing going swimmingly?

Do you know exactly what to do to grow your business further?

Or do you sometimes despair when you think about all the opportunities you don’t have time for?

So many opportunities exist to market ourselves online.

And there’s so little time.

How do you keep sane when every guru says something different? And every expert tells you to try something new?

Below follow 5 common beliefs that might be sabotaging your success. Avoiding these pitfalls will help you stay on track, avoid dead end roads, and save your energy to have more fun. (more…)


What Do You Call the Most Effective Approach to Marketing?

collaborationToday a talented musical artist will release a new album. They sound fresh. They combined forms to create something original and compelling—as artists do.

In an effort to elevate the marketability of the music, someone is bound to label it a category you and I have never heard before. Maybe the best reference to the musical style is reggae. One of the musicians even has dreadlocks. The triggers are there so we have a starting place in which to file it.

But wait. It’s not reggae as we know it. It has a rap element to it. Best to call it reggae rap. Or do we call that hip-hop? Nah. That’s not new. Trip hip? Zip hop? iHop? eHop? Rock hop? Pop hop? Pop rock?

This isn’t working.

We do this in marketing.

The most effective approach to marketing isn’t advertising, or PR, or SEO, content marketing, inbound marketing, influencer marketing, email marketing, social media marketing or any (blank) marketing.

I’ll spare you the rest of the list of marketing categories. Place a noun before the word “marketing” and you have yourself a potential best seller. Pop Rock Marketing. It only sounds absurd for a moment.

But the most effective approach doesn’t go by any newfangled name. It’s simply marketing that emotionally connects your brand to enthusiastic supporters of it.

Let’s try to define the kind of marketing that actually works. (more…)


Storytelling Tips from the Roller Derby Queen

“Gonna’ tell you a story that you won't believe,
but I fell in love last Friday evenin'
with a girl I saw on a barroom T.V. screen”
 ~ Jim Croce, “Roller Derby Queen”

I suspect you’ve heard this before: people seldom remember what you said, but will remember how you made them feel.

Enter the art of storytelling.

storytelling lesson

Stories carry emotional impact.

Whether you’re writing a blog post, giving a presentation, or delivering any sort of content in any forum, you want to strum on the heartstrings of your audience.

Stories get it done.

Many of the great songwriters manage to pull it off in just three or four minutes of narrative. Jim Croce was one of the greats, a master storyteller. Many of his biggest hits hit you in the heart with stories rich in characters: Operator, You Don’t Mess Around with Jim, Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Workin’ at the Carwash Blues.

I was playing Croce’s tunes and got lost in the funny story in “Roller Derby Queen.” After, as I often do, I got out my guitar and played my sad imitation of the original and it got me thinking how well Croce tees up the story and takes advantage of so many of the elements of storytelling in just one line, the opening line.

I say we examine his first line and toss around some of the ideas that serve as great storytelling tips. (more…)


Marketing Insights for Short Attention Spans


Marketing Experts Reveal What the Future Holds

Is marketing the same thing as advertising?

Michael Brenner - future of marketingMarketing expert Michael Brenner (SAP, Business2Community, B2B Marketing Insider) just published a great eBook titled, “The B2B Marketing Insider’s Future of Marketing Series.” In its introduction, Michael writes, “Most people think marketing is the same thing as advertising.”

Do you?

Michael writes…

“To me, it has always been about helping the buyer on their journey through customer-focused communication. Now social media networks and mobile internet access are making content the hot new thing in marketing. Content our customers want. Content our customers can consume whenever and wherever they want. 

This was my prediction about the future of marketing. That the truly “social business” will use all of its employee resources to communicate with buyers, customers, partners and potential future employees. And marketing can play the leading role in helping us make this transition.”

Then, he asks the experts. Here are the insights they provided.


Click to Convert: Why People Do and Don’t Click Your Links

click iconIn online marketing, clicks are a currency. We bank on making it happen and we’re busted when it doesn’t. This thing many call the sales funnel or buying cycle is often largely a series of pick, point and click decisions. It stands to reason, becoming a more effective online marketer calls for getting our heads around reasons why people click links and buttons.

Let’s examine the critical clickable items your prospects will come across on your site and interaction points around the web. I’ll share examples where online marketers demonstrate a keen understanding of “clickology” and offer pointers to help you increase click-to-convert responses. (more…)


Build Authority to Build Your Audience and Brand Recognition [featuring Prezi]

Thought leadership: the term’s become inescapable in marketing circles. You might have read my article, “7 Things Thought Leaders Don’t Think.” It invoked a lot “hell yeahs” here at our blog, The Point, but caused a bit of a commotion in a LinkedIn group where I apparently teed-off a few thought leaders (or wanna-be’s). For the record, I want to make my position clear:

I do not have an anti-thought leadership stance.
My aim was to say that calling yourself one is a turnoff. 

Striving to be a thought leader is a solid marketing strategy.

By building authority in your industry and earning recognition as an expert (especially from those with influential voices), you’ll effectively expand your audience. More—and greater—opportunities will follow.

The strategy surfaces more often than ever before for a couple of reasons. One, this is the age of specialization. Identifying and pursuing a niche can be a highly effective way to speed your path to success. Secondly, marketers, personal branders, or anyone aiming to establish a reputation as an expert, has more chances to do so. The publishing doors have all swung wide open. If you have advice and innovative ideas to share on your subject, nothing should stand in your way. The web is yours. Start publishing.