The Point

Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Sep

Research Reveals Digital Marketers are Sleep Deprived & Unconfident

digital marketers

76% of marketers say marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50 years prior.

They say they’re confused, lost, unsure, ineffective or some variation there of.

When reading the research, from Adobe—which is colored by a large chunks of editorial—one might gather marketers don’t know what they’re doing. If that’s not fair, you could conclude marketers know what they’re doing, but don’t know if they should be doing it.

Seriously. That’s what I got. Read it and share your take.

Whatever your take, numbers are numbers. Here are the first few:

  • 48% of digital marketers feel highly proficient.
  • Just 40% think their marketing is effective.
  • How many strongly state their digital marketing is working? 9%.

Care to hand over your budget to these people?

Marketers can’t count sheep.

Proceed with caution. Here are more bone-chilling stats.

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Jul

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.

May

Call to Action: Tell Your Customers Where to Go

21 Pointers to Sharpen Your Website: Part 7

It sucks to be in advertising and before you even ask I’ll tell you why.  The marketing pundits of today (who I mostly like and respect) have tagged us crusty old advertising fossils as bad guys. We’re mad men. Con men. The more sensitive types may just call us liars.  And then, who’s the dirtiest rottenest of the liars? Copywriters, of course. Having been one of those for more years than I want to admit, it’s a wonder I sleep at night.

But don’t go turning your back on my profession quite so fast. We’re not so bad. Sometimes we are sincere. Sometimes we believe in the products we peddle. And sometimes we have good ideas.

My point is we’re not 100% full of it. Sometimes we call ‘em as we see ‘em. And sometimes the wisdom we came to be known for back in the days of newspapers and network television actually apply to online marketing.

Case in point is the thing us old word slingers call the “call to action.” It’s a good label. It’s a good thing. And if you decide to hear me out, it’s very possible you’ll go where I ask you to and do what I want you to do.

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Mar

Inbound Marketing Works: A Copywriter’s Success Story

I want to tell you a little success story. I’d like to help you understand the strategy that made it work. Additionally, I’d like to help you understand why the same strategy can be the most effective marketing tactic your company will ever take. In the process, I also want to share some powerful proof points with you, actual numbers, numbers that indicate traditional media-based advertising is a money pit compared to the goldmine that is inbound marketing.

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Feb

Understand Who Will Visit Your Website

21 Pointers to Sharpen Your Website: Part 2

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Prospect.

Prospect who?

Prospect who’s looking to solve a problem.

Ehnnn, that’s enough of that. There’s no punchline. In fact, if there’s a joke of any sort here, it may be on you.

Who will visit your site?
If I ask you this question, will you balk? It almost seems ridiculous to think you may not have an insightful and specific answer. But you may not—and it wouldn’t make you the least bit unique. So forgive me for saying so, but we’re not talking about a silly mistake. We’re talking about a serious one.

Without trivializing the conversation to a bad knock-knock joke, I have some form of this conversation nearly every day. My clients and new business prospects come a-calling on me to plan and write new websites for their businesses daily. The first questions I ask: “Who will be visiting your site?” 9 of 10 times I don’t get a specific answer. Ug. (more…)

Nov

How I Made a Twee-Shirt a Catalyst for Social Success

I was super excited to be going to BlogWorld. While I was there, my excitement only grew. I’m excited still.

Twitter handles all over me

What can I say? It was an exciting place to be. It seemed the 4,000-plus peeps there were just as excited as me. And why wouldn’t they be? This truly is an exciting time in the evolution of media and marketing. It doesn’t just feel like everything’s new. Everything is. And it didn’t just feel like the masses of new media masters who packed the LA convention center are shaping the future. They are.

What would I wear to such an important event?
Perhaps I’ve scored no macho man points with the subhead I just wrote, but I must admit, I put a lot of thought into this. I even invested a little time shopping and came home with some nice threads. I pegged my blogger brethren for the smart casual types, so I crafted a wardrobe I felt would do my personal brand justice—a humble balance of the classic and couture—if you will. Ultimately, however, I chose to wear a white t-shirt.

A few days before I’d get to stuffing my suitcase, I got a fun idea. Because I’ve become a cuckoo bird for Twitter and am all too often hypnotized by HootSuite past the midnight hour, I thought I’d collect as many @handles as I could by inviting the acquaintances I’d make at the show to write on my shirt.

Acting fast, I collected some blue birdie artwork, hit up my talented graphic designer buddy at Sightbox Studios to supply the technical skills I lack, bought iron-on transfer sheets, targeted Target for a couple of blank tees, and impressed upon the front of my shirt “I’m @feldmancreative – where u @?” The back revealed the bird’s hind feathers and asked “R U following me?”

All I needed now was a Sharpie. And, of course, the gumption to ask peeps to scribble their handles on my Hanes.

Can social media marketing be a shirt?

Maybe. Maybe not. I did 30 minutes or so of search engine surfing to gather the quintessential definition of “social media marketing,” then concluded I don’t really care how it’s defined. I do, of course, care very much about the role it plays in the media landscape of this cyberiffic century.

So let’s have a look at where my t-shirt helped take me…

It became a catalyst for connecting. My Tweet-Tee (I nicknamed it) gave me wings. What was a slightly awkward little ice breaker for the first few minutes became a confidence builder, a catalyst for making connections, and the starter for hundreds of conversations clocking in well above 140 characters.

It queued a lot of Qs. It’s twu. It’s twu. FAQs would include: So what do you do? Do you have a business card? Can I take your picture? Where’d you get that idea? One guy asked me if he could steal the idea to get dates. Crazy loon.

It motivated mentions. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, traveled with their e-devices and recharging units, and hit the hashtags harder than the free Heinekens offered at the evening networking parties. My $6 t-shirt got a number of @mentions, tweets, and retweets at #bweLA (where us bird-brained bloggers made 300 million impressions and counting).

It branded me. Is your brand your avatar? Logo? Voice? Promise? Personality? The experience? Sure. It’s these things and more. This shirt branded me at the expo. I saw and heard some attendees calling me “the t-shirt guy” and “the Twitter guy?” It’s good to get noticed. It’s great to be remembered.

It gave me attractive powers. I’m not saying I was or I am attractive (though you’re welcome to if you want). I’m saying my shirt attracted attention. I saw heads turn toward my ink-stained torso and eyeballs squinting left and right as I scurried by. Often, when I handed my marker to someone to write on me, little lines would form. My t-shirt was magnetic content!

It got me fans and followers. If it wasn’t for Facebook and Twitter, the previous sentence would sound awfully vain. But I don’t mean my silly shirt made me a rockstar. It made me new friends. This was my goal. Meet people. Make contacts. Some of my new friends are new media and marketing’s most respected leaders. And some people made me promise to call them about my copywriting and content creation services and you know I will.

What’s the number one benefit of social media marketing?
Survey says:  “The number one benefit of social media marketing is standing out in an increasingly noisy world.” The survey I quote here is the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, by Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner. The top five then goes on to include increased traffic; improved search rankings; new business partnerships; and generating qualified leads. I believe my t-shirt adventure did well against that list.

If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why oh why can’t I?
With or without birds, all kinds of people give their personal brand a little signature in the form of a fashion statement. Three of the speakers at BlogWorld come immediately to mind. Mari Smith, the charming author of “The New Relationship Marketing,” shared why turquoise tops have become a Smith staple. The Anti-Social Media Man, Jay Dolan, who’s branded a distinct look and voice to support his playful parodies of social media trends, has come to be recognized for his tattered red tie. Nice touch. And then there’s the well-known Junta Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, among other things, who’s attached orange to his logos, services, events, books, wardrobe and every last hyperlink across his popular blogs and websites.

You can do it too.
I’m not going to tell you what to wear. Nor will I suggest developing your personal brand requires wearing anything (don’t over-think that one). But I will tell you one of the many valuable lessons I learned at BlogWorld (some of them are soon to come in another article) is however valuable social media is for marketing, its most meaningful role is for connecting people. New media, old values. Think about it. How will you cut through the clutter? How will you make your point of view unique? Do you hope to connect with the best in your business? Would you like to start some conversation? Start here. Start now. And count me in.


Sep

Marketing would be so simple if people weren’t so complex.

“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.”

Credit that to Jeffrey Gitomer who bills himself as America’s #1 sales authority. It’s his trademarked mantra.

“People don’t want to be pitched to, marketed to or herded like cattle.”

Michael Stelzner gets the credit for this one. The line comes from his book, Launch, which deserves all kinds of credit for its helpful insights on 21st century marketing strategies. Both authors speak the truth, but it’s Stelzner’s Launch I want to tell you about.

So, people don’t want to be sold or pitched to. Translate: they don’t dig advertising. What do they want? Michael says they want:

  • Information
  • Answers
  • Access
  • Recognition

The author then adds, they want it all for FREE. C’mon now dude, I dropped $24.95 on this book because I thought it was going to help me learn how to sell my stuff. Why on earth would you tell me to give stuff away?

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME???!!!

It turns out Mike has some very good answers.

He quickly gets into that old trust issue. As it turns out, the vast majority of folks don’t trust marketing messages. Studies prove it. Grrrr. Back to an important conclusion of the study now…

It says people putting their trust in you, or your company, is actually more important than delivering great products and services. I want to argue with that, but I can’t. Can you? In fact, I believe I learned that a helluva long time ago. We all did. But it was convenient to forget.

Then, Michael introduces the idea upon which his book is based, “the elevation principle.” It’d be unfair to paraphrase it, so I’ll simply plagiarize, er, quote it:

The elevation principle is the process of meeting the core desires of prospects and customers by helping them solve their basic problems at no cost.

People want help.

Stelzner says your goal should be to help them solve their smaller problems and they’re more likely to call on you when their issues get bigger. It’s a big idea. It’s huge. And it’s the focus of the rest of the book (which I devoured very fast, highlighted, and read a second time).

Content is your fuel.

Michael created a metaphor he weaves throughout Launch based on rockets and propulsion and so forth. So it follows that fuel is all-important. And he introduces two kinds: primary fuel and the even-more-powerful, nuclear fuel. Both come from various forms of content you offer free to win your prospects’ trust. It’s trickier to produce the nuclear stuff. We could get into various fuel types here, but this is a blog post, not a book. If you’re still reading this article, you need to read Launch.

In it, he offers many great examples of both kinds of fuel, how to produce the stuff, and why your fuel wins the favor and trust of the netizens who consume them. I should also mention, Stelzner doesn’t come at it all from some far-removed place. He was an advertising scribe, then a white paper specialist, and then the creator of Social Media Examiner, one of the blogosphere’s most trusted sources.

We’ll stop on page 26.

Launch is a fun, informative read. It’s a book written to help you not only understand the rules of the game, but how to play by them and come out a winner. All of the notions I’ve offered you today come from chapter one where the author hammers home the point that marketers need to stop hunting down customers. People don’t like it and seldom respond. Your rocket launcher is based on trust. The goal for your website is to make it a place people want to visit because they learn valuable lessons. On page 26, Michael states your business must now attempt to shift the customer’s brainwaves away from “I’m being sold” to “I’m being educated.”

Maybe we’re not so complex after all.

Have you read Launch? Will you read Launch? Are you practicing the elevation principle? Have you figured out the secrets to winning your customers’ trust. Please share your ideas here.