Marketing for the Real World

Recently on LinkedIn, I read an article by Joe Pulizzi, founder at Content Marketing Institute.  Apparently he has been reading what I’ve been writing about.  He discusses 10 new jobs in the marketing department.  However, we all know, those aren’t real jobs, just new hats that each marketing person is going to have to wear.

Not surprising to me the first position he discuss is Content Manager!  Of course, he does specialize in consulting on Content Management so I guess it makes sense that he is going to focus on this area.  The important thing is that he reiterates many of the ideas we’ve discussed;

  1. Companies must develop content that will create an emotional connection with their customers.
  2. These stories need to be consistent and make sense.  One of the reasons it is important to have a content manager.
  3. Content needs to be planned out to highlight products or services at the premium point.

Check out Mr. Pulizzi’s article on 10 Marketing Roles for the Next 10 Years.  If you aren’t interested in managing all these roles yourself consider working with a professional consultant who is available as much or little as your organization needs.  A2DM can provide marketing expertise that covers all the necessary hats.

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How do the cogs in the lock work for your organization’s marketing plan? Are they lining up for success or are you missing on each rotation.

Indispensable Marketing

Whenever someone who is successful speaks about their success and growing their business, they’re some in the crowd who seem to get it. But they don’t. Not really. They falsely believe that it’s because of one thing or one move. They think that it must be because of their Twitter profile, or Facebook Fan page, or Google+ account, that’s the reason for their success. And it’s NEVER just one thing or move.

The truth is success and growing your business is always a combination of things working together, never just one thing. When you think about a combination lock. It’s a lock where a sequence of numbers or symbols must work together, in order for you to successfully open the lock. And so this notion of the cookie cutter, the “one thing” success, is fake. Success is always achieved when it’s a combination of things working together and it’s always fake when the thinking is it’s just…

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Additional thoughts from others on content management. This is probably the biggest issue in digital marketing. Getting good content in front of receptive customers.

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KillerContent

There are amazing businesses and brands producing amazing content every day. This post will give props to BMW and specifically a concept vehicle rendering they recently created for Eli, a 4-year-old fan of the brand.

What they did

This was an amazing case of BMW listening, identifying an opportunity, and responding accordingly.

Jalopnik, a popular automotive and automotive lifestyle blog, recently posted an article about Eli, a 4-year-old nephew of a dedicated reader, and the incredibly imaginative details about his dream car. The car was to be a BMW, have 42 wheels and be 42 wheel drive, be powered by 19 Porsche engines, and have 3 steering wheels, to list a few of the features… oh, and the trunk was to be filled with toys so you can play in it. The article can be found here.

BMW, recognizing this as an amazing opportunity to make the vision…

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For those of you who are interested in the humor surrounding digital marketing, this is an excellent site.

HAPPe HOUR

Do you Cyberloaf? Well if you are reading this blog post at work then you just may be. Cyberloafing, defined as wasting time at work online, can take up as much as 80 percent of the time people spend online at work – according to a Kansas State study. Some marketers take advantage of this trend and target messages specifically between 9-to-5, think Cyber Monday. Now stop reading this and get back to work!

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Social Media Content

There is a quote that I remember when ever I’m writing information for customers.

Every two days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.

This comment was made in 2010 by Eric Schmidt, President of Google at the time. In 2008, Facebook surpassed MySpace as the dominant social media site. Then we entered the realm of “smartphones” and everyone could be connected constantly, there was no longer a need to sit at a desk connected to a large computer system. Those days were over and everyone became a publisher.

  • Videos – 48 hours of Video uploaded every minute and YouTube receives 3 billion views per day
  • Photos – 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day
  • Twitter – 200 million tweets per day
  • Email – Over 100 trillion emails a year or more than 300 billion emails a day
  • Text in 2011 – more than 7 trillion

This doesn’t mean all the content out there is high quality.  In fact the estimate from the Digital Marketing Association is that 89% of all emails are spam.  This requires business owners to write content that engages customers through a tidal wave of information coming at them.  How do we reach those customers?   What gets these customers to react positively to the information?

Know the Customer

Sounds pretty simple.  Most businesses do this all the time.  However in engaging with digital marketing are you sending the same message to prospects and existing customers?  Does this serve that customer effectively?   Capture information when the customer engages and spend time to cater to each customer when contacting them.  A database can customize the digital message you are sending to your customers and make certain the information they get is pertinent to their needs.  Your business does NOT want to become part of the spam tidal wave hitting that customer.

Know the Solution

It is necessary to understand the solutions provided by your business for customers. Make certain when engaging customers you are identifying these solutions relative to the customer’s need. The digital message gives you an opportunity to sit face to face with your customer, a few hundred or thousand at a time. The content in this message should relay the same solutions you would use to engage that customer if they were sitting in front of you.

Track Results

When we are face to face with a customer we can often read the outcome. Just like working face to face with customers, we don’t expect to receive immediate results, sometimes it will take several contacts. When sending a digital message provide identification so you know the customer has received the message. This provides evaluation of results. Allows us to identify which messages are received. From this we are able to fine tune our digital marketing and improve our engagement with customers.

If your organization does not have the resources to commit consider hiring a consultant who can work within your budget to deliver these advantages. A2DM can provide an assessment and offer solution alternatives within your budget that can provide the digital message you need to fully engage customers.

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Social Media Advantages

Frequently it is suggested that small businesses consider utilizing more online services, such as social media, to promote their business. Even I talked about the value of spending time promoting your business through social media.  However, I don’t frequently see any guidance on how to do it, only why it is important. So what is the extra value that social media can provide that nothing else does – well, nothing.

Social media is simply an additional tool in your arsenal to increase business. The company must also have superb customer service, excellent communication, and an outstanding product.  If you don’t have the human touch, no amount of digital marketing will change the course of your business.  There is a local company that I frequent who is experiencing growth based on these attributes as well as their commitment to social media promotion. Cookies on Demand‘s owner faithfully updates her Facebook site every day.  However, what gets you in the door is the cute space (an old bank, complete with vault), a pleasant smile and friendly voice as you walk in, and then these FABULOUS cookies made fresh every day.

  • IF those cookies weren’t incredible, no one would consider going back.
  • IF you were scowled at, or not greeted – you might go back for the best cookies you ever had, but then again, it could be enough to deter you.  Maybe keep you from driving out of your way, only go when you were in the neighborhood.
  • IF the location was dirty, dreary, untidy, or otherwise, unappealing it could affect frequency of return visits.  Most customers don’t go to businesses that are dirty, cluttered, smell musty, or in other ways unappealing.  They understand if you are running a construction business there will be dirt tracked in.  But, there is no reason for it to be left there for days, for cobwebs in the corners, dead bugs on window sills, dust on counters, etc.

BUT if you have these attributes in place, then further engage customers through social media.  Provide informative how to’s, entice them with appetizing photography and descriptions, offer special discounts, and grow connections through interrelationships.  It is possible to increase the loyalty of customer’s through these social media engagements.  For specific ideas you can read IT Business Edge and implement one or two of their suggestions, get online and see what your competition is doing, or call A2DM to provide an analysis and suggestions to increase your digital advantage.

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Business Analytics

Is data weighing you down or setting you free? As a small to midsize business facing daunting competitive pressures and limited resources, if you’re not extracting all the value you can from the data you collect, then you’re at a critical disadvantage.

It boils down to this:

Business analytics is essential to using data to optimize performance and achieve a sustainable competitive edge. 

Read this report provided by SAS to find out ways business analytics could help you identify your best customers, accelerate product innovation, and improve financial performance.  Or you can contact A2DM to provide an assessment and offer solution alternatives that will fit within your budget while still delivering business analytics that will help you achieve a competitive advantage.

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