The Essentials of Marketing Automation
Nov19

The Essentials of Marketing Automation

In early October, I moderated a panel at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum in Boston.  The panel included William Toll, Lori Cohen and David Karp. Despite all the hype many people are still trying to figure out where marketing automation fits into their mix. Here are the slides. The Essentials of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses from Frank Days Thanks to @marketingprofs, Ann Handley and Kathy Bushman for the opportunity....

Read More

Seven things a blog post is not…

A direct response marketing program – This means we need to avoid the urge to include conversation stopping things like hyperbole, canned benefits statements and a call to action.  Few things shut down a blog conversations faster than “act before Friday…” or some other type of offer. A press release – PR teams have a very specific role as the “official voice” of the organization for the media and other third parties.  This typically means speaking of your organization in the third person.  In contrast, effective blogging works in the first and second person as you would in a conversation.  This also invites comments, both positive and negative.   An email substitute – Just because your house email list is losing its pop doesn’t mean you can blindly move your promotions to your blog.  Blogs with no obvious value to your audience are spam.  You need to get beyond the facts and tell me something new, fresh or surprising. A case study – Blogs are great for telling stories but again think in the first and second person rather than the third person.  You have to interview your customer for the case study so why not take the time to capture the narrative as a Q&A or podcast? Buzz – You are not stupid.  You can see through it when there is no substance.  It is no secret that the best blogs are full of fresh content and interesting ideas. Why bother blogging at all if you have nothing new, original or real to share? Advertising – If you are a consistent blogger with a thoughtful SEO plan, you can crank up your pagerank and generate significant inbound traffic that can replace expensive paid media.  Again it starts with compelling content that your readers want to read, share and link to. Viral marketing – Sure a blog post can “go viral” and get shared broadly but you first need to create something your audience cares about and is worth sharing. – Mr. Tangyslice thanks you for joining us today and wonders which of these things you see most frequently and if he missed anything? Related articles: Top 8 Mistakes Of Blogger Newbs (davidrisley.com) The Power of Being Personal on Your Blog (problogger.net) 8 things I wish I knew before starting to blog...

Read More

A 21 day plan for creating your own Internet radio or TV show

Image via Wikipedia Wake up everybody. The age of plentiful bandwidth is here. This means a streaming radio show can sound like the host is sitting right next to you. Last summer I blogged about my learning from producing a couple of online radio shows.  I created this post as a follow roadmap to help you create your own show. My guess is that this is a new venture so I am a big advocate of testing new media programs in no-cost or low cost ways to prove the concept before “going big”. So how can we get from idea to fresh online radio show in an agile way? Here is my road map I used twice last summer and am currently employing as I produce a new show here at Novell. Strategy: Write a short creative brief – This should be no more than 3 pages. Remember that the show is the product not the document. Sell the idea to the most important stakeholders – You need buy-in but don’t try to sell everyone. The first show (ie “the pilot”) will be your best tool for convincing people to do more. Find an executive sponsor – This person can advise the team and protect the idea from the corporate T-cell types that challenge anything new or different. Your sponsor could also be a possibly be one of your first guests. Operational details Decide on a format – Will it be a panel? Will it be a one-on-one interview? Or a combination? Pick dates for your first three shows – Without a first show date, all you have is an idea. This creates a sense of urgency and catalyzes the team. Decide on frequency – My bias is towards weekly. Unless you have enough content, more than once a week is tough. On the other hand, less than once a week doesn’t give you the chance to develop a rhythm. Identify potential guests for your first three shows – The first shows won’t be perfect so you don’t need to call in all your markers to get  superstar guests. Save that for when you have worked out the kinks. Get all your technology straightened out. You don’t need much equipment these days to do radio but you do need someone who can plug it in and make sure it works seamlessly. TV/video has even more moving parts so plan accordingly. Figure out the streaming/hosting – Where will the show reside? There are a number of Internet radio stations to consider. You can also buy some bandwidth from a CDN and stay independent. Content Find a strong host – I...

Read More

23 social media things for your next software marketing announcement

In no particular order: Blog it Tweet it Digg it Stumble it Post in  LinkedIn groups Add to email signature Tweet it again later today Post to Facebook group(s)/fan page(s) Update your LinkedIn status Share in customer forums Reddit Create a one minute podcast for iTunes Record a one minute Webcam video for YouTube Upload your PPT to Slideshare Create a Friendfeed Get your blog listed on Technorati Tweet it tomorrow Update/create your Wikipedia page Post to vertical communities like Toolbox.com Ask friends to retweet Ask friends to “like” on Facebook Beg your favorite bloggers to mention Post picture from announcement party to Flickr I’m sure I missed some.  Any other...

Read More

Where does it go from here?

A number of recent conversations with clients and CMO friends have centered on what to try next in B2B marketing.  The conversations have gone something like this: “I’ve cut back PR because I just couldn’t justify the retainer.  Our traditional media buys are much smaller this year because the economy sucks.  We’re doing our one essential trade show this year and have killed the rest. We’re tweeting and have about 500 followers.  Most of my prospects and customers aren’t on Twitter. Our Facebook page has 250 friends but they are mostly employees, vendors and a small group of customers.  Despite alot of knob turning, our paid and organic search has reached a plateau.  And my sales team is complaining about the quality of the webinar and whitepaper leads…  What can I do?” Here are two cutting edge things that I have seen more progressive marketers testing: Social media lead generation – I know this may be heretical but try using social media to actively engage people.  People  are using one of the social media monitoring tools like Radian6, Scoutlabs or Trackur.  The obvious rules of social media apply (ie don’t be an idiot, be considerate, join the conversation, etc). Online Content Syndication – There are about 10-20 social media sites that have any traffic and really matter to the average B2B company.  Once you establish your presence on these sites, you can use tools like PingFM and Tubemogul as well as RSS feeds to push content.  The idea is to use tags based on your most important SEO keywords.  Again, I know this isn’t “joining the conversation” so you need to be actively monitoring things to participate and engage prospects. Can you suggest any others that I have missed? Also, for those of you didn’t get the 80’s one hit wonder reference in the post headline, here is the video for the song by the  bad Haircut 100.  Enjoy and stay...

Read More
Man can’t live on inbound marketing alone…
Sep10

Man can’t live on inbound marketing alone…

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the balance between inbound and outbound marketing.  I’m not a big fan of the term “inbound marketing” as it is largely a rehash of things that most online marketers discovered over the last 8-10 years.  Accountable and analytic marketers understand that: Most of the mass media and “push” techniques just aren’t as effective as they used to be a decade or two ago. People don’t like to be harassed by telemarketers. Shoppers are increasingly using the Web (including blogs and social media) to learn about your product or service. Prospects who engage with your business online are typically further along the purchasing process and are more likely to buy. These are all things that most of us have discovered empirically. In my opinion, the real challenge is figuring out if you can get enough from your online channels to fill the funnel and support your sales goals.  In many markets, a large percentage of people still use “old media” to learn about things.  For example, while over 10 million people still watch the nightly network news shows in the US, the more popular online TV shows have at best thousands of viewers.  I know, I know we can talk about audience targeting and specificity but differential is meaningful. While all trends are toward online media, most of us will exhaust our productive online opportunities and will need some “old media”push in our marketing mix.  To use an expression popular in the state of Maine, “you can’t get there from here.” We have businesses to run and sometimes we still need the sheer mass of eyeballs you can only get from “old media”. I know that change is upon us as print media and radio suffer through their painful corrections but they still have big, relevant audiences that we need to keep that in mind.  These channels are also not going away anytime soon.  My suggestion is to watch the numbers and be ruthless as you make media decisions understanding that most businesses need more than just online marketing (even if the customer acquisition costs are much higher offline).  At the end of the day, results matter more than channels. How much are you moving to online media?  Can you reach your goals this year with online...

Read More