Small Business Marketing Strategy & Process Development

Posts Tagged "marketing"

Do You Need Technology for Content Marketing?

on June 15 in Content Marketing, Small Business | 0 comments

In this post, we address whether you–as a small business owner–need technology for content marketing. Technology here refers to marketing automation software or a platform. You may or may not need a big technology investment to support your content efforts.  This is one of our Business Breakdown posts. We break down a marketing headline, explaining who it’s intended for and what it means to you as a U.S.-based small business owner, microbusiness owner, SOHO, or sole proprietor. The Source “How Tech Can Help B2Bs Elevate Content Efficiency” from Emarketer.com The Details about Technology for Content Marketing “Nearly eight in 10 B2B marketing professionals worldwide used website analytics tools, the top response, and about three-quarters leveraged No. 2 marketing automation solutions. In comparison, just over three in 10 used collaboration or project management platforms to coordinate and track such efforts.” (Q2 2015 polling by Starfleet Media) The Audience and Participants For international marketers in B2B companies. We don’t know how many companies participated in the studies. We don’t know the sizes of the companies surveyed, either. The Purpose To show how inefficient content marketing can be. To show the gap in technology use. Project management software or a content-marketing platform, for example. The conclusion is the ineffiency is caused by the lack of tools or too many tools. The solution for B2B marketers is technology for content marketing–and more specifically a platform. What You Need to Know As a small business owner, microbusiness owner, SOHO, or sole proprietor, know this:  1. If you’re going to produce or curate content, measure it. Chances are, you already have Google Analytics. Use it. You need that technology for content marketing at a minimum. And to know what to measure, too. (Update: Buffer has an awesome blog post about using GA more effectively and what to measure.) 2. Have a defined process for measuring and what you do with the data. Having a data-driven culture helps too. If all that sounds overwhelming, my associates and I can help. 3. Don’t take on too many technology tools. More to manage, more expense. Not always more results. Technology for technology’s sake is not smart. Unless you can afford to have technology as hobby. 4. Automation may or may not be your best bet. Before you rush out and...

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Someone Has to Be the CMO

on July 26 in Small Business, Soapbox, The Office | 1 comment

Many small businesses or even mid-to-large-sized businesses with geographic dispersion have marketing people in-house or at least marketing-minded employees, whether at the top or within the company’s ranks.  But oftentimes, there’s not a dedicated, experienced resource at the C-level.  The lack of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or equivalent leadership role often results in a task-based approach to marketing, which means energy and resources can get expended based on assumptions, whims, and good sales pitches vs. data, analysis, and strategic goals.  The result?  Unknown value and potential waste of profits. For every company, it may not be feasible to bring in a marketer at this level and caliber; the costs of an executive search alone could be more than what is usually allocated in a market budget!  Bringing in an outside firm is also not always a smart economic investment.  So what is the internal champion of strategic marketing to do? My advice is find an ally–someone you trust who knows what questions to ask to put the potential for a marketing strategy into perspective, can help that get traction within the organization, and will assist with implementation at a cost in line with expected outcomes.  Large companies know that, for effective marketing results, there has to be a CMO at the helm; in small business, someone has to be the CMO (even if acting or undercover) so it might as well be you. Ready for your new role?  Let’s talk.  ...

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How Big Banks Are Blowing It

on March 17 in Soapbox | 4 comments

During the Q&A session of Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk last night, one guy brought up his annoyance with the bank tellers (at Wells Fargo) asking him questions about himself and making small talk. I forget the exact question but Gary’s response was that this is an annoying experience because it isn’t authentic. They want a piece of data about you so they can send you a promotion. And we know that because we have a strong BS meter.  I didn’t realize it at The Thank You Economy book signing* because there was so much to take in, but earlier that day, I was at Bank of America and the teller was making conversation with me.  I remember thinking, This is a little unusual and awkward. Especially the point where—during my funds transfer—she said, “Oh you have a business account with Bank of Arizona?”  While I only said yes in response, I’m thinking: Yes, because I like to bank locally.  I’m a member of Local First Arizona. I don’t like large institutions and the only reason my account is here is because you sold me a HELOC when I needed it and didn’t know the importance of supporting local business. But I digress . . . The point being, I noticed the woman next to me was completely unresponsive to her teller’s questions about the weather, weekend plans, etc.  So, this guy at the reading is not alone.  Maybe in some weird collective-executive imagination this is the banks’ way of trying to compete with social media.  Maybe they’re thinking: We’re going to be social for real. We’re going to build relationships with everyone who comes in–in person! What could be better than that? But it feels prescribed.  It’s like managers at the large national banks have given the directive “talk to customers, be their friend, and find out what makes them tick.”  The thing is, they can’t be my friend. A friend would hold onto my money and not charge me if I asked for it back. Period. Among other things.  Because I’m a data person, I wonder if Bank of America will start to see more people using ATMs in response to this “personalized service approach” or whatever they’re calling it in-house.  (You know it’s...

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Evaluating a Marketing Person: Criterion #1

on September 3 in B-to-B | 0 comments

Criterion # 1: Sufficient Experience . . . As Evidenced by LinkedIn (or other professional online network) Background: I get asked sometimes by friends (even those who have made hiring mistakes in the past) about how they can “screen” an independent contractor or small marketing agency based on its leadership and what to look for.  This is the first in a series of  posts providing an answer to the questions: “How can I evaluate a marketing person (independent consultant or contractor) to help achieve my small business goals?” and “How can I be assured that I am engaging a qualified professional?” About the Criterion: Look at past and current titles as well as dates of employment listed and duties performed to see if the individual has held positions in marketing that are aligned with the services they are offering and you are requesting.   Consider the collective marketing experience and level of responsibility for results as well as accomplishments. Serious Red Flags: No previous work experience within one or more marketing departments or agencies Only one prior position in a marketing department and/or agency, especially if for a limited period of time, before going independent No recommendations directly related to marketing work or positions More Causes for Concern: Recommendations not related to the type of marketing services you are seeking The website links provided are broken or point to parked or expired domains A summary lists evidence of leadership and experience but no former positions (with dates) are provided as support No prior companies listed except the current marketing business A summary that provides ambiguous company goals All prior experience in an industry other than marketing Profile cites age and/or founding a company as an indicator of marketing expertise No actual marketing results/outcomes provided in recommendations or work detail If you have had experience with evaluating expertise using LinkedIn or another professional network profile, please share your stories.   (Future posts to address other criteria and evaluation methods; stay...

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