When To Get a Marketing Consultant or hire a Marketing Professional So You Can Focus On Your Business
With an uncertain future, are you left wondering whether your business is confidently operating with skilled marketing consultants or professional/s in the right roles working for or inside your business?
“Nobody can really guarantee the future. The best we can do is size up the chances, calculate the risks involved, estimate our ability to deal with them and then make our plans with confidence”
Previously we discussed the reasons why you may wish to recruit a marketing professional as opposed to or as well as contracting; there may be a need to do so particularly for roles related to consolidating intellectual property within product development and also for efficiency within distribution and technical roles. Beyond this lies the more creative and strategic realm most suited to advertising and marketing consultants.
“The future belongs to the competent. It belongs to those who are very, very good at what they do. It does not belong to the well-meaning.”
With the help of external consultants, you can pick and choose from a pool of highly skilled marketing professionals to meet the specific needs of your business.
Product and services branding, for example, stems from your existing branding strategy and forms part of your product development processes, this function traditionally falls within the ambit of an internal Marketing Strategist or Product and Brand Manager capturing your brand identity, values and personality. However many small business simply don’t have these specialists in house due to lack of resources, hence making an external marketing consultant the most cost effective answer.
Captivate Your Audience
Brand communication, however, is a reflection of branding strategy and an external brand communication specialist who works closely with you foresees every vantage point where consumers encounter your brand and ensures every brand touchpoint builds your brand by being a memorable, positive experience. Using an external source for this task greatly increases the likelihood that this individual has worked across more and/or diverse branding portfolios and provides incomparable insight on customer perception.
Considering you already have a good understanding of your target market it would be useful to ‘hire a marketing contractor’ for promotion. A skilled marketing consultant or advertising professional will be able to captivate your audience with the correct mix of messaging and media and convince them to take action through a well-planned communication campaign, clearly differentiating your brand.
Consumers overdose daily on information relating to products and services through a myriad of marketing channels – television ads, blogs, websites and e-mail mailing lists, to name a few! These are all locations where clarity and consistency of your marketing content is critical.
Since media is increasingly fragmented, communications programs are more complicated and it is impossible to be an expert media strategist, social media expert; copywriter and so on! Using an external source such as a marketing consultant to assist with the production of these marketing materials you can select an expert in every field, with years of experience or simply hire a marketing agency with all of the required services under one roof.
If you’re still unsure about what to recruit for in-house and what to outsource, we are as willing as we are skilled in helping you to determine your best course of action.
Small to medium enterprises today are faced with the quandary of meeting the strategic and practical challenges of marketing their business.
This raises questions like – how do we meet our marketing requirements in the most cost effective manner with the most optimal outcome?
Do we really need to recruit a marketing professional, or can we meet these challenging demands by outsourcing to a marketing consultant or marketing agency?
The solution to these issues lies in knowing what roles you need filled, and then being smart about allocating them, i.e. do what you do best, and outsource the rest!
Today’s’ competitive marketing environment requires specialist knowledge for each marketing function, thus gone are the days of trying to fill these diverse tasks with a one size fits all marketing job description, and expecting a superhuman applicant to be able to do it all, although you may get many applicants claiming just that -the topic of how to recruit a real marketing professional and not get stuck with a ‘wannabe’ will be covered in the next few blogs.
The solution to these issues lies in knowing what roles you need filled, and then being smart about allocating them, i.e. do what you do best, and outsource the rest!
Every day, businesses and recruiters are searching for Marketing Managers, Marketing Strategists, Marketing Co-Ordinators. Like Shakespeare, you may be wondering, does ‘a rose by any other name smell as sweet?’ Or are there notable differences in the functionality of these marketing roles.
In reality, semantics are par for the course, both on the recruiter’s side and the job seekers side – what we are interested in, is adding value where it counts.
We know that when it comes to marketing recruitment it’s not simply about the position description, rather it is the experience, passion and creativity of the people selected to work for or beside you that make the difference for your business to stand out.
Recruitment of a marketing professional as part of your business might well be necessary if your internal marketing function does not have adequate support in areas like product (or service) development.
From concept development to market testing, are you confident that your product development process is comprehensive? What about pricing strategy, is your pricing reflective of the differing value segments in the market and how does the pricing of this component impact the rest of your portfolio? You will also need in-house management of distribution, someone who excels in familiarizing himself or herself with your target market and maximizes the opportunity of them accessing your product or service through a unique and convenient distribution channel.
Certain marketing functions such as media buying, web and social maintenance and updates, are well suited to be performed within your organization as are administrative and project management tasks. These functions lend themselves more easily to training, than the other more technical or creative marketing functions.
Outsourcing has many benefits, the most powerful being the agency’s capacity to demonstrate a new perspective about a product or service that those inside the company do not have.
Many of the remaining marketing activities that were once trying to be captured in an overzealous Marketing Manager or Marketing Strategist role description can actually be completed by a talented marketing consultancy or an advertising agency.
By choosing this option you will have access to a diverse range of individuals who are experts across all areas of marketing communication, ranging from integrated strategy to brand development, design and copy-writing and search engine marketing. Outsourcing has many benefits, the most powerful being the agency’s capacity to demonstrate a new perspective about a product or service that those inside the company do not have.
Maybe I have been experiencing self-delusion all these years but during this rainy weekend whilst catching up on all the TV programs I have missed, my bubble of idealism was painfully punctured, not just in relation to myself as a marketing consultant or in relation to consultants in other business disciplines but to people and consumers in general.
The sad truth was probably always there in the recesses of my mind, but my wishful self just kept suppressing the truth in the same way that we all suppress information that is likely to clash with our firm held beliefs or wishful thinking.
In 6 out of the 7 episodes (I couldn’t bear watch any more) in Season 1, of “The Pitch” by AMC – the reality TV show about ad agencies pitching for new business, the client chooses not the strongest idea but the average idea that was presented in the slickest way. Interestingly, almost always, the agency that used video won the pitch! It seems that even seasoned marketers of big brands lack the strategic foresight and imagination to recognize brilliant positioning or the big campaign-able idea for their brand.
Presentation and Execution win over Strategy every time!
You can’t imagine the disappointment I felt when I was rudely awakened by the fact that Style beats Substance. Surely as a seasoned marketing consultant this is something that I should have known? Of course I did…but maybe my own knowledge and 20 years experience in the marketing industry, together with the knowledge of these 3 facts below, have been the very culprits that have clouded my mind and lulled me into a false sense of security:
Most clients in the small business arena lack marketing strategy,
Brilliant strategy is nothing without the execution and
Great marketing strategy allows a company to create an execution that will WOW the target audience
How could I have become complacent about the very essence of marketing communication when it comes to our own business, something that I repeat to every one of our clients, every day of the week, which is that humans are mostly creatures driven by feelings not rationality, making emotional decisions and then justifying them with logic!
Maybe like me, you love what you do, but remember to place enough emphasis on the execution part, especially during the sales or pitch process, the very process that gives us the professional service providers or consultants the opportunity and privilege to work with the client in the first place!
“The Pitch” is a show that once again highlighted to me the basic human need to see explicitly the “finished product” or the “end result”.
People simply don’t have the time, imagination and desire to work hard and turn that great idea into a great execution or result, they’d rather buy the idea that simply looks good and is ready to use!
That’s why a furnished house will beat an unfurnished one at an auction and why an average idea executed well will beat a great idea executed in an average way!
Of course my judgement about “The Pitch” is subjective and based on the footage shown to us as TV viewers, whereas in reality that is outside of ‘Reality TV’ there would have been other factors at play other than a competition of brilliant ideas. The size of the agencies, their personalities, passion, the clients perception about the agency’s ability to make their idea come to life, would have all played a role in the client’s decision.
A lesson for all professional services providers and consultants – have the great idea but make sure you execute it brilliantly to win the client!
My only consolation is that once the ideas are accepted and put into practice the brand needs both substance and style to get the target audience engaged and all things ‘executional’ being equal, the better idea will win, but that sort of comparison is rarely possible!
“Industry executives and analysts often mistakenly talk about strategy as if it were some kind of chess match. But in chess, you have just two opponents, each with identical resources, and with luck playing a minimal role. The real world is much more like a poker game, with multiple players trying to make the best of whatever hand fortune has dealt them.” – David Moschella
But in the end it all comes down to relationships, being liked and playing the hand you’ve been dealt. People buy from people they like. Tall sales people out-perform short sales people and being attractive is likely to swing the odds of a deal in your favour which means that the rest of us who are under 6′ and do not belong on the cover of a fashion magazine just need to work smarter.
When executed correctly, Content Marketing Strategy is the best form of win-win persuasion. Here are the 4 critical steps to implementation:
1. Make Your Content Marketing Unique and Persuasive
To be successful, your customers must understand the benefit to them when they choose you over someone else. Therefore, the most critical element of successful Content Marketing Strategy is developing useful and engaging content that provides appropriate, unique and convincing messages for your target audience. 
2. Develop Content that is easily shareable by your target audience
Ideally, this content is present within an inbound content destination (Website, Blog, Facebook Page, YouTube Channel, etc.), which successfully answers your customers’ key questions. It does not directly promote your products, but it invites your visitors to explore your solutions ‘no strings attached’. 
Your Content Marketing Strategy must have flexible content delivery options to suit the end users’ preferred format. Kraft is an absolute success story when considering openness to new opportunities and channel preferences. When Pinterest became popular, Kraft noticed users were actively sharing recipes and added a ‘Pin It’ button to the Kraft website to make it easier for users to share recipes, also creating their own ‘boards’ to share their thoughts with the audience.  Think electronic Word of Mouth Marketing – are you giving people a reason to talk about your products and services, and making it easier for that conversation to take place?
Another great case study is Volvo, whose brand identity wasn’t derived from its logo or product design; rather it was the constant stream of product reviews that published data on crash tests over time that formed the foundation for its brand. What other people subsequently said about Volvo created the meaning for their brand – Safety! 
Content Marketing Strategy is most effective when it facilitates ‘user generated content’ that is, having customers talk about your brand in the correct way and constantly engages with customers to contribute to this multi-channel ‘conversation’ to monitor and guide their customers’ perception and understanding.
3. Design Your Organisation to be focused on Helping Your Customers
Successful Content Marketing Strategy requires that your business’ culture has adapted to and embraced its importance, no longer yielding to the deeply held belief that marketing is required to promote your products. Your management team needs to understand why you need a Content Marketing Strategy and start to focus your organization on helping your customers. 
4. Define Content Marketing Success Measures
Finally, to know if you are being successful with your Content Marketing Strategy you must be able to define your measures of success, and then apply them! For example;
- How many early stage search terms drive traffic to your site (thus determining if you are answering your customers’ most important questions)?
- How many leads are generated from inbound (vs. outbound) sources?
- How much early stage content are you producing and how well does your target audience connect with this? 
Here are 2 tools that can assist you in making sure your Content Marketing Strategy is on track:
- Inbound Marketing Traffic and Leads Calculator
- One Page Online Marketing Action Plan
 “5 Traits All Successful Content Marketers Share – Copyblogger”
 “What Is A Content Strategy And Why Do You Need It? – Forbes”
 “Successful Content Marketing in Action – Forbes”
The internet, social and mobile revolutions have completely altered the state of play in how we all connect – there is now a seamless flow of instant information.
No longer is the impression of your business driven by a singular marketing pitch or ad, your business is constantly exposed to an evolving audience. You need a Content Marketing Strategy to ensure your messaging and channel usage makes you visible and relevant amidst the ‘noise’ of the market.
Content Marketing Strategy requires that you know who your customers are, where they are in the buying process and what kinds of content and channel they prefer. It defines a targeted marketing method for each market segment, and then determines the correct resources to produce a consistent stream of relevant content mapped according to their needs. This is a complete change to the nature of marketing from the traditional linear marketing approach, which just isn’t as effective as it used to be. 
Content Marketing Strategy drives content development efficiency because it outlines the relevant tone…
Content Marketing Strategy ensures your content is engaging and relevant according to each customer type and it maintains consistency in messaging. Your customers will have an optimal information search experience because each market segment will have individual content paths created maximizing conversion rates (the conversion rate being the percentage of visitors to a website who take a specific action beyond a website visit, as a result of subtle or direct requests from marketers or content creators) as your content will be highly relevant.
…create greater customer loyalty and retention through customer education as early as possible in the buying process.
Content Marketing Strategy drives content development efficiency because it outlines the relevant tone, theme and structure of information as well as how content should be used over time so you are not constantly trying to reinvent the wheel. Ideally content should be produced only if it can be re-used, e.g. turning a blog post into a video or a series of tweets, or an e-book. 
The overall aim of Content Marketing Strategy is to create greater customer loyalty and retention through customer education as early as possible in the buying process.
However, incrementally the implementation of Content Marketing Strategy could well rescue marketing for your business because it forces you understand your customers, the stages of your buying process, your channel effectiveness and your business environment. It is the customer’s advocate for content within your business.
 “What Is A Content Strategy And Why Do You Need It? – Forbes”
 “Will Content Strategy Save Marketing? – B2B Marketing Insider”
A Content Marketing Strategy is “the mindset, culture and approach to delivering your customer’s information needs in all the places they are searching for it, across each stage of the buying process…. a strategic approach to managing content as an asset with a quantifiable ROI” 
Prospects across all service categories are increasingly more selective about making purchase decisions. Therefore the information they require must meet these high expectations in order for businesses to remain competitive and to attract and retain a loyal customer base.
Adding another layer of complexity to this is each market segment requiring a specific delivery channel. This is the plight of Content Marketing. To maintain a competitive advantage in today’s business environment, businesses need to provide relevant, and timely content to their target audience.
“Content Marketing – creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”  Such practice within an organization needs to be embedded within the business culture, so that every piece of material produced has a purpose and meaning, this is the aim of a Content Marketing Strategy. This strategy ensures a consistent methodology of content planning, creation and delivery. It is a repeatable system that governs the entire editorial content development process. 
Traditional marketing has often been about business promotion, however Content Marketing is about the customer and what their wants and needs are, and providing them with information which is truly relevant and helpful. The Content Marketing Strategy ensures that your customers are at the center of everything you do, it is the why and the how and Content Marketing is what you actually deliver. 
Whilst the end point of a Content Marketing Strategy seeks to drive customer loyalty to then increase sales and profit, it is not the primary goal. Content Marketing Strategy seeks to ensure your intellectual property is presented to your target audience in a way in which they feel their information needs are being met and the correct internal narrative they associate with your brand resonates with them long after they have been directly engaging with your product, service or marketing channel/s.
 “What Is A Content Strategy And Why Do You Need It? – Forbes”
Think before you type – Social media can land you in Hot Water!
by Sharon Givoni
A recent legal stoush between two well-known Australian swimwear labels over photographs and comments posted on Facebook serves as an important reminder to people in business of the dangers of using social media when making comments about other businesses. What happened in the case?
Leah Madden is Principal of White Sands. She discovered what she thought to be a “rip off” of some items in her 2009 “Shipwrecked” swimwear collection. She posted an album on her Facebook page entitled “The most sincere form of flattery?”. The postings featured several side-by-side comparison shots of models wearing White Sands and Seafolly swimwear respectively and below the images Madden inserted descriptions such as: “White Sands 2009-Seafolly 2010”. She embellished the images with comments such as:
- “Seriously, almost an entire line-line ripoff of my Shipwrecked collection.”
- “I know, the buyer from ‘sunburn’ (who, as it turns out, works for seafolly) Came to my suite at RAFW and photographed every one of these styles.”
- “Ripping off is always going to happen, but sending in a dummy ‘buyer’ to get photos is super sneaky!”
The Facebook statements were read by many people, and elicited quite a response. People said:
- “Nasty! Shame on ’em! Won’t be buying Seafolly. WHITESANDS all the way. X”
- “Seafolly own everything! Sunburn, miraclesuit and gottex and they used to own jets but sold it recently! And unfortunately they do rip off everyone, they have copied a design 2 chillies has been doing for years! A little frilly triangle, its so bad!”
- “Disgusting! How people look at themselves in the mirror is beyond me.”
Madden then sent emails to media outlets also using the same words “The most sincere form of flattery?” in the subject line of each email.
Responses from readers included
- “This sort of thing is happening ALL the time. Large corporations no longer have ‘designers’ but ‘product developers’ that source indie designs, copy and mass produce them.”
- “Yeah right Seafolly – you really expect us to believe this garbage?…”
What did Seafolly do? In response, Seafolly circulated a press release heavily denying the allegations of copying. It was able to show that it had already had the designs in the marketplace before White Sands. White Sands responded by stating that it had never specifically accused Seafolly of plagiarism.
However, from Seafolly’s perspective the allegation of copying was clearly implied. It needed to set the matter straight and it issued legal proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia. Seafolly alleged:
- Misleading and deceptive conduct (in relation to Madden’s emails to the press)
- Injurious falsehood (namely, that Madden’s comments and posts had caused damage to Seafolly’s reputation and thus economic loss) and
- Copyright infringement (as White Sands had reproduced Seafolly’s swimwear photos online without permission).
Madden argued that she had only expressed an “opinion” – not a statement of fact so it should have been alright. The judge disagreed. Madden also argued that she was not making the comments in “trade and commerce” so the misleading and deceptive provisions did not apply. Again, the judge disagreed as the setting was clearly in a competitive context. He found that Madden’s comments were “a serious assault on Seafolly’s business integrity”.
Seafolly’s CEO agreed (of course!). He commented that in “this day of internet, where things go viral” once things are released into the “public space, no amount of logical reasoning actually matters”. “…Once she put that up there, I was finished anyway… the damage had been done.”
Ultimately Seafolly succeeded in its arguments concerning misleading and deceptive conduct. White Sands was ordered by the court to pay Seafolly damages in the sum of $25,000 and Seafolly’s costs of the court application.
However, in reality, no-one really won. The public airing of their “catfight”, led to both companies attracting some level of negative publicity. One headline state: “Swimwear designer ‘malicious’ against rival” and, “Court slams small designer for falsely accusing bikini maker Seafolly of ripping her off.”
Tips for commenting in Social Media
- Think before you speak (or at least think before you type, especially when it comes to social media).
- Just because you do not expressly say something, if you imply it, that can be just as bad, legally speaking.
- Posting things on social media sites may be considered “in trade and commerce”, especially if you mention your competitors and could be deemed misleading.
Disclaimer – The contents of this article do not replace tailored legal advice
*Sharon Givoni is an intellectual property lawyer with 16 years and has clients across all industries.
From a Marketing Consultant’s Perspective…
Yesterday I read possibly the best and worst article about LinkedIn.
Here is the article that made me so happy and then half way through as frustrated as I ever get. So in today’s world where Content Marketing is king, and Inbound Marketing rules, what’s one to do but take to the keyboard and vent one’s disappointment? Well that’s only a part of it, as a marketing consultant and one that also provides LinkedIn training to clients, I know that I have to deliver some solutions to our valued clients, prospects and colleagues.
In summary, the first half of the article promotes all of the amazing benefits that can be gained by correctly using LinkedIn. However the reasons given by the author as to the prospective “decline” of the medium are more of an indication to the author’s own lack of strategy to deal with the so called “information overload”.
On the other hand, assuming that there is a slight possibility that the author’s predictions turn out to be correct and people begin to leave LinkedIn for greener social media pastures, this will actually mean that those that are left and are truly using this social medium correctly to their own advantage, will have an easier time of it!
Here are the 9 problems mentioned in the article and my recommendations on how to best overcome them, after all problems are just challenges that have not been solved satisfactorily!
Problem 1: The dinosaurs have arrived in droves
• Late adopters are joining
• They won’t last as they have no idea of what to do
How exactly does this pose a problem I am not sure!
• There are plenty of users who value LinkedIn and use it correctly
• Dinosaurs who use faxes and rely on their PA’s will as dinosaurs tend to do, die out. They are probably not the type of people YOU should be targeting or networking with anyway.
Problem 2: Information Overload
• Too much going on, profile changes, updates, group notifications, etc
• There are simple technical things you can do to control what you see on your Home page
• There is a way to control how often you get your Group Digest if at all!
• Most importantly you need a strategy as well as discipline that will provide focus of what you should pay attention to and what to ignore. It is no different to managing your email, which by the way most of us could improve tenfold!
Problem 3: Quality of information in many areas is poor and incorrect
• user generated content is LinkedIn’s best friend and enemy
• That can be said about Social Media in general
• Again becoming more astute about what to read and how to do your ‘due diligence’ on the validity of content is something that I have no doubt will be a growing area of education for marketers, journalists, students and consumers in general! Welcome to the new world!
Problem 4: Groups are poor
• Self-promotion, useless posts, and ‘quick hit’ requests are common, ie: “I’m selling this – want one?”
• the author even suggests turning off group notifications
• True, many groups can be poor, some are not with very strict posting guidelines that are policed
• Don’t join 50 groups as the author rightly observes some tend to do
• Take the online etiquette / law into your own hands and “flag” discussions as inappropriate and they will be removed!
• As the author suggested ‘one’ solution himself, I don’t know why this was raised as a problem in the first place. My feeling is that “negative controversial headlines like “LinkedIn is becoming LinkedOut” was an exercise in PR and why not! It was successful!
Problem 5: News Updates
• The news feed is clogged up with 95% of jargon, irrelevant rants, promotional messages, rehashed articles, and recruiters posting the same jobs day in day out!
• There’s a lack of original thought or opinion
• Again I see no problem but a massive opportunity for those that have something to say that is worthwhile and can deliver their opinion in an engaging way! By being original and adding value to your network it will be easier to stand out in the “sea of sameness”!
• Firstly there’s a technical solution to decreasing the type of information you deem to be of no value
• You can also remove the offenders – that is dis-connect from them! and if you want to stay connected but don’t want to see their updates on your home page, you can click Hide when you move your cursor over the update.
Problem 6: User profiles BEWARE!
• “There’s an ex-employee who has a warrant outstanding for his arrest and yet he has a glowing profile”.
• Recommendations are biased.
• Genuine people remain without a competitive advantage. The liars look just as good.
• Actually quiet to the contrary I have read somewhere, I’m sure that someone in the recruitment industry who is a true professional will find this, that people in general tend to NOT “fib” on their LinkedIn profile as they would on their resume! After all the chance of “getting found out is a lot higher on social media”. Just a few weeks ago I met someone who was silly enough to make themselves out to be so much more important than they were! When I examined their LinkedIn profile I realised that they straight out lied about their level of seniority at a major corporate entity!
• Additionally the ability to see who this person in question has a ‘connection in common’ with me, allowed me to get feedback about them that I would have otherwise never received as I wouldn’t have even known who we have in common in the first place!
• LinkedIn RECOMMENDATIONS CAN BE BIASED but you also have to know HOW to read between the lines. It is only human to give a recommendation back when the person asks, and other times you have to do it for political reasons. This is the process I follow:
1) I refuse to give recommendations to people who’s work I have not experienced or am not sure about.
2) If I really have to recommend them I will never recommend their technical skills but talk about attitude and make the recommendation very general – nice guy! Like I said read between the lines! Good recruiters do!
• Finally, “genuine people”, by which I hope the author means people who have the best skills, will always have a competitive advantage if they firstly know themselves well enough to know what makes them unique (Branding 101) and can then eloquently communicate their point of difference! “Genuine people” who are talented, hard working and positive will always have more Recommendations than those trying to cover up with “smoke and mirrors”. An incompetent idiot is unlikely to get 20+ people recommending them! Keep in mind that Recommendations are like Testimonials, no-one ever puts a bad one on their website, however we all know that Testimonials still work and it is better to have more than less, when it comes to building credibility!
Problem 7: People shared in common aren’t so common and I am losing faith
• People don’t help random people just because you’re a LinkedIn connection.
• Yes they do!!! And if you want to know why, please connect to me! I know, blatant self promotion, but as all good content marketers know I needed an “in text call to action”!
• Ok, although I was serious, when I said connect to me, I will give away some more free advice! make sure that when you connect to someone you can actually become memorable by adding value to them right there and then! I have done it 3 times this week. Yes it can be labour intensive, but ask yourself why you are here on LinkedIn – to connect or network and networking is all about building relationships.
• Here’s a major clue about what I mean; make sure you ask for and accept introductions in a way that will add value and leave a positive perception with your new connection!
Problem 8: Diminishing value of connections
• It’s simply too easy to connect and this damages the value for everyone.
• LinkedIn should cap the number of connections and charge to connect. All of a sudden, users would think twice before connecting.
• I just don’t see it…maybe the author can explain to me, I will invite him to comment on this! 🙂
Problem 9: Recruiters will lose their competitive edge as more sign up for LinkedIn Recruiter
• Being on LinkedIn was more of an advantage a few years ago than now!
• We should all know that technology in today’s day and age is unlikely to provide you with a sustainable competitive advantage. Relationships with customers and prospects will!
• Technology will not make you a better listener or problem solver.
• Technology will not assist you in communicating with prospects so as to change what they think and feel about you and your organisation! That’s up to you and your marketing consultant, unfortunately if you can not afford one, one will not be appointed to you, although I am sure that most marketing consultants would love this idea in our common battle to eradicate bad business communication!
• There are so many problems (let’s be positive, I should say opportunities) most recruiters face when it comes to developing their brand and marketing in general, let alone using LinkedIn in a way that is optimal, I don’t even know where to start, but here is a link to a very detailed blog I wrote on the topic.
For a Free and No Obligation Discussion about your specific needs contact us today.
What are you going to do differently in 2013?
Checklist for New Year
The Mayans were wrong, we are all still here, your clients and prospects still need you, but
they are increasingly harder to communicate with; grabbing attention is more difficult and
keeping it is even harder.
Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is not only the definition of insanity but
it also means that today you will NOT get the same result, but one that is substantially worse
– you will be going backwards.
For your convenience we have prepared a summary of Hubspot’s 27-page Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2013 and one we have turned into a simple Marketing Action Plan Checklist.
1. Inbound Marketing (Get Found*, Convert, Analyse) will become more important and both
small and large enterprises are dedicating more of their budget to online / digital and away
from Outbound / Traditional Marketing.
*Get Found = Social Media+SEO+Blogs+PPC
- Do you have a costed Marketing Strategy Plan for the year?
- Have you established your KPI’s, e.g.: Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Sale
- Are you being found by enough new prospects?
- Are you getting enough referrals?
- Do you have a Referral Strategy?
2. Marketing Communication is moving away from Campaigns to Real Time Communication thanks to Social Media and immediacy of client expectations. Prospects are increasingly contacting / finding (Inbound Marketing) prospective suppliers / sellers and they want answers NOW! Technology will keep driving these changes with new widgets, gadgets, readers and scanners, RFID tags, and of course apps! Gamification will also grow as a marketing tool beyond product placement to improve the delivery of content in a more enjoyable way.
- Do you have all of your Social Media profiles set up correctly; do they reflect your
company and personal brand?
- Do you know which Social Media channels to focus on?
- Are you interacting with prospects and customers via Social Media?
- Do you have a Content Marketing Plan so that you can be “active and successful” on Social Media?
- Have you personally or your company carved out a niche that you are known for?
- See how we deliver Content Marketing for our clients
3. CRM and Unified View of the customer will become more and more important, and some
of the new systems are now integrating Social Media information for their client records.
- If you are thinking about these issues please give us a call. Choosing the CRM system
(or getting the most out of your existing one) is a minefield and we have access to a number
of world-class experts at qubePartners as well as our own team that can assist you.
4. Mobile Optimisation of Websites will keep growing and become a must have channel for
- Pretty easy to do depending on what your current website has been built in. Give us a
call and we can provide answers very quickly.
5. Social Media, Content Marketing and Off Page SEO will keep overlapping and merging
and On-Page SEO “tricks of the trade” will play a less important role. Social Search and User
Generated Content with Facebook’s and Google’s focus in this area will undoubtedly
make a big impact!
- Start treating these practices not as separate channels, but as one part of holistic
- Have a Content Marketing Plan for each of the channels and work out how they
should be integrated amongst each other and your website.
- Check out our website dedicated to LinkedIn Training and Consulting
6. Smart or Dynamic Content (ala Amazon Recommended for You) will enable you and your
competitors to serve up highly personalised messages to the right audience at the right time.
- Can you easily segment your database and get insights into the behavior of your
- Can your CRM, ERP, Email Marketing technology / software act on the insights?
7. Story telling will become even more important as companies scramble to be seen more
human (than their competitors) and develop a trustworthy, approachable and caring brand
- Do you have a powerful, unique brand with an interesting story to tell clients and
- Are all your staff singing from the same hymnbook?
- Download our Brand Design Questionnaire from our Free Marketing Resources
Section (it’s the 4th document down the page) – knowing and acting on the answers in
this document should be the cornerstone of your marketing communications.
“The advent of social media has meant that the world of separate internal and external
messaging has disappeared. If a customer talks to your Customer Service department, they
expect the same response they’d get if they talk to marketing, or sales, or engineering.
Creating a unified external face is critical. If you want to build long-term relationships,
you’ve got to have a consistent, human voice – coming from all levels of your organization.” –
NICK JOHNSON founder useful Social Media
8. Email will not die but become more personalised, relevant and targeted based on real time
- Are you communicating regularly with your database and is the marketing
communication tailored to different segments?
- Are they engaging with your content and offers?
9. Content will remain King and more marketing teams and departments; small and large
businesses will invest into more quality content and attempt to make it go viral or at least
improve the chances of it being passed onto to a secondary audience. With falling production
prices and better and simpler technologies, we see Online Video as the ‘biggest and most
effective mover and shaker’ in Content Marketing. Most small businesses do not have a great
website, let alone reasonable video content, so this area will keep booming.
- Do you have great content?
- Is it promoted sufficiently? No point creating more content if not enough people are
engaging with what you have!
- Check out our great Fixed Fee Marketing with Online Video Marketing Packages
10. “Sites like Pinterest and Instagram prove that visual content is really worth 1,000 words
(or in instagram’s case, $1 billion). Infographics, photos, picture boards, video, and other forms of rich-media will increase over the coming years as humans look to digest more information faster than ever before.” – Hubspot Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2013, p.23.
- Does your brand have a well developed visual palette?
- Do you have a suitable image library? Make sure this is part of your Content
Wishing you a healthy and productive 2013. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance in improving your marketing results.
Just because you are using the highly emotional and fast growing medium of online video, it doesn’t mean that viewers will automatically engage with you. Here are some numbers published by Video Brewery to improve your engagement with viewers.
First 10 seconds are critical.
Research shows that 20% of visitors will click away during these first few moments. Just like Copywriting put your best stuff first; don’t save it for later, as there may not be a later. The opening 10 seconds of a video should be treated like a headline in print. If it doesn’t grab the reader / viewer then you will miss them altogether.
In the first 30 seconds another 30% of visitors will disappear, 45% by 60 seconds and almost 60% by 120 seconds.
Counter intuitively; mobile users have longer attention spans.
Most mobile users are watching online video for between 2 and 5 minutes, the 5 minutes being on an iPad when compared to desktop users.
Most shared videos are 15 seconds or shorter.
These 15-second online videos are shared 37% more often than those between 30 and 60 seconds.
As with all content marketing and in fact any marketing tactics you can only control what you can measure – so video analytics are vital to learn what is working and what isn’t. You can read the original article here.
Check out our great Fixed Fee Marketing with Online Video Marketing Packages