5 Steps to Creating an Agile Marketing Organization with David Reske

David Reske of Nowspeed talks about how Agile marketing can help you company be better organized.

Companies spend an average of 2.5% of revenue on digital marketing and some programs like social media or mobile marketing programs are growing at 20-30% annually. With this complexity Agile Marketing can help you adapt to change, accelerate your program and accelerate your results.

David Reske shares his 5 steps about Agile Marketing

1. Create a new customer relationship, get a more detailed view of the customer

- Organize into user stories to make sure everything you do in every project you do is based on customer need.

- It is very important to keep it current by listening to feedback and real conversations to help you stay on track

 

2. Create a new planning process

- You could use all the best digital tools such as your website, SEO, SEM and social media

- Plan release programs every 2-4 weeks and measure the results to make sure your on track

 

3. Create a new decision making framework, no more listening to the loudest person in the room with the most conventional wisdom

- Let data drive opinion, not the other way around.

- David Reske’s philosophy is everyone has an opinion once, then we test

- It is critical to create a test plan on campaigns and content so you can improve and document your results

4. Create new integrated marketing goals

- Make sure your marketing plan is integrated with your sales plan

- Organize programs around goals such as:

-Driving traffic

-Converting traffic

-And the nurturing of those needs to become customers

Driving Traffic:

- Advertising

- SEO

- SEM

-Banner Ads

Converting traffic to leads:

-Website

-Landing pages

-Offers

-Content

 

Nurturing those leads to become customers:

-Marketing automation

- Social media

-Re marketing

Integrated cross-functional teams will help you stay aligned with your goal

 

5. Create a new cross-functional team structure

- To help get things done faster

- Agile software development has given 2 key ideas:

Sprint idea:

-Break down big projects into monthly or weekly sprints so you can deliver projects frequently

Scrum idea: Daily 15 minute stand-up meeting to report on what you did yesterday, what will you do today  and any obststacles involved

 

How To Create Exciting Content in a “Boring” Industry

by: Victoria Fields, Copywriter for Momentum Telecom, a cloud-based communications provider based out of Birmingham, Ala.

As a copywriter for a business communications provider, I know all about the challenges of trying to create compelling content in an industry that, well, isn’t always that exciting. My daily content topics around my company’s products like hosted VoIP, SIP Trunking and cloud PBX probably make some people’s eyes glaze over.

While there probably aren’t a lot of you who are doing marketing related to Internet telephony, we certainly all have moments when we feel like our content is just plain boring, no matter what we’re trying to sell.

If you’ve felt boring industry fatigue, fret not. When traditional marketing ruled customers’ purchasing decisions, advertising had to be flashy to try attract as much attention as possible.

Today, inbound has taken over the marketing world as a means to provide customers with helpful, useful content rather than attempting to grab their attention. Being the information hub for your customers is something that you can always do, no matter what you’re trying to sell. And it’s the most valuable thing you can be to your loyal customers and potential buyers.

But how do you create excellent content that really digs deep into the issues your customers want to know about? Here are a few tips for creating exciting inbound marketing content, boring_industryeven in a “boring” industry:

1. Engage

Focus your marketing efforts primarily toward “warm” leads, or potential customers who are already out there looking for information about your products and industry. Warm leads care about the content that you’re producing, so it will never be boring to them. Provide them with the information they need and engage them by answering their questions. They’ll thank you for it by continuing to interact with your brand and seek out your content.

2. Solve problems

Our parents went to a salesperson at a physical store to find out about new products or to get an opinion about the best brand of TV. Today when we have a problem or a question, we go straight to Google to find the answer. That means your company should be first in line to give them all of the information they’re looking for, and you need to attract them with great content that really gets to the heart of their issue. Your goal as an inbound marketer is to gain your customers’ trust by giving them objective, useful insights.

3. Be a newsroom

In the age of inbound, your marketing department should function just like a newsroom. The 5 Ws of journalism should be your best friend (Who, What, When, Where, Why — and don’t forget How). If your audience wants to know how to buy a new house in 2013, answer the questions that they’re going to ask. Where should I go to find the right realtor? What is the typical down payment for first-time homeowners? How will the current housing marketing affect the price of new homes? Content that answers their most basic questions will get them to the next level in the buying process, and help them trust you as a reliable source.

4. Find new angles

Discover new angles for your content when you feel like things are getting boring. Some great places that you probably haven’t thought about include your customers and your sales team. Talk to them about what questions they had during the buying process or what questions they get during the sales process.

Also remember to check news sites for current events tied to industry products or services. Linking your marketing efforts to relevant events and things your customers care about is the easiest way to keep them interested. Maybe one of your buyer personas loves the television show The Walking Dead. Come up with a creative way to incorporate zombies into an article about customer service horror stories around Halloween. Have some fun with this! Staying on top of trends that your customers care about helps you stay relevant, keeps your content fresh and, most of all, lets you be creative.

5. Monitor and measure

As every content marketer knows — your boss is going to want to see that your inbound marketing efforts are working. Be sure to measure page performance, clicks and links to your content. Test different Calls-to-Action (CTAs) and do research about which social media platform to spend time on and at what time of day. If you left, would people miss you? Then continue to test and test again so you can better tailor your content to fit your customers’ needs.

IMS Spotlight with Michelle Grant: 5 Steps for Proving & Increasing the Value of Social

When using social media networks with customers it gives you the tools to communicate directly with a customer. Michelle Grant from Moxie Interactive tells us the 5 steps for proving and increasing the value of social.

1. Integrate social identity, treat social ID the same way as an email address, address, or telephone number

2. Associate social engagement to customer value, create value around the frequency of their engagement, look at the amount of engagement, sentimental engagement. Value and benchmark customers who participate and socialize against those customers who don’t.

3. Once you created a connection between your customers social identification and their customer and record, use social interactions to increase relevancy. Trigger an email after social media and use social behavior to create more relevant experiences.

4. Monitor the effectiveness of those iterations, and look back a the metrics that came back from the social analysis on value and begin to understand are they increasing frequency. Changing sentiment and changing the life time value with a customer

5. Evolve social as an inbound channel

The Apple Event And The Future Of Instant News

I admit, I’m a Droid user. Though, if I were an Apple user, I would have been live-streaming the Apple announcement earlier today on my Apple device that I’d no longer want because I was using it to hear about a new Apple device I’d want to replace it with.

And, I’d want it right now.

That’s the beauty of content marketing, especially with live stream video: You don’t have to wait for it.

If you weren’t live-streaming the event and you haven’t yet read a news story on it, which was probably being written word for word as the words were coming out of the speaker’s mouth – then you are already left a little behind of millions of people who saw everything happen in real time. For those of us who enjoy keeping updated on current events, this can be frustrating.

Apple Event

Our instant-gratification society has almost evolved past only wanting the coolest new toy or gadget immediately, we have now moved into wanting the news as it’s happening – and websites everywhere are willing to feed our hunger.

How many tech blogs do you think live-streamed today’s Apple announcement? Hint: It was a lot.

I remember a few months ago after the Boston Marathon bombings when police were chasing down the suspects through Cambridge and Watertown on that fateful Friday night.

I stayed up literally all night listening to the police scanner while tweeting and Facebooking, while also watching the news. I probably looked something like this:

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I was constantly surprised at how far behind people who were only watching the news were, when it came to knowledge about the event.

People don’t like to be far behind with knowledge, I know I don’t. I wanted to know everything immediately. To be the first. To actually provide the information to others. To be “in the know.”

Whether it’s news stories, releases of new gadgets, or large events – the more ‘real time’ it can be, the better. Gone are the days when people wait until Sunday for the weekly paper to show up on their doorstep so they can be informed about the world. A simple few keystrokes will show you everything you need to know, at any given time.

We have transitioned from a “need to know” society, to a “need to know now” society, and the transfer and absorption of information is only getting faster.

There are two sides of this coin – we are absorbing more and more knowledge, and becoming more informed as a population in general. But, we are also flooding ourselves with so much information all the time, it becomes more difficult to keep track of all of it.

What are your thoughts? Is the higher volume of information passing through our systems every day, a benefit, or a hindrance?

Comment below or tweet us your thoughts at @ThePulse.

- JMS

 

Why Content (Marketing) Is King

Content has been king for a while now.  Pictures mostly. No…video. Definitely video.

People love videos. People love watching cool stuff. Snazzy graphics infused into short, impactful, sizzling hot videos.

Since we know this, considering we are also people, we can easily predict where someone’s attention is going to sway towards during their time online. You guessed it, video! But not just video, all kinds of exciting, engaging content.

The new age of content marketing addresses the issue of pulling people away from where they go online in order to sell them something, raise awareness about something, get them to enter a contest, or whatever it may be.

The issue being, people don’t like that!

Content marketing, instead of asking someone to get up from their proverbial desk to go get a cup of coffee, brings the coffee over to them, and sets it down.

Instead of pulling people towards marketing materials, we can lay them down in the line of sight we know they’re going to be visiting and already planning to interact with.

Highways don’t put toll booths on random side streets and hope people take the turn to go pay the money – they put the booths directly in the path of travel, so you have no choice but to see them and pass through them.

This isn’t to say that content marketing is forcing people to buy things they don’t want, but it is to say that the things they do want, will be in their line of sight, and aligning with their interests.

We want to hear from you! How has your brand been using content marketing to engage and attract users? Feel free to share your best tips and ideas in the comments below, or tweet us at @ThePulse.

 

Native Advertising and Social Media

Rebecca Lieb, an analyst for the Altimeter Group, talks with Butch Stearns of The Pulse Network about the considerations to take when measuring social media sites. They go on to discuss native advertising, a form of converged media that meets advertising and has been debated since the growth of promotions on social media sites.

A Playbook for Sustainable B2B Social Marketing

This post was written by TPN’s Chief Strategy Officer, Allen Bonde, and originally posted on the Digital Clarity Group Blog.

social-blocks

We all know the high-profile successes of consumer brands like Audi, Nike, Old Spice, and Pepsi on social media – for awareness and engagement, and increasingly, for driving social commerce. (See the Facebook Studio winners here and Shorty Awards for best use of Twitter here.) The trend to leverage social media for engagement continues as a growing number of business-to-business brands and marketers are upping their investments in social channels, while others are jumping on the social media bandwagon for the first time.

Consider:

  • 56% of B2B marketers plan to increase their spending on social media in 2013. Sure, even more (70%) are increasing investments in their websites, but clearly social is a key part of the digital toolbox for B2B marketers, and like the world of retail, omni-channel is becoming the name of the game for B2B as well. See more stats on priorities here.
  • B2B marketers are investing in content creation. The demand for rich media assets continues to grow, with nearly half of content now coming from outside the marketing department or other employees according to Forrester.
  • Social channels are becoming key content distribution channels. An amazing 74% of B2B marketers are using Twitter to distribute content, while 70% use Facebook, and 56% use YouTube according to last year’s CMI and MarketingProfs content marketing study. Another cool stat from the same research shows that 20% of marketers use Slideshare to distribute their content, a low-cost way to reach users and syndicate your favorite PPT.
  • Social channels generate leads! According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing study, 52% of marketers they surveyed (B2C and B2B) get leads from Facebook, 43% get them from LinkedIn, and 36% get them from their blog. Coupled with the opportunity to reach and engage influencers via social listening and outreach, the impact of social marketing (and sales) has never been stronger.

The B2B Playbook

Of course some aspects of B2B are way different than B2C.  Most notably: the length of sales cycles, the complexity of many B2B products (and buying decisions), and the role of influencers, channel partners, and service providers. But most importantly, B2B social marketing is less about discrete campaigns and requires more of a continuous marketing mindset. For these reasons, to build a sustainable program, B2B marketers need to have a distinct B2B social marketing playbook, even if they look to consumer success stories for inspiration.

For starters, this should include looking at how buyers, partners, influencers, and investors interact and consume content on various social channels, along with their reach and topics of interest. This will help isolate the most important targets and the best ways/places to engage them. Then, for each channel, an accompanying action plan should outline roles (e.g., social media manager, content contributor) and tasks (e.g., listening, promotion, outreach), along with the desired frequency of posts, metrics, and suggested tools.

Overall, whether you are just getting started, or an early adopter, B2B marketers need to take an iterative approach and remember to focus on:

  1. Creating a different mix of content and offers versus their consumer counterparts, e.g., white papers and web features vs. multi-channel/mass media promotions and social contests,
  2. Identifying connectors and communities which can amplify and validate key messages, along with syndication channels (earned and paid) that can provide additional reach,
  3. Delivering engaging experiences and tying together social insights with Web and transactional data, as I discuss here,
  4. Looking at ways to harness the power of big and small data to focus messages and offers, align with hot topics and themes, and even identify the most promising prospects and channel partners. A topic I recently discussed at SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW event (see post-session highlights here), and ultimately,
  5. Emphasizing thought leadership and selling big ideas versus simply selling products and being an internal agency, as my colleague Robert Rose eloquently argues in his recent post.

So, how are you using social channels and fan marketing in your B2B campaigns? Are you tapping internal (and external) experts to create rich content to feed your social profiles? Are you looking at the role of big and small data to build high-impact, sustainable programs?

5 Tips for Enhancing Your Brand’s Digital Presence – A TPN My5 Featuring Jen Videtta

The evolution of digital media has vastly changed how marketers reach their audiences, and having a strong digital presence is essential for companies trying to attract new customers to grow their business.

Check out my five tips for enhancing your brand’s digital presence:

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1. Be Active 24/7/365: In order to ensure that your brand’s digital presence is reaching your targeted audience, you need to make sure that you have an online presence consistently throughout the day. It may be helpful to use tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck for scheduling early-morning or late-night posts. Some people may only be checking their social accounts and newsfeed early in the morning or in the late evening. Don’t be afraid to share the same content more than once through your social networks – it will significantly increase the reach of your message. Guy Kawasaki and The Huffington Post are two examples of people who share the same message multiple times to ensure they are maximizing their reach.

2. Be Consistent: Consistency is another key factor in enhancing the digital presence of your brand. Companies who use different logos for different social accounts will run into issues with consumers who are confused by the different imagery. In addition to having consistent logos, having the same usernames across different channels is also helpful for your customers who are trying to find you on certain social networks. Some bad practices we’ve seen in creating usernames includes using characters that don’t belong. Creating a username such as *ThePulse* on any network will be hurtful as people will not include the asterisks in their searches, making your brand less visible.

3.  Implement a Workflow: To properly implement your digital marketing strategy, creating a workflow is critical. Having a workflow and being able to show the process behind your social activity will help during the on-boarding process for new employees joining your digital marketing team as you grow, as well as encourage buy-in from upper management.

4. Engage With Your Fans: Instead of writing posts that are targeted at your fans and followers, try talking to them instead. Engaging in a higher level of conversation with individual customers is a valuable advantage that marketers now have due to the rise of social media. People love to hear back from their favorite brand, and knowing that there is a real human being behind your accounts humanizes your company.

5. Pay Attention to Analytics: The key to analytics for digital marketers is that you will gain an understand of what your audience wants, needs and expects from your social channels. The higher the level of engagement on each post, the number of responses and, ultimately, the amount of traffic you’ve driven to your site and turned social followers into leads will be the results that you want to show off.

Spotlight on IMS: Tips on Content Generation and Engagement from Michael De Monte, Founder and CEO of ScribbleLive

Michael De Monte, Founder and CEO of ScribbleLive, shares his advice on Content Generation and Engagement – and why advertising has never been the way it should be.

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1. Create Authentic Content

Creating authentic content will get you much further than producing a large amount of aimless sales-pitch sounding content. Instead of pushing your brand at events and talking to potential customers and clients, tell your story. Telling your story effectively and providing quality content in the context of that story is far more effective than producing content that no one will be interested in hearing.

2.  Create Rich Content

Rich content is a key factor in boosting engagement among consumers. To enhance text posts, use videos, photos, slideshows and polls to keep your audience coming back for more.

3.  Promote Through Social Media

When you’ve produced a great piece, you need to use social media to share that content with your fans and followers. Once you share the content with them, you can provide them with a call to action, drive them back to your site and monetize them.

4. Extend Your Reach

Not everyone can be on your site at the same time, so how can you engage your consumers in the content you’re producing? Traditionally, publishing a press release was the most efficient means of sharing your messages.  Now, we have platforms and channels that allow us to create rich content and distribute in real-time.

5.  Measurement

All of the content you’re creating needs to be measured. Some metrics to look at include the quality of the content, the level of engagement, the number of comments and questions being asked? All this create content and authenticity needs to be measured. Making these assessments will help your content marketing efforts going forward and will lead to a better ROI at the end of the day.

 

 

The Pulse Network is very excited about our upcoming Inbound Marketing Summit is taking place in San Francisco on July 30-31. You can register today for only $25 – click here to reserve your spot for this low price.

Check out our Spotlight on IMS New York series, featuring some of the brightest minds from the IMS Community, as we roll them out over the next few weeks leading up to the next show.

Want to continue this conversation? Feel free to Tweet to us and follow @IMS_Conference, @ThePulse, or join in this conversations with the rest of the IMS Community using #IMS13.

Tips for Risk Mitigation in Regulated Industries – Shwen Gwee’s Spotlight on IMS

In this Spotlight on IMS, Shwen Gwee sits down to discuss the implications of digital media in a highly regulated industry.

What happens when your company is in a highly regulated industry?

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Know Your Company’s Risk Tolerance

In order to understand your company’s risk tolerance, one must first be aware of the organization’s approach to social media and digital marketing for the company and/or its products.

Conservative Approach:

Companies that take a conservative approach to social media and more risk averse should utilize platforms and channels that allow social media managers to utilize these channels as a tool for social listening and market research.  Use these options to take a passive approach to a social media strategy and learn about your targeted market’s wants and needs. Shwen uses the examples of producing podcasts and YouTube videos (with commenting disabled) as possibilities for companies look for a one-directional social media strategy.

Moderate Approach:

Businesses who take a moderate approach to social and digital marketing have a variety of options for their social media strategies. For these companies, using channels that allow for users to add comments and content are acceptable, but the comments must be moderated. Social media managers for these companies need to maintain a level of control where they can steer conversations while lessening the risk factor.

Active Approach:

Many large brands use their social media channels actively and use them as a means of carrying on a two-way conversation with their customers. These companies are those that are willing and ready to execute more complex social media campaigns, engage with their customers during these campaigns and encourage user participation.

Work with Legal and Regulatory Teams

By working with your company’s legal and regulatory teams, social media managers can set expectations for the timelines surrounding content publishing. Does every Tweet need to be reviewed by upper management? Does every Facebook post need to be approved before it is shared?

In the past, traditional media – newspapers and magazines, for example – had a timeframe for when written content could be approved before publication. This timeframe is much longer than what social media allows for. In social media, content is created on a much more frequent basis, so creating an efficient means for creating, approving and sharing is critical. A company’s legal and regulatory teams can assist with defining what content needs approval and what can be published by social media managers as well as the appropriate channels for response.

Set Explicit Expectations

Be transparent about your social media guidelines with your audience. By setting terms and rules and informing users that inappropriate comments or conversations will be moderated, users will be able to have a better understanding of what to expect from an organization’s specific social media channels. This will help social media managers drive and manage the engagement and conversations.

The Pulse Network is very excited about the Inbound Marketing Summit which took place last week in New York City. Our upcoming Inbound Marketing Summit is taking place in San Francisco, July 30-31. You can register today for only $25 – click here to reserve your spot for this low price.

Check out the rest of our Spotlight on IMS New York series, featuring some of the brightest minds from the IMS Community, as we roll them out over the next few weeks leading up to the show.

Want to continue this conversation? Feel free to Tweet to us @IMS_Conference, @ThePulse, or join in this conversations with Shwen Gwee and the rest of the IMS Community using #IMS13.

*Please note: Since the time of filming this IMS Spotlight, Shwen Gwee has moved on to become Chief Digital Officer at Chandler Chicco Companies.

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Content Marketing 360:
Lead Generation: The Back Bone of Your Business

Content Marketing 360 brings subject matter experts from all areas of content marketing to give clear, actionable tips for digital marketers to implement into their marketing strategies. In this LIVE webisode, Neil Baron from Baron Strategic Partners will review and analyze current marketing trends and provide 5 tips to create a strong lead generation process.

Wednesday, April 23 @ 2pm ET
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