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Posts from the ‘Communication’ Category

22
Dec

7 Ass-Kicking ‘Awesome’ Digital Marketing Ebooks of 2014

book - Mary(n_n)West on FlickrCatching the attention of  buyers is done differently today. In the digital world we live in today, classic interruption marketing is less and less effective.

Applying traditional marketing tactics in the online world doesn’t work.

In your case as a marketing professional, you are constantly looking for insight, trends, best practices and how-to-do stuff. You are blind for advertising, you use Google as your best friend, follow RSS feeds of major marketing blogs, and subscribe to newsletters. Right?

What catches your attention? As digital marketers we are constantly flooded with whitepapers, ebooks, ultimate guides and webinars.

Not all of them are of the same quality.

But sometimes you encounter brilliant, well researched, and extensive ebooks.

In this blog post I want to share some of the best ebooks I have found in 2014. Each and every piece is really useful, practical, visual, and something you want to save on your PC.

With the holiday period coming up, you might have some time to read some of them ;-).

* image by Mary(n_n)West, on Flickr.

Read more »

9
Sep

How to successfully combine inbound and outbound marketing?

when to combine inbound and outbound marketing

What to use in the marketing mix?

The debate about outbound marketing being “interruption” marketing, and inbound marketing about “deserving the attention of buyers” is actually a flawed argumentation.

The question is about how you successfully go about in combining inbound and outbound marketing.

It is true that traditional advertising is less effective.

People today like to skip TV commercials when they can. They are blind for online banners (on average 0,2% click on banners). They sign-out for telephone calls (2 out of 3 people in USA are on do-not-call list). And they opt-out of commercial email, with Google Gmail helping them with easy opt-out buttons.

But when you combine the inbound philosophy with the power of outbound, both re-enforce each other. Combining inbound and outbound marketing works when you:

  • Using advertising to create awareness, with messages they care about.
  • Paid content promotion about content they want to read.
  • Send emails that are relevant to them
  • Use outbound call center calls that are timed and relevant to them as respond to a pre-qualified need.

Read more »

3
Aug

From Visual Storytelling to Visual Marketing: The Undeniable Bigger Trend

visual marketingOK, a little warning is appropriate here. This is a blog post where I slightly get out of my comfort zone because I am actually going to tell you a story.

Before you go all mellow and zap away, bare with me for a second. Just listen to me for a while, and you’ll begin to see a much bigger trend currently happening in marketing. Using a few brilliant examples I’ll explain the bigger trend behind visual storytelling, and how it should transcend to become part of everything you do in your marketing.

What follows is a true story, but don’t tell me I didn’t warn you: I am not the best storyteller.

So here goes nothing… Read more »

30
Apr

9 Key Change Management Essentials for Epic Content Marketing

change management essentials for content marketing

What change is needed in an organization to be successful with content marketing?

Answering todays marketing challenges is a daunting task for most of us.

Not only is marketing increasingly becoming a digital environment, marketing itself is changing. Buyers demand value on top of existing products and services. They want you to inspire them, educate them, and entertain them.

Embracing a content marketing culture is the first step towards becoming a social business. It is the first step to creating marketing that people actually want.

It requires great, or small changes, depending on your current corporate culture:

  • from outbound to inbound
  • from self-centric to meaningful
  • from classic to digital
  • from art to science

Here are some of the key change management essential ingredients you need to take into account when changing a company towards a content marketing culture:

  1. assess your marketing maturity
  2. corporate and leadership alignment
  3. embed openness and authenticity
  4. embrace new customer centric processes
  5. employee activation and skills transfer
  6. internal communication
  7. quick-wins planning
  8. content quality gate-keeping
  9. embedding the change

Read more »

3
Feb

Should you invest in Native Advertising as Marketer ?

native advertisingI’m looking at it and I just don’t quite get it. Banner ads don’t work, and yet marketers still keep investing in it. According to a recent article in Smart Insight click-through rates remain impressively low with “banner blindness” as a key reason for ignoring ads.

One day, someone needs to explain me why a marketer doesn’t get fired by the CEO for spending thousands of ad euros and reporting a conversion of 0.2%. But let’s keep that discussion for another time.

Native advertising. They are the latest addition to digital advertising land. Named as the “disruptive” technology that will change the advertising business model. It is considered the fresh air that the beleaguered publishers need.

They seem to be more efficient, according to recent research from IPG Media and Sharethrough:

  • Consumers looked at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads.
  • Native advertisements registered 9% higher lift for brand affinity and 18% higher lift for purchase intent responses.
  • Consumers looked at native ads more than the original editorial content.

Some feel as native advertising is the same as advertorials or article marketing.

It’s not. 

OK. So what is native advertising? And do you need to use it your marketing mix? Read more »

18
Dec

Which Content is Most Relevant to Your Buyers?

yodaProviding enough relevant content to buyers is one of the biggest concerns of marketers today, according to a recent study of CMI.

But how do you know which content is relevant to your buyers?

Showing business value is not differentiating

Building buyer insight is an important activity of marketers, resulting in buyer persona descriptions, or buyer insight maps as I often call them. Based on that buyer insight, content is created that shows the business value of your products or services.

The problem is that your competitors are doing the exact same thing. Read more »

12
Nov

The Shocking Truth about Sharing Company Secrets

sharing company secretsA few days after I had trained some people about sharing on social media, I received an email from an account manager.

He was afraid we would be sharing too much details about what we do with customers. He was afraid we would give away to much information to competitors. And I heard the same remark of CEO’s holding back on press releases about customers wins because it could hurt the business.

This is an often heard dilemma: you make great new customers, you create fantastic webinars for customers, you do thought leadership speaking slots, and make customer cases. But by sharing this content publicly you are afraid you are providing valuable information to competitors. And that might hurt your business.

I do understand these reasons, I used to think the same. But companies that keep thinking like this will soon be gone. If you don’t want that, you’ll have to make a cultural shift to being open and authentic.

Let me explain you why… Read more »

8
Oct

A Motion to Kill Content Marketing

The word "content" in Content Marketing deserves more credit. Will you vote ? (image from  Amsterdamnewspolitics)

The word “content” in Content Marketing deserves more credit. Will you vote ? (image : Amsterdamnewspolitics)

Whenever I talk to fellow marketing managers about Content Marketing, I feel as if the word “content” in itself just kills the whole conversation.

When the word content is used, people think of text. They think of paper, copywriting, layout, online and print. Some are more informed, and know that content marketing is more than the output of content creators.

Content marketing is all about providing customers with answers to their questions. The format in which these answers are delivered to them is irrelevant. By providing these answers, you lift your brand to become a company that is seen as a go-to-resource for knowledge and insight. By providing these answers you become a trusted party to which they’ll turn to when they have a problem, a question, an opportunity.

And doing that, my friends, is scary stuff for marketers. Read more »

31
Jul

The Necessary Evil of Advertising in B2B: A Contradictory Experiment.

1920 Experiment : Karl Krall (on the right) tried to detect the thinking radiation he assumed to flow between the dog and the human. (source: http://www.weirdexperiments.com)

1920 Experiment : Karl Krall (on the right) tried to detect the thinking radiation he assumed to flow between the dog and the human. (source: http://www.weirdexperiments.com)

This isn’t a blog post about how good content marketing is, and that you should stop advertising. Quite the contrary.

Allow me to explain: advertising had been shifting to online. It’s been shifting online for a while now. The most obvious reason for that is that people spend more time online. However, B2B marketers out there know that click-through rates are terrible. Leaderboard banners, skyscrapers, and what-ever-they-look-like-banners, get click-through rates below 1%.

And still online advertising seems to be growing, according to Google. There must be people who can explain that contradiction. I can’t.

Whatever.

It’s clear that online advertising just doesn’t work. Ask anyone you know which on-line ad they still remember, while we all spend hours per day online. The answer will be zero.

But let me tell you why B2B marketers still need to keep on advertising, on- and off-line… Read more »

17
Apr

What it takes to become a Digital Marketer

digital marketer

What does it take to become a digital marketer?
(image : http://conqueranycourse.wordpress.com/)

This is my story of what it took to become a digital marketer… 

My story is not unique

My story is not unique. Hey, I’m sure if you Google a bit, you’ll find other people like me. Truckloads full of them.

But what I want to share with you is what it took for me personally to get to a level where I felt that I knew enough to start with digital, social and content marketing.

And then actually start doing that across the organization. And getting results.

A massive request for change

When I became convinced that digital, social and content was the way to go, the first step was to convince my management. Change was needed. Lots of change.

And that’s what we’ve gone through the last 2 years. And when looking back, the change that I was asking was massive: Read more »