Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fresh Content is Critical

Content is important, but fresh content is critical. One of the biggest challenges facing companies is producing enough fresh quality content to feed all channels. Read this interesting blog posting-- Heavy-duty content marketers a breed apart

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Be More than a Super Marketing Hero

Be More than a Super-marketing-hero

How to establish a clear, measureable plan for 2013

By: Amy Juers, MBA, CEO and Founder of Edge Marketing, Inc.

Marketing spending among B2B companies certainly underwent wild fluctuations during the 2008-2010 time period. Not only did spending change, but tactics changed as well. With online marketing on the rise, should marketers maintain a balanced approach with the budgets they created and deployed?

These are some of the challenges that B2B marketers will need to face as they prepare their 2013 plans. Areas of conversation and close analysis should focus on budget priorities, lead generation effectiveness and growth strategies for the coming year. But, before strategies are determined, there is a higher level of thought that needs to be the starting point.

More often than not, when a prospect comes to Edge they ask “What would you recommend that we do for marketing and PR?” A first response to that question is probably not what they would expect, but a question back, “What are the company’s specific goals and objectives?”

There is a business process hierarchy that is still relevant today. While a plan is something that establishes a foundation for the organization, it should also be reviewed at the vision/goal/strategy level on an annual basis and potentially tweaked at the tactical level on a quarterly basis in order to keep the marketing team on track for success.

The vision statement should be big picture and focus on the “what” of your business. It should describe the ideal perception of what your business will look like under ideal conditions. It should be short (1-2 sentences) and easy to understand and remember.

After the vision statement is established, it is time to set goals. Example goal statements could include these elements:

1. Increase market share by X%
2. Increase sales by X%
3. Increase profitability by X%
4. Reduce client and employee turnover by X%

Once quantitative goals are established, the next step is to effectively link the marketing and PR strategies and objectives to the overall company goals.
For example, rather than saying, “We need to increase our brand recognition…or We want to launch a new product…” instead, answer this question and then you’ll get closer to creating a solid objective that can demonstrate tangible results. “What is the purpose of (insert objective ~ brand recognition)?,” and your answer to that question will help you derive a more solid objective statement. More food for thought…

1. What marketing and PR strategies and tactics have PROVEN success in helping the company achieve its goals?
2. What is the most effective role for marketing and PR tactics in relation to marketing and other initiatives? What can PR do more effectively than advertising, promotions, campaigns, etc.?

When going through this entire process, the biggest obstacle to overcome is reality. Be realistic when plans are developed and be aware of the goal-setters temptation to take over the WORLD! Proper attention, proper planning, get benchmarks in gear and compare notes with industry colleagues who have done similar projects. Use supplemental literature and resources to check in on your expectations and estimates. Some excellent resources include PRSA, Clickz as well as Mashable.

One way to get a CEO or CFO more on board with increasing or maintaining your marketing budget is to provide them with clear objectives, meeting them, and demonstrating accountability by applying measurable objectives that show positive consequences. This may sound like a lot of work, but once the foundation for success is established, there is no other place to go than, up, up and away!