Advertisements
 

Dear Future Customer

May 16, 2015

dear future customer - meghan trainor adapted lyrics

Channeling Our Inner Meghan

Much of what we do in Marketing is develop content and coordinate programs for lead generation. In other words, we’re engaging with future customers.

I’ve taken Meghan Trainor’s popular song (“Dear Future Husband”) and adapted the lyrics for marketers.

Dear Future Customer (Lyrics)

Dear future customer,
Here’s a few things
You’ll need to know if you wanna be
My one and only
Oh wait: we’re polygamous, we have many customers (whoops!)

(Ohhhhh)
Take a spin with our free trial
And don’t forget the flowers (if you like it)
‘Cause if you’ll treat me right
We’ll be the perfect vendor
We’ll give you multi-year discounts,
That’s what you need

You got that 9 to 5
But our customer support is 9 to 9
So don’t be thinking we’ll be baking apple pies
But we’ll ship you some for Thanksgiving
Sing along with us
Sing-sing along with us (hey)

You gotta know how to renew your subscription
Even when we’re acting crazy
Tell us everything’s alright

Dear future customer,
Here’s a few things you’ll need to know if you wanna be
Our favorite customer
If you wanna get that special badge
Participate in our advocacy programs

After every fight
Just apologize
Wait, we shouldn’t be fighting
Even if we’re wrong
[Grin] The customer is always right!
Why disagree?
Why, why disagree?

You gotta know how to treat us like a vendor
Even when we’re acting crazy
Call us out on Twitter (and follow Meghan here: @Meghan_Trainor)

Dear future customer,
Make time for our customer conferences
Don’t leave me lonely
And know that next year, we’ll get Bruno Mars for the concert

Advertisements

5 Completely Surprising Marketing Tips Learned from Fifth Graders

January 21, 2014

fifth grade classroom

Photo source: User Michael 1952 on flickr.

This post was originally published on the DNN Software blog.

Recently, I served as “teacher for the day” in my daughter’s fifth grade classroom. My guest appearance was coordinated by a great organization, Junior Achievement, who “teaches young people about money management and how business works.”

With a lesson plan provided by Junior Achievement, I taught five, 45-minute lessons on topics related to business and entrepreneurship. I know about raising fifth graders from the one I have at home, but spending a day with a class full of them gave me further insights on their attitudes and inclinations.

Before long, these fifth grade students will grow up and become part of the target audience for your marketing. Here are five surprising marketing tips based on my observations.

1) Forget about social media marketing.

I asked students to name examples of businesses. Here’s the list compiled by this Silicon Valley-based class:

social media top of mind with fifth graders

Perhaps they were too young to name Snapchat? The point is, fifth graders are on the bleeding edge of technology. They used iPods as toddlers, then graduated to iPads. They may not be using Facebook, but their siblings and parents are. So they’re aware of what it is and what it does.

That being said, forget about the social media marketing you’re doing today to reach their parents. Once these kids enter the workforce, social marketing will no longer be relevant, because another form of advertising will have emerged.

2) Invest in billboard advertising.

T-rex billboard ad

Photo source: Eric Fischer on flickr.

We did a lesson on advertising. The fifth graders were given a business scenario and asked to work in teams to devise a business, then create an advertisement for that business. Before they started designing, they were asked to name examples of advertising.

Many of the students mentioned billboard ads that they see on Highway 101 in the Bay Area. They were able to recall the messaging contained on those billboards in impressive detail. Out-of-home advertising works! It’s effective because of the captivated audience it commands. So as these fifth graders grow into adults, think of ways your own marketing content can be delivered to a captivated audience.

3) Decrease your online marketing budget.

If you think about standing up in front of a fifth grade classroom for an entire day, it can be worrisome: will the students have any interest in what I’m saying? To be honest, I noticed that some of them “tuned out” during segments of the lessons.

But what got them to pay attention, engage and interact? Activities. The Junior Achievement lesson plans pair verbal instruction with a fun activity that reinforces that instruction.

Online marketing is great. It’s cost effective and it’s measurable. But to make a deeper connection with your  marketing, consider programs that include face-to-face interactions. The fifth graders are kind of expecting it.

4) Tomorrow’s workers won’t be motivated by gamification.

Many of the day’s activities came in the form of games. The fifth graders would high-five each other when they rolled a six, but what got them most excited were forms of peer-to-peer connections and recognition.

WHITE PAPER: How Community Managers Can Use Gamification to Create Sustainable Engagement

We did an exercise in which two students were named partners in a popcorn and ice cream business. The two partners stood at the front of the classroom. Next, they called up classmates (one by one), assigning them to assorted roles within the business (delivery people, business analysts, attorneys and ultimately, a CEO).

Students were most excited when they were called up to the front of the room. The selection and “job assignment” (in front of the entire class) gave meaning to the activity. It made them feel rewarded. How do you “gamify” experiences for tomorrow’s workers? Make it less about points and badges and more about peer-to-peer relationships and recognition.

5) Make them wait for it.

child using tablet

Photo source: User nooccar on flickr.

Today’s generation of kids live in a world of instant gratification. With timeshifting and on-demand consumption, they get what they want, when they want it. Remember how Thursday nights on NBC were called “Must See TV?” Today’s generation calls it “I See TV” (“When I Want It”).

So first, make your product, content and experiences great. Then, act differently with it. Don’t give it to them right away. Make them wait. Make them go through hoops to get it. Why? Because when they do, they’ll cherish it. They’re so used to getting everything right away, that making them wait adds to the enjoyment.

Conclusion

Today’s fifth graders are tomorrow’s customers. While I enjoyed my time in the classroom, I also considered it a form of market research, in better understanding tomorrow’s buyers. Hopefully, I learned from them as much as they learned from me. And, I hope this post served to spur forward-looking thoughts on how to do marketing in the future.


A Portrait of The Marketer as a Young Man

January 11, 2014

young marketer

This post was originally published at Medium: A Portrait of the Marketer as a Young Man.

Introduction

Recently, I read a great post on the Kapost blog by Anne Murphy. Anne’s post was titled “3 Things You Can’t Learn from a Content Marketing How-To Article” and included a paragraph titled “How to Write.” Anne wrote:

“For 18 years, I lived with one of the best writers and editors I know. Her name is Nancy Murphy. I call her Mom.”

Not only did Mom help shape Anne’s writing, but she (Mom) taught her that “good writing takes constant work.”

Today, I’m a marketer (at DNN) who does a lot of writing. My degree is in computer science, not history, communications or political science. I spent the first 14 years of my career in Information Technology (IT). So how did I come to be a marketer? Anne’s post inspired me to consider my own journey.

Careless Mistakes in Second Grade

If there’s such a thing as a crisis in elementary school, then I was in one. Both of my parents had been called in to a meeting with my second grade teacher, Mrs. Trout. I had been making careless spelling mistakes and the pattern was only getting worse. Spelling errors were understandable, but Mrs. Trout was concerned about my consistent pattern of carelessness.

I took that meeting to heart (well, as much as a second grader could). I addressed the carelessness and improved my spelling each year. In fact, by the time I reached fifth grade, I’d be entered into the grade-wide spelling bee.

This second grade crisis helped shape my marketing. It’s put a certain lens around everything I do: writing an article, reviewing an email promotion, writing a webinar description, reviewing a white paper, etc. I have an ability to catch my own mistakes, as well as spot errors in others’ work. I harken back to my days in second grade and know why.

Editorial Independence

The Call of the Wild

Image source: User cdrummbks on flickr.

I’ve now reached fourth grade. We read Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” in class and I was writing a book report at home. My dad briefly looked over my work and thought that I wrote the report all wrong. As he tells the story, I became very upset, insisting that I had written the book report according to specifications.

Based on my strong insistence, my father allowed me to proceed and I handed in the book report “as is.” It turned out I was correct: I received a good grade on the report. From that moment on, my dad gave me full editorial independence in my grade school writing projects.

This feeling of independence can be empowering. If every sentence I wrote could be inspected for corrections, the experience wouldn’t be as enjoyable. And while editorial oversight is important and necessary in many contexts, the independence is one reason I enjoy blogging so much.

Reading about Sports

Also in fourth grade, I developed a love of sports. Starting in high school and continuing into the present day, I read a lot of sports articles.

Best American Sports Writing

Image via Amazon.

I like to read the beat writers who cover my teams and I love human interest stories (i.e. long form articles) related to sports. I adore “The Best American Sports Writing” series. My dream job? To be the beat writer for one of my favorite teams.

I’ve tried my hand at sports writing. At my current job (and at past jobs), I’d write summaries of company softball games and soccer games and share them. My colleagues would tell me that I missed my calling as a sports writer.

Because of all the reading I’ve done, writing about sports came so naturally to me. As I sat at my keyboard, words would emanate and flow like those of more experienced sports writers. It’s similar for the B2B content I write at work: I consume so much of other people’s content that it helps inform and guide my own.

The High School Poetry Magazine

For a high school English class, I submitted a poem that depicted a cold, wintry night from the view of my bedroom window. My English teacher liked it. She managed the school’s poetry magazine and encouraged me to get involved.

So I wrote more poems, attended a poetry conference or two and helped assemble the school’s magazine. I’ve come to realize that marketers are much like poets: we need to assemble words in a way that makes an impact with our audience.

So when I compose tweets, Facebook posts, subject lines, calls to action and promotional copy, I look back to my high school days and realize that my dabbling in poetry helped a great deal.

But Where’s the Beef?

Where's the Beef?

Image source: User xxxbadfishxxx on flickr.

There’s a difference between eloquence and substance. At an early age, I discovered that I had a knack for putting words together. But I didn’t receive consistently high marks on my papers, whether it was AP English (in high school) or Literature Humanities (in college).

The issue? I was missing the beef (i.e. substance). This realization helps inform my B2B writing. Whether it’s a blog post or a white paper, I try to spend as much time (or more) researching as I do writing. The content must be well planned, well researched and well thought out. Words can always sound good, but they must be backed up with information and insights that provide value to the reader.

Conclusion

It’s been fun to consider how childhood events and developments helped shape the marketer I am today. When I graduated from college, I never considered the possibility that I’d be in marketing. I wonder what I’ll be doing ten years from now. Perhaps you’ll find me online, reporting on last night’s Yankees game.


Improve Your SlideShare Marketing with These 10 Fun Facts

November 16, 2013

10 Fun Facts About SlideShare

Introduction

At DNN, we produce 1-2 webinars per week on topics ranging from online community to content management to website optimization. Recently, we created a SlideShare channel to host all of our webinar presentations. It was a convenient solution for distributing slides to our webinar viewers. And, it would help widen the reach of our webinar content.

Results Have Exceeded Expectations

In the three months since launching our SlideShare channel, our presentations have received 40,000+ views, 47 Likes, 186 downloads, 317 Facebook shares and 180 tweets. One of our webinar presentations, in fact, generated 10,000 SlideShare views during the first week it was posted.

Let’s consider ten fun facts about SlideShare that can help inform your SlideShare marketing.

10 Fun Facts About SlideShare

1) SlideShare has 60 million monthly visitors.

According to their “About” page, SlideShare has 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million monthly page views. They’re among the top 200 most visited websites in the world. It’s a no-brainer, folks: extend the reach of your content (for free) to a potential audience of 60 million people.

At DNN, our webinars might reach thousands of people. With our SlideShare channel, we have the potential to reach millions. As a bonus fun fact, more than 10 million presentations have been uploaded to SlideShare. Check out a neat infographic from SlideShare that marked the occasion.

2) Hyperlinks (in slides) are clickable.

It’s true that Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird have changed the dynamics of SEO, but links are still a primary currency of the web. When creating your presentation, be sure that any links become true hyperlinks. I’ve found that hyperlinks (on SlideShare) are not clickable on Slide 1, but are clickable on all subsequent slides. On the DNN SlideShare channel, our presentations have generated 95 clicks to external pages.

3) Infographics are liked 4x more than presentations, and 23x more than documents on SlideShare.

Earlier this year, SlideShare announced support for infographics. Since then, they’ve published data points that compare engagement and interaction between infographics and other content formats. Just save (or convert) your infographic to PDF, then use the standard “Upload” process in SlideShare. It will detect that the uploaded document is an infographic and place it in “Infographics” tab in your SlideShare channel. We recently published an infographic, “Top 10 Blogs Every B2B Marketer Should Read.”

4) Your URL is derived from your presentation’s filename.

The structure of your URL is important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SlideShare auto-generates the URL of your presentation and you’re not able to edit or change it. So name your file to match your desired URL.

I like my SlideShare URL’s to match the title of the presentation. You’re not guaranteed to get your desired URL: if another presentation has the exact same title, SlideShare will append a number to the end of your URL (to make it unique). Don’t name your presentation “My webinar deck with edits from Jon v2”.pptx unless you want those words to appear in your SlideShare URL.

5) You can link to a specific slide.

You’re already using your social channels to promote your SlideShare presentations. Let’s say you wanted to share a surprising statistic on Slide 7, however. It’s not a great user experience to tweet about Slide 7, then drive users to the Slide 1 of your presentation.

SlideShare has an easy solution: to permalink to Slide 7, just append “/7” to the end of your URL and you’re done. Once users land on Slide 7, they can still navigate backward or forward. SlideShare explains further on their blog. In the spirit of sharing a specific slide, here’s a fantastic quote on community management (from a recent webinar).

6) SlideShare supports audio in the form of Slidecasts.

You can upload an MP3 (audio) file and synchronize it to your slide presentation. Side note: I’d like Morgan Freeman to narrate my presentations. SlideShare provides step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

By grabbing the audio track from your webinar (and then doing the synchronization), SlideShare can be a convenient place to host on-demand webinars!

7) You can easily embed SlideShare presentations on web pages.

You can embed any SlideShare presentation onto a web page, including those published by others. By embedding your own, you play the role of promoter or syndicator. By embedding presentations from others, you play the role of curator and commentator.

When viewing the presentation on SlideShare, simply click the “Embed” button at the top of the player. Copy the HTML code for use on your site (or blog). You can also copy a “shortcode” for WordPress.com blogs. Using embedding, we generated 10,000 SlideShare views in one week (for a webinar presentation).

8) You can link your SlideShare account to your LinkedIn account.

By linking these two accounts, activity on SlideShare gets fed automatically to LinkedIn and seen in the Newsfeed of your LinkedIn Connections. As you upload new presentations or “Like” existing ones, your LinkedIn Connections will know. Check out how you can use this to share social media content in five minutes a day.

9) You can share your videos on SlideShare.

Presentations, infographics and audio, oh my. Now comes video. Yes, you can share your videos on SlideShare, too. Check out this FAQ on videos (from SlideShare) for further details.

10) SlideShare PRO gives you some premium features.

After seeing early results with SlideShare, we decided to upgrade to SlideShare PRO Silver, since it gave us the ability to embed registration forms, as well as a deeper view of analytics. The Silver plan costs $19 a month, so it was a no-brainer. Have a look at this SlideShare for more info on PRO.

Conclusion

We hope you liked our fun facts as much as we liked documenting them. Beyond the fun, we hope you can apply many of these facts to become a more effective marketer on SlideShare. Sixty million visitors are waiting.

Related Resources

  1. The DNN Software SlideShare page.
  2. A Twitter chat I participated in: Tips for Using SlideShare in Content Marketing
  3. Prior post: How a Webinar Presentation Generated 10,000 SlideShare Views in 1 Week

Originally published on the DNN Software blog.


How Halloween Reminds Me of B2B Marketers

October 26, 2013

Halloween and B2B Marketers

Introduction

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. As a kid, I loved to head out (after dark) and go trick or treating. As a parent, I revel in seeing the enjoyment experienced by kids. You may be wondering: how does Halloween relate to B2B marketers?

Let me explain. Recently, DNN collaborated on a Social Insights Report with Leadtail. The report analyzed 113,039 tweets (from 500 North American B2B marketers) from June 1, 2013 to August 31, 2013. The report then draws a number of conclusions on how B2B marketers engage on Twitter.

To gain access to the report:

Download the report

http://offers.leadtail.com/social-media-insights-report-b2b-marketers/

Since I reviewed the report so close to Halloween, I couldn’t help but draw analogies between B2B marketers and my favorite holiday.

1) We know where to trick or treat.

Photo credit: Flickr user Joint Base Lewis McChord via photopin cc

The report looked at B2B marketers’ tweets to see what other social networks they’re active on. LinkedIn is the clear winner, as 35% of B2B marketers shared content on LinkedIn. Instagram and Foursquare came in at 18% and 13%, respectively. Facebook registered at 3%, more than 10x less than LinkedIn.

Social networks most active

This tells me that B2B marketers know where to trick or treat. Their B2B presence takes them to neighborhoods that make sense for their jobs (e.g. LinkedIn), while ventures into the land of Facebook are reserved for activities outside of work.

The Instagram result (18%) runs contrary to this point. It may be that Instagram is the “shiny new object” that B2B marketers want to experiment and learn from. A number of B2B brands, in fact are using Instagram as an effective marketing tool.

2) We take our kids to familiar houses.

I have a daughter in fifth grade. While I’ve taken her to some “foreign” neighborhoods in the past, I tend to take her to houses for which I know the owner. I think that makes for a safer trick or treating experience.

As we saw with the LinkedIn result, B2B marketers like to share familiar content (i.e. things related to their jobs). Of the 100 most popular content sources for B2B marketers, mainstream media registered at 25%, but industry media came in at a whopping 62%.

Types of content shared

3) We know how to provide the candy our visitors want.

Photo credit: Flickr user MzScarlett via photopin cc

A “good house” buys the candy variety pack at Costco. A great house surveys the likes and dislikes of neighborhood kids and tailors their treats accordingly.

Side note: one house in my neighborhood gives out ice cream cones for each kid. They ask which flavor the kid wants, then gives the kid two scoops of the selected flavor in a cone. This is an example of “great.”

B2B marketers tend to retweet content (i.e. share their candy) if they believe “my followers will like this.”

Most retweeted marketers

4) We visit the houses with the best decorations.

Some homeowners go to great lengths to create an experience that delights visitors. Great B2B content marketers go to equally great lengths to create content that delights their target audience. The Top 50 vendors most mentioned by B2B marketers are doing something right (hint: it probably has something to do with the content they’re producing and sharing). I’d love to go trick or treating in their neighborhoods.

Most mentioned marketers

5) We’re drawn to creative and visually appealing costumes.

Photo credit: Flickr user geckoam via photopin cc

Whether it’s Halloween costumes or content marketing, I’m always amazed at some of the creative concepts I run across. At Halloween, we’re naturally drawn to costumes that are both “different” and visually appealing. If you look at the list of Top 10 most shared social sources, you’ll see a number of visually oriented sites: YouTube, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest.

Most shared social sources

Conclusion

Hope you all have a safe, happy and fun Halloween – DNN is doing a webinar the day before. We’ve invited our friends from Leadtail to share findings from this Social Insights Report and provide recommendations on how you can most effectively engage B2B marketers. Don’t miss it! Register here:

Leadtail and DNN webinar

http://info.dnnsoftware.com/WebinarLeadtail103013_RegistrationLP.html

Originally published on the DNN Software blog.


Ten Blogs Every Marketer Should Read

October 25, 2013

Ten blogs every marketer should read

Introduction

As marketers (or aspiring marketers), we have it pretty darn good. Why is that? Because marketers, by our very nature, are accustomed to sharing information, insights, tips and best practices. In fact, sharing (and publishing) knowledge is one of the things we love most about our job.

What can you do if you don’t yet have a body of knowledge to share? You follow and read the marketing thought leaders. Learn from the best, while getting a sense for how they share their knowledge. One day, you may find your likeness etched into the Mount Rushmore of Marketing thought leaders.

Let’s highlight ten blogs that every B2B marketer should read.

Follow Our Twitter List: Top 10 Marketing Blogs

Amy Porterfield: Social Media Strategy

Amy Porterfield is a social media strategist who helps clients “maximize the power of social media and increase the success of their online marketing efforts.” Amy provides actionable tips on social media engagement. She’s a great storyteller, as well – just read through the About page on her site.

Selected post: What to Do After People Opt In to Your Email List

As marketers, it’s quite easy to take our email opt-in list for granted. Source 1,000 new opt-ins last week? Great. We just completed a white paper yesterday, so we’re going to email all 1,000 of them, with “hot off the presses” in the subject line.

Instead, Porterfield encourages marketers to give email subscribers great value over time and make sure your messages resonate with them: in other words, treat them like gold. Your email subscribers should be valued on par with your customers. In fact, many of your customers are already on your email list. Wouldn’t it be bad if they opted out?

Moz: Content on SEO and More

Moz began life as an SEO consulting company and has grown into a content site, online community and software provider. For me, Moz has become a go-to site for all things SEO and Google, from Penguin to Hummingbird to “Not Provided.”

Selected post: Taking Advantage of Google’s Bias Toward Hyper-Fresh Content – Whiteboard Friday

While my schedule doesn’t always sync up, I like to set aside some time on Friday’s to catch the latest “Whiteboard Friday” from Rand Fishkin, Moz’s CEO and Co-Founder. Fishkin always has timely and interesting things to share – and the depth of his content is always impressive. As just one measure of content effectiveness, take a look at the number of Comments he receives (61 comments in the selected post above).

Ann Handley: Social Media and Content Marketing

I’ve been a reader of Marketing Profs for quite some time. I read the book Content Rules, which Ann co-authored with C.C. Chapman. I’ve also attended a number of Marketing Profs webinars and online events.

Selected post: A Simple Content Marketing Org Chart

My selected post is not from Marketing Profs, though. On her personal blog, Ann provides an org chart for the content marketing team. Some organizations have a single person allocated to content, while others may have teams of hundreds. It’s not the numbers that are important here, it’s the roles and personas that Ann outlines. Did you see a role here that’s not filled on your team? Think about filling it.

Seth Godin: Best-selling Author and Thought Provoker

Things I look forward to each day: the sun rising. And Seth Godin’s daily blog post. I’ve enjoyed a number of Seth’s books. On his blog, he takes a different approach. Each post is short and succinct. They deliver a key insight, or they make you think (or both).

Selected post: Marketing good…

This one made me think. My takeaway is: good is no longer good enough. Our marketing, along with the products we’re marketing, need to be great.

Jay Baer: Best-selling Author and Social/Content Guru

Jay Baer is founder of Convince & Convert, who “help you get better at social media and content marketing through audits, strategic planning and ongoing advice and counsel” (source: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/about-us/).

Selected post: 11 Big Myths About Social Media and Content Marketing

I’m not a big fan of myths: after all, if something’s a myth, I shouldn’t pay attention to it, right? Except that I should, when peers, colleagues or industry contacts believe in such myths. I may need to dispel a myth in order to gain budget or project approval.

KISSmetrics: Analytics, Marketing and Testing

KISSmetrics provides web analytics software. Each blog post they publish is so rich in detail, I almost feel guilty getting it for free. Their blog content covers a fairly wide range of topics (i.e. more than analytics and testing). Because I need to allocate a fair amount of time to read and digest their content, I usually save pieces for later (i.e. outside of the work day), when I have dedicated time to read them in full.

Selected post: 58 Resources to Help You Learn and Master SEO

Sometimes, content curation can be as big a task as writing original content. This post features a broad and comprehensive set of SEO resources. I may need to allocate an entire weekend for this one.

Paul Gillin: Speaker, Writer, Consultant

I’ve been reading Paul’s blog ever since I worked with him (a number of years ago). Paul has published a number of books, consults with brands and speaks and writes frequently.

Selected post: 8 Data Points about the Importance of Customer Experience

When assembling a presentation, I often need to find interesting and relevant statistics to include. Sometimes it can be very challenging to find them! If I was doing a presentation on customer experience (or, the related field of Customer Experience Management), Paul’s post would be my go-to source for related stats.

Brian Solis: Author and Analyst

Brian Solis is a best-selling author and principal analyst at Altimeter Group.

Selected post: Broadcast Yourselfie: How teens use social media and why it matters to you

If you’re in B2C, you probably know about the technology and social media habits of teens. If you’re in B2B, your knowledge of teens may related to the ones in your household. I’m in B2B and don’t have a teen at home, so I found this post fascinating. Today’s teens will be your target customer in a few years. It’s best to understand them now.

Jeremiah Owyang: Entrepreneur and Thought Leader

Jeremiah Owyang is Chief Catalyst (and founder) at Crowd Companies. Formerly, Jeremiah was a research analyst at Altimeter Group.

Selected post: Meet the Resilient Corporations

Jeremiah always seems to be at the leading edge of what’s coming next. His current focus area is the collaborative economy and in this piece, he explores the advantages gained by resilient corporations. They gain advantages “by reducing risk through variability, being agile by flexing when needed, and scaling by leveraging others to handle the load.”

I read Jeremiah’s blog for a big picture view of things coming down the road.

Marketo: Best Practices in Online Marketing

Marketo is a leading provider of marketing software. Nearly every week, I learn something new about Marketing via their blog.

Selected post: Here’s How to Maintain Your Email Marketing List for Engagement and Better Deliverability

Whoever proclaimed “email is dead” must not have been a marketer. For demand and lead generation, email is still an important tool in our arsenal. And I think a lot of marketers still struggle with things like subscription management and deliverability. Read this post from Marketo co-founder Jon Miller and your email management will be the better for it.

Our Infographic

We’ve assembled an infographic of these ten extraordinary thought leaders. Enjoy!

Originally published on the DNN Software blog.


How The Bridge (@TheBridgeFX) Models the Need for Sales and Marketing Alignment

August 17, 2013

Introduction

A woman is found murdered at a border crossing between Mexico and The United States. Arriving at the scene are detectives Sonya Cross (from El Paso, Texas) and Marco Ruiz (from Juarez, Mexico). Still in its first season, The Bridge (on FX) is about the partnership between Cross and Ruiz to solve the murder.

They come from different cultures, speak different languages and have personalities that are diametrically opposed to one another. Most organizations have a similar pairing: Sales and Marketing.

And while the backdrop is far less extreme than a murder case, Sales and Marketing can’t achieve their objectives without working with one another. The same goes for Cross and Ruiz.

Let’s consider five ways the Cross/Ruiz partnership models the relationship between Sales and Marketing.

1) Success depends on working together, not working alone.

Sales and Marketing need to work together

We’re still early in season 1 of The Bridge, but it’s safe to say that the killer will only be found if Cross and Ruiz work together. I doubt either one will crack the case by working alone.

In an organization, Marketing may hit its MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) goal and Sales may hit its quota, but sustainable success only happens when both parties are fully aligned. Marketing can continue to crank out MQL’s, but if they’re not sensitive to the quality of MQL’s delivered, then Sales may fall short of their quota.

2) Different backgrounds can combine to make harmony.

Cross and Ruiz are from different countries and different cultures. They are completely unlike one another. If it weren’t for the murder case, they might have a hard time sustaining a conversation. That being said, my guess is that the distinct background and perspective each brings will combine to help solve the case.

Similarly, it can be a good thing that salespeople and marketers think and act differently. We can take advantage of the unique background and approaches of each to create harmony (and success).

3) They need to find a common language.

Cross and Ruiz as Sales and Marketing

While in Juarez, Ruiz speaks Spanish to the locals. When collaborating with Cross, he speaks English (the common language between them). Sales and Marketing need to find a common language as well. This starts with basic terminology and continues with definitions of lead, MQL, Sales Qualified Lead and Sales Accepted Lead.

Just as Cross and Ruiz look for suspects, Sales and Marketing should collectively determine how to spot suspects vs. leads. In other words, alignment often means lead scoring rules that both parties agree on.

4) Unilateral decisions can come back to haunt both parties.

In episode 1, Ruiz allows a car to proceed through the border crossing, even though Cross forbid the car from doing so. It remains to be seen what comes of Ruiz’s unilateral decision, but I imagine it will have significance in later episodes.

Marketing may decide on a last-minute conference sponsorship without informing Sales (or vice versa). Unilateral decisions like this compromise alignment and do far more damage than good.

5) They need to appreciate the perspective of the other.

While I don’t expect Cross and Ruiz to become best friends, my guess is that over time, they’ll come to appreciate the perspective of the other. And with that, they’ll develop a bond of sorts, which will help them make progress on the case.

Similarly, Marketing needs to put themselves in the shoes of Sales (and vice versa). If Marketing can understand the demands and challenges of a salesperson, then their marketing programs can be more effective. And if Sales can understand the same of Marketing, it’ll create a healthier relationship.

Conclusion

The challenge put forth to Cross and Ruiz? Solving a murder case. The challenge for Sales and Marketing? Revenue.

Both parties need to come together to make it happen. Perhaps they should meet each other half-way: in the middle of The Bridge.


%d bloggers like this: