There’s a phrase in sales that refers to opportunities that fortuitously seem to land in your lap as “a bluebird.” Bluebirds got their name as they appear to “come out of the sky,” a stroke of luck that leads to a sale from out of nowhere. On the surface, bluebirds would seem to be a great thing for businesses, but there’s a problem with this thinking
Thinking of Opportunities as Coming Out of the Sky is Lazy and Dangerous
How likely is it that a prospect happened to truly come from out of nowhere and become an inbound opportunity? Remember that time when a prospect accidentally dialed your phone number and turned into a great customer? Probably not—because it’s unlikely that actually ever happened.Tweet
According to Q2 Insights (formerly Focus Research), marketing automation software – including popular platforms like Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot, and Pardot – is showing the strongest growth in the $4 billion CRM market. Sirius Decisions predicts that 50% of B2B organizations will use marketing automation by 2015, up from 20% in 2012. The same research tells us that businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.Tweet
For marketers, measurement is no longer an option, but a requirement. The C-Suite (which many marketers have now proudly joined) is looking for more than warm fuzzies, and is instead looking for reporting, results, and ROI.
A number of developments over the past couple of years—not surprisingly, led by Google—have shaped the way we measure, analyze and optimize digital marketing tactics. This is a good thing, as long as we understand what we can track—and what we can’t.Tweet
Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, and to participate in a panel on content marketing. It was an excellent event – kudos to Capitol Communicator, Potomac Tech Wire, and everyone else that made it happen. And a special thank you to the great people on our panel:
- Moderator Andy Seibert – Chairman, Custom Content Council
- Munish Gandhi – CEO, Hy.ly
- Brian Williams – CEO/Co-Founder, Viget
- Erin McCahill – VP, Brand & Creative Services, Vocus
What really struck me about the day was the way in which content marketing weaved itself into every session, panel and conversation. Many of the discussions throughout the day focused on topics like Facebook, mobile marketing, and marketing automation, but as I wrote earlier this year, all of these marketing tactics and channels need content to feed the beast. And if you’re addressing content without first developing a content marketing strategy and plan, you are unlikely to succeed. Read the rest of this entry »
What could the Pyramid of Giza possibly have to do with a blog post about content marketing? Much like the long-lasting pyramid – the only one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world still intact – content, when done right, can continue to attract and engage people long after it’s been built. For some quick proof, take a look to your right in our most popular posts section. Many of these posts were written 2 or 3 years ago or more, yet they continue to be some of our largest drivers of qualified traffic to this blog.
Why does this matter? Let’s contrast content with advertisements. Ads – whether traditional or digital – require an investment in developing creative, and then a follow-on high dollar investment in buying media space (print, digital, broadcast, etc.) so that your creative is seen over and over again. For a long time, this was the best way to reach people, often because marketers didn’t have much of a choice. Publishing was expensive – beyond the cost to create content there was still the media (printing a magazine, buying blocks of airtime, etc.) to get your message in front of your prospects, and it was far easier to purchase small pieces of that than to try to carry the whole freight yourself. There are notable exceptions, like John Deere’s “The Furrow” print magazine series in 1895 (more from the Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi in a great video here), but for the most part, with the cost of publishing so high, advertising was the preferred way to reach customers.Tweet