Think Beyond Marketing “Automation”

GearIf ever there was a name that under-states what it does, Marketing Automation would be near the top of the list.  I’m surprised that the vendors in this space haven’t tried harder to find a term that better connotes the value to marketers, but sometimes it’s easier to stick with a recognized term.  While one of the benefits of Marketing Automation is to help companies scale their digital interactions and increase efficiency, the bigger benefit is to make those interactions more effective, helping to increase conversions from interest to sales and decreasing the time to achieve those conversions.  Of course, increasing effectiveness is more difficult than increasing efficiency, so it is necessary to consider a number of capabilities when comparing different offerings from the myriad of vendors. Continue reading


Why Are Common Hashtags Being Dissed?

hashtagIn the past week, I’ve come across two social media blog posts advising people using Twitter to avoid including common word hashtags in their tweets.

In the post “30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore“, Ellie Mirman says that using common hashtags in your tweets “makes you look…like a Twitter newbie who’s trying to game the system” and that this practice is  “also commonly referred to as ‘hashtag hijacking'”.  Really?  Let’s consider the two primary ways that hashtags can provide value for people using Twitter (or Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, or other social media platforms that support them). Continue reading

Before The Elevator Pitch, What’s Your Elevator Tweet?

Elevator_UpI’ve spent the past two days at Launch 2013, a conference for tech start-ups.  While I have been blown away by the innovation and out-of-the-box thinking that is taking place at this event, there is one area that these entrepreneurs need to spend more time: thinking how to pitch their products.   Continue reading

What’s Your Slideshare Strategy?

Unfortunately, for most marketers, the answer to this question is either “we don’t have one” or “what do you mean by strategy?”.  While there is widespread awareness of Slideshare, my experience is that it is used occasionally and is not considered essential by most companies.  This is truly an under-utilized and under-appreciated marketing channel, and one that can deliver a lot for a relatively small investment. Continue reading

Think Twice Before Writing Another White Paper

Someone recently asked me if I thought there was a future for white papers as a relevant source of B2B content given all the new types of content that are being used for marketing.  After thinking about this, my response is “yes”, but with an asterisk as there are a number of issues and alternatives that companies should think through first.  Continue reading

Super Bowl Ads – the Final Score

touchdownThe game is over, and it had the all the drama, momentum swings and glitz that we expect from the Super Bowl.  And while we know who won on the field, it’s now time to look at the winners and losers from the advertising game.

Before I pass judgment, let me make a couple overall observations.

The Herd Mentality
It’s always interesting to see how certain products tend to get multiple advertisers competing with each other.  Car manufacturers are at the top of this list, with luxury sedans and mid-sized SUVs being the predominant vehicle types showing up.  For the most part, these were so indistinguishable from each other that nobody will remember anything about them by this weekend…while I did enjoy watching the VW Beetle “Get Happy” spot, there was one clear winner in the pack (see below).   There is always a lot of competition between sodas, but a surprising product category that has multiple brands competing with each other during the Super Bowl is men’s deodorants…they must feel that they can get some new customers, although I’m highly skeptical that they will even come close to seeing a return on this investment. Continue reading