The Inbound Marketing Amoeba - Blurring Departmental Lines

    Posted by Ed Marsh on Feb 12, 2013 7:09:00 AM

    The Inbound Marketing Panacea

    "Content marketing is so freakin' awesome it will actually take your company over for you and run it better than you can!" 

    About tired of that sort of inane promotion? I am.

    Most folks reading this have bought into the value of inbound marketing. It really is a remarkable evolution in the practice of marketing.  It has transformative functional and financial benefits. And the evolution it is forcing has created substantial changes and opportunities in organizations - not only within the marketing orb.  

    While sales isn't going away, it has to adapt. And while companies would be crazy to forgo their hard won domestic business, they now have amazing global opportunities created through their inbound marketing.

    But it doesn't fundamentally change your business model and it doesn't solve half the problems some claim. But what if.......

    What if Inbound Marketing could support product marketing and R&D?

    inbound marketing research and developmentSound nuts? Well that's precisely what Beth Comstock, GE's CMO says they are intent on doing.   In a recent interview with Think with Google she spoke of the marketer's role in "connecting the dots" and said "When you're in this business, you see a lot of things, marketers are in a great position to notice if something's happening in an industry."

    Comstock added "Marketing is now about creating and developing new markets; not just identifying opportunities but also making them happen."

    So you don't have the staff of 5,000 marketers that she has at her disposal - but you do have an incredible equalizing tool. The power of your content.

    Pinpoints of light

    I guarantee there are applications that you've never considered. That's one of the benefits of global sales that we often discuss. Put your product in a different environment and it's amazing to observe the new uses which people will naturally discover.

    And that's with your product in its standard form.  But beyond that, somewhere out there are 5, 25 maybe hundreds of enterprising, entrepreneurial folks who are discouraged — they're slaving over products they have invented and are refining but they can't get them quite right. They're missing the secret sauce of your enabling technology.  

    And even with an army of 5,000 you're not going to find them.  So you have a choice — go about your business every day ignorant of the opportunities which you're foregoing, or figure out how to leverage the tools that content and inbound marketing provide.

    Will this approach double your company with a deluge of license or resale revenue? Probably not. But wouldn't some be awesome? Revenue without the operational hassles? And are there caveats? Sure. There is your IP to protect — you're not going to lay it all out in your content.

    But if you start to incorporate pieces into your editorial calendar (posts about related technologies, participation in different LinkedIn groups, webinars about how your technology has enabled others, etc.) all optimized for an appropriate category of search terms, you'll find an interesting crop of developmental leads to harvest.

    The key is to see content, your content promotion and inbound marketing efforts in the larger context. It should be simply being more efficient at finding more of the same — it's about being easy to be found by the folks who should find you, whether you know them or not.

    And be open to discussing new applications, uses and opportunities. Don't just reflexively reply "that's not what we do."

    About the Author: Ed Marsh is co-founder of Consilium Global Business Advisors, an international marketing consulting agency focused on developing strategic global business development and channel programs.
    Image from Los Alamos National Labs.

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    Topics: marketing assessment, product marketing, inbound marketing, marketing strategy

    How to Assess Your Marketing Program & Forecast Potential

    Posted by Paul Roetzer on Nov 12, 2012 8:49:00 AM

    As you embrace 2013 planning, thoroughly assess your marketing program as a means to identity opportunities and gaps in execution.

    With an in-depth understanding of where you are today, and what you have the potential to do, it’s much easier to properly allocate time, talent and budgets, and create strategic plans that propel your program forward

    Wondering where to start? Below, I outline 10 areas within your organization that are worth a critical look during the planning process.

    10 Marketing Assessment Considerations

    1. Business Cores — To build a powerful marketing program and brand, it’s important that a strong business foundation is in place. Consider business cores such as financial health, customer service, product quality and culture, and how they relate to overall marketing efforts. Are there areas to improve or severe roadblocks that hinder your potential?

    2. Audiences — How well does your organization communicate with key stakeholders such as employees, customers, media and prospects? Are there audiences that you are neglecting?

    3. Marketing Performance — How do you track and report success (i.e. content downloads, customer retention rates, lead quality score, profitability, etc.)? How have your campaigns historically performed in these areas?

    4. Marketing Cores — Do you have the foundational pieces in place that are necessary to truly execute an integrated inbound marketing program, or will much of your time be dedicated to builders that don’t drive immediate results?

    5. Lead Sources — Where do you currently get leads? Can you better capitalize on these outlets? Are there other, more effective, lead-gen sources worth investigating?

    6. Marketing Team Strength — How competent is your internal team in all areas of marketing strategy and execution? Do inadequacies justify hiring a new employee or bringing on an agency for support?

    7. Marketing Technology Utilization — What marketing and sales technologies do you currently use? Are there technologies that would make your job more efficient, effective or track-able?

    8. Social Media Marketing — How is your company currently using social media to connect with audiences, generate leads and raise your profile? Where can you improve?

    9. Content Marketing — Is content creation and distribution a crucial piece of your marketing strategy? Do you regularly blog, and publish content like case studies, ebooks, whitepapers and webinars?

    10. Public Relations — What have you historically done in terms of PR, and are there ways to enhance your program through social, speaking opportunities, content and networking?

    Introducing a Marketing Intelligence Engine

    The above categories are derived from PR 20/20’s new marketing intelligence engine, Net Marketing Score. As a free online tool, NMS assesses the strength of your business and marketing foundations, forecasts potential and aligns expectations.

    Learn more about its origins on the PR 20/20 blog, and sign up for beta access.

    Your Thoughts

    What do you consider when planning for the new year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

    About the Author: Paul Roetzer is the founder and CEO of PR 20/20, a certified Gold HubSpot partner and inbound marketing agency that combines content, public relations, social media and search marketing into integrated campaigns.

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    Topics: marketing assessment, internet marketing strategy

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