Are You Making Outdated Assumptions About Marketing?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

There’s a well-known saying about the danger of “assuming.” Since it’s so well-known, I won’t elaborate…

Here’s what I will say: When it comes to making assumptions about what works in marketing, it pains me when CEOs and other small business leaders come to me with premeditated assumptions about what they presume WILL work for business growth—and what just isn’t “right” for your business.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

Is Your Marketing Strategy Sitting on a Shelf?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

You spent the money. You invested the time. All those meetings with strategy experts; the brainstorming sessions that felt really amazing, and revolutionary, and even radical at the time. Then, you arrived at...

...a marketing strategy that is encapsulated in a big, beautiful binder sitting on an office shelf—or on your virtual Dropbox “shelf”—collecting dust.

It’s no wonder CEOs, business owners, and other business leaders question the value of strategy.

Strategy Action vs. Non-Action

This happens. To be honest, it is more common than not. And, it’s one of the primary reasons why marketing strategy gets a bad rap.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

CEOs: Do You Really Believe in Your Marketing?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Why do I ask this question?

Because it’s hard to commit to something you don’t believe in. Even a hint of doubt can put chinks in the armor of your bigger aspirations.

So, what’s standing in the way?

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

CEOs: Have You Really Defined What “Success” Means for Your Business?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

How are you, as a business owner, defining success… for YOURSELF?

Of course, the revenue, the unit sales, the audience expansion—all of that’s important. But, we know that other objectives might be part of the plan. For example...

  • Do you want to sell your business?
  • Make an acquisition?
  • Retire (like, for *real* retire)?
  • Expand the geo-footprint of your business now that everything is remote?
  • Do you really just want to work LESS (and enjoy more of life)?

Your marketing investment may differ depending on your answer.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

CEOs: Mastering The Content Marketing Machine

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

For CEOs and their marketing teams, two words can spike blood pressure in an instant: content marketing.

It’s daunting to think about all the content you need (or want) to produce, who is going to do that, who has time to do that, which channels to distribute to... the unanswered questions go on, and on.

Let’s take a moment to think about how to approach your content marketing strategy so it’s not such a conundrum. In my experience, a few key steps can make a significant difference in effort, investment, and results.

Build Once, Use Often

Content marketing is one area of your overall strategy where you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The concept is to build once, then use often.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

Customer Relationship Status: “It’s Complicated”

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Is your marketing budget taking a steep cut these days? Many marketing leaders across North America are seeing budgets fall from 11% to only 6.4% of their company’s revenue.

If that sounds familiar, the best next step to keep growing your business is to get even smarter with your marketing investments. Time to stop leading with your creative side (ouch, I know) and start leading with a more strategic approach.

Making a smart, strategic investment is going to mean a deeper understanding of your buyers and their journey to conversion. So, as a CEO, it’s important to consider what the buyer journey really is… and what it’s not. 

[Spoiler: it’s not tactical… It's complicated.]

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

How “Intimate” Do You Want to Be with Your Marketing?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

It goes without saying, but it's worth reiterating: marketing is an ever-evolving business function. There is always a new tactic or technology to consider incorporating into your marketing efforts. I’ve referred to it before as the “new and shiny.”

As CEOs, COOs, and CFOs diligently work to stay ahead of the curve and optimize the overall business strategy, in-house marketing professionals may struggle to fulfill all the needs of developing and executing a well-rounded marketing strategy.

Hiring others as marketing experts, consultants, or freelancers to assist—for the short or long-term—is one way to advance an organization’s goals. However, business owners and leaders have some key decisions to make when enlisting external help.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

Where’s the Hidden Gem in Your Small Business?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

The ambitions of the small business owner are unmatched in enthusiasm, nimbleness, creativity, and sheer grit. These admirable attributes can come along with a huge dose of impatience. As a small business CEO, you think: I’m moving fast, so the world is going to move fast with me.

I’m a big believer in taking the long view of marketing--because all marketing lives to serve clear and specific actions we want to see in our businesses. Success is the process of doing the reps, not a swing of the magic wand.

But, sometimes impressive strides can be made in a short amount of time to yield results--as long as you make time to step away and think through the possibilities. This helps break away from the randomness of “let’s try this!” look under the hood.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a story for you.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

CEOs: How to Avoid Waste and Risk in Marketing

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

I’m curious… What’s the most over-promised/under-delivered marketing solution you ever invested in?

I’ll bet you can rattle off an entire list of marketing initiatives that fell short of your expectations. It’s no wonder CEOs are hesitant to invest in marketing at all.

I feel terrible about this because I really DO believe in marketing. It has a job to do, and I expect it to do the job it should. But, when I say that I have three simple solutions for investing smartly, I understand when CEOs are still reluctant to proceed.

3 Steps You Can Take NOW

One of the things I’ve seen make a significant impact (and which I explore in this week’s video) is when business leaders start to look inside their own company, before paying for outside marketing services or solutions.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

CEOs: I’m Spilling Some Small Business Secrets

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Lean in, and I’ll tell you a secret…

Marketing decisions are actually easier than many CEOs think.

Marketing decisions aren't just about marketing. They’re connected to your P&L, in-house resource management, and talent. That’s why these decisions cause CEOs stress, indecision, and major second-guessing.

So, how can marketing decisions be easier to grapple with, considering everything else on your plate?

Applying a Business Approach to Marketing

Think about it...

You use the same disciplines in making decisions about your company as a whole. You focus on the most important things; what’s yielded results in the past.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy, CEOs, B2B marketing, Founders, B2B, small business

Watch the Marketing Strategy overview

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