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

The Content You Keep: Common Content Marketing Misconceptions

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

I ask the CEOs and other business leaders I work with to consider this: Know what you know, and know what you don’t know.

One area of your marketing strategy you can know (or learn to know) is content marketing.

What’s Preventing Success in Your Marketing Programs?

In their collection of content assets (blogs, white papers, ebooks, etc.), companies often talk about themselves in terms of products, services, or features. But, how does that really differentiate from others in your space who do exactly what you do?

Simple answer: It doesn’t.

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

The Untested Seems Plausible During a Crisis

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Even with the understanding that this pandemic crisis is temporary, and that we will get through this, uncertainty looms. There’s so much unknown, it’s dizzying.

And yet, while some of the world seemed to be unraveling in the recent weeks, other plates shifted under our feet.

Suddenly, risk serves as a catalyst.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy, marketing ROI

Qualified Leads in the Time of COVID: Resist the Temptation to Lower the Bar!

Guest Contributor: Stan Odachowski

While we all work through learning how to sell during the new world environment, it’s still vital to keep your eye on developing quality leads for your sales executives. Change and pressure have a way of forcing companies to lower expectations on deliverables. 

Remember, even though you may refine lead definitions over time, sales will still reject leads if they aren’t “sales ready.” No matter the situation we’re in now, it’s important to keep demanding quality from your lead generation teams.

Why Volume Isn’t the Answer

We all know that the definition of a “qualified lead” varies from business to business and even changes as your business evolves. I think back to a situation I was in with a large software company, where I managed their lead management organization. 

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Topics: lead generation, content marketing, marketing strategy

The Curse of Knowledge: A Content Marketer’s Bad Dream

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

I first heard this rather dated concept at a recent Storybrand live training. How could I have missed it? I missed it because I’m blessed with an extra dose of this communications scourge.

The concept was conceived back in 1989 in an economics publication, and supported by research in developmental psychology and human behavior. It has been played out in the markets, entertainment, and even charades (why don’t my teammates understand what I’m pantomiming?). Look it up on Wikipedia for more fun references.

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Topics: content marketing, marketing strategy

5 Ways To Create More Enjoyable Content

Shina Neo, Editorial Manager

Last week, while doing my Thanksgiving shopping at Trader Joe’s, I noticed a sign reading, “We are sorry we are closed Thanksgiving, but we will be open Friday, November 22.” Do you see what I see? Thanksgiving Day was November 22; the following day when the store would reopen was November 23.

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Topics: content marketing

Visual Storytelling: 3 Steps To Crafting Your Brand’s Story

Jeannette Castañeda

Stories are part of our DNA. From our earliest ancestors sharing stories over a fire to today’s proliferation of videos throughout the web, stories keep us entertained, informed, and connected.

As a lifelong bookworm, I know firsthand the power of stories to heal, to protect, and to expand a person’s experience. As a marketer, I am convinced that great marketing tells engaging stories that connect people to brands, and vice versa.

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Topics: content marketing

A Little Piece Of INBOUND: Top 4 Takeaways From This Year’s Event

Shina Neo, Editorial Manager

With all things content marketing, there is no one way to do the job. Instead of getting frustrated by constantly trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t, it’s more productive to turn to proven tactics.

I know now that’s the beauty of the INBOUND conference, which I attended last week—having all these experts come together to share ideas, best practices, and what worked for them and ultimately helped them succeed.

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Topics: inbound marketing, content marketing

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