When Random Acts of Marketing Turn Risky

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Randomness is sometimes enticing; there’s a spontaneity about it that feels creative and bold. 

Until, that is, you’re faced with burning questions around tepid results: what went wrong? Why didn’t the plan yield return? It’s like eating too much cake or drinking too much champagne.

The spending hangover is hell to pay.

Do You Know Randomness When You See It?

Many of the companies I work with have indulged. The promises from marketing specialists, the lure of new MarTech, or sheer envy around what the competition is doing have spurred activity that didn’t deliver.  

There simply wasn’t an organized set of objectives and sound strategies to bring it all home.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

Tipping My Hat to 2020, Giving a Cheer to 2021

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

It’s always good to start out a brand new year with a clean desk, but it’s even better to find something that validates the hard work—and lessons learned—of the previous one.

While sorting through a pile of papers to prepare my office for 2021, I came upon a real gem. 

It was a notepad with scribbled musings inspired by one of my business coaches. He asked us to list the mutual mindsets and beliefs that identify a perfect collaboration. 

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

Are You Stuck in a Cycle of Wasteful Marketing Decisions?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

One of the most common questions I get from CEOs and business leaders is, “How can I get unstuck on marketing decisions?”

These companies are usually fighting one of two battles:

  1. Frozen in place—not making any decisions because they have no idea where to begin (or begin again).
  2. Making ineffective marketing decisions; the infamous “random acts of marketing.”

Often, the second is accompanied by fears relates to budget. “I’ve already spent the money to fund this X, Y, or Z marketing tactic, so I best just stick with it.” But, clinging to past marketing decisions just because you spent time, money, or resources (or all three) isn't a strategy. 

It's stagnation.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

One of My Marketing Strategy Lab Participants Reported, “It’s like having a personal trainer for your business.”

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

I tried to spend as much time outdoors on my exercise regimen before Daylight Savings time ended. During those outings, I kept returning to the power of consistency. Will I let the imminent winter weather dictate my health? Absolutely not. I already have a plan for what I’m going to do to keep moving as the temperature drops and daylight fades. 

What does this have to do with business strategy?

Marketing is so hungry; the machine needs to be fed consistently, strategically, week in and week out. Sharing relevant content, managing paid channels, evaluating ROI... it can be a drain, particularly if it requires last minute pivots, adjustments, and refinements. Someone has to be watching the store every day.

It’s no wonder many business owners revert to a “best guess” approach to planning and implementation.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

Do You Have a Marketing Channel Strategy that Drives Budget?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

This week in the Marketing Strategy Lab, we’re working through Obs + Strats. Once we do, we’ll need a channel strategy to translate marketing strategies into a realistic plan. 

A channel strategy defines the pathways we select in order to meet and engage prospects where they are most likely to seek and find information, knowledge, opinions, and guidance. We also consider the “relationship” factor, and how each channel engages prospects differently. 

These pathways are integrally tied to meeting KPIs, payback scenarios, and even talent resources.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

The Finest Marketing Services  Can Still Be Wasteful

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

My long-time clients like to make fun of me for applying the word “strategy” to every discussion. I’m a big girl, I can take it.

But here's an insight that justifies my strategy talk:

Buying marketing services without a strategy is like buying financial advice without your own personal goals in mind.

Think about it:

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

A Love Story: I Broke Up with One Brand Because I Fell in Love with Another

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

The pain of heartbreak. The guilt of the break-up. Here’s the story.

My First Love

I tried a new brand of household products about two years ago. They advertised on Facebook. The advertising was silly. It made the point. The product was environmentally friendly, and it came in the mail by subscription.

I tried it. I liked it. End of story. Let’s call them Brand #1.

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Topics: marketing strategy, Branding, consumer insights

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

History Lesson: Maintaining Marketing Spend During A Downturn

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

If you happen to be married to a financial risk analyst, who moonlights as a historian, you have to turn an eye toward history in order to gain any perspective on what’s happening today.

Here are a few of those tidbits, culled from a Forbes article from last year. 

Yes, last year.

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Topics: email marketing, marketing strategy

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