Tag Archives: postaday2011

Links worth a click #5

There have been some really interesting reads online.

Here is my pick from the last week, we 24 June 2011.

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Mashable offered up an interesting ‘Behind the Scenes’ on 8 Innovative Social Media Campaigns. My personal favourite is The Voice because it is a new take on reality contest TV and was perfect for social media.

B2B: I particularly liked the advice on keeping your mind on ‘next action’ as a driver on what and how to present in Social Media B2B’s post on How to Create Great B2B Presentations

FACEBOOK: Australia’s finest, Jeff Bullas has pulled together an overview of 5 creative Facebook pages. I was initially surprised in scrolling through to find games, movies, cars and lingerie, but hey it is Facebook!

SEO COPY: The ever useful Marketing Profs site published a handy little guide on writing with SEO in mind. Their Five Tips for Writing Content That Keeps Pace With B2B Searches included titbits such as staying aware and staying relevant.

BLOGGING: If you need to get your CEO on board with your social media thinking, here is a useful post designed to get them involved in the blog side of things.

Now, a three way tie for content of the week:

EBOOKS: First off Hubspot’s How to Write and Launch an Ebook That Generates Leads. Staggeringly useful.

INFOGRAPHICS: Secondly, a must try: Infographics are all the rage right now if you have a dataset you want to present in an innovative way. Here are 5 tools to help turn data into infographics.

WEBSITES: Finally, from Econsultancy, and just to make most of you feel your age, just look at how some of the UK’s top e-commerce sites have changed in the past five years (or in some cases not changed).

Hope you see something you like. More next week.

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Taking the reins off your star performers

There is tendency for recruiters to bring new talent into a business but then attempt to restrict that talent rather than embrace what was attractive about it in the first place.

It sounds ridiculous, but how often do businesses lose good people over job satisfaction, motivation and development issues? The company, its customers and colleagues are the least frequently cited reasons for leaving.

Conformity is easy.

Better, then to encourage team members that want to be encouraged, that want to push the envelope, that want to raise the bar. Creativity, thinking creatively, innovation and dynamism are the lifeblood of most organisations but company culture too often sucks this from people and leaves them ambivalent because they haven’t received positive feedback on ideas and input previously.

An extreme example above. Love him or hate him, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has created incredible revenues for his company and his shareholders. To such an extent that even customers that would prefer not to fly Ryanair still do because of the way he has managed to keep ticket costs low.

Do you have star performers that you are reining in? Perhaps its time to take the shackles off and see how your business might flourish. Brave companies lead. Conservative ones follow.

Image: FastCompany

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Is the old agency model dead?

A question posed in PRWeek this week as agency GolinHarris took over the publication with several pages given over to analysis of their new agency structure.

Much was made of their decision to demolish the traditional structure and replace accepted roles with a four pillared approach based on strategist, creator, catalyst and connector specialists instead of generalists.

But is it a clever PR stunt or something deeper? A comment perhaps on the evolving demands placed on the consultancy sector or the often bloated nature of the agencies that work within it and their need to drive efficiency?

Whichever side you come down on,  it provoked lots  of industry heavyweights, and some lightweights too, into offering their perspective.

What their move has done is recognise the growing role and significance of digital and social media in the marketing mix. And it gives a mid-sized PR agency the opportunity the take on specialist PR, advertising, media and digital agencies in an increasingly divergent operating environment.

Scale is a factor and this is the reason most agencies are structured the way the are. Clients invariably prefer a single point of contact as this reduces the communications flow to a more manageable level. It will be interesting to see if other agencies follow suit.

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Tips on marketing, innovation and being remarkable

Two great takeaways in this slide set I spotted during this week’s review of the latest uploads to Slideshare, in addition to the great embedded YouTube video functionality half way through.

1. Work on your elevator pitch. Conventional wisdom says you have 30-60 seconds to get across what you do. Maybe if you work in Canary Wharf. The rest of us probably have 10 seconds max.

2. Slides 21+ – first doesn’t win and remarkable beats first every time.

Kudos to Charlie Wollborg

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Is the role of sales and marketing director dead?

Is it a sign of the times, and the broad acceptance of marketing as a standalone discipline, that the role of the sales and marketing director is becoming less common? Can you really focus effectively when you are doing two jobs?

Make no mistake they are two very different jobs. In a recent Marketing Week feature, Pitney Bowes marketing director Phil Hutchinson commented:

   “Marketers are thinkers and strategists, they are more creative, whereas sales    is a very hard-hitting, fast moving and fairly aggressive environment. Within      marketing, you need to think more long term. In the sales arena, you’re                  always dealing pretty much in the short term.”

Differing disciplines

Sales and marketing are two diametrically opposed roles with different focus, different methodologies and different outcomes. They exist at different stages of the buying process. Though bound by the need to sell products, they go about it in very contrasting ways.

If you are operating in a sales role, you are focused on selling, period. You want to shift as much as you can as quickly as you can. Discounting, bundling and price promotion are the tools to use. They are not the same tools that the marketing-focused use to build durable brand equity for the longer term.

Anecdote time

In an early post-university position, I worked with a boorish sales director who ruled the sales and marketing roost. For a time he dominated the negotiation and running of key account relationships. He went awol for days on end, conducting his business on Europe’s finest golf courses, running up huge expenses as he went. And, of course, giving away product at significantly reduced prices.

After a while, a southern based director of market development moved north. They didn’t seem eye-to-eye. But surprisingly, it was the sales director that made way. He was a relic. His perspective and his blinkered view of the world had become outdated and dangerous to the business.

Overnight, the company moved from being a sales led to a marketing led business. That isn’t to say that sales targets weren’t set and worked towards, but that the profitable meeting of segmented and definable customer needs became the mantra. It remains the case today, and many companies the world over are now doing the same thing. Channelling their efforts into designing and supplying products and services that meet the exacting requirements of niche segments. Marketing is the future of selling.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to this. If marketing and sales were the same, there wouldn’t have been the need to differentiate between the two. Marketing would never have happened, the fact it did – 90 years before the concept of ‘spin’ – speaks volumes.

What has your experience been? Have you conducted a sales and marketing role and if so, did you honestly focus 50:50? Do you think a sales and marketing role is achievable in the modern business age? Might it just be worth thinking about that next sales and marketing vacancy you need to fill?

Image: Corp Intel

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Why claiming creativity is almost irrelevant

I create this blog but don’t consider myself to be particularly creative. Agencies, job hunters, and marketers of varying repute claim to be creative but I wonder if many really are.

Being creative and operating creatively demands a mindset that modern businesses are rarely equipped for. The pressures that the current economic climate brings mean that businesses don’t get a second chance these days. You get one chance to make a killer first impression, to win the pitch, to land the contract, and to deliver it on time and on budget.

So are you going to cultivate an environment that affords opportunity and one which motivates and empowers your people, partners and suppliers? One that challenges them to conceive truly original ideas and to work them through to completion?

Or are you going to water them down in committee and settle for the conservative way things have always done, rather than be brave… and creative?

Understand that you aren’t the adjudicator of your creativity, your stakeholders are. Do you have evidence from them to substantiate your lofty claims? And the work to prove it?

Image: www.professionalartistmag.com

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Socionomics 2011: The social media revolution continues

Erik Qualman’s Social Media Revolution animation has been one of the most over-used videos in seminar and conference presentations and by educators in recent years.

For good reason. He pulled together some incredible statistics in a really engaging way to show how social media has changed in the world in less than five years.

Well, he’s at it again with his 2011 update, released yesterday, and it has already pulled in over 21,000 hits. I fully expect it to hit the million before the end of the summer.

[YouTube video embed]

For me there is an obvious takeaway. Draw on the data inside to supplement your knowledge, empower your team, enthuse your customers and drive your social media strategy.

Because, to be blunt, you need one.

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