Digital marketing needs to clean up its act

P&G’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said what many digital marketers have been thinking for some time now, “The days of giving digital a pass are over…It’s time to grow up. It’s time for action.”[We don’t] “want to waste time and money on a crappy media supply chain.”

Almost immediately after reading that, I came across an article, 10 Things I Hate About Digital Marketing by Jerry Daykin, also pointing out many of the pitfalls of digital. What do you think?

“Digital is all around us and there’s never been a more exciting time in marketing, but there’s also never been an easier time to completely waste your advertising budgets. Digital transformation is creating huge new opportunities to reach consumers and drive business objectives but if you blindly believe everything you read in a marketing headline, or see presented on an event stage, you can easily be led astray.

The digital industry is sadly still full of misinformation, misguided gurus, false perceptions and perhaps even a few deliberate crooks. With so much constant change it’s hard for anyone to keep up, but in general the traditional rules of marketing all still apply…”

Read the rest of the post HERE.

What are the greatest concerns for marketers now

I guessed number one correctly. See if you agree with this Hubspot post – updated to reflect 2016 business marketing research.

7 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Face Today

Every marketer faces different challenges. Although we typically share similar goals, some teams are stuck on hiring top talent, while others are having trouble finding the right technology for their needs.

Whatever the case may be, there’s always at least one area that you can stand to improve. In other words, there’s always room to optimize the various components of your strategy and turn your marketing into an even more effective revenue generator.

Curious about what kinds of obstacles other marketers are up against?

To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free 2016 State of Inbound report here.

We polled thousands of marketers on the challenges they face, as well as the tactics they’ve used to meet those challenges head-on. Here are some of the most common challenges marketers reported struggling with … and their solutions.

The Most Common Marketing Problems We Face, According to the 2016 State of Inbound Report

According to our report, generating traffic and leads and proving ROI are the leading challenges marketers face. Here’s a look at this year’s data:

SOI_blog_X-Top-Challenges-1.jpg

Image Credit: The 2016 State of Inbound Report

Let’s go through each of these top challenges and how marketers can address them.

Read the rest HERE

Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @

Outstanding free tools you need to know about

The amount of tools and information available for marketers, entrepreneurs and those bootstrapping a business is wonderful but it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything you might use now or down the road.

After creating a comprehensive list of essential free tools for Entrepreneurial Marketing students, (available HERE) one did a little extra research and found an incredible list of just about anything you might need. Big shout out to these folks – it is a terrific resource and pretty well organized for everything from business, marketing, design & code, and productivity to learning.

Click HERE for the list.

Don’t forget to visit the list of free marketing tools on this site.

Enjoy – and if you have any questions about which tools I’ve used and might be best for you please contact me or leave a comment below.

Want to know more about that website? Use these free tools.

As many of you already know, SimilarWeb is a fantastic tool to get an idea of how other websites are doing, giving a quick traffic overview and similarweb-logosnapshot of any website’s referrals, search, social, display, content, audience, similar sites and mobile apps.

Now, thanks to a heads-up from Lindsey over at Meltwater, here’s another great tool to discover potential impressions/reach on a site. It’s called Hypestat – just plug in the website and it pulls the daily/monthly breakdown of Unique visitors, pageviews, Alexa ratings and the value of the site in ad revenue dollars.

Pro tip: For a quick average of impressions you might get by placing an ad or other content on the site, simply take the number of unique visitors and multiply by 30.

Here’s to numbers!

Marketing: How to step outside the ‘bubble’

Countless times in marketing strategy meetings, I have heard sentences beginning with and/or containing “I” or “my.”

“I wouldn’t respond to/click on that.”

“My friends and I thought the idea was great.”

“That’s how I would do it/buy/respond.”

Not wanting to invalidate a personal POV, especially from a boss or executive, many stay silent. And then carry out marketing plans according to the leader’s —sometimes personal— experience and wishes. [The ‘marketing’ department is then basically relegated to the role of a Kinko’s store – taking orders and creating collateral].

You can see the problem here.

We’re not marketing and selling to our (I’ll borrow Kissmetrics’ term here) “HiPPOs” (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion), we are attempting to message our customers. They are sometimes two very different things.

Jamie Oliver’s story about trying to change eating behavior outside his cultural norm is a perfect example. It took some time to get to know the customer. And, of course, so should you.

SO the next time you hear an “I” or “My” in a marketing meeting, try to see if you can’t change the subject to the customer, based on objective research.


Referenced article is Eat Your Peas: A Recipe for Culture Change via Strategy+Business

Photo: First Time Bubble by Serge Melki

Content may be king (but maybe not)

You create great content. Incredible content. You spent hours putting together your website page, social platforms, compelling photos, well written articles. In short, you’re a content genius.

But where’s the traffic?

Turns out content isn’t king, or at least it isn’t the whole picture. (There is more by Blog Tyrant on this and I’ll share a link to the article in a second.)

I think most of you know exactly what I mean.

There’s a ton of noise out there. Unless you get a kick-start, such as a spend (that perhaps you can’t afford), or a chance mention on a popular website, it’s a whole different art to get folks to visit your content.

So we post and post and look at our Google Analytics and still no traffic.

Look, I don’t resort to click bait, I don’t believe in headlines that promise one thing then lead you into an unexpected page for the sake of traffic.

However, to get more folks interested in what you are promoting it needs to be direct and catchy without too much detail. If you’re successful in getting their attention (or, stopping the scroll, as I put it) than you just might have a little more success in directing folks to your valuable content.

We’ll go into more detail on that in another post — your landing page is also another discussion.

Here is the link to the article I mentioned earlier, The Biggest Myth in Blogging: Why Content is Not King

Use big data to create value, not just targeting

Another great article from the folks (Specifically Niraj Dawar) at HBR. The gist? Targeting provides a short term advantage, creating value is long term. Read more.

Big data

Big data holds out big promises for marketing. Notably, it pledges to answer two of the most vexing questions that have stymied marketers since they started selling: 1) who buys what when and at what price? and 2) can we link what consumers hear, read, and view to what they buy and consume?

Answering these makes marketing more efficient by improving targeting and by identifying and eliminating the famed half of the marketing budget that is wasted. To address these questions, marketers have trained their big-data telescopes at a single point: predicting each customer’s next transaction. In pursuit of this prize marketers strive to paint an ever more detailed portrait of each consumer, memorizing her media preferences, scrutinizing her shopping habits, and cataloging her interests, aspirations and desires. The result is a detailed, high-resolution close-up of each customer that reveals her next move.

But in the rush to uncover and target the next transaction, many industries are quickly coming up against a disquieting reality: Winning the next transaction eventually yields only short term tactical advantage, and it overlooks one big and inevitable outcome. When every competitor becomes equally good at predicting each customer’s next purchase, marketers will inevitably compete away their profits from that marginal transaction. This unwinnable short-term arms race ultimately leads to an equalization of competitors in the medium to long term. There is no sustainable competitive advantage in chasing the next buy.

Read the rest HERE


Niraj Dawar is a professor of marketing at the Ivey Business School, Canada. He is the author of TILT: Shifting your Strategy from Products to Customers (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013).