6 Types of Humor to Lighten Up Your Marketing and Start Conversations
May 23, 2014

Humor is human! Despite that, there haven't been many great examples of humor in B-to-B. I believe that is changing. Moreover, according to a global Nielsen survey called "Trust in Advertising," conducted in September 2013 in 58 countries, 47 percent of respondents said humor resonates more than any other content approach. Laughter lowers the intellectual shield your busy prospects have up all day just to survive the messaging onslaught. Humor opens up a space for connecting because it disrupts the expected pattern. Here are six types of humor that grab attention and generate conversation.

Top 10 Inbound Marketing Tactics
May 1, 2014

Direct marketing has traditionally been an outbound business: Send offers via mail, email, TV, telephone, etc., take orders from the percentage who convert, repeat. Inbound marketing turns that on its ear by using online tactics like content creation, social media and search marketing to make the company very easy for potential customers to find when they're looking to learn more about your industry, to trust and, ultimately, to buy.

8 Essential Digital Marketing Skills for Content Marketers in 2014
February 25, 2014

Like many other digital marketing agencies, we’ve been on the hunt for digital and content marketing talent on a continuous basis over the past few years. Increased demand and competition are driving the need to find people with skills that can actually create impact, vs. fuzzy “potential.” Companies looking for agencies are in the same boat, challenged to find partners that can actually affect business goals. Sadly, there are few knights in shining content marketing armor

Nurture Vs. Nature
December 1, 2013

In the early 1980s, when I was advertising manager of Koch Engineering—a manufacturer of process equipment—industrial marketing was a simple two-step process. First, you generated sales leads. Second, you turned the leads over to the sales force, who took it from there.

How to Maintain Your Email List for Engagement and Deliverability
October 1, 2013

Most companies focus their time and energy on building their email marketing list—as well they should. But it’s not enough just to build a list—you also need to maintain it. This means: Letting subscribers manage their preferences (or opt-out if they wish), and proactively cleaning and culling inactive subscribers. Email subscription centers: One of the best ways to manage your list—and simultaneously establish trust with your audience—is to allow them to take control of the communications they receive. By law, you need to allow subscribers to opt-out

Email Marketing: What to Test and How to Test
July 26, 2013

One of the most powerful aspects of email marketing is it can be tested (and, thereby, optimized). Following generic “best practices” or fixed “rules” is not a path to success, because what works for one audience won’t necessarily work for yours. Testing is your biggest ally. You should always "test for the best" in your email campaigns. What to test: Historically, the subject line has been the most popular marketing email element to test, followed closely by the content of the message itself. But, as MarketingSherpa highlights, there are many other elements of your emails that are just as testable.

3rd Pick in the 2013 Marketing Cloud Acquisition Draft Is …
July 24, 2013

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Gosh, it is almost getting boring around here waiting to see where the next selection will go. Salesforce grabbing up ExactTarget with the first selection was the first big surprise. Not so much the ExactTarget side, because there had been rumors for some time that ET was on the market.

Push vs. Pull Marketing: In B-to-B, You Need Both
April 5, 2013

The other day, a marketing colleague told me she was feeling under pressure to move all her efforts to inbound, or "pull," marketing. "Outbound is bad," she said. What? Well, I guess her feeling is understandable. Inbound marketing is all the rage today. Hubspot promotes it. Marketo promotes it. Seth Godin promotes it. With the new popularity of pull marketing, B-to-B marketers may be under the mistaken impression that push marketing is dead—or should be. How wrong they are. And here's why