Robert Rosenthal

Answer Our Fascinating Marketing Survey. You May Win the Life-Enhancing Amazon Echo.

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Amazon Echo pic@2x

Contenteurs has created a Fascinating Marketing Survey with questions we haven’t seen anyone ask marketers. The survey takes just a few minutes to complete. For responding, we’ll give you a summary of fascinating findings. And you’ll automatically be entered to win the Amazon Echo. Click here to complete the survey now.

Rules: No purchase necessary. One winner will receive the Amazon Echo. Only U.S. residents who complete the Fascinating Marketing Survey by December 15, 2015 are eligible. Contenteurs clients, employees, vendors, and their family members are not eligible. Winner agrees to allow her/his name to be used by Contenteurs in future marketing, including marketing that reveals the name of the Amazon Echo winner.

“Sorry About Our Marketing, But if This Test Works, We’ll do it Right”

Posted by | Marketing Testing | No Comments

Sorry Card

We all know uninspired marketing doesn’t come with an apology note. Prospects expect quality from you … every single time. If they don’t get it, they go elsewhere.

In marketing, it’s always best to “test the waters” before making a big commitment. But it’s also important to do it right the first time.

Marketers get very few second chances. When an initial experiment bombs, you rarely get a do-over. And it’s distressing to be left wondering what might have happened had you run a proper test in the first place.

So where do ambitious marketers without big bucks find the money to run the right tests, right from the get-go?

Excellent marketing usually costs more than crap, but here’s a little-known secret: High-quality marketing often costs less than ordinary stuff – if you know where to get it.

Small, nimble, outcome-oriented teams stocked with extremely accomplished marketing veterans are helping marketers do great stuff for a fraction of the cost of large agencies.

They’re good at making small budgets look big. But you don’t want to spread your team too thin. Budget-challenged marketers often find it best to do fewer things really well, rather than lots of things in mediocre ways. Think concentration of force.

A low budget doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Or strictly rely on in-house talent and miss the chance to benefit from greater diversity. Excellent strategic and tactical resources are out there. You just have to go out and get the help you need.

Robert Rosenthal is founder of Contenteurs, a marketing agency/consultancy that has run thousands of marketing tests and created dozens of record-breaking campaigns. His groundbreaking book, “Optimarketing: Marketing Optimization to Electrify Your Business,” became the #2 marketing title in Amazon’s Kindle Store. 

An Incredibly Easy Way To Pump Up Your Team

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applause_praise_for-employee

A distressing reality: Most American workers aren’t engaged. And the problem is by no means confined to the US. A 142-country study by Gallup found only 13% of global employees are engaged at work. Nearly two-thirds — 63% — are “not engaged.” Equally disturbing, almost one-fourth — 24% — are “actively disengaged.”

Here’s an easy way to raise employee engagement: Share the credit. In marketing, when an outcome is great (or good), praise your employees and outside partners appropriately. Share specifics on the difference they made. Let them know you appreciate what they bring to the table.

Complimenting and thanking people publicly and privately for their contribution costs you nothing, and may make a serious bottom-line difference. It’s also a nice thing to do.

Your Year Of Amazingness

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2015

This year, most marketers will run ordinary campaigns. Prefer to create marketing at least a cut above the norm? Here are five essentials to make it happen:

WANT IT. Extraordinary marketing requires more work than ordinary marketing.  Many marketers aren’t prepared to make the necessary moves. To do amazing stuff, you’ve got to really want it.

COMMIT TO IT. Of course, wanting to run amazing marketing isn’t enough. It takes commitment: of time, money, and more. Bold experimentation is key. It’s best to get commitment from the top.

PLAN IT. Marketers that work with a plan see better outcomes than those that don’t. Planning forces you to address where you are, where you want to be, and how you’re going to get there. Write a marketing plan.

DO IT. Much of marketing success comes down to execution. After you’ve nailed down your strategies, implement them. If they don’t succeed, change them. But don’t stagnate. Keep executing.

IMPROVE IT.  You can’t manage what you don’t measure. So track as much of your marketing as possible, shift to the marketing mix that works best, and keep improving. Remember your ABTs (Always Be Testing).

Introducing The Optimization Project (TOP)

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The Optimization Project LogoI wrote Optimarketing: Marketing Optimization to Electrify Your Business to help marketers optimize the whole marketing enchilada. From thousands of tests and dozens of record-breaking campaigns run by Contenteurs, readers see how to make the most of every major marketing element.

But serious change is rarely easy. So we’ve come up with an initiative to kick-start the marketing innovation process. It’s called “The Optimization Project” (the acronym just happens to be “TOP”). It’s designed to help you make the moves necessary to run your most profitable marketing ever.

Because it’s a Contenteurs initiative, The Optimization Project has a high-value offer: In a one-hour lightning round, via phone and web or in person, we’ll review a portion or all of your marketing (the former will obviously be the case in larger and more complex organizations).

Our review may include demand generation, customer acquisition, and retention programs; database marketing, lead nurture, and email marketing programs; search marketing and other website advertising; social media; marketing content; testing of key elements; and more.

Within 10 days, you’ll receive a summary with recommendations on a single page. The cost? It’s free and without obligation to marketers who qualify. We’re doing a modest number of Optimization Project evaluations, and I’ll be intimately involved in each one. So if you’re interested, let us know by emailing me at robert(at)contenteurs(dot)com or phoning me at 508.517.2460.

Is It Possible To Create Hugely Successful Marketing On An Embarrassingly Small Budget?

Posted by | General Marketing | No Comments

Yep. In fact, it’s often easier to do amazing stuff when big bucks aren’t available.

Glance inside an advertising awards book and you’ll probably notice many if not most winners weren’t big-budget campaigns created for big brands.

Big budgets tend to mean more hierarchy, procedures, and rules. More hurdles. In short, more ways to wind up with mediocrity.

But don’t the best ideas usually require big bucks to execute? Nope. Think about the times you’ve enthusiastically shared cool business content that didn’t seem costly to produce. You provided those impressions to marketers free of charge.

At Contenteurs, we collect 200 or even over 300 raw ideas for a single campaign. Some ideas can’t run without a substantial budget, but in many cases, the best ideas are among the cheapest to pull off.

And I must say, when you realize your campaign is more successful than those of larger competitors spending way more money well, few moments in marketing are more gratifying.

Don’t get me wrong: Money comes in handy in marketing. More money buys you more options. More money equals more testing. And as I said in Optimarketing, the best marketers tend to be the best testers.

If you’ve been blessed with a small budget, aim to make it look big. One solid way to make this happen: Instead of trying to do lots of things, do fewer things really well. Think concentration of force.

And dare to be great.

Six Damn Good Reasons to Use a Content Marketing Agency

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You’re more than capable of publishing a blog post, pointing a video camera at a colleague, delivering a webinar, and producing other types of content – without help from the outside. So why hire a content marketing agency? Here’s why.

1. Get outside the you-know-what – Marketers often bring in a top-notch agency to get (forgive the phrase) “outside the box.” With tight deadlines and budgets, it’s easy for internal marketing teams to fall into predictable patterns. The right content marketing agency could take you places you wouldn’t get to on your own – including those that could be very profitable.

2. Focus on what matters most – Excellent marketing content is linked to business goals and objectives. It’s strategic. But very often, for a variety of reasons, content gets created in an ad hoc manner. When it helps attract (or keep) customers who matter most, it’s capable of making a big difference.  The right content marketing agency will help keep your priorities in order.

3. Gain the gift of objectivity – Great marketing agencies are like baseball umpires: They call ‘em as they see ‘em. If Mike, the SVP who happens to be the Highest Paid Person, says, “I think we should go this route,” and the agency contact thinks there’s a better way to go, Mike won’t be told “Great idea.” Good clients expect their agencies to say what they really think.

4. Benefit from diversity – If your content marketing agency has been at it for a while, they’ve probably worked with a good variety of clients. Perhaps even more than 100. George Prince, the Synectics innovation pioneer, taught us that diversity is a key contributor to innovation. Bringing in a team that’s been successful with a diverse set of clients raises your odds of success.

5. Get more stuff done right – You’re busy. (Hey, who isn’t?) Sure, you could act like a Swiss Army knife and try developing your marketing content on your own, but is that the best use of your precious time? Do you and your team have all the hours needed to give your content the attention it should get? The right content marketing agency makes a big contribution to your content quantity – and quality.

6. Access specialized skills – The marketing world is more complex than ever. None of us are strong in every facet of marketing. But to remain competitive, you need strength across a full range of marketing disciplines. The right content marketing agency may add critical skills that take your content from ordinary to extraordinary. What’s more, you access these specialized skills on an as-needed basis, to save money.    

The right content marketing agency could produce an excellent return on investment – and even transform your marketing.

Robert Rosenthal is founder of Contenteurs, a content marketing agency that has developed record-breaking marketing programs for dozens of businesses. He’s also author of Optimarketing: Marketing Optimization to Electrify Your Business – recently the #2 marketing book in the Amazon Kindle Store. To arrange a complimentary consultation with Robert, email him at robert (at) contenteurs (dot) com, phone him at 508.517.2460, or send him a message here

Launch An Optimarketing Center

Posted by | Optimarketing | No Comments

version-b Final Cover

Optimarketing is about optimizing every major marketing element. I wrote a book on it called, Optimarketing: Marketing Optimization to Electrify Your Business, based on lessons from thousands of tests and dozens of record-breaking campaigns.

Optimarketers make every effort to optimize their marketing. They’re among our field’s most valuable players. But even MVPs need help, and lots of it. Especially these days.

Now Contenteurs, the agency that created Optimarketing, is undertaking a serious effort to spread it around by launching “Optimarketing Centers”: a collaboration with marketers out to make the most of what they’ve got.

Why collaborate with outside marketing experts – especially if you have a first-rate internal team? Because diverse problem-solving teams succeed more often than homogeneous ones. In short, you’re likely to do better with us on board.

Optimarketing Centers will take a variety of forms. We’ll collaborate with corporate marketing teams on tests to make unprofitable marketing programs profitable or take profitable ones to new levels. And we’ll coach marketing managers to help them overcome barriers to success.

In other cases, we’ll be hired guns that develop tests against “control” approaches. Or ensure that an important launch gets all the attention it deserves, for better odds of seeing great results.

We‘ve been teaming up with complementary firms forever, and we’re looking forward to implementing Optimarketing techniques with other marketing services organizations. By offering clients the advantages of an Optimarketing Center, a marketing services firm gains a competitive edge and improves client outcomes.

We’d love to hear about your situation. Contact us to talk about adding an Optimarketing Center to your business.

 

Optimarketing is a trademark of Contenteurs. All rights reserved.

We’re Seeing More Of This

Posted by | Optimarketing, Uncategorized | No Comments

OPEN_DOOR

Something exciting happened after I placed Optimarketing: Marketing Optimization to Electrify Your Business into an Amazon promotion: Within about 30 hours, it was the #2 marketing book in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

Optimarketing is opening doors. Our Boston-area content marketing agency has always attracted more than its share of exceptional clients. But I’ve known forever we could do so much for so many more marketers looking to pull out all the stops.

I’ll share a quick story: A client landed at a company that was #1 in its category. They were under contract with one of the country’s bigger agencies. But measurable results weren’t so hot. So the client read the contract and realized she could hire us on a project basis.

Result: First time out of the gate, in split-run testing against their control advertising, we lifted lead volume more than 60% – without eroding lead quality.

On that one, we had an inside champion out to do extraordinary stuff. But when we reached out to others, including those that seemed to need us most, getting them to green-light serious marketing innovation had traditionally been a tricky challenge.

A former head of business development for our shop put it well: “We can help you, but only if you let us.” Now, thanks to Optimarketing, more seem willing.