Marketing Innovation

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.

What Marketing Executives Don’t Say Often Enough

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Best Of World Sign

An ambitious marketing executive — who happened to be a potential client for our content marketing agency — said he wanted to launch “the best marketing in the world next year.”

Of course, the remark was music to our ears. Know how frequently we hear that sort of thing? Let’s just say not often enough.

The marketing field has lots of managers doing a competent job. But too many singles hitters who, for a variety of reasons, don’t aim high enough. I suspect many of my peers in quality-driven shops would agree.

Hoping to do amazing stuff? Think about telling a marketing agency you’re out to run the best work of your career. Break records. Win awards. Unleash a campaign for the ages.

If you mean it and direct your statement to the right gang it may just happen.

Diversity Makes Everything Better. Including Marketing.

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Diversity Pencils

Years ago I worked with Synectics, the innovation consultants who pioneered techniques to unleash creativity in business.

In The Practice of Creativity by Synectics co-founder George Prince, readers learn that diverse problem-solving teams are more likely than homogeneous teams to successfully solve problems requiring creative thinking.

So when confronted with a serious marketing challenge, if you’re out to maximize your odds of success, you don’t want to merely assemble your marketing staff around a conference table. It’s best to include people from other functional areas.

But you shouldn’t stop there. You’ll improve your odds even more by adding people who bring another important perspective to the table. People who regularly solve tricky marketing problems for a variety of businesses.

Outside marketing experts.

You’ll notice almost all of the world’s best brands rely on external marketing teams. They regularly keep them busy, to lift everyone’s level of play and consistently see better outcomes.

In the healthiest marketing organizations, internal staffers welcome contributions from the outside. Employees view external experts as collaborators, not competitors. Marketing leaders encourage efforts to assemble diverse problem-solving teams. The focus remains on what gets done and what it accomplishes rather than who does it.

Some marketing executives think it’s more cost-effective to keep everything in-house; many subtly or overtly push employees in that direction. Initially it may be less costly, but very often, it isn’t more cost-effective. Marketing is a business where a change to one variable can make all the difference. In some cases an agency staffer will be the only person willing to tell senior managers what they need to hear, even when it isn’t what they want to hear. And of course, external experts bring valuable skills to important marketing assignments.

Excellent marketing agencies often contribute exponentially more in revenue than what they’re paid. The return on investment from a good external agency or person is often outstanding.

The alternative is a monopoly among internal marketing staff. We all know the problems associated with monopolies, including reductions in innovation.

Diversity really does make everything better.