Survey: 48.6% of Digital Marketers Admit Incompetence

According to a survey by Smart Insights, 48.6% of marketing respondents answered, “I need to improve my depth of knowledge,” across seven key digital marketing areas, on average:

DisciplinesNeeds improvement
Social media marketing47%
Search engine marketing (SEO and PPC)51%
Public Relations (PR)39%
Digital strategy53%
Design (web, mobile, multichannel)42%
CRM and big data58%
Content marketing50%
Read More →

5 Fundamentals for Marketing Success

5-fundamentals-for-marketing-successDuring my morning quiet time when I read through my Feedly articles I came across this short, but sweet article from Entrepreneur.com: 5 Fundamentals Successful Entrepreneurs Build Into Their Strategy.

Although seemingly pedestrian, the 5 fundamentals felt all too familiar to me when I realized that I have been following this advice for a long time. Not just when starting new businesses, but also when starting a significant initiative within a business.

Hasn’t every new major business initiative been like starting a new mini-business?

I don’t think you’ll find this a stretch.  If your IT Reseller business has been around for a while, you likely started with break-fix solutions or consulting projects. What was it like when you first entered into managed services or took on a new proficiency like cloud? I remember these milestones from my own VAR experiences.

You needed a dedicated business plan for it, didn’t you? You had to figure out the partnerships, offerings, pricing, technology, integration, personnel, operations and go-to-market. And we all know it doesn’t end at “figuring out” because as you execute you’ll surely have to revisit each multiple times. Read More →

Will you follow large business marketing technology like you do IT?

Mayur-Gupta-Kimberly-ClarkWhether you service SMB or large business, I think we can agree that your solutions should be enterprise-class, although not priced for the enterprise if you’re servicing SMB, of course— but that’s a discussion for another day.

But why enterprise-class solutions? In my experience, it’s because SMB and mid-market companies strive to have the same capability and functionality of large business. Where did VPN start? Where did VDI start? Where did mobility start? These solutions started at the top and dripped down just like a lot of the technologies we consider “standard” today.

Here’s what’s going on. Large business and even mid-market companies are realizing the need to converge (at least a portion of) IT and Marketing. Why? Because marketing today means using technology and data—period. It’s far less about sales copy, graphics and hand-outs, although those things have their place.

It’s about prospect and customer data and the tools and systems to act on that data with the right message at the right time. In addition, it’s about integrating that marketing data with sales operations, i.e. your CRM. The good news is that this trend is driving down the cost of entry for Marketing Operations and Marketing Automation.

The question is, will you embrace and take advantage of this movement before your competitors do?

The line between marketing and IT is increasingly becoming blurred in many organizations, at least in respect to marketing operations and technology.

A Fortune 500 example of such a transformation comes from  Mayur Gupta, Global Head of Marketing Technology & Innovation for Kimberly-Clark.  As the marketing technology leader for a 22 billion dollar manufacturer of paper products, Gupta sits at the intersection between marketing and technology. Read More →

Say Hello to Marketing Operations

marketing-operations

You are probably aware of the need for sales operations, but what about marketing operations? Having worked on both sides, I would argue that the requirements for marketing technology, process, and data management / hygiene is far greater than that of the sales function.

And Marketing Automation, such as Rainmaker, is the catalyst of it all!
Read More →