September 20, 2017 at 4:02 PM

Why harm your website?

There are certain things in life I just don't understand. This is one of them.

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August 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM

All I needed to know about Social Media I learned from Desert Pete

When I was in high school, my dad went with me to a concert.

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August 7, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Technology is a Tool, Not a Solution

Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

Whether it's HubSpot or InfusionSoft, whether it's a new LMS, TMS, HRIS, or HCM system...whether it's a new version of Office or a new cell phone...

Technology alone won't solve your problems.

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July 24, 2017 at 10:38 AM

How to assign personas to your leads, customers and prospects?

The value of using personas should be clear, but then the question arises: how do we assign personas to our prospects, leads and clients?

A solid content marketing plan will help you do this. Ideally, you'll use a tool like HubSpot, that makes both the workflows and the CRM integration easy, but this can be done manually or with other solutions. 

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July 20, 2017 at 11:05 AM

Write for your reader. Write for your personas.

Your elementary school English teacher probably taught you, as mine did me: Write for your reader.

This remains some of the wisest advice I've received over the years. People care about themselves. All the more so, if there is a definite need, then until that need is met, they don't really want to hear about other details.

If someone's car broke down and they need to get to work, going on about the stereo isn't going to help sell the car. If someone had a tree fall on their roof, having the largest range of color options isn't what's going to sell the deal.

Start with what is the pain point of the consumer, and repurpose your content to meet the needs of each of your defined personas. Most ebooks, articles, white papers, tip sheets, etc. can be rewritten pretty easily for each of your personas.

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July 19, 2017 at 3:09 PM

The end of advertising as we know it?

During a presentation today, a senior marketing leader talked about the "top of the marketing funnel" being about "brand engagement," rather than giving language to a problem the customer is experiencing.

It got me thinking about transitions in the industry, as consumers gain more voice in all stages of not only the buying cycle, but also product development, UX, CX and more. 

Is advertising -- a sign in Times Square or ad within a magazine inside cover -- is advertising truly dead?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and observations.

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July 18, 2017 at 4:24 PM

What motivates a Persona?

Personas should be at the foundation of all of your marketing, sales and customer service efforts. The key to a good persona definition is understanding their motivations...what emotions drive them.

Marketers will be more comfortable with this, generally, than sales people, as this approach means selling to individuals, not companies. Each person involved in the decision making process may have different motivations, and be categorized as a different persona. 

This means, when analyzing your data, you need to consider patterns of which personas get you in the door, which close the door and which walk you into the Executive office.

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July 17, 2017 at 3:17 PM

A Marketer's Least Favorite Job - Logo Police

Marketers are all about creativity and building positive experiences. So when they come asking if you could stop using the logo a certain way, or to stick with the approved colors and fonts...understand, this is the least favorite part of their job.

We know people want (and sometimes do say), "Who died and left you in charge?" Well, while they didn't die, our hiring manager is the one who put us in charge of this. In fact, it was included in our job description, and is part of what we'll be evaluated on for job performance.

So, yeah, we really do need you to listen to us.

Hopefully, though, you'll come to embrace that we're doing this not just because it's our job, but also because it helps make everyone else's job easier.

Think of Apple - you saw a white background and a silhouetted apple with a bite out of it, right? Clean, simple, focused. Well, that's the brand experience, right? How come you were so quickly able to think of that, and probably to also feel a sense of calm plus hope? Because they protect the brand and make sure whatever they do reinforces these key benefits. This also accomplishes a lot of the sales process...at this point, the emotional benefit of buying from Apple is evident, and how it compares with other brands is clear. Now, it's simply a matter of specs of which Apple product to buy.

Similarly, your marekting team is trying to create a similar situation with your brand. By reinforcing a consistent message, emotion and experience, it creates the pre-conditions for consumers to quicly associate your brand (name, color, fonts, layouts, images, etc.) with an experience, and thereby accelerating the sales process. 

Most marketers will try to find a way to meet your needs, if the resources available are not sufficient. They are, in fact, trying to help you, not hinder you, in your job.

Please think of their interactions as such, and it will be easier on everyone.

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July 13, 2017 at 12:45 PM

Personal or Corporate Brand - What Level do you Represent?

Your brand - personal or corporate - helps a consumer place you in their mind...are you a luxury provider? Low cost solution? One-stop-shop? Specialist in this niche?

Branding helps fill in a lot of gaps by answering these sorts of questions, which allows the consumer to process your message within a context of what they already know in this world.

This video post touches upon a point to consider as you build out your brand, for how you want consumers to understand your position in the marketplace.

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July 12, 2017 at 10:15 AM

Does your Brand reflect the benefit of working with your company?

Before launching on a rebranding effort, think carefully about if rebranding is really necessary. 

To determine this, I propose one key question:

Is there a disconnect between the benefit of working with your company and what your branding communicates?

In this video, I discuss an example where there was a disconnect and how we approached designing a new logo. 

Branding naturally goes beyond the logo...please watch for future installments for more around that.

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