Companies often spend millions of dollars on product development efforts and carefully monitor and control the entire process only to treat the product launch process as an afterthought. It is disheartening for product teams to watch their organizations fumble at the goal line.
Organizations that do separate the product development process from the product launch process acknowledge that planning and implementing a successful product launch is labor intensive. However, only a minority of organizations actually do this well – even though this is one of the most critical and vulnerable elements of the entire product production process.
Last year’s Study of Product Team Performance pointed to the importance of having a single person responsible for product launch. However, our data suggests that only 37% of organizations actually take this step.
The Marketing Technologist: Neo of the Marketing Matrix
Today, I’m giving one of the opening keynotes at the Gilbane Conference, making the case for why marketing technologists are amazing, Neo-like characters in the marketing world equivalent of The Matrix.
The attendees, a 50/50 mix of IT and marketing professionals, are collectively the ideal audience for this. It’s the combination of their talents — increasingly blended into hybrid roles such as marketing technologists, creative technologists, growth hackers, and data scientists — that represents the vanguard of modern marketing.
Here is an annotated version of my slides:
There are two important things I need to tell you about process. By process I mean the series of actions needed to achieve a goal. Applied to content marketing, process refers to the succession of steps resulting in the efficient and effective ideation, creation, publication, distribution, and analysis of content and content campaigns.
A well-defined content marketing process differs depending on the organization. For example, some industries (such as financial services) have layers of approvals to go through before content can be published. Some align content assets to specific themes or target verticals. In our process, we define the call to action before before ever getting started.
The good folks at Godfrey have posted all the videos and presentation decks from their FWD:B2B Conference, which was held earlier this month at the beautiful Ware Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Here’s the video of my presentation on the epic collision of marketing and technology, which covers three major shifts in marketing that have rippled out from this cosmic event:
- From communications to experiences
- From art and copy to also code and data
- From rigid plans to agile iterations
Your task is simple: Create a site that leads users to an end goal.
If you run a blog, a user needs to be able to read, comment and follow you on social media or sign up for email updates. If have an ecommerce site, a customer needs to be able to find what they want and reliably purchase it. If those end goals aren’t occurring, you have a problem: Either what you’re offering isn’t worth the having, or you’re losing your audience along the way.
To have a successful site, you need to know what problem you’re facing and where in the experience users are disengaging before you can attempt a fix. You need to steer users down a path and predict what they’re looking for, and you can do so by learning how people have been navigating your site to date, a metric called “page flow.”
As inbound marketers, we create a lo-hot of content. It fuels our whole marketing strategy, after all! But when you think about all the different types of content a marketer creates, that which helps to attract website traffic and convert visitors into leads tends to get the most attention. But there’s a lot more to it, my friend.
While this educational, top-of-the-funnel content is vitally important, let’s not undermine the importance of bottom-of-the-funnel marketing content — content that communicates the functionality and benefits of your product/services — and content that enables your sales team and helps them sell.
Kudos to Frank Days, John Cass, and now Amy Callahan, who have kicked started the Boston Agile Marketing Meet-Up back into gear over the past couple of months.
In September, David Quinn of EMC gave a terrific presentation of their experience with agile marketing, the video of which is available on YouTube. (You can also read the Q&A I had with David and Amy back in May, how EMC successfully adopted agile marketing.)
Last week, Mike Volpe, the CMO of HubSpot and an early agile marketing pioneer, shared with the group HubSpot’s journey with agile marketing and how it’s evolved over the years. I believe a video recording of the event will eventually be released, but in the meantime, here are two takeaways from Mike’s presentation that I found particularly compelling.
(This is my interpretation of his talk, which assumes some familiarity with agile marketing. If you’re new to this topic, you might want to read this introduction to agile marketing and this post debunking 3 myths of agile marketing.)
The many marketing departments of tomorrow
Before I get an inbox full of angry emails from everyone who doesn’t work in the marketing department, let me disclaim that the above diagram was intended somewhat humorously. Hey, it’s Friday — lighten up!
But the funny thing about humor is that it often contains a nugget of truth.
Decades ago, David Packard — of Hewlett-Packard (HP) fame — declared, “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” And although marketing as a function is clearly ascendent, the scope of the marketing mission is also broader than ever too.
Are you wondering what the best content marketers do differently?
Do you want to take your content marketing to a new level?
Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just published their latest report, B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America. The report shows two sides of content marketing.
On one hand, the industry is still growing and has a long way to go. On the other hand, things are looking up and confidence is growing as many marketers start to get it right!
What’s clear from the report is that the most successful B2B marketers are doing more! “More what?” you ask. Well, they’re spending more money, paying more attention to strategy, using more tactics and social media platforms and even producing more content.
Let’s dig deeper into five trends that show exactly what the most effective B2B content marketers are doing.
I never thought I would be penning a piece using the word “lean” in the title. Being six-foot three and weighing 250 pounds the word “lean” and I are not always in the same neighborhood, or country for that matter. But when I heard about a different kind of lean, one that brands and marketers and business owner of all sizes can benefit greatly from – my naturally investigative mind took over and I knew I had to learn more.
What I found was Lean, with a capital L. Some refer to it as “Lean manufacturing”, “Lean enterprise”, or “Lean production” where others just refer to it as “Lean.” Whatever name you prefer it all essentially means the same thing: maximizing customer value while minimizing waste.