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Your Best Marketing Data Provider May Be Right Underneath Your Nose

By Scott Vaughan

Data is today’s marketing currency. We harvest it wherever we can – via paid, owned and earned media. And this harvesting is facilitated by numerous tech and services providers: known-data appending plug-ins like Dun & Bradstreet and Social123; anonymous data marketplaces such as (Oracle) BlueKai; and currently the hottest of the data sources, predictive analytics providers such as Lattice Engines and 6Sense.

But what’s almost always neglected in the marketing data discourse: the media companies that have been generating traffic, prospects and customers for marketing clients for years.

Marketers shouldn’t neglect these sources and their evolving capabilities. Top-tier media companies aren’t the “lead-gen sources” of old – they’re the “data-gen providers” of tomorrow.

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Why Sharing Is Caring About Media ROI

By Ryan Maher

June 25, 2015

We marketers are getting better at breaking down departmental silos and sharing standardized data within our organizations. Yet, we’re still failing miserably when it comes to sharing information with external media partners and lead vendors – often the primary sources of our sales pipeline. This isn’t smart marketing. We need to communicate with our media partners, providing the necessary information they need to do their best work and maximize media ROI.

You may have incredibly strong media relationships and supporting tech, but unless all parties share common definitions of success, more often than not, you’ll be disappointed with the results. Defining KPIs and communicating performance data with media partners drastically increases your odds of paid media success. 

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5 Actions To Drive Sales-Marketing Alignment & Business Performance

By Zak Pines

This post was originally published on the MoneyballMarketer.com blog on June 13, 2015.

We all know sales & marketing alignment is extremely important. This Kapost article references an Aberdeen Group stat that “Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate, and companies with poor sales and marketing alignment have a 4% revenue decline.” (Now if I could just find that pesky Aberdeen stat... although this stat is referenced everywhere, I’m citing the Kapost article because I couldn’t find  a public version of the original stat from Aberdeen).

Knowing it’s important isn’t enough though, as actually attaining true sales & marketing alignment is challenging.

To that end, these are five specific actions that I’ve found sales and marketing can do together to drive alignment, and achieve the resulting business performance. I choose the word “sales and marketing” and “together” very precisely, as the key to this is that equal responsibility and commitment is taken from both groups within the company’s revenue team.

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My Biggest Blog Failures and What We Can Learn from Them

By David Crane

I suck…absolutely suck at creating blog titles. I know this and that’s why I usually get help.

But there’s a lot of other areas of my blog-writing suckitude that I’m not as clear on. So I thought it would be helpful to do an audit.

I had three of my colleagues – Scott Vaughan, Triniti Burton, and Ben Henson – review three separate (particularly bad) posts I’ve written, asking them to explain everything that sucks about them. Here’s their combined wisdom explained.

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How to Get More Marketing Done with Less Time

By David Crane

The good news is that marketing now has the spotlight. The bad news is that with the spotlight comes a vast audience – the entire business world – which is gathered around, waiting to see and judge the result of our efforts. They’re expecting a lot, and they’re expecting it done right.

How do we live up to these expectations? We’re all slammed. In fact, if you have a lot of free time, you probably aren’t doing it right – or you’re a savant…in which case, I hate you.

We need to increase efficiency.

Easier said than done. So, in an effort to help everyone find a little more time to do more, I gathered some helpful advice from three notable marketers who seem to produce five times the results of any average marketer such as myself.

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5 Secrets to Make Lead Gen Work for You

By Mary Wallace

Yin Yang is perhaps the most known and documented concept used within Taoism. With Yin/Yang, two halves come together to create wholeness.  Examples abound in everyday life: night and day; sun and shade; art and analytics.

Inbound and outbound marketing, when done right, are an example of Yin/Yang – two sides that make a whole.  Inbound marketing techniques draw potential customers to you while outbound techniques go to where the customers are less likely to find you on their own.

Regardless of how leads are generated, both inbound and outbound marketing techniques must fill the pipeline with MQL’s, SQL’s, sales opportunities, and deals.  The more sales opportunities and deals that marketing drives, the better the performance review in the boardroom.

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How To Plan Social Media Performance, Deliver ROI

By Scott Vaughan

In the first blog of this two-part series, I explained the ROI-driven steps that marketers should take when planning social media strategy.

Developing a social media plan and using a scorecard are critical to determine our success, know where we are falling down and quickly make changes in our strategy and tactics. This is especially applicable when it comes to social media, both because it is seen as a “nice to have” by some executives, and as an accountable marketer, you have to guard against investing lots of people and technology cycles with little to show for the investment.  You can quickly burn through time, resources and budgets, and you run the risk of executives growing weary of social media as a core marketing/customer communications strategy.

As I did with my four-step plan to build successful social media strategy, I’m going to lay out the four steps needed to measure and adapt that strategy post-launch to keep your stakeholders enthusiastic – while building your social presence and results.

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Always Be Testing: a 905-Word Guide to Better Marketing

By David Crane

As marketing continues to evolve, marketers who continually test new, creative ideas and technologies will prevail over those who don’t. This is also true of the organizations that foster such creativity among their marketing practitioners.

It’s true – marketing is becoming more scientific every day, but anyone who believes that this in any way indicates a shift away from creativity is blatantly wrong. Great scientists are creative, and marketers should always keep this in mind.

Continuously testing new ideas in creative ways doesn’t just unveil winning marketing tactics, it also keeps us and our teams from gradually falling into the “we’ve done it this way forever” mentality. And any marketer who’s spent enough time in the industry understands how devastating this way of thinking can be.

So here are a few things I constantly remind myself so as to not to fall into a pit of self-satisfied complacency.

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6 Ways to Improve Customer Communications Today

By Scott Vaughan

Marketers are determined to get closer to and more knowledgeable about their customers. To keep up with our customers’ needs and aspirations, the marketing team at Integrate is going through a major review and update of our customer communications – rethinking both what and how we communicate.

I’ve been part of many of these initiatives before, but something seems different this time.  Upon reflection and therapy-like exchanges with other marketing executives, there are two big factors I see contributing to the increased pressure and simultaneous excitement that we face today: 

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Customer Experience: The New CMO Revenue Driver

By Scott Vaughan

In recent discussions with fellow CMOs, I’ve noticed a common theme about Marketing’s conflicting “Big Goal” priorities: Should we focus on customer revenue or customer experience? My opinion: We’re asking the wrong question.

Marketing obviously needs to deliver both.  The right question (that’ll lead to the big wins): How do we infuse customer experience into our revenue-driving efforts?

CEOs expect Marketing to directly contribute to sales pipeline, new customers and revenue. These same executives – and your customers (the real bosses) – expect a personalized experience that makes it easy to interact and transact with your company, products and people.  

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