• Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

  • Marketing Needs English Majors

    If you’re anything like me, you love writing. In fact, you need to. Writing offers you insight into the inner world of your mind—chaotic thoughts and all. Allowing you to see through the emotional storm, writing provides a foundation where we can begin to organize and understand that internal struggle we all face. Acting as a tether, writing gives us the chance to explore as deeply as we care to delve—or fear to.

    And honestly, the act of writing has the potential to make us better people.

    Writing

    That pretty much sums it up—I don’t even have a choice in the matter. I need to write. I’m not writing myself into fame or fortune. I’m not writing to be the next Hemingway, Shakespeare or Gaiman. I’m writing because if I don’t, I begin to unravel.
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    If I asked most people, “Why you haven’t joined an industry group or trade association,” I’m certain I’d hear the same answer from 99% of them. I’m just too busy.

    Join an Organization

    We’re all busy, and we are cramming more and more into an already jammed workday. But what if I told you the potential benefits that far outweigh the extra time you’d put in? What if I said those benefits could help you use your time more effectively and actually help you build your business?
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    What does it mean when the air begins to warm and the leaves start returning to the trees? It’s time to start gearing up for the busy trade show season of course! But before heading to the airport, hopefully you accomplished a few tasks ahead of time to make your show successful.

    Did you write and distribute a news release about your involvement at the show? Industry B2B publications often include a trade show preview section a month prior to the event highlighting exhibitors. This is a great way to receive free publicity and credibility prior to the show.

    Trade Show PR

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    If you think it’ll be another 10 or 15 years before we see Millennials influencing B2B buying decisions… think again! They’re now the biggest generational group researching B2B products for potential purchase. It’s time to reevaluate how we communicate with decision makers on the purchase path!  AdAge recently posted, “millennial influence within b-to-b buying decision groups is growing rapidly, according to a new study by Google and the research house Millward Brown Digital.

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    Amp Up Your Public Relations

    By Jenny Kosek for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 Blog Series

    Public relations, marketing, and advertising are terms that get tossed about interchangeably, which is unfortunate because public relations is a decidedly unique animal compared to the other two. And when done well, it can make a positive impact on your business.

    Public relations is simply “using the news or business press to carry positive stories about your company or products.” PR is all about the relationships you’re building with the trade press, media, and potential clients, and leveraging those connections to convince those people to talk about you – at no cost to you. That’s the real beauty of PR: while it takes time, it does not take additional money in the way that publishing an ad campaign or printing new sales brochures does.

    How do you begin connecting to the media and letting them know that your business is interesting and worth talking about? This is where an agency can really help you make a splash. Marketing and PR agencies familiar with your industry already have these connections established, allowing you to essentially skip Step 1: Find the press and jump directly to Step 2: Get the press to notice you.

    Editorial calendars are a great place to start when getting your foot in the door with a trade publication. Is there an article you can prepare that will display your thought leadership or expertise in a particular topic trending in your industry? Publications are always seeking good content, so reviewing an editorial calendar and pitching a story idea that relates to the scheduled themes or topics is a great PR option. Just remember, an editorial is not the place to sell your product or business (buy an ad to do that!).

    If your knowledge doesn’t seem like a good fit for any upcoming editorials, you can still put PR to work for you. Create content – blogs, white papers, videos – that informs, but doesn’t sell. Show that you understand the industry and the challenges your customers face. Then put it out on the web or share it at meetings or tradeshows free of charge. These goodwill marketing pieces help make connections with your brand that can develop into genuine sales leads.

    Finally, consider sponsorships and charitable donations as a way to build coveted “good PR.” We’ve all heard marketers on TV say that of seemingly touchy-feely, profitless endeavors, and absolutely it’s true. Showing that you’re connected to your community and the greater good makes customers and employees more sympathetic towards and willing to support your brand. Do some good, send out a press release, and strengthen your business in the process.

    Ultimately, your PR strategy should be a distinct but equally strong branch of your overall marketing strategy. Don’t neglect this important channel, which, when done properly, may shape public opinion of your brand more than any other.



    Write for Trade Publication

    By Steve Staedler for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series

    So you have a story idea that you’d like to pitch to a few trade publication editors. While it may sound like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be, if you ask the right questions and do your homework upfront.

    Here are a few tips to help make your pitch successful, while also writing copy that is up to the standards the editor is looking for: (more…)



    Identify Your Archetype

    By Gregg Kerttula for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series

    I think the CSI theme song performed by one of the most influential rock bands, The Who, poses the question best:

    “Who are you? I really wanna know…
    Tell me, who are you? ‘Cause I really wanna know!”

    Rockin’ tune… daunting proposition, especially when aimed directly at your brand.

    Who is your brand? What characteristics does it embody? How does it engage with your audience? How does it wish to be perceived and received? Marty Neumeier, Director of Transformation for Liquid Agency, says it well; “A brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” With this in mind, you’d best get your story straight. (more…)



    Join an Industry Organization

    By Michael Isaacson for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series

    If I asked most people, “Why you haven’t joined an industry group or trade association,” I’m certain I’d hear the same answer from 99% of them.

    I’m just too busy.

    We’re all busy, and we are cramming more and more into an already jammed workday. But what if I told you the potential benefits that far outweigh the extra time you’d put in? What if I said those benefits could help you use your time more effectively and actually help you build your business? (more…)



    Attend a  Tradeshow

    By Jenny Kosek for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series

    You know those booths at trade shows that generate buzz? The booth everyone says you HAVE to see?

    Usually that booth is also a bank-breaker for the company hosting it, with the hope that the big spend on the flashy booth will pull in enough sales and opportunities to justify the expense. Of course, with enough cash, anything is possible, so for larger companies to put out an interactive, multi-story booth with full sound, lighting, and a waterslide (anything’s possible!), it’s easy. For smaller players, such luxury is out of reach.

    But luxury is not the same as impact, and without pouring your entire marketing budget into a tradeshow booth, you can still make a splash if you think creatively.  (more…)


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    Connect with your industry

    By Michasel Isaacson for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series

    Keeping up with the trends and news within your industry helps you spot trends and opportunities to make better long-term decisions, aids in your being seen as an industry expert and helps you become a better leader. (more…)


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