Monthly Archives: January 2011

9 ways to get hired, marketing 2.0 style

Competition for jobs in marketing is getting plain ridiculous. Having a degree, a year or two’s experience, and a Linkedin page just isn’t going to cut it any more.

We’ve seen marketers displaced during the recession creating YouTube CVs and auctioning themselves on eBay.

You’re going to be up against a new breed of digital natives when you next interview and you need to be able to meet the challenge head on.

Here are my top nine tips on personal branding and getting hired marketing 2.0 style.

1. Write a blog. It doesn’t have to be about marketing but it helps. Failing that, write about what moves you, what you feel passionate about, as it shows through in your writing. It also demonstrates creativity, opinion and staying power. Too many people start a blog and eventually stop. Believe me, it takes guts to commit to this, and people do respect it.

2. Read and comment on blogs and industry news. Learn from and associate yourself with thought leaders. Exposing yourself to new ideas and the latest thinking prevents you from going stale.

3. Use groups and forums. The point behind 2 & 3 is to learn and join the debate, rather than sitting it out. Smart companies should be looking for provocative, disruptive thinkers to challenge them and ensure they continue to innovate.

4. Tweet. But only when you have something to say and share that matters. Share links, comments, RT and provide your own content. Nobody cares about what you had for lunch.

5. Go social. Set up all your critical social media accounts in one hit. Visit NameChk and then spend a few hours snagging them.

6. Embrace tech. Marketing trends in 2011-12 are mobile, location based marketing, a resurgence in email and social media optimisation to name a few. Any credible marketer needs to be bang on trend, needs to be to talk it and walk it.

7. Prospect. Know where you want to work and follow them. It’s easy with Google Alerts, Linkedin company profiles, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to keep updated of developments.

8. Network. There is extraordinary opportunity to the focused in using online and offline networks. Don’t forget bodies like The CIM and special interest groups like SpeakEasy that give you presentation training in a safe environment.

9. Speak. Use your networks to create opportunities to speak about your passion. Alongside blogging, it was on the best things you can do to draw people towards you.

Q: What are you doing to make yourself more employable?

Top Tweets of the Week (wc 24 Jan 2011)

There was some really great material circulating on the wires this week. Here’s my pick of which what interested and inspired me this week.

MONDAY: Interesting social media statistics. A re-post from the highly active @jeffbullas but worth reading if like me, you are preparing a number of client and speaking presentations and want to ground some of your social media ideas in some firm research.

MONDAY: From the B2B Marketing magazine site’s Knowledge Bank, a useful piece on using white papers in your marketing

TUESDAY: This piece from @hubspot talking about five misconceptions about marketers provoked some debate online when I put to a number of Linkedin groups

TUESDAY: A great piece illustrating how Econsultancy have put a ten point social media plan in place. via @Econsultancy

THURSDAY: Interesting tips on setting up your own podcasting show via @smexaminer

FRIDAY: How to avoid the seven deadly sins of search marketing via @utalkmarketing. Selected not just because of the content but the interesting way in which it has been written.

What did you stumble across this week worthy of having a look at?

Twenty Reasons Why Facebook rocked 2010

Facebook marches inexorably towards dominating the battle for attention raging on the Internet.

This excellent presentation shows how Facebook has not only innovated in a number of areas but also taken on new startups in a bid to attract and retain its audience of over 500m users, half of whom log in and spend time on the site every single day.

The line between social and business is blurring ever more and Facebook is in part responsible. If you don’t have personal and business pages set up on Facebook you are really missing out on lucrative audience access, potential business and valuable search engine optimisation.



B2B marketers, do you have Klout on Twitter?

Klout, is apparently the barometer for measuring influence across online social networks. It is becoming more important to b2b marketers migrating more activity online as it offers a way of validating that activity and create an ROI metric.

If you use Hootsuite to operate your Twitter account, you might have noticed it appeared several months ago, without much fanfare. But don’t be fooled, it drives the thinking of lots of social networkers and you should be aware of it.

The debate has raged as to how the score (anything from 1 to 100) is calculated, what it draws on and ultimately how relevant it is.

On the How we Measure page, Klout talks about True Reach, Amplification, Probability and Network Score. In essence, this relates to how often your tweets are clicked, commented on and retweeted.

To me, measuring on this basis and giving a comparitive score makes sense, but isn’t it simply skewed in favour of Twitter accounts with very large followings? And if you don’t get involved in conversations on Twitter – instead preferring to use email, the phone or face-to-face techniques – your score is heavily reduced.

My own case illustrates this. I’m a pretty active Twitter user. I use it to broadcast new blog posts from The Marketing Assassin, and BDB.  I also share a lot of interesting content I source from the web and other Twitter users and this is often taken up by other users. And I indulge in some conversations too. I’ve built my following steadily and resist automation. I roughly have the same number of followers as I follow and am well into the thousands.

My Klout score for a long time was 5 (out of 100) which to me, just didn’t stack up. Consequently, I paid little interest in Klout. Then a few weeks back it jumped to 48. I didn’t change my level or type of activity so it leaves me thinking is it really relevant.

I’m not convinced but I do credit the people behind it for trying to create a metric to determine social networking value. It does after all suck up time, and especially in the professional b2b space, time is money.

What’s your take /experience on Klout?

Image: Social Fresh

An outrageous request

I need your help. This is my 199th blog post, and my 24th day of straight blogging as part of my commitment to write every day in 2011.

I’m investing my heart, soul and an awful lot of time in this blog. Whether you’re a student, a graduate, new in a role, working your way up, managing yourself, managing a team, running a business, running a community or working in education, I think this blog offers some food for thought, challenges, provides useful tips and yes, could help you market different, market better.

I don’t have the best selling books, the speaker opportunities or the audience that guys like Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan have. I work full time, have a wife and am raising two young boys.

The point I’m stumbling towards is this: Sometimes in business you have to be blunt and you have to ask when you need something.

So, if you like this blog, some of it, or maybe the occasional post, I’d be really grateful if you could recommend it to others, in your team, your clients, your Twitter and Linkedin contacts. There are various sharing devices on each and every post, the email sign up on the home page and you can import it into an RSS reader.

I’ll do my bit by moving to self hosting, improving the design, functionality  and SEO, making sharing and following easier, creating a linked Facebook page and writing more content that matters.

Consider me your Follow Friday. It’s not going to cost you anything but it would make a real difference to me.

10 ways to get the most from your agency

With budgets stripped back significantly in most sectors in 2011, marketing departments increasingly have to achieve more from less.

Companies use creative, digital, PR, event and other specialist agencies to help deliver innovative, lead generating marketing campaigns. But often these working relationships are fractious and doomed to failure because time hasn’t been taken to crystallize expectations, processes and procedures.

If you really want to foster a partner relationship with an agency, you need to create an environment and provide the resource and information to give the relationship the best chance of success.

Selecting and working with an agency doesn't have to be a leap of faith

Borne from experience, here is a top ten countdown of where to focus to drive improved collective performance.

1. Know what you want. Provide a written brief. There is no other way of definitively marshalling your thoughts. If you can’t, you have no right to expect an agency to deliver.

2. Run a pitch only if you have the work to award. Too many companies use the pitch process inappropriately either for self aggrandizement or to generate ideas that the in-house team can then implement. Worse still, pitches are used when the scope of business is not in proportion to the investment on the part of the agency.

3. Value their expertise. Just like you in your chosen marketplace, good agencies have honed their service offering, often have good contacts and have worked to develop enduring third party supply relationships to offer a full service.

4. Respect ‘the going rate’. Consequently, there is a financial value of investing that time to ensure your business is competently and diligently supported. Focusing too much on the price risks your credibility in the negotiation and your reputation in the longer term.

5. Commit. Sign NDAs and contracts and then ‘open up’.  Formalise the working procedure and then forget about them. Host the agency at your offices and lead immersion sessions to bring them up to speed. Few will understand your business and market better than you – despite their lofty claims.

6. Agree deliverables and metrics at the outset. Working towards commonly agreed goals and set objectives makes it easier to measure effectiveness after the event.

7. Nominate ‘go-to’ contacts who are always available to input, feedback comment, recommend and cajole client side contacts to get things to get done.

8. Build socializing time into your relationship. Teams that enjoy downtime together are more likely to work better.

9. Encourage and reward creative thinking.

10. Feedback on performance… and take agency feedback to improve the relationship.

Image: www.euphoriasmoothies.com

10 top recession marketing tips

Recession marketing, bootstrapping, call it what you will. These are difficult times as business buyers shop around for the best suppliers offering the best all-round deals.

The Marketing Assassin blog was spawned in the recession and was a response to the excess and confused marketing that blights our profession.

Most companies don’t have seven [six, even five] figure marketing budgets and can’t count on award winning agencies, so they have to be targeted and smart.

Here is a quick fire list of ten things you should be doing to ensure you give your business the best chance of success, whilst at the same time restricting cost.

1. Apply a metrics-based approach to every marketing project. If an activity doesn’t fit with a business objective, stop it immediately. This is especially relevant to costly advertising plans and trade shows.

2. Cancel magazine and news subscriptions and set up Google Reader RSS feeds and Google Alerts. If articles get placed, buy print quality PDFs and reprints for marketing purposes, it will be cheaper in the long run.

3. Tap into freelancers rather than bulking up on staff. The recession has created a huge and experienced community of talented but displaced creative individuals that can be brought in on short term projects. Use them as required in stead of taking on additional headcount cost.

4. Move any new employees and kit to the ‘cloud’. Consider using free Google docs rather than costly MS Office.

5. Visit your most profitable customers and tell them how much you value them. Create reasons to talk to them and see them more. Present some insight, fresh ideas, act as a connector by facilitating introductions to other clients.

6. Engage / re-engage customers via email. Send an opt in email suggesting you will contact them quarterly and showcase latest work, ideas, industry trends and insight. Remind them what you excel at, and advise them of any changes, improvements and news. A simple html email designed and delivered through a service like Dotmailer will suffice.

7. When you cut back or cancel your advertising plan (point 1), use measurement  as an excuse and adopt a PR based approach instead. PR has longer legs and supports leadership and credibility objectives – essential in the b2b sale.

8. Use existing content. Give lots of presentations? Repackage and host on Slideshare. Add a audio commentary and captions and post to YouTube. Recreate PR as blog posts and white papers. Produce best practice presentations for use as webinars. In essence adopt free to use social media techniques, but the right ones for your business.

9. Use Linkedin. A global network of 80m (stats vary) business people means your future customers, suppliers, freelancers and recruits are all there. Use search filters available for free from the home page.

10. Feed all news, blog content to your website home page to bolster SEO, to your Linkedin company profile page and to a Facebook business page. If you don’t have one of these, set one up, if for no other reason than SEO. (More on Facebook for business in upcoming posts, bookmark the blog now).

Most businesses are working on reduced budgets in 2011 yet have to deliver more just to stand still. Give yourself the best chance by being focused on critical objectives, removing unnecessary cost and stimulating demand in your products and services.

Images: Michael G Holmes, Craven Publishing

5 ways to raise your profile on Twitter

If you’re serious about getting the most out of the micro-blogging platform Twitter – by building credibility, and in turn an audience, it might be time to review how you go about it.

1. Have a hook, a USP, a reason for people to want to be interested in what you have to say. Chances are you are not a celebrity so you’re going to need to focus. Spell it out in your profile biography as these keywords will draw people towards you.

2. Content and context are king. Engaging, interesting and relevant content is critical on Twitter, especially if it is for business use. A carefully crafted line of copy and a shortened link to interesting content provides a number of benefits. It positions your interests and links you to other people and companies interested in that content. It forms common ground and creates opportunities to connect with other users.

The most interesting Twitter accounts predominantly share lots of engaging information they have sourced from others, some of their own content and occasionally some personal information or insights.

3. Pay it forward. Associating yourself with better known sources of great content by retweeting it and including the original creator in your tweet is a very powerful way of building a profile. This works not only for tweets and content you like, but also tweets and content that you want to be associated with from a business perspective. In much the same way as blog, news and article response is a credible way of driving traffic to your own websites and blogs, so to is ingratiating yourself with industry thought leaders through Twitter.

4. Pay it back. By adding that all important @ link to the original creator, you are acknowledging them and validating that content by sharing it with all your connections. Always credit a content creator as they have often spent a significant amount of time on a blog, video, infographic, white paper, ebook or whatever it is you are sharing.

5. Use hashtags. Sounds simple but do all your tweets contain hashtags? I’m as guilty as most for not adopting these all the time, but by adding a relevant tag such as #b2b or #seo or #marketingblog, you are giving your content the best opportunity to develop virally. The conference sector has picked this up and run with it at large scale conferences and exhibitions and there are a number of unofficial tags that often spring up around major TV and news events so tweets can be grouped together.

When these tags hit a high degree of take up, they become a trending topic which means a given subject is one of the most talked about at a given time.

Adopting these five techniques should draw more interest in your Twitter activity.

And whilst on the subject, I recommend you migrate your account to a free service like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, simply because they offer more functionality and flexibility. I personally prefer Hootsuite as you can quickly and easily schedule and distribute messages and updates across all the major social networking platforms from the one place (more to follow in a post later this week).

Image Corbis

Change your life 2.0

Regular readers know I scour the Internet for inspiration and engaging content to share. I take in a lot of interesting stimulii, and occasionally something hits me between the eyes and warrants sharing even though it might not on the face of it fall within the self imposed ‘marketing’ confines of this blog.

However, Coach Bay’s excellent slide deck ‘Change your life 2.0′ hammers home three important ways to get yourself out of that rut you may be in right now and comes very highly recommended. It’s deceptively simple and short, it won’t take two minutes to skim through, but could resonate with you much longer!



Top Tweets of the Week (wc 17 Jan 2011)

Here are some of the more interesting links and content I discovered this week. Hope they find you well. A thought:  Isn’t it amazing that all this is right at our fingertips?

MONDAY: An ‘on the money post’ from @jeffbullas: How To Make Your Personal Brand Visible With Social Media http://bit.ly/a76Wum. Some great advice on which elements of social media to use to take you and your business further online.

TUESDAY: ‘Personality: The Missing Ingredient in B2B Marketing Today’ on the Savvy B2B Marketing blog http://bit.ly/fULyXX, including some great high profile examples.

WEDNESDAY: ‘The power of monotony in marketing content’ was an interesting post on making sure you use, reuse, repackage and refocus your content enough online to get the most from it http://ow.ly/3Gjrr

THURSDAY: An inspired @Econsultancy post talking about the five clients you should avoid like the plague http://bit.ly/g2jsF1

FRIDAY: An interesting post on managing employees in their twenties, posted by Harvard Business School http://ow.ly/3Ht3x. Follow the Twitter feed at @HarvardBiz.

What have you read this week that is worth sharing?

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