Great Startups Deserve Great Brands — Build a Strong Foundation by Avoiding These Mistakes

Arielle Jackson has helped shape hundreds of startup brands. “Working with hundreds of brands has cemented the importance of focusing on the fundamentals of your purpose, positioning, and personality early on. These are the essential elements of a brand strategy. When you get this stuff right, everything flows from there. You don’t get distracted by the competition. Your website writes itself. Your messaging breaks through … [ Read more ]

The Most Important KPIs to Track the Effectiveness of Your Email Marketing Strategy

For capturing and retaining customers, the importance of a successful email marketing strategy is paramount. In fact, 81% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) rely on email marketing as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for customer retention.

But to make the most out of your email marketing goals, you need to align them with those of your business. How can you do that, and … [ Read more ]

Finding Language/Market Fit: How to Make Customers Feel Like You’ve Read Their Minds

Language/market fit is the most under-appreciated concept for early-stage startups. For starters, most founders are focused on finding product/market fit, zeroing in on the right set of features to match their prospects’ needs. Moreover, fine-tuning language seems like “marketing,” which is usually seen as a later priority, not step zero. Lastly, people also don’t tend to like going out of their comfort zone — and … [ Read more ]

How to Make Your Brand’s Storytelling More Compelling

In recent years, it’s become fashionable for marketers to describe themselves as “storytellers” for their brand. But many brand narratives are deadly dull. That’s because they lack the one element that every good writer uses: conflict.

So, You Want to Be a Thought Leader? A Framework and Guide for Your Thought Leadership Strategy

Thought leadership is not a new topic. In fact, the term was coined by Joel Kurtzman back in 1994.

In the two-and-a-half decades since, we’ve seen the rise of YouTube experts, Instagram influencers, and the Kardashians.

But are all of those people thought leaders? Are any of them thought leaders?

To answer the same questions about yourself or the people you’re trying to build into thought leaders on … [ Read more ]

Three Marketing Metrics to Stop Tracking—And What to Measure Instead

Marketing teams need to be agile and lean to bring the most value possible to the wider organization, so they don’t have time to track metrics that don’t bring value. Here are a few examples of marketing metrics that are ready to be retired, and suggestions for better metrics to replace them.

Keep It Real: How to Not Over-Automate Email Sequences

Email automation was sent from Marketing Heaven. Without it, drip campaigns and email sequencing would be nigh impossible, no matter what you are trying to achieve with it. Whether you’re a marketer, a lead-nurturer, or a sales pitcher, you know the value of email automation.

However, you can have too much of a good thing. In your quest for an easier working day, the steady drip-drip-drip … [ Read more ]

A 17-Step Process for Creating High-Performing Articles [Infographic]

How exactly do you create an effective piece of content?

A recent infographic from Orbit Media Studios outlines an effective strategy for developing high-performing articles.

The piece covers the 17-step process the firm follows internally, from developing the concept to editing and polishing.

It also shows when and how to reach out to your external network for feedback and contributions.

Three Metrics for Measuring PR Campaign and Marcomms Success

From marketing managers to sales teams to the C-suite, many stakeholders feel the benefits of successful PR campaigns—and use the metrics that measure success to adapt business strategies or make more data-driven decisions.

However, almost half of B2B marketing managers claim that determining real business contribution levels from PR agencies is a difficult task. Much more can be done to measure the success of media campaigns, … [ Read more ]

Why Some New Products Get Adopted Quickly: A Lesson From Infomercials

If you’re responsible for marketing the new product, you might start by watching late-night TV. Pay particular attention to the informercials: They will teach you what you need to get your new product adopted more quickly.

What Makes Some Ads More Shareable Than Others?

Shared content is a goldmine for marketers, but it’s tough to determine exactly what moves viewers enough to want to share. A new study from Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger and Daniel McDuff of Microsoft Research looks at the emotional triggers — happiness, sadness, and even disgust — that make people want to share advertising content.

Build Products That Solve Real Problems With This Lightweight JTBD Framework

In my work as an angel investor and advisor, I often find myself dishing out the same advice: Do the work to make sure you are building a product that people will actually find valuable. That requires an incredibly deep understanding of the user, their hopes, and their motivations, instead of taking the easier path of operating off of untested assumptions.

Many entrepreneurs may do this … [ Read more ]

10 Must-Haves for Your Content Marketing Guidelines

Because more than one writer is composing your thought leadership articles and blog and social media posts, you need to establish guidelines to ensure that all content (including your website’s) has a cohesive voice—the voice of your business.

How do you create content marketing guidelines?

Sentiment Analysis: What Do Your Customers Really Care About?

Long before people began plastering their likes, dislikes, loves, hates, thumbs up, and thumbs down across the Internet, companies relied on focus groups and surveys to gauge what consumers thought about their products

Drive Growth by Picking the Right Lane — A Customer Acquisition Playbook for Consumer Startups

One of the most common startup failure modes is investing in too many channels at once, and as a result not investing in any one channel enough. As an example, betting big on both SEO and virality feels like a really good idea (“We’ll grow twice as fast!”), but in practice it rarely works. And it’s often not clear that either of these routes are … [ Read more ]

The Only Email Marketing Checklist You Need

While your mind is racing with ideas for nurture campaigns, lead generation and follow-up emails, consider the essential elements that should be included in every email before you jump into your automated email marketing tool.

As part of our internal proofing and QA process, we use this checklist to ensure best practices are in place.

Three Steps to Better Marketing and Sales Alignment

Sales and Marketing alignment is both critical to achieve and difficult to measure.

Delivering on your promises

In The Ends Game, professors Marco Bertini and Oded Koenigsberg explain how companies can help their customers meet goals by rewriting the rules of commerce.