As I say farewell, here are 10 things I’ve learned in tech marketing Reply

Today was my last day at London-based Caplin Systems, a fintech company where I’ve spent the past (nearly) five years helping to craft and deliver messages surrounding e-distribution in the capital markets.KeepCalmAndSayGoodbye

I will really miss my tech marketing role and my colleagues at Caplin, but for me it’s an exciting time because I am moving on to a role where I get to focus almost exclusively on social media and content marketing (more about my new role tomorrow!)

As I close the chapter on nearly 15 years of B2B tech marketing in software companies, I thought I’d reflect back on some of the top lessons I’ve learned during my time as a day-to-day B2B tech marketing manager.

I could write a novel, but here are 10:

1. Technology is great, but simply telling new prospects every single thing about your technology is not the magic key to selling your technology. What you’re selling is not technology. You’re selling solutions to business problems and your marketing needs to convey that first off. There is a time and place for deep dive technical information and it’s usually much further down the selling cycle.

2. You may have really clever product names, but unless you are a very well known brand I am willing to bet that your product names will not mean that much to most people outside of your organisation. Describe your product and solution and make sure you don’t litter your press releases and award entries with too many product names. Same goes for your website. From an SEO POV, you’d be better off frequently using the commonly used category name for your offering, helping you to own that category in search results.

3. It’s all about the end user. When an end user experiences excellent electronic interaction in one area of their lives, they expect it everywhere (and they won’t hesitate to say so across a variety of forums!) Your end users are going to expect the most advanced approach and delivery because they already experience it using technologies daily. So More…

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2013: My top ten content marketing lessons 3

2013: A year of adjustment

First day back on the job started early.

First day back on the job started early.

If 2012 was the year of change, then 2013 was definitely the year of learning to adjust. In February, I started back at work after 7 months of maternity leave and began the frantic juggling act that all working mothers with young children must do. I am proud to say that I did manage to pull through and adjust to this new existence. I learned to stop kicking myself for not being able to blog on techtalkmarketing as much as I had done pre-baby and to use the tools out there to help me continue being a valuable content creator and marketing manager for my company.

Here’s what I learned

1. On various projects, I realised our web content was killing us. This is a topic I will expand on in 2014 because it was one of the biggest lessons I learned this year. I was lucky enough to work with talented web developers and other content creators and along the way we realised that our content was so vast and inclusive that after reading it (if indeed anyone did read it all) people had no need to ask us questions about our products and solutions.

2. Less is more. Continuing on the theme from point 1, More…

Liking the new “Who’s Viewed Your Updates” on LinkedIn Reply

I hope my guest post on sofarbeyond’s site on my 5 top social media tools was well received. My LinkedIn contacts obviously liked it – looking at LinkedIn’s new “Who’s Viewed Your Updates” feature, I can see that it got 257 views via LinkedIn. Another great LinkedIn feature, and also proof that sharing via LinkedIn may drive more traffic than any other referral channel.

LIViewedYourUpdates

 

I am not a publishing house! Reply

Firstly, a big thank you to Clevertouch for inviting me to last week’s breakfast briefing: “Your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2015 and beyond….” While I gave the bacon sarnies a miss (veggie!) I did walk away from the Brewery on Chiswell Street with some food for thought which I’ll explain below.

Are you a content marketing machine? ClevertouchBreakfastBriefing

As Adam Sharp finished his breakfast presentation “Moneyball Marketing and Revenue Performance” I realised that like a lot of marketers, I’m in danger of not being on top of my marketing technology infrastructure because I am at times rather consumed by content marketing.

I do love content marketing. Proper thought leadership based content is the way forward in marketing,  and no matter how small your organisation is, you should have a content marketing plan.

But it’s easy to become wholly consumed by content marketing, especially if you’re under resourced. Given the hype surrounding it, many marketers feel as though they should be dedicating a large part of their day to producing and distributing engaging content. Take a look at this article from Erin Nelson on the @exploreB2B site that I read this week, which says that “B2B content marketers are most challenged with producing enough content, as opposed to early findings in which the greatest challenge was to produce engaging content.”

Are we becoming so consumed by content marketing that we’re putting quantity before quality, and are we somehow forgetting our marketing technology infrastructures, so carefully put in place?

The Solution

I’m not saying it’s easy – More…

The “live” blog: Proof that the blog is alive & well Reply

I don’t need proof that the blog is alive and well. I don’t support the theory microblogging in its various forms has overtaken the blog with its bite sized, rapid fire delivery.

I don’t need to look any further than the live blog as an entity to prove that not only is the trusty web log still an essential piece of any social media marketers toolkit, but also that it’s still a dynamic medium capable of extending to incorporate various forms of microblogging to provide inclusive, up to date content (contributed by multiple authors no less).

Research Reveals Popularity of Live Blogging

This isn’t my headline or my research – it’s simply the title of a great article I read back in November and tweeted about.

I love Roy Greenslade’s definition of live blogging: More…

Have you reached your social media saturation point? Reply

I get a lot of calls from recruiters. The more flattering ones are for the “global marketing director” roles…..the others are from recruiters hoping that I have a job to offer.

It’s these ones I find most difficult. The CV’s are amazing. They are over the top. They are….a  little too much in most cases.

It’s when I get these sorts of emails that I realise:  Every company has its saturation point, and it’s no different with social media than it is with any other type of marketing service offered.

I’ve realised it’s very important to know when your company has reached its saturation point with social media. We don’t all need Facebook and all the bells and whistles that go with it. We might not even need to tweet should our audiences not actually be on Twitter. There is a good likelihood that we should all have a brilliant LinkedIn company profile, but at the end of the day, if your customers are not accessible via LinkedIn, why use it as a resource?

It does go to show how many people are being sucked in by so called “social media consultants”.  As social media gains momentum, I would hope that the best consultants can actually gauge what their customer not only wants, but also  needs.

If it’s every bell and whistle – great! But sometimes, at the end of the day, a handcrafted and proactive LinkedIn account is more than enough.

Am I wrong?

What I learned about social media from Steve Jobs 2

Steve Jobs wasn’t a close personal friend. Rather, I’ve spent quite a lot of time reading his biography lately. It’s a big beast of a Steve Jobsbook that I might not have had the time to read had I not had many hours to spare when my daughter was in the special care unit at Homerton Hospital….premature babies sleep a lot, and so I spent many an hour beside Ava’s bed reading about Steve Jobs – sometimes to myself, and sometimes aloud to Ava while other parents could be heard reading fairy tales to their children in the various languages of all the nationalities present in the ward.

Steve & social?

Beyond various mentions of Facebook, there is no real coverage of any thought or comment Steve Jobs might have had on social media.

What’s inspired this post is a slightly more abstract theme mentioned throughout the book, a concept familiar to me but one I hadn’t seen identified and explored at such length before.

It’s best described with a quote (from Jobs himself) that appears close to the end of the biography:

Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place. There are a lot of people innovating, and that’s not the main distinction of my career. The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves. In fact of some the best people working on the original Mac were poets and musicians on the side. In the seventies computers became a way for people to express their creativity [pages 567-8].

I like to think about computers helping people to express their creativity, and I couldn’t help but to think that social media has simply been an extension of this. For me, More…

Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part I: Integration 1

Not long ago, this question came through this week in my weekly digest email from The UK Marketing Network.

“Isn’t it obvious?” I said to myself, ready to delete the email. But then I paused and reminded myself that it wasn’t that long ago I wouldn’t have known the answer to this question either, and that it’s not always obvious at all. I looked closer at the next line in the query which read:

We are starting a new blog and we are unsure whether to integrate it with our website or keep it separate? Does anyone have any experience with this?

It’s actually a really good question – one that more people should ask themselves

I started my answer with:

I can think of very few instances where you’ll benefit from keeping your blog separate from your corporate website.

Effectively your blog is where you’ll put a lot of effort into generating excellent thought leadership based content – keeping this inside your domain will boost your SEO measurably and send a lot of traffic to your site (which surely is what any business wants?)

More reasons More…

10 very simple mid-trade show digital marketing tasks Reply

I love all things digital, but there are still times when I have to haul out the old trade show stand and “exhibit” in person. I try to attend as many of the workshops and panels as I can at a show.

However there are times when you need “man” the booth. This used to mean long hours of boredom with little or no human interaction. For me, things have now changed.

Last week I attended a trade show and I found I didn’t have a spare moment of time on my hands what with all the digital marketing I was doing in between panels. Here are ten things that kept me busy: 

1. Use your CRM to send out a campaign to delegates inviting them to your booth – Got the delegate list? Why not send them a campaign inviting them over? You might think sending marketing several days before the event is the best plan, but why not follow up with a campaign sent while you’re at the event to catch people in the moment?

2. Blog – This works best if you can attend a stream or session so that you can comment on content. If you can’t attend, get the notes from one of your team who has attended a session yet or, better yet, get them to write the blog. Timeliness is everything when it comes to blogs – blogging about the event on the day or the day after is what makes the most compelling account for your readers. Here’s an example of a blog post I wrote and published last week during a trade show. 

3. Tweet – Firstly, More…

When NOT to use Social Media: When damage prevention is paramount 1

Why am I writing this post?When NOT to use Social Media

I get asked for advice on social media a lot. I’ll admit it – I quite enjoy sitting down and hearing about people’s individual communications-based situations to assess whether social media can be of any help.

However, I think it’s also important to be honest about when social media is the not the best answer. Many social media agents and consultants will have you believe that social media is always the best solution for all marketing and communications requirements. I’m more than willing to admit that there are times when social media is not the best option.

The scenario

  • A friend of mine works for a large national company who run an annual awards show to recognise the projects and employees of outstanding merit. My friend, a senior member of comms staff at the company, called me to ask about More…