Marketing Syllabus

There have been times when I’ve toyed with the idea of getting in to teaching.  Let’s pretend that today is the day and put down a straw man of a Marketing Syllabus for high school students.

I would break the elective up in to 5 stages. But before divining in, we would look at B2B vs. B2C marketing and explore fun, and equally boring, examples of companies that fall in to the B2B & B2C spaces.  Companies such as:

B2C companies: Wendy’s & any hotel chain

B2B companies: Hubspot & Intel

B2B & B2C companies: Coke & Reebok (explore why that is)

The next step would be to explain what digital means, as people use the term rather loosely, as it does encompass many things, but mos all of it hinges on web.

So what are the 5 stages that would take up the majority of the semester?

Stage 1: Digital/Social Marketing – explain how both of these work and how important it is to track metrics and show ROI

(explain ROI).  Also talk about PPC & SEO and explain how those two work

Stage 2: Traditional Marketing – go over mailings, PR, advertising & emails – explain how far things have come and what agencies and marketing departments do

Stage 3: Strategy – A strategy is the glue that holds it all together.  The strategy needs to hinge on company goals that marketing supports through the efforts mentioned above

Stage 4: Metrics – Metrics/Analytics/Data/ROI/KPI’s – so many words and so many acronyms but all are important for one reason only, to explain what the department has accomplished.  Google Analytics are one tool to rely on, as are specific CRM systems & email platforms that would allow for customer tracking and their readiness to buy

Stage 5: Exam! Creating a marketing roadmap for a specific business, either B2B or B2C – this would be my favorite part from the kids.  A number of companies in both B2B and B2C spectrums would be in a hat and they could choose their assignment.  The assignment would come with some hypothetical information about the company as well as what the marketing department is expected to do.  The students would then need to put together a strategic roadmap of the various kinds of marketing activities that would drive towards a set of goals

All kidding aside, this would be such a pleasure to teach as I have seen many things done before and many of them haven’t worked out for one main reason – the plan wasn’t followed and everyone was simply reacting to a bunch of “who’ll scream the loudest” scenarios.  Flexibility in certain instances is one thing, being completely unprepared for everything and being unsure of what you’ll do tomorrow is quite another.

What do you all think?  Would you take this kind of course? :)

P.S. Course two would be about new product introductions and planning for new product launches.

Making the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile

I have blogged a lot about LinkedIn, just click on the LinkedIn category on the right, and the features the platform has as well as what to do to get noticed.  I recently read an interesting article that sums up some of the don’ts for LinkedIn users and I have to say I need to add one more to the very end of their list.  Connecting with too many people.  People who you don’t actually know.  People you don’t even bother creating a custom message to.  Because, I simply decline those requests.

What are your thoughts on the below, and on the whole article as a whole?

Mistake #1: Horrible photo.

Mistake #2: Non descriptive headline.

Mistake #3: Forgetting that you have a LinkedIn profile.

Mistake #4: Simply scanning in your resume and not elaborating.

Mistake #5: Don’t connect or network with others.

Linda’s tips:

Mistake #1: Not personalizing your “I want to connect with you” emails.

Mistake #2: Not creating a custom LinkedIn url for your profile.

Mistake #3: Not updating information on a regular basis – regardless of being employed or unemployed.

Mistake #4: Not asking for recommendations while employed somewhere.

Mistake #5: Not keeping an eye on who’s viewed your profile and seeing if they might be a good connection to have.

Focus on Sharpening that Ax

I read a really great article that probably didn’t even need to be read.  I say that not because it was useless but because the title says it all. Are You Too Busy Chopping (Marketing) Wood to Sharpen Your (Marketing Operations) Ax?

After those first 90 days are over, those of us who are lucky enough to be in management are constantly asking ourselves, how do we stand out? how do we not take on the baggage and stay above water?  how do we continue being those thought leaders we were hired to be?  The author of the above linked article has some easy steps that I will take note of and wanted to share:

1. Focus on impact vs. activity:

  • Which business outcome does this activity support?
  • Do you know how this activity is expected to move the needle for the business outcome?
  • How will you know whether the activity had the desired impact?

2. Make metrics count:

  • How is Marketing having an impact on and contributing to the business?
  • What is and isn’t working?
  • Does the data enable course adjustments?

3. Embrace insights:

  • Purposefully collect and analyze your data.
  • Establish a data infrastructure.
  • Implement a process for collecting and using data on a regular basis.

4. Run marketing like a business:

  • Ensure marketing strategies are executed seamlessly
  • Create, manage, and track marketing processes
  • Analyze and develop metrics to improve effectiveness and reduce inefficiencies

4 quick steps to success! Good luck and keep that ax sharpened!

Digital Marketing

It seems like this word is all the rage now.  When in reality, it’s just a buzz word for all those familiar things you are probably already doing – email campaigns, social media, web, etc.

Mobile does play a huge part in it but all the things, and more, listed above can be found on mobile.  So in reality, what do we need to think about when it comes to “digital” marketing?

For me, a clear strategy needs to be set in place before anything even happens.  Assess the things you are doing today and look at the metrics to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.  Next, you need to identify your target audience and how they want to hear from you.

After all that evaluation has been done, you can actually think about how to improve on the things that are working, but could also do more for your business.

I found a great article on MarketingTechBlog.com about digital marketing that I think might be interesting to you all as well.

“What is digital marketing? It is the use of new media to market a brand/product/organization and so on. Though there are a lot of activities that can be done, but digital marketing these days relies on the internet.”

P.S. You can even subscribe to a 5 week email crash course, through MarketingTechBlog.com, on inbound marketing which I recommend doing.

Spring Forward to Q2

In honor of the time change this weekend I’m thinking spring…but at the same time lamenting the fact that I haven’t even been out to ski once during this epic winter.

The time change brings with it tiredeness, hopefulness for better weather, as well as the reminder that the first quarter is almost over.

Metrics should have been monitored every month but this is when crunch time should really happen.  What has happened in the first quarter of the year that needs to be reevaluated or reinvested in?  What have the combined efforts of the marketing and sales department achieved?  This is the time to maybe take a look at some goals and see which ones need to be reeled in and which ones can be taken up a notch.

Take the next few weeks to really begin evaluating your roadmap and consider turning some things around, if you need to.

P.S. Here are a couple of great online resources:

7 Ways to Evaluate Your Marketing Plan

How to Evaluate a Marketing Strategy