I find myself consuming content all the time - the tipping point was over a year ago when I finally gave up my circa 1999 flip phone for an always-on iPhone. I’m now consuming content even more than before – Twitter feed, LinkedIn feed, LinkedIn emails, vendor emails, you name it.
These are some of the better posts I’ve come across of late - and you know they're good when you not only share them but you find yourself going back to read them time and again.
#1 - The Content Marketing Imperative – Some nice visuals and stats on the WHY of content marketing from Michael Brenner. My favorite part is slides 19-26 which was a mini before and after case study for Michael’s work at SAP – inspirational! After that you are welcome to tune out as it turned more into a commercial for Michael’s current gig at NewsCred.
#2 – Why Content Marketing Fails – First off all, Rand Fishkin rules. He was the highlight for me at the HubSpot INBOUND conference this past year. This is also inspirational and my single favorite slide is the insight from Slide 85 where he says: "The Price of Success is Failure after Failure after Failure" and "Hopefully each of those failures provides an opportunity to learn. We as marketers need to commit – great results take time to develop, and the single biggest source of lack of performance is stop/starts or constant change in direction without ever seeing a set of strategies through to completion."
#3 – On Challenger Marketing – This one resonated with me big time and contains key insights for any brand trying to unseat the “main player” in their space. Read the Q&A on Commercial Insight which has impacted my approach to webinars – I want all webinar topics to align to this approach. “First and foremost, commercial insight must be grounded in a set of unique capabilities and strengths that set your company apart from all possible competitors (including the status quo). Ultimately, whatever you teach your customer about their business has to lead back to something you can help them do better than anyone else”. And, “Commercial Insight isn’t about the supplier. It’s about the customer.”
#4 – Why Sales People Shouldn’t Prospect – This is a classic from David Skok covering Aaron Ross’s Predictable Revenue approach. I often refer to the four specialized functions of sales that Ross recommends - Inbound Lead Qualification; Outbound Prospecting (Business Development); Account Executives / quota-carrying reps who close deals; and Account Management / Customer Success. Lots more insight in this article.
#5 - Presenting Value of Marketing to the Board – Nice blog post from John Neeson of SiriusDecisions with some good tips on how to communicate the value of marketing at the senior most level. I find this a helpful read when preparing for any senior level presentation and helping to “keep the conversation high.”
#6 – How to Get a Job at Google – In all of my roles building a team via recruiting and hiring has been central to success. There are some good tips in this New York Times article which I’ve also followed in my career including the prioritization of cognitive ability, humility and ownership over a specific skill or expertise.
#7 - Don't Just Curate Content, Harvest it – Content operations is an increasingly important function within marketing teams to support content marketing execution. Jim Burns and Mark Gibson provide four key fundamentals to support a content marketing operation – constant acquisition; content headers; harvesting contents; and managing content source. This is a must read.