culture

Team, tech, process and scale: these are the primary components shared by Tania Shershin of Homeaway at the Which Test Won Live Event in Austin, Texas.
We captured the high-points of her presentation live in this instagraph infographic.
If you want to create a culture of testing in your organization, here is a roadmap to success.

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frankenstein-labWe all know the recipe for  success: Reach and Frequency. To grow your business, marketing needs to reach more people more often. Translation: “Work harder.” The modern marketer is responsible for

  • Imagining the content
  • Developing the content
  • Reaching potential prospects frequently with it
  • Collecting the leads
  • Qualifying them Getting them to sales Maintaining all of the metrics to justify the ROI

As marketers, we need some little monsters handling the details or we will drown in the effort. Marketo just launched a Demand Generation Success Center that shows marketers how to become digital Dr. Frankensteins.

From Drip to Drive

The Marketo resource center provides advice on how to automate the many things that marketers must get done. They don’t just toe the party line.
For example, I believe that marketers should move from “drip” campaigns that “nurture” prospects, to high-impact educational campaigns that drive prospects to engage with you. The new resource center has some brilliant recommendations from me.

  1. Treat leads as customers. They purchased with their contact information.
  2. Make them experts at solving the problems they have.
  3. Wow them with your helpfulness or entertainment value.
  4. Invite them to “buy” more.
  5. Treat them like adults. Don’t be afraid to be controversial.

This is all easier said than done, and exactly that’s why you need to install little monsters like Marketo.
Visit the Demand Generation Success Center. Extend your reach, turn up your frequency, and still have time to develop killer cascading content.
Brian Massey

Indispensable Marketer Power Processes
Let’s talk about your career as a marketer. Let’s talk about your power in an organization. Let’s talk about your ability to make things happen in a very real and salary-building way.
Marketing is seen as important by CEOs. However, the marketing department is often not seen as important.
We are too often seen as tactical teams working on strategic initiatives, but don’t own the strategy. Our skills are seen as commodities. Everyone with a word processor seems to know how to do marketing.
Marketers move in a valley between powers. They don’t have control of the products. They don’t have control over sales.
We are the soil and water (and fertilizer) that makes the grass grow, but at the end of the day, we’re not given credit for the grass.
The distinctions between a “typical” marketer and an indispensable marketer are subtle and huge.
 

Typical vs. Indispensable Marketers

The table is full of generalizations, of course. My aim is to describe a number of Power Processes that marketers can use to become indispensable.

Power Processes: Visible, Measurable, Repeatable

A power process has the following characteristics:

1. It has visible, demonstrable effects on the bottom line of a company.

Marketing success is too often relegated to graphs in the monthly marketing report. Power Processes are visible to the company, often creating problems in other areas when they work.

2. It is repeatable with consistent results.

Power processes are the things that can be relied on month after month to provide additional revenue and success.

3. It is measureable.

Marketers need to stop doing the things that don’t work. The success or failure of a Power Process should be obvious.

4. It provides a self-regulating learning curve.

A Power Process provides feedback as it is implemented. Learning happens in action. It is a more organic learning curve than can be provided by a campaign.

Power Process #1: Make the phone ring

In my MarketingLand column Marketing Power Processes: The Lord Of The Rings, I talk about making the phone ring. It fits the model of the Power Process.
1. Sales or customer support knows when the website is generating calls. You might create some problems for them!
2. It will deliver month after month.
3. It can be measured and quantified.
4. You will learn over time what calls to action make the phone ring more and more.
Read the article or listen to it here.


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extraspace-inetIt’s happening in every industry as we speak. Decision makers are looking at information that tells them how the Internet is impacting their business and their industry.
It may be happening in your office.
A decision is going to be made:
a) To continue with business as usual
b) To commit to the Internet as a crucial part of the future of the business
Those businesses that choose a) may not be here in 24 months. Those that choose b) may not either, but if they are they will be the leader in their space.
In my Search Engine Land column 5 Ways to Jump Ahead in Your Industry, I outline the characteristics of a testing company, like Zappos or Amazon. These are the characteristics that can result in astonishing growth and amazing profitability. They include:

        

  1. Accept The Internet As A Lever

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  3. Develop A Testing Culture

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  5. Invest Where It Counts

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  7. Know Your Numbers

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  9. Take A Non-Commodity Approach

It is no small feat to accomplish these, but those that do will enjoy a lead in their industry that will be hard to usurp by competitors.

Thanks to Extra Space Management for sharing their results with us at the Phone Smart Unconference Hawaii.

Lessons from DMA 09

Brian Massey presenting at DMA 09 It was a room full of very smart, inquisitive and curious communicators. We spent two days immersed in the challenge of giving our Web site visitors what they need, and in doing so, knew we’d be growing our businesses.
You know the experience: you’re engaged in a conversation or a training or reading a book, and you KNOW everything you’re taking in is true. In fact, you already new much of it.
But, at work, where you’re supposed to be exercising these truths, conversations like this don’t happen. What is that all about?
We covered a lot of ground in my DMA 90 pre-conference intensive “Optimizing Your Web Site for Conversion and Business Success.” I learned a great deal from my audience.
But underneath the energy was an undertow dragging us away from shore. It was the knowledge that we would be returning to marketing departments that are understaffed, under budgeted, and — worst of all — focused on the wrong things.
I heard it from many attendees.

We don’t have the resources to do the things we need to do

Dear CMO, have you considered building an organization that doesn’t have the resources to NOT do the things you need to do? What would that look like?

Let them communicate

It would be a group of people so focused on delivering content that the prospect needs, that they wouldn’t even consider wasting time on the self-aggrandizing, posing communication that so many brands seem to treasure.

Clear the obstacles

They would sweep obstacles out of the way (this is really your job, CMO) so that they could communicate faster, with better data and known results. They would have ways of working with IT and legal so that their communications are frequent, human and transparent.

Let them experiment

They would make many mistakes, but they would only make them once. They would know which half of their advertising wasn’t working.
Think of an entrepreneurial product development group.

Let them publish

They would produce a volume of content far greater than they do now, with greater accuracy, consistency and efficiency.
Think of a world-class newspaper.

Marketers, take the reigns

A little of the Schwag I collected at DMA 09If you want to see the most amazing collection of schwag, go to a marketing conference. What surprised me was the amount of goodies that were given away without any qualifying activity.
This is not lead generation or even demand generation.
If you get the freedom to communicate, do so with all of your heart, knowledge and art.
If you want to join a group of marketers and business owners bent on communicating, join us on December 10 in Austin, Texas for the BYOContent Extreme Conversion Makeover. You’ll soon have the leads and revenues that prove you’re a communicator.
Bring your most tired white papers, your most mundane articles, and your raw video. We’ll show you how to weave it into a conversion scenario that will generate leads and sales for your business.
We’ll announce the details here shortly. Don’t miss the post.
Brian Massey's social graph

The heartbreak of “bounce” and what to do about it.

Courtesy http://www.sxc.hu/profile/nazreth
Boing!
That’s the sound of someone finding your site, but not finding what they wanted ON your site.
Boing!
That’s the sound of Web site content that doesn’t match your marketing.
Boing!
That’s the sound of a Web site that talks about the company instead of the visitors’ problems.
Technically, a “bounce” is a visitor that looks at only one page, or a visitor that spends an embarrassingly short time on the page.
A visitor bounces when they don’t find anything close to what they were looking for when they visit your site. Either you’re attracting the wrong visitors or you’re don’t know why they are visiting.
Bounce is the most extreme form of conversion problem. High bounce rates are an indication that you are throwing good marketing dollars down the tubes. Whatever you’re spending to get traffic to your site is being wasted.

The Campaign Culture

The conversion problem is one of culture. Most marketers and business owners have a campaign culture. This is a marketing department that creates programs with fixed goals over relatively short time periods.
It is the culture of marketing people focused on monthly and quarterly objectives.
It is the culture of limited marketing resources.
It is the culture of project-oriented agencies.
It is the culture of IT departments lording over online resources.

Curiosity and the Conversion Culture

A marketing department that has escaped the campaign culture is one that produces campaigns effortlessly. The primary attribute of a conversion culture is curiosity.
Just as great companies like Google and 3M have given their employees freedom to explore new ideas, a marketing department must have the time, budget and permission to learn from their efforts.
It is a culture of that knows why it has or hasn’t met objectives.
It is a culture in which every communication is a test.
It is a culture in which momentum carries it across project boundaries.
It is a culture that builds brand while it educates and persuades.

Are you a Curious Marketer?

You may be a curious marketer trapped in a campaign culture. I believe that curiosity is a basic human trait. Where can you start to instill curiosity in your organization?
Start with yourself. Exercise your curiosity muscle.
On October 8, a group of the most curious among us are gathering for a day of conversion tactics, strategy and culture in Austin, Texas.
I’ll be leading a workshop in which the entire conversion “stack” will be introduced and discussed. The goal is for everyone to leave with a new set of skills and a renewed curiosity.
We’re going to understand how to start asking, “why” in each of our communications. We are going to adopt some tools that will help us organize our work around the visitor.
I’ll be leading the workshop, and by the end of the day, will have covered almost everything I know about online conversion.
Will you be a part of this curious group?
You can also join me in San Diego for DMA 09. The Direct Marketing Association has invited me to present this material in a two-day pre-conference workshop, followed by four days of mingling with some of the brightest marketers on the planet. This is another place that curious marketers come to ask “why.”
Marketers that know how to apply curiosity will be writing their own ticket in the next five years. Join us in a place where curiosity is welcome and celebrated.