Portland, OR, USA
A digital and B2B marketer with a background in analytics and online media. Based in Portland, Oregon, I run the media group at Babcock & Jenkins, a B2B agency.
Shonali, clearly you are reading the wrong books. There are hundreds (millions?) of books, blogs, white papers, ebooks, infographics, ... that break down in detail how to be the grand poobah of social media for your business in anywhere between 5 minutes and 15 minutes a day. 1 to 2 hours a day? Crazy talk. Once your social media money machine is running, you won't work, in total, for 2 hours a day!
Ok, snark is over. I've wondered how you have been, glad to hear that less blogging and social media time just means you are busy. We'll have to carve out an opportunity to say hello for real, you know, between the time spent doing real work, family time, keeping social media barely alive, ... :)
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Dear Business: Get Over the Social Media Hump
Gini, I prefer "Spin Sucks: Communicating to Customers in the New Age of Transparency" but if the SEO generals will approve a little change I'll like it a lot more: seriously, we should be communicating with customers, not communicating to them.
I'm not a big fan of all of the "spin" ties, many aren't particularly clear, and one (spinning out of control) is a fun play on words but I think introduces a different meaning for spin that could change what someone assumes the main title means.
One idea that I think clarifies spin a bit (can keeps communication in): "Spin Sucks: Taking Spin Out Of Your Communications Toolbox"
Alright, best of luck sorting through a few hundred more options! :-)
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle
Holly, this is great and something so many people seem to struggle with. Thank you for sharing your perspective along with your personal experience.
PS - you don't need to quote Godin, the good part here is straight from you.
7 months ago on Would the Real Holly Dawson Please Stand Up?
Shonali, great list, definitely a couple new ones I'm looking forward to trying. I didn't even finish the post once I hit Write That Name, I just stopped and signed up (and then came back and finished).
Thanks for sharing!
8 months ago on 20 Tools to Grow Your Business, Efficiency and Productivity
Shonali, definitely an interesting view (and a refreshing departure from all of the "add an image!" recommendations out there).
I wonder, on the 0.1% comment, if the % is fixed, or if the amount of content that can really go viral, in terms of the attention it get and requires from each person, is what is fixed? ie If 10 times as much content is created, will that actually drop to 0.01%?
I suspect the chance of "going viral" drops each and every year. Would love to hear what others think of that.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on What Compels People to Share Your Content?
Oh, where to begin.
I've been guilty of using this statistic, however when I tried to trace it back to a real source last year, I found there isn't one. This is a great example of a "known fact" created simply by repetition among bloggers and marketers. As you point out, CEB has a pretty different figure. I believe the 70% has been twisted from an older estimate of the portion of research that happens outside of direct dialogue with sales, it doesn't mean sales isn't involved until the process is 70% complete. (ie 30% is directly in dialogue with sales, a really big number!)
Next: Social Zealots are Drunks.
I'm quite certain I've seen Ninjas and Gurus with LDS affiliations in their Twitter bios. I'm thinking there are stronger illicit drugs at work here. Just sayin'
Moving on: The CEB study.
I'm not familiar with the methodology, but the fact that it is survey-based definitely points to some type of self-reported statistic. Even before slicing it up by industry, country, etc, we should recognize that it is a picture of how buyers buy on average and every process is different.
Finally: The abuse of statistics.
There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Statistics are easily twisted (ignoring for the moment the fact the 70% one isn't even a real stat).
What should the 57% really mean? This is all: many buyers do their own research before connecting with sales. Does your sales and marketing consider these buyers? If not, should it?
This should take into account your industry (as you pointed out), the type of solution (completely new paradigms versus differentiated but well understood categories versus complete commodities), as well as your business goals. Even if this buying process is common in your category, it doesn't define every single buyer. You may be able to establish a very solid business even ignoring people that do research first (or even: letting your competitors spend time to educate them on the category and then delivering when they are ready to buy).
Ok, I'll stop before the comment becomes as long as the post! Great, as always, thanks for posting!
10 months, 1 week ago on This B2B Whopper MUST Go
Thanks for the kind words about your followers here at BNJ!
And yes, I agree. An example or a case study does not a best practice make.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Right Way to Share a B2B Success
Jon, I wasn't certain what to expect from the title, but this is spot on. #1 and #5 are real thorns in my side and much of the marketing advice I read takes people down these bad roads!
11 months ago on 5 Promises Every Living Marketer Should Make to Themselves
Where to begin...
Let's start with the tweets.
Only two of the eight tweets say anything about search, but this appears (I think, we will get there...) to be a paper about improving search. Sets the wrong expectation and draws the wrong audience.
Way too many baseball metaphors in only about 50 words. I have seen a number of marketers make this mistake lately. It is like they are so enamored with the campaign idea that they carry that they have decided to talk about the campaign. In doing so, their real value proposition has been lost.
Strong brands use big data for long-tail discovery. Completely disconnected from most of the tweets and way too big of a mouthful. It sounds like marketing, how would you explain it in a conversation over coffee? Hopefully not like that...
It's really about search (I think, when I strip away all of the metaphors) and basically says we will help you improve your search marketing. Ok, but about 1800 other companies or pieces of content make the same claim. Nothing motivates me and makes me believe this piece of content is better than the stack of similar pitches already sitting in my inbox.
(Nevermind the metaphor issues, which muddy language and cause problems in search more often than not. Clear direct language is key in search, but I digress...)
Thank you page.
Really, don't make me go dig out of email. I know you want to make certain you captured a legit email but your content is proof of your claims of expertise. Don't make it so hard to get that your target audience never gets that proof.
"Thanks for your interest in BloomReach." No, I didn't express any interest in you, just your piece of content. Rather than assume I'm interested in you and present a bunch of links about you, offer up additional content or information I might be interested.
By giving me two or three related content options, my decision about what to look at next actually would give BloomReach additional information about me and my interests, which they could use to make any followup emails more relevant (enter marketing automation).
Ok, my rant is over. Thanks for sharing!
1 year ago on Conversion Optimization 101: Social Media Landing Pages
For most businesses, nothing is going to overcome a consistently poor experience with your product/service/solution. If that isn't going right, stop and fix it. Marketing will not solve your problem. However, marketing may have an important role after that.
Loyal customers are customers that expect to continue working with you. They are confident not only in your service today, but in what you will continue to provide in the future. In B2B, this is where marketing's role in loyalty comes in.
1 year, 2 months ago on Loyalty (sigh). What A Concept.
Interesting perspective. I definitely agree with you, today's buyers don't want to see volumes of additional largely irrelevant information tossed their way.
I think the answer for marketers is a bit more nuanced. They need to deliver the right information, not all of the information, to prospective buyers. In order to have the right information, most need to produce a lot of information. From that library, they then need to surface the right information for each person. Of course, sales has always done this in a 1-1 environment and they didn't need the same range of content that today's marketing approaches require. With the opportunity to provide information along with context specific to each recipient on why it was being provided, they could introduce it appropriate. Today, content has to stand on its own.
So, don't flood ME with content, but you just might still need to produce an overwhelming amount of it.
1 year, 2 months ago on What B2B 'Personas' Initiatives Neglect To Consider
@JayBaer @jay_zo The routing for response mechanism here may implement much more quickly than you indicate here in a number of companies. Consider both customer service (where there is already a degree of automation) and new business or sales (where it is more often manual but routed to the appropriate contact).
What takes time is scale, but for companies that already have a routing infrastructure and mindset, I have to wonder, why is this such a leap? When you label is "social" and "content" it may seem like a big change but when you dig under the covers, I think there are a number of companies that are not far from being able to implement meaningful aspects of this.
1 year, 2 months ago on Why Insourcing is the Next Social Media and Content Marketing Trend
@TedRubin Thanks for the reply. I completely agree with your closing statement (and have said something similar myself).
"Understanding and immersing themselves, at least a little in social, will at the very least give them a basic feel for what it is instead of what they perceive it to be."
If they do NOT support social and it is because they do not understand it, then yes, most definitely, getting engaged can make a big difference. Ultimately, I view this as a path to supporting social. Understanding it better is just one of the potential paths there.
Appreciate your reply and perspective helping to shape mine.
1 year, 3 months ago on CEOs On Social Media: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Steve, why do CEO's need to embrace a presence social media? Do they take out the trash? Do they answer the phone at the front desk?
I think the social media community is too focused on personal usage by executives, and the analogy you use is a bit broken. Equating business use with social use is apples and oranges. Equating personal use with being willing to support it in the business is also apples and oranges.
I agree with you, it may be many years before most CEO's of major companies are engaged in social media. But as long as they support social media in the business, it should be ok.
Wow, a lot of good points. I want to share a couple reactions I had to this.
1) My views are not necessarily my employers. Yes, being somewhat active in social media, my views may be public, but what is important is generally far more important is my behavior. If I post that content is overrated as a differentiator and is fast becoming tablestakes for marketers as we are all inundated, you won't likely dismiss my agency for content. In fact, you might even see that we do content creation and see perspectives of individuals around content's evolution as a positive, even if it isn't a position you will see on the agency's website.
I'm blogging, tweeting and facebooking in public, with full disclosure of who my employer is. What I say may not be there view, but that doesn't mean I'm not associated with them.
2) What is sharing? In my view, it should be an endorsement that it is worth the time to read, watch, fill out, etc. It can be something a disagree with but gives insight into a different perspective. Or can be entertaining, or it can just be so awful that you have to share the misery of having sat through it (with a full disclaimer of course for what it is).
This isn't a sense of the right way and the wrong way. It is a perspective I have after following many people and seeing the increasing glut of content. What is valuable to me, and I believe will be increasingly valuable to others as well, is that we are acting as a filter.
And a closing note: views are my own, so please don't hold my employer responsible for anything considerate or intelligent I might accidentally say.
1 year, 3 months ago on Does Social Sharing Equal Public Endorsement?
Sam, I don't want to pay for content because so much of it these days isn't valuable. I hesitate because I don't know that it is worth the bother of even providing my email address.
Add to that being burned so many times by companies that sell or spam me or processes that start with a simple form (first name, email) and then require a 20 field form to be completed as the second step, I would rather take the next result in Google because it isn't any more likely to be low quality than the one I just passed on paying for with my information.
It isn't just blogs that are producing awful content these days, even some of the respected publishing companies produce a lot of fluff these days. If we don't pay with our information or credit card, we are still paying with our time and attention.
So, to answer your question: yes, there is value in free content. But the real value is in valuable content. Content that your audience would MISS if it wasn't there. When you consistently deliver that content to your audience, you win the battle for attention.
1 year, 4 months ago on Is Free an Asset to Content Marketers?
Good point from @ShakirahDawud , blogs can be skimmed. What I appreciate most about your posts, and a few other folks, is that they are NOT directly actionable, but they are thought provoking. They plant a seed, like this one does.
Seed: Is making someone stop and think enough, or do you need to tell them the answer too? Does the answer to that change depending on the relationship you already have with them?
I don't need a 60 minute webcast to spark a thought, if I have 60 minutes to give, then I don't have any time after to think! But for a blog, there is ample room for both styles.
My $0.02 in reply. :-)
1 year, 5 months ago on Of actionable items and a touch of hypocrisy
1 year, 6 months ago on Catching Up
YIKES!! I've read some of the advice to include keywords in your LinkedIn profiles, but I never even imagined someone would take it this far. This is worse than the old doorway pages SEO firms were doing 10 years ago.
1 year, 6 months ago on LinkedIn Worst Practice – You’ve Got to Be Kidding
[This is where I bite my tongue and resist the urge to launch into a useless monologue. Well said Margie, absolutely nothing should be added.]
1 year, 6 months ago on The problem with armor