We covered a lot of ground on Marketing Smarts podcasts in 2012 talking about content marketing, social media, community building, the relationship between sales and marketing, and much, much more. So, to kick off the year, I decided to step back, review some of what our guests shared on the aforementioned topics, and assemble a show featuring samples of their wit, wisdom, and insight.
If you don't have time to listen to the show right now, check out the lessons the podcast contains...
- Explore your backstory to uncover the ideas and images that should populate your content. For example, Mark Levy discovered that one of his clients used to set himself on fire and dive into a pool of water for a living. He used this knowledge to help his client name is company—Giant Leap Consulting—and define his thought leadership around the idea of organizational courage.
- Use stories to tap into your customers' curiosity. Jay Baer and I were talking about Doritos Locos Tacos (of course) when he laid out how Taco Bell might have used a QR code and an entertaining video to explain how this strange, crazy Frankenstein monster of a taste sensation came to be. In discussing that, he emphasized both Taco Bell's missed opportunity and displayed his own unique genius.
- Somebody is already talking to you audience. Work with them! Andrew Davis got me rethinking the way companies go about producing content by pointing out the power of partnering with those folks who have already aggregated the audience that you want to talk to. If someone is creating quality content that engages your audience, why compete? Why not, instead, underwrite?
- Let social media humanize your organization. When businesses begin to use social media, they realize that they can no longer rely on traditional, command-and-control modes of communication. To be more flexible, responsive, and adaptive when interacting with customers via social media, however, businesses must not only have to change their communication style but also have to change their organizational style. According to Maddie Grant, those changes involve becoming more open, trustworthy, and courageous. In other words, become more human.
- The relationship between sales and marketing continues to evolve. Lou Imbriano generated some sparks by insisting that, for best results, sales should report to marketing as it did when he was running marketing for the Patriots organization. Leaving aside the question of reporting or org structure, SAP's Michael Brenner emphasized the need for greater collaboration between sales and marketing given the rise of content marketing and the increasing tendency for buyers to rely on content to educate themselves prior to ever contacting a sales rep. However organizations end up managing those two functions, the shifting media landscape and ongoing changes in customer behavior mean that this relationship remains an interesting work-in-progress.
- Community matters. John Jantsch once said that if you want to start a business, you should start a community. Melanie Notkin is a living example of how that works having successfully built a business around the community of Savvy Aunties that she created. At the same time, Becky McCray cautioned businesses not to confuse "community" with "audience." You need a community to support a business, but that only works with businesses not only support the community but actively participate as community members.
Of course, those are just a few of the lessons that one may glean from the 60+ podcast episodes we've produced thus far. If you've taken anything special away from listening, please feel free to share in the comments. Also, if there is someone you think I should interview in 2013, please let me know!
Happy New Year!
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