Ashley Zeckman

Insanely Effective Content Marketing with Limited Resources, Budget & Time

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 25th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

chris-moody-ge-digital-mpb2b-2016

Marketing departments typically have unlimited resources, astronomical budgets and more hours in the day than your average person. Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

If the statement above sounds right to you, congratulations!

For the rest of us trying to find a way to do more (quality and quantity) with less, this is a topic that is typically top of mind, every day.

In his presentation at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, Chris Moody, Content Marketing Leader at GE Digital helped ease the pain for B2B marketers. Chris shared insight into some concepts that can you do more with less, as well as some tips and tricks to get you on the right path.

What is the Current State of Marketing?

He opened with a quote from one of my favorite shows, Silicon Valley.

“Failure is growth. Failure is learning. But, sometimes failure is just failure.” – Gavin Belson

There are currently two major places where marketers are falling flat. Recent research from Forrester found that 82% of enterprise marketers have no centralized view of the customer, and that 65% of CMOs cant measure ROI for digital marketing.

If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will. While each company has a slightly different audience and a slightly different value, there are some key ideas that ring true for most B2B marketers.

If the CEO feels like you’re not showing ROI, you’re not showing ROI.

Why CEO’s Think Marketers Suck

Fournaise found that 80% of CEOs are not impressed by the work done by marketers. Yikes! Where did we go wrong?

There are three key ways that marketers are missing the mark today:

  1. They cannot prove the ROI of marketing activities.
  2. They’ve lost sight of what their job really is.
  3. They’re not business performance-obsessed enough.

CEOs do take some of the “blame” though and believe that they’ve lost trust in the ability of marketing to be successful. And they’ve given up on holding marketers accountable.

It’s Time to Shift Perspective

Whether we believe we’re rockstar’s or not, how leadership teams within our organizations perceive our value is an incredibly important aspect to our success.

The only barrier to information today is laziness.” 

With the pure amount of information available at our fingertips, there is no excuse for not being able to answer the questions (even the tough ones) that our C-Suite wants the answers to.

While there are some things that cannot be taught, there are no born abilities that marketers have to possess to be successful. The odds are not stacked against us. It’s a matter of effort, education and focus. 

The best way to get more resources is to get results first.”

The first thing we have to realize that if we want to build and grow, results have to come first. We also need to stop chasing the next big thing and focus on doing our job better.

5 Steps to Getting Shit Done

It’s safe to assume that many of us are busy in our day-to-day activities. But take a step back and ponder how many of the things you’re doing are tied to measurable results. These five steps will help you refocus your efforts on the things that matter most, impact.

Step 1: Define Your Mission
Define what your “one thing” is and what you stand for as a company. For example, when people think of the brand Apple, innovation comes to mind.

Step 2: Determine Your Main Goal
This should be the one thing that you really need to get done. For example you might say: Our main goal is to generate more leads that become sales qualified.

Step 3: Document Your Plan
In order to achieve your main goal, you have to document your plan for to achieve that goal. Remember, if it’s not written down, you will not be as effective. If your goal is to drive more sales qualified leads, your plan might include:

  • Looking at the top sales qualified lead assets and replicate/repurpose
  • Running one influencer webinar per quarter
  • Sponsoring and conducting original research
  • Identifying and engaging industry thought leaders

Step 4: Identify Metrics
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important for your team to sit down and determine what metrics are most important for your company and team to measure. Sample metrics might include:

  • Leads to MQLs to SQLs to Opportunities to Revenue
  • Traffic
  • Share of voice and awareness metrics
  • Top converting assets
  • Engagement
  • Volume/production

Step 5: Establish A Baseline
A baseline is simple. If you don’t have existing data, you start with a flat line. What you want to see is when things change, when they spike and fall and what is happening to cause those things.

How to Get Results

If you’re ready to make a shift to a results focused approach to marketing, focus on these 4 things:

  1. Answer every question your audience cares about.
  2. Talk to your current customers.
  3. Stop trying to hit homeruns with every content asset.
  4. Realize that content is everywhere.

Capturing the attention of audiences today is hard. But if we aren’t pushing the boundaries and approaching it with a results focused mindset, we’ve already lost the battle.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other marketers to help them focus on the right things?

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.