Lee Odden

About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing Spotlight: John Bell, VP Enterprise Digital Marketing at Travelers

Lee Odden on Nov 25th, 2015     Digital Marketing, Interviews

Digital Marketing Spotlight

Star light, star bright, which digital marketer is next in our spotlight? Well, it’s John Bell of course, Vice President of Enterprise Digital Marketing at Travelers.

John joined Travelers after 13 years at Ogilvy & Mather where he founded Social@Ogilvy, a global social and digital marketing practice. There, John drove digital and social strategy and programs for major brands including Ford, Nestlé, IBM, DuPont and more.

In this interview, John talks about his transition from the big agency world to a big brand, lessons learned, innovation, data, martech, content, hiring and digital marketing priorities for 2016. So put on your shades, no not really, and dig in:

John H Bell, TravelersYou made a pretty big change from Managing Director at Social@Ogilvy to VP Enterprise Marketing at Travelers. What are some of the most transferable lessons you’ve learned moving from agency head to a senior marketing executive for a brand?

Lee Odden

12 Major Brands on Where SEO Fits in the Digital Marketing Mix for 2016

Lee Odden on Nov 24th, 2015     SEO

SEO digital marketing

Did you know? Google handles 100 billion searches per month and more than half of those are on mobile devices.

Did you also know? 15% of Google’s 3.5 billion daily searches have never been seen before.

I remember when you couldn’t search for anything on a smart phone and now people are searching for just about anything and everything, mostly on mobile devices. It’s an understatement to say search engines, consumer searching behaviors and search engine optimization have all changed.

As much as social media, content marketing and other marketing channels emerge, there is no mistaking the value of being the best answer for buyers at the moment of need. So how valuable is SEO going into 2016? More specifically…

Lee Odden

How to Be the Best Answer with An Integrated, Optimized Approach to Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Nov 11th, 2015     Content Marketing

Be the Best Answer - Lee OddenA study from Ericsson reports that by the year 2020, there will be over 50 billion internet-connected devices. That means consumers will be able to create, consume, publish interact and transact anytime, anywhere.

Many companies are responding to the rise in information access and consumption by creating even more content to stand out. A LOT more content.

But is more content better?

Internet in Real Time
With over 24,000 gigabytes of data uploaded every second (Internet in Real Time) I think it’s safe to say information overload already has enough of “more content”.

BuzzSumo released a report in conjunction with Moz based on analysis of 1 million articles and found that this increase in content production has a promotion problem: 50% of content gets 8 shares or less.

Lee Odden

Marketing and Public Relations Convergence: Preview to #PRSAIcon 2015

Lee Odden on Oct 28th, 2015     Digital Marketing, Public Relations

PRSA International Conference 2015
Expectations of marketing outcomes from public relations activities are higher than ever. It’s no longer enough to earn media placements, distribute releases and manage a few brand social media profiles. Companies increasingly expect PR to perform with marketing and business impact.

I can’t help but state it bluntly:

PR practitioners and organizations that have not expanded skills to include marketing capabilities are at risk of becoming irrelevant.

The good news is that the leap from PR to Marketing convergence is not that far.  A great example is our agency, TopRank Marketing, originally founded as Misukanis & Rodgers Public Relations 14 years ago. Early on we made a very important transition from PR to Digital Marketing that has enabled us to bring the best of both worlds to our client work.

Lee Odden

12 Ways to Crush the Competition with Content from Events

Lee Odden on Oct 20th, 2015     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Crush Competition Events

Creating engaging content on a consistent basis in the face of information overload pretty much sums up many of the top content marketing challenges companies are facing today.

Virtually every company in business is creating content of some kind and many of those same companies are attending industry conferences too. Imagine being able to solve a big part of your content marketing problems while getting even more value from industry event investments!

That’s what this post is about.

Here are 12 things you can do to create content before, during and after events in ways that will distance your content brand from the competition without adding new resources to your marketing team. That is, assuming your competition is not also reading this post.

Lee Odden

Essential Skills for Modern Marketers

Lee Odden on Oct 14th, 2015     Digital Marketing

Modern Marketing Skills

Recently I gave a goals, vision, mission presentation internally at our agency and an important part of it centered around the marketing skills needed individually and collectively to reach our goals.

The basic analysis of the published skills of our own team in preparation for my presentation revealed we have a collective 700+ skills listed across nearly 30 marketers. While that is quite a robust array of skills, it is my belief that we can always do better.

The fast pace and changing nature of our industry is not for the faint of heart or for those that subscribe to mediocrity. What seemed advanced in marketing skills a few years ago has become 101 level today.

Lee Odden

Poll Results: Digital Marketing Priorities for Major Brands in 2016

Lee Odden on Oct 6th, 2015     Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Priorities 2016It’s strategic marketing planning season for 2016 and digital marketers all over the world are navigating their way through organizational goals, data and the pulse of their communities to specify areas of focus for the coming year.

Much of what drives digital marketing strategy is a mix of business objectives and marketing priorities. Deciding on those priorities helps create a direct line of sight to what success looks like. Research from CMI/MarketingProfs shows that marketers with a clear idea of what success looks like are more successful.

But what are the top digital priorities for digital marketers in the coming year?

Lee Odden

140 B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2016 Strategy Planning

Lee Odden on Sep 30th, 2015     B2B Marketing

B2B Content Marketing Report 2016

The best content marketing strategies are informed by data and one of the most consistent B2B marketing research reports chock full of data comes from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Today the 6th edition of the B2B Content Marketing – 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report was published revealing a canyon of difference between successful content marketers and those that seem to be lost in the wilderness. This report is also a reality check for content marketers that drink too much of their own kool-aid, offering a mix of slightly downward trend data right along with numerous reasons for future content marketing optimism.

What do I mean by reality check? Fewer marketers have a documented content marketing strategy than last year 32% vs 35% and less marketers see their content marketing as effective 30% vs 38%.

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing Spotlight: Rishi Dave, CMO at Dun & Bradstreet

Lee Odden on Sep 23rd, 2015     Digital Marketing, Interviews

Digital Marketing Spotlight

Marketing executives are more challenged than ever to create effective organizations and operations to succeed in an increasingly converged, content and inbound marketing world.

In this latest TopRank Marketing Digital Marketing Spotlight interview, Rishi Dave, CMO at Dun & Bradstreet, talks about the strategic responsibility differences of entering a CMO role, advice on creating an effective inbound marketing organization, the importance of content, the convergence of marketing and PR and whether senior executives should focus on their personal brand.

Rishi Dave Dun & BradstreetIt’s been nearly two years since you moved from being Executive Director, Digital Marketing at Dell to your current role as CMO at Dun & Bradstreet. What are some of the changes you had to make in terms of your responsibilities, marketing organization and the change in industry?

Lee Odden

Why It’s Time for More Participation in B2B Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Sep 21st, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

participation b2b marketing

B2B brands are answering the call to become publishers with a significant increase in content hubs exemplified by pioneers like American Express OPEN and Adobe’s CMO.com and others including:

  • Intel IQ
  • Think with Google
  • Dell’s Power More
  • GE’s World in Motion
  • SAP’s Digitalist Magazine

Content Hubs

While those are all great examples, there’s an important question: Can your business really afford to hire the kind of editorial team to create this quantity of quality content at the cadence of a business publication?

Many practical marketers will say no.

The trend towards brand publishing in combination with self directed buyers guiding their way through the sales process with content creates an interesting conflict between the need for an up level on quality content production with a corresponding increase in content creation resources.

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing Spotlight: Jeff Marcoux, CMO Lead at Microsoft

Lee Odden on Sep 2nd, 2015     Digital Marketing, Interviews

Digital Marketing Spotlight

What is predictive marketing and what are the future marketing technologies we should be paying attention to?

To answer those questions and more, I am happy to share the next in our series of digital marketer interviews featuring Jeff Marcoux (@jeffmarcoux), CMO Lead, Worldwide Enterprise Marketing at Microsoft.

At Microsoft, Jeff has driven cross product and team collaboration, supported multiple product releases and believes that every touch point with a customer is a marketing experience – from marketing to sales to customer service.

In this interview, Jeff talks about the most fun job in the world at Microsoft, marketing technology and predictive analytics, marketing executive career advice and how he stays current in the digital marketing world. We also get to peek into his crystal ball for upcoming digital marketing trends.

Lee Odden

How to Improve Influencer Engagement? Avoid These 50 Fails

Lee Odden on Aug 31st, 2015     Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

Brands: Stop Doing These Things!

Influencer Marketing is hot and that means the value of influencer relationships is higher than ever.

Working hard to romance in-demand experts to collaborate, co-create and even advocate can be a substantial investment. The mutual benefit from these long term relationships can mean anything from hugely successful marketing programs for brands to top billing at speaking events, book deals and consulting work for the influencers.

Unfortunately, outreach communications, expectations and negotiations with influencers to work together are often so lacking of empathy, relevant context or even courtesy that the industry expert “checks out”. Losing influencers is sad and wasteful.

But it doesn’t have to be that way if you know what makes them leave. Trust me, I work on influencer outreach nearly every day (sending and receiving) and am both guilty of committing some of these influencer marketing sins and having them committed against me.