Lee Odden

Evolve or Die: The Role of Purpose & Authenticity in Marketing

Lee Odden     Digital Marketing

Mack Fogelson DSPHX

In a world where the average U.S. consumer is confronted with 64GB of data per day, I think it’s safe to say that marketing requires a very different approach.

Marketers all over the world are searching hard for silver bullets and ways to differentiate. And I think a lot of companies are wondering what it will take to realize substantial growth.

It will certainly take more than being “the best answer” at every touchpoint or simply outspending the competition. Who can really afford that?

Growing in today’s world of digital information overload will require something special: Building from purpose and authenticity.

It was purpose and authenticity that was the focus of a presentation I heard at Digital Summit from Mackenzie (Mack) Fogelson recently. Did you know?

Ashley Zeckman

5 Digital Marketing Brain Training Exercises to Keep You Sharp

Ashley Zeckman     Digital Marketing

Over the years, we’ve all developed some bad habits as marketers. Some may be a result of our environment, while others have been self inflicted. As more and more bad habits enter our digital marketing routine, there is less room for healthy exercises to keep us strong.

The most recent CMO Survey uncovered that CMOs consistently rate the level of their staff’s marketing knowledge as average. So while marketing spend and production are increasing, the level of marketing knowledge isn’t following suit.

Avoid a marketing rut by beginning a digital marketing training routine to build strength and endurance over time. To give you a kickstart, we’ve provided the 5 brain training exercises below that will help you down the path to building your marketing muscles.

Ashley Zeckman

Agency Life: My Top Tips for Thriving at a Bustling Digital Marketing Agency

Ashley Zeckman     Digital Marketing

When I tell people that I work for a digital marketing agency, I’m sure they envision a version of the scenarios below:

Photo Credit: The Hotel Marketing Blog

Perception of what you do, versus what you actually do are two completely different things. For most of us, our time isn’t spent sipping martinis and developing large-scale ad campaigns for major B2C brands. Realistically, we’re all juggling many tasks and clients, trying to do the best work that we can.

While working for a top tier agency like TopRank Marketing is hard work, it also offers some incredibly rewarding opportunities. As someone that has been fully ingrained in agency life for many years, I’d like to shed a light on five lessons I’ve learned that have helped me not only survive but thrive in an agency environment.

Caitlin Burgess

5 Ways to Level Up Your Content Marketing Maturity

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

Large or small. Growing or dwindling resources. New or experienced in the content marketing realm. Every organization is at a different stage in their content marketing maturity, looking for innovative and even practical ways to bring their efforts to the next level.

But as the old adage goes, you have to walk before you run—and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to growing your content marketing maturity.

Simply put. In order to grow your content marketing maturity, you have to understand where you’re at and create a strategy to get to the next step.

Using TopRank Marketing’s own content marketing maturity model—developed by CEO Lee Odden—below we offer insights to help you determine your current level of maturity, as well as tips to help you move on to the next.

Caitlin Burgess

Showing Some Love: 7 Sweet B2C Valentine’s Day Marketing Examples

Caitlin Burgess     B2C Marketing, Digital Marketing

While Valentine’s Day has been traditionally known as the day couples honor their love and affection for one another, it’s turned into the fourth-largest shopping day of the year with attached and unattached consumers making holiday purchases for the special people in their lives.

As a result, smart B2C brands and marketers are upping their Valentine’s Day marketing game by getting creative to tap into new audiences, boost awareness and drive sales.

With that said and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, below we share some clever, sweet and endearing Valentine’s Day marketing examples from B2C brands.

#1 – M&M’s

Chocolate is arguably one of the top go-to Valentine’s Day gift items. But with probably thousands of options to choose from, candy makers face some stiff competition.

Joshua Nite

New Benchmarks from Marketo: How Does Your Organization Measure Up?

Digital Marketing Benchmark ReportIf digital marketing were a competitive sport, it would be freestyle swimming. We’re all in our respective lanes, each with different audiences to reach. We all have our own unique set of strategies, and our own budget limitations to work with. We’re all trying to get to our finish line as fast as we can. And we all could benefit from the occasional glance sideways to see what everyone else is doing.

This half-competitive, half-isolated feeling is why marketing benchmarks are so valuable. Benchmarks help us determine if our strategies, investments and results are comparable to our peers. They can reinforce what we’re already doing and provide a road map for the future.

This year, there’s a new player in the benchmark reporting game: The brilliant minds at Marketo. They just released their 2017 Marketing Benchmark Report for North America, and it’s a doozy.

Ashley Zeckman

5 Common Challenges All Digital Marketers Face & How to Own Them

Ashley Zeckman     Digital Marketing

Big or small, B2B or B2C there are a core set of challenges that all marketers face. The extremity of these challenges will vary from brand to brand and person to person but undoubtedly exist within every organization.

Within the last few years alone, it now takes 52% more touches to close a deal than it did in the years prior. Yikes! Those aren’t the best odds, and now that marketing is becoming even more responsible for sales (not that that’s a bad thing), the modern marketer is stressed out.

But don’t fret, you’re not alone. The first step to overcoming your obstacles is identifying what they are. Once you know what’s in front of you, it’s much easier to tackle them one piece at a time.

Ashley Zeckman

Would You Rather: 6 Ways to Tell if Your Digital Marketing Agency is the Right Fit

Ashley Zeckman     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

Today’s increasingly competitive landscape requires that marketers focus on activities that will have the biggest impact in order to capture and keep the attention of potential customers. With over 200 million people utilizing ad blocking technology, it’s clear that an integrated digital marketing strategy has to be implemented in order to reach target customers.

To develop and execute a successful marketing program, many brands large and small  look to digital marketing agencies to help guide their strategy and execution to maximize the impact of their efforts. However, as most of you have discovered at some point, those agency relationships don’t always work out as you anticipate. Once the wooing stage has passed, you may find that you have more work and results aren’t meeting expectations.

Caitlin Burgess

Working Together in Perfect Harmony: Digital Advertising + Content Marketing

Content marketing has emerged as an incredibly effective way to arm consumers with the information they seek and need, increase brand awareness, enhance engagement, and ultimately inspire action and conversions. As TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden likes to say:

“Content isn’t King. It’s the Kingdom.”

But the kingdom is crowded. According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProf’s 2016 benchmark reports, 88% of B2B marketers and 76% of B2C marketers say they use content marketing.

With so many marketers in the content marketing game—many of them creating and publishing new content daily—competition is stiff. In addition, evolving algorithms for social media news feeds and search engine results make it even more difficult to get the right eyeballs on your content.

Caitlin Burgess

6 Influencer Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Journalists

As some of you regular TopRank Marketing Blog readers may know, before making my way into the world of digital marketing, I was a journalist covering the wild news happenings in a handful of Twin Cities metro towns.

While I wore many hats during those days—from reporter to managing editor to social media maven—building strong community connections was probably the most important hat of all.

Truly, the people I engaged with were more than connections. They were lifelines. They represented untold stories, interesting perspectives, inside scoops and friendly gateways to new sources, allowing me to craft quality news pieces that people actually wanted to read, share and talk about.

Now as a digital marketer, my community connections and sources often go by a new name: influencers.

Ashley Zeckman

20 Tips to Help You Become A More Effective & Focused Marketer in 2017

Ashley Zeckman     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

The holiday season has officially ended and while some of us are still taking down our trees and packing away ornaments, 2017 is well upon us.

The break that the vast majority of marketers get at the end of the year helps us start the new year refreshed, replenished and ready to create some kickass marketing programs.

This year, instead of focusing on being productive, let’s change our approach to becoming more effective in our marketing. Truly effective people are not just focused on getting as many things done as possible. Instead, time needs to be spent prioritizing, pushing boundaries and finding ways to enjoy what you do for an extended period of time.

Caitlin Burgess

Content Curation 101: 7 Best Practices, Helpful Tools & Great Examples

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

content-curation-101

In today’s digital world, marketers know that creating quality content is key to informing, engaging and inspiring action, as well as building authority and rapport with their audiences. And oftentimes that means creating original pieces and assets that tap into their audience’s interests, address pain points and answer burning questions.

But let’s face it: marketers are busy—and creating quality, original pieces that get results and position your brand as having the best answer is incredibly time intensive.

However, there is one tactic that can come to the rescue: content curation.

What is content curation?

Simply put, content curation is all about finding, gathering and sharing the best and most relevant content the web has to offer on a specific topic that your audience cares about.