Holiday Cheers with HubSpot Enterprise: BluePrint is the New Black

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CLEVELAND –

2012 is here, and we’re ready. 

Cleveland cleHUG HubSpot enterprise Paul Roetzer Byron Fernandez Holiday social

Cleveland Holiday HUG

From mulled wine (Nordic Glögg – my Swedish/Irish sister would be proud), shrimp cocktail and local pizza to my mom’s famous Austrian jam cookies; the

Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) kicked off the holidays with HubSpot Enterprise and members from local inbound marketing, digital, and creative firms.

Hosted by PR 20/20, HubSpot’s first VAR firm, HUG members had the opportunity to hear from Chris O’Donnell, HubSpot Product Manager for the contacts (MOFU/leads) team, and former Head of Product Development at Performable.

For the first time in Northeast Ohio, three certified HubSpot VARs were present, and it was good to see new and old faces.

Though chatter ranged from weddings, books and techgeek toys, to expecting parents and launching new ventures, key business takeaways from the event included:

  1. 2012 will be a year of results: Firms will continue to be driven by data and disruptive technologies, that will shift the focus from outputs to outcomes. Efficiency and productivity rule: Performance indicators demand that specialists remain well-versed in a host of converging media industries.
  2. Sales and Digital will continue to converge as lower overhead costs, higher performance metrics and limitless economies of scale for startups will transform the landscape. Silos are so 2000 and late. PR, marketing and traditional advertising, branding and communications firms will collaborate with creative, technology and digital in profound ways. Mergers and acquisitions will fuel the rise of complementary, full-service agencies that benefit from diverse and dynamic revenue streams.
  3. Immersion and integration will no longer be an option — across partners, clients/customers and channels. Technology software, platforms and tools drive the market, and those that provide integrated solutions across PR, social, seo, content, web and brand will be best positioned to thrive. A/B testing and mobile (especially games and apps) will lead emerging, “intuitive” services.

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Particularly fascinating to me, of course, was our discussion regarding HubSpot Enterprise and its implications for social and seo intelligence.

One of the highlights of the night was when O’Donnell mentioned testing messages. He elaborated on the effect of trying different offers that meet people at a precise touchpoint along the buying cycle : fear-based, description-based and promise based. 

So many of us get mired in strategy and tactics: We focus on products, pretty websites or image placement – get lost in a rabbit hole of bells and whistles, rather than simply implementing and continually testing what our readers, subscribers and qualified leads are looking for.  

Which is why guys like Chris, Google and HubSpot are around to jar our memory: it’s in the data. Enterprise seems to be taking notes from Facebook, especially in the context of a “frictionless” user-experience: Intelligence driven by consumer behavior.

Bernays would be pleased: psychology and philosophy’s here to stay. Beyond what we say, to how we say it. Understanding not just what we do, but what we don’t do.

Reflecting consciousness.  

Pretty cool. Emotional and practical intelligence are vital differentiators because they are genuine and human, and impart identity to personal and organizational brands.

Accurately predicting consumer behavior in 2012 will depend on professionals willing and able to adapt, take calculated risks and truly reflect the minds of their audiences, across channels.

If performing is the new doing, then being is the new thinking.

*Special thanks to Dia Dalsky for hosting, Chris O’Donnell and Chris Knipper, Founder & President at Kuno Creative for sharing success stories thus far with HubSpot Enterprise. And to end where much of this began, congratulations to Paul Roetzer on his new book, The Marketing Agency BluePrint. We’re proud of you.

RELATED LINKS

Chris O’Donnell – Resonant Emotional Messaging

Jessica Donlon – Quick Response: How Strategic Execution Makes QR Effective

NYT read via Rand Fishkin – Online Retailers Home in on a New Demographic: The Drunken Consumer 

Interested in learning more about inbound marketing and HubSpot VARs? Contact me directly at 1-800-348-9654 x 205

  

The Evolution of Media webinar with PR Newswire (and other Halloween Oo de Lally)

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Man, I really love fall. The hullabaloo and goodwill (and beautiful weather) starts every year with my birthday (the day after Fall equinox) and steamrolls right through the New Year.

Though Halloween’s as much fun for me as any other, my favorite time of year’s always Thanksgiving and the holiday season. A time of reflection, peace and reunion with family and friends. What’s not to love about that?, says this observer.

But anywho, I made a new friend over the weekend, and to borrow her sentiments it seems we fell out of the same tree. 

Her name is Sarah Skerik, a fellow PR nut and the current VP of Social Media at PR Newswire. She blogs about PR, social and search, so naturally we’re snug as a clown fish and sea anemone.

Great word, by the way, anemone. 

finding nemo Google eric cheng google plus scrapbook visual graphic

Nemo! ...with teeth

Moving on.

In summary, this was my first webinar outside HubSpot, so that was kind of cool. Some of the highlights we covered were:

  • Engaging in critical, compelling ways with audience/s is not episodic, but continual. Business and communications has moved from a “sometime” world to a real-time world 
  • Value rules. People (consumers) are no longer dependent on the proxy of trust afforded by a media brand
  • When compelling content is combined with intelligent distribution, earned credibility results
  • This accelerates the evolution from owned to earned influence 
  • Push and pull are not mutually exclusive. Savvy professionals and business owners acknowledge and activate a hybrid, holistic approach across the sales funnel

 In essence, we’re driving home the point I recently made about how social media is not the end-all, be-all of top performers in the business space. Social media is not for everyone.

Done right, social can be optimized with other elements of the marketing mix for dynamic options, goals and results (because some of us are really geeky about the spirit and power of human potential).

And again, it is only one piece of the overall pie for converting qualified leads/customers, generating revenue, building awareness, driving action and change…the list goes on.

Forget Justin’s FutureSex Lovesounds, Future Productivity’s the rage now.


As media continues to evolve, quite a bit of soul searching also becomes a crucial element of business strategy. What are you trying to accomplish?

As Joe Pulizzi’s said time and again, what does success look like to you?

Ghouls, trolls and ghosts aside, I hope you all enjoyed the Halloween weekend…and still have all your teeth after bobbing for those apples (hayrides, Halloweekends at Cedar Point and whatever else all you crazy kids do) …   

RELATED LINKS

Sarah Skerik, PR Newswire – Beyond PR: Engage Opportunity Everywhere

Gini Dietrich – Six Reasons Social Media Doesn’t Work

Paul Roetzer – What Are You Trying to Build?

Mark Schaefer – Snobberati: Bringing Down the Twitter Snobs 

Social Media Is Not the Answer to Everything

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I am so tired of hearing about social media.

Chanting social media over and over again does not generate qualified leads, nor convert prospects into customers any more than the incantation jobs, jobs of the current Administration puts people back to work.

Those that don’t quite see the bigger picture remind me of the valiant but somehow vapid Occupy Wallers out there: yes, we know you’re sitting around waiting for change

And?

I’m back in high school, in AP Language or Lit and the million-dollar question hasn’t changed: So what? What does said passage, story mean? What’s the takeaway? What now?

school for the gifted Gary Larson comic cartoon the Far Side

Without vision, purpose and a clear understanding of what you want and the sacrifices you will have to make to get there, how can you come up with viable solutions that motivate others to take action? 

Social media, for the umpteenth time, is only a tool. A means to achieving an end. Those with a hybrid, integrated approach view SM as a single piece of the marketing mix.

Social media and great content are only the beginning. How will you share? Who will you share it with? Why? When? Yada yada.

Though I have quite a few, this is one of my favorite passages from Paul Roetzer’s release of chapter 2 from his upcoming Wiley book, The Marketing Agency Blueprint:

Content should be crafted for visitors, but optimized for search engines. 

Rand Fishkin, main man of SEO, recently shared this. And as always, it is nasty. And timely.