Even without a crystal ball, I can confidently predict that much of the marketing data you use for your marketing campaigns is rotten. In my corporate career at IBM it was a constant area of frustration, as it has been in almost every client I’ve worked with over the last 4 years, irrespective of size.
In the years since I established Purple Salix, I’ve been fortunate to work with CMOs and marketing leaders of large global companies through to small startups, and across the tech sector and multiple industry sectors beyond – including Finance, Oil, and Green chemicals manufacturing. However, irrespective of size and industry, the areas of challenge are remarkably consistent. Without wishing to betray any client confidences, here are 4 of the questions that every marketing director most frequently asks me to help them address.
Last week I had the privilege of chairing the B2B Marketing InTech conference at the Brewery in London. The agenda featured some great brands (Cisco, Oracle, Aruba amongst others) with some great content. My overwhelming sense was that B2B Marketers are becoming a little more cynical about chasing the latest shiny software application and instead are starting to think about how it might impact their customer and prospect relationships, or improve the engagement of sales teams. There was a lot of discussion about the challenges of moving the needle on the company culture, and how we embed some of these best practices around social selling etc.
Last week I attended the annual conference organised by The Marketing Centre. One of the guest speakers in an inspiring day was John Blakey, UK Chair of Vistage. His talk started by exploring how business leaders have lost their positions of trust (think Sepp Blatter of FIFA, Tony Hayward of BP, Martin Winterkorn of VW) and then moved on to discussing how we might regain that trust again.
As a self employed consultant, and previously as a corporate manager, I’ve invested considerable effort over several years to hone the approach I use to getting work done, remaining focussed on the current task, and maintaining a balance with my life beyond work. This post is about the tools I use and the workflow i employ to help me be more effective.
In my view, time off at Christmas and New Year is mainly about having fun with the family and catching up with old friends. However it’s also a great opportunity to reflect on the last year and to think about your approach for the year ahead. This week is a great time to kick back and have a think about what lies ahead for the New Year and everything you want to achieve.
Seven years is a long time in marketing. Let me take you back to September 2008. The iPhone was barely a year old, Lehman Brothers had gone to the wall the previous week, and in a small venue in London I was sharing a platform with Steve Woods (then CTO at Eloqua) and Will Schnabel of SilverPop . My presentation was entitled “An Organic Gardener’s Guide to Lead Nurturing“.
There is a a common and powerful chart that is used in change management circles that describes the various factors that need to be aligned in order to manage complex change. You can find an example here.
I thought it might be useful to attempt to borrow this approach and apply it to the question of why so many marketing campaigns fail. Of course the model is simplistic, but I have found that it helps many of my clients recognise that just addressing one isolated factor, is not going to automatically generate a step-change in marketing campaign performance. A successful campaign comprises (at least) 7 factors that must all be aligned if we are to maximise the revenue and enhance the internal reputation of marketing.
Two recent articles caught my eye recently regarding stress levels amongst marketers and how we feel about it. According to a survey of 236 UK & Irish marketers by Axxon Media 71% of our profession are feeling “burnt out”. Despite this, 67% are in marketing because it’s “something they love”. While I’m somewhat skeptical about how that burn-out figure was gathered, at face value it would seem very alarming. Taken together a conclusion could be that we keep doing what we do, even though its hurting us, because we get a sense of self-worth from the work we do. That strikes me as sad.
A couple of months ago I read an article on Michael Hyatt’s blog about how we our society values achievement but completely undervalues rest. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since then. I think it’s true. As many of us lucky ones return from our annual vacations it’s probably a good time to reflect upon that. Do you invest sufficiently in rest-time or are do you think your too important, too busy or simply too awesome to do so?