Marketing Craftmanship

Are Pitch Letters The Cinderella Of Content Marketing?

Marketing Craftmanship

Great content can build brand stature and increase market awareness, but in my experience, neither of those achievements necessarily delivers the type of market engagement that results in new accounts or revenue growth.

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Is Your Firm a “Safe Choice”? for Prospective Clients?

Marketing Craftmanship

Prospective clients certainly want to know if you have the experience and skills they need. But before they put you on their short list of candidates for consideration, they first will need some assurance that your company is a “safe choice.”

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Why Clients Don’t Value Your Ability

Marketing Craftmanship

For many decades, in medical school physicians have been taught the “3 A’s” of a sound practice management. They are the 3 qualities that their patients will value most highly, in rank order of importance: Affability. Accessibility. Ability.

7 Signs that You’re NOT a Thought Leader

Marketing Craftmanship

Thought Leadership is perhaps the most widely used and consistently abused strategy in professional services marketing. There’s diverse opinion regarding what it is, and fuzzy expectations with respect to its benefits.

Why B2B Contact and Account Data Management Is Critical to Your ROI

64% of successful data-driven marketers say improving data quality is the most challenging obstacle to achieving success. Given data’s direct impact on marketing campaigns, reporting, and sales follow up, maintaining an accurate and consistent database is a top priority for B2B organizations. This latest eBook aims to help marketing leaders understand the impact of data management on their company’s ROI.

A 9-Step Marketing Success Recipe

Marketing Craftmanship

Write Effective Pitch Letters to Grow Your Business

Marketing Craftmanship

Over the past 20 years, most of my firm’s new business has been generated by unsolicited pitch letters sent to targeted prospects.

Sales and Marketing Alignment: Facing Professional Culture Clash

Marketing Craftmanship

The most recent survey of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) shows that not much has changed over the past 10 years. CMOs continue their struggle to make the connection between marketing activity and company performance, and they continue to shift the blame for their failure.

Sales 158

PR’s “Big Lie” is Alive and Well

Marketing Craftmanship

Nearly 5 years ago, I wrote a LinkedIn blog post ( The PR Industry’s Dirty Little Secret ) that called out PR practitioners who use their “close relationships” with journalists – along with the implication that those relationships will generate media coverage – to sell their services to prospective clients. The “Big Lie” in this sales pitch is that no journalist will ever cover a topic because they know your PR rep. Further, any PR rep who pitches stories to journalists based relationships is unlikely to have those relationships for very long. I had not run into the Big Lie for some time, and believed it had become a remnant of old school PR; that clients had finally caught on, and were showing the door to PR practitioners who claimed their media relationships are for sale. But in Whack-a-Mole fashion, the Big Lie popped up again last week in a discussion with a prospective client, which went like this: Prospect: Do you have relationships with influential reporters that can help us get coverage? Me: I’ve worked with lots of reporters, but I would never pitch them a story simply because they know me. Prospect: What do you mean? Me: I would only pitch a reporter if I had a story that was worthy of their consideration. That’s my value proposition. I know what journalists want, and I know how to present it to them in a way that increases the likelihood that they will be interested. Prospect: But if they already know you, won’t that help our chances of getting the story published? Me: Not necessarily. Have you worked with a PR firm before? Prospect: Yes. And I hired them because they had strong media contacts. Me: How well did they perform? Prospect: I got absolutely nothing from them. That’s why I’m talking to you. So apparently…the Big Lie is alive and well in PR Land. And companies are still being played. Uncategorized #media placement #media relations #PR #publicity #reporters earned media journalism media coverage PR profession public relations publicist

PR 130

Is Your Client Newsletter a Marketing Albatross?

Marketing Craftmanship

Client newsletters are the most widely used, often abused and hotly debated marketing tactic for professional services firms of any size. Here are three highly subjective myths and realities to help your firm determine whether it’s a worthwhile tool, or how to improve your current newsletter.

2020 Database Strategies and Contact Acquisition Survey Report

As buyer expectations continue to heighten, marketing and sales teams are feeling pressured to deliver authentic messaging to buyers at every point of their customer journey. This report aims to highlight the current state of B2B database and contact acquisition strategies, and organizations’ goals to leverage data to fuel their go-to-market strategies in 2020 and beyond.

Make the Short List…Or Die Trying

Marketing Craftmanship

For most B2B companies, there’s no reliable way to predict when a prospective client will purchase their product or engage their services, regardless of what their “marketing automation” expert promises.

List 130

Marketing Craftmanship - Untitled Article

Marketing Craftmanship

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig recently called out “marketing services specialist” Clint Arthur for selling speaking opportunities at the Harvard Faculty Club and the West Point Club, as a means for his paying clients to leverage the credibility associated with those two respected institutions. As Zweig’s article points out , however, the schools neither sponsored those events, nor endorsed the program in any way. Apparently, Zweig’s article hasn’t deterred Mr. Arthur from hijacking brand endorsements, as he continues to promote this service (and many others) on his LinkedIn profile and his websites, including the “ Status Factory.”. Clint Arthur may represent the extreme end of PR hucksterism, but for decades many well-known public relations firms have sold other types of false or inflated credibility that relies on the implied third-party endorsement of respected media sources and organizations. (In some cases, those respected brands are complicit in selling their brand stature.). Here’s one example of how the credibility game is played: At considerable expense, a PR firm will earn their client a spot as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on a respected journalist’s list of sources, which may eventually yield a relevant quote in a published story. Although that story will often contain quotes from other SMEs, including the client’s competitors – making the coverage useless from a sales and marketing perspective – the PR firm will hype this “earned media placement” in several ways, including: A press release announcing that the client has been FEATURED in Forbes , Fortune , CNBC , the Wall Street Journal , etc.; Social media postings on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook referencing the publicity; A permanent “As seen in (name of media source)” banner on the home page of the client’s website; Surgical removal of the client’s quote from the story, coupled with the publication’s logo, hung like a hunting trophy in the client website’s News section. All of these tactics are intended to suggest that the client is a safe choice, simply because they’ve been mentioned in a respected media source. And all of these tactics overplay their hand, with respect to the public’s trust in legitimate media. There are certainly many PR firms that help clients to generate earned media coverage based on bona fide thought leadership and subject matter expertise. High quality content is entitled to the full measure of direct and indirect promotion, to ensure that a client’s intellectual capital (as well as its media “endorsements”) are known to target audiences. Where the PR industry has fallen short, however, and where the offending “media shops” continue to damage the reputation of the profession (with clients and journalists), is the attempt to claim credibility when it has not really been earned. In that regard, they deserve no more respect than that given to Clint Arthur. Marketing Strategy #publicity brand marketing brand stature Clint Arthur corporate credibility earned media Harvard Faculty Club Jason Zweig journalistic integrity PR firms PR Huckster SME Status Factory Subject Matter Experts Wall Street Journal West Point Club

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Peter Drucker on “The Four Roles of the CFO”

Marketing Craftmanship

In the early 1990s, Highlander Consulting was engaged by Phibro Energy to help introduce energy derivatives to Chief Financial Officers at corporations with substantial exposure to fluctuations in oil, gasoline and jet fuel prices.

Preserving Brand Equity in a Corporate Turnaround

Marketing Craftmanship

With rare exception, companies assign very little planning or resources to proactively managing the effects of a restructuring on its brand equity.

Brand 130

Best Practices for a Marketing Database Cleanse

As frustrating as contact and account data management can be, this is still your database – a massive asset to your organization, even if it is rife with holes and inaccurate information. Entrusting a vendor to help maintain its accuracy and completeness is no ordinary engagement. Download ZoomInfo’s latest data-driven eBook aimed to help marketing leaders understand the best practices around choosing a B2B contact data provider.

Skip the Marketing Plan. Try this “Easy-Bake” Recipe Instead.

Marketing Craftmanship

The first question we ask prospective clients is, “Do you have a Marketing Plan?”. Most prospects sheepishly acknowledge that they don’t have a formal Marketing Plan. This group earns big points with us for honesty.

Plan 151

Why Your Company’s Blog Doesn’t Make the Phone Ring

Marketing Craftmanship

All of the hours devoted to blogging, at some of the nation’s largest and smartest companies, does not appear to be time well spent…if the goal of a blog and other forms of content marketing is to generate new business.

10 Ways to Market Your Brand’s Integrity

Marketing Craftmanship

Regardless of whether your company is an established leader or an upstart, brand integrity matters. And it’s a corporate asset that needs to be marketed.

Brand 130

Should Marketing Automation Customers be Pre-Qualified?

Marketing Craftmanship

For decades, the ONLY way to produce any type of printed material – ranging from sales & marketing brochures, to annual reports and informational flyers – involved a multi-step, time / people-intensive, costly process requiring a copywriter, graphic designer, a typesetter and a printing press.

Cold Calling Tips and Tricks

In recent years, cold calling has become synonymous with rejection and failure. But the numbers aren't that clear; while less than 2% of today’s cold calls actually result in meetings, 78% of decision-makers have taken an appointment or attended an event as a result of a cold call. What’s the verdict?

What Your Doctor Can Teach You About Business Growth

Marketing Craftmanship

For many decades, physicians have been taught the “3 A’s” of a sound medical practice. They are the 3 qualities that their patients will value most highly, in rank order of importance : Affability. Accessibility. Ability.

Five Life Lessons from Doc Martin

Marketing Craftmanship

Entertainment Craftsmanship: What’s Missing from American Television.

Managing Brand Strategy…When Your Name is on the Front Door

Marketing Craftmanship

Any business founder / owner whose surname serves as their company’s brand name has a unique challenge.

Brand 130

Tennyson Delivers Skyfall’s British Bulldog Moment

Marketing Craftmanship

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

How to Overcome the Pain Points of Your CRM

When used effectively, a CRM can be the life blood of your sales team – keeping everyone organized, efficient, and at peak productivity. However, as a company, sales stack, and database grow, it becomes difficult to uphold structure and governance to keep a CRM up-to-date. The result? Less organization, more confusion, and fewer deals closed. Leveraging leading industry research from industry analysts, this eBook explores how your sales team can gain back valuable time.

Marketing Lesson from Ian McTavish: 7th Generation Scottish Bagpipe Maker

Marketing Craftmanship

On a trip to Scotland in the 1980s, from my rented car on a road outside of Glasgow, I spotted a crude hand-painted sign nailed to a tree that read, “Ian McTavish Bagpipe Maker.” I slammed on the brakes and took a sharp left turn up a narrow, dirt road.

Industry Conferences and Seminars: How to Extract their Real Business Value

Marketing Craftmanship

Regardless of industry, conferences and seminars can be a significant waste of time, money and opportunity. But the conference sponsor is typically not at fault for the lack of return on this marketing investment.

First Aid for Media Burn

Marketing Craftmanship

Regardless of how well a company communicates with the press, it stands a good chance of being “burned” on occasion.

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How to Sell to Companies that are Out of Your League

Marketing Craftmanship

The most enduring injustice in the world of B2B marketing is that, very often, a firm with strong brand perceptions will be selected over a more qualified, but lesser-known firm. The old adage, “No one was ever fired for hiring IBM,” still rings true in every industry.

The Account-Based Marketing Playbook

Account-Based Marketing is a strategy, not a solution.

Checklist Marketing: Too Many Shoes in Your Suitcase?

Marketing Craftmanship

Many companies view marketing simply as a checklist of items they believe to be essential: Website…check. White Paper…check. LinkedIn and Twitter Accounts…check / check. Client Newsletter…check. Trade Show…check. Blog…check. Publicity…check.

Your Marketing Content: Is it Fake News?

Marketing Craftmanship

The marketing profession has a reputation for sometimes using less than reliable market research to promote a point of view. And this marketer has been guilty of that sin.

The Power of Unsolicited Pitch Letters

Marketing Craftmanship

Over the past 20 years, most of my firm’s new business has been generated by unsolicited pitch letters sent to targeted prospects.

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Why Donald Trump Will Succeed as a “Know Nothing” Candidate

Marketing Craftmanship

At the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787, America’s founding fathers wrestled with how our young nation would govern itself. Those deliberations – shaped by political intrigue and diverse personal agendas – included creation of the government’s executive branch.

3 Mistakes Organizations Make While Developing ABM Programs

While B2B research suggests organizations are thriving through successful ABM programs, getting just one campaign off the ground is more difficult than it seems. From building an account universe to understanding to orchestrating sales and marketing alignment around touchpoint and messaging, there are a number of variables to consider before launching a program.

Why Public Relations Does Not Sit at the Senior Management Table

Marketing Craftmanship

'In his keynote address two years ago at the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) 50 th Annual Distinguished Lecture and Awards Dinner, Richard Edelman – President & CEO of the world’s largest independent public relations firm – echoed the PR profession’s long-standing goal: “…to elevate public relations as a management discipline that sits as a full partner aside finance, operations, legal, marketing and strategic leaders in the C-Suite.”. If the Edward Bernays era is considered the profession’s starting point, then public relations has had nearly a century to earn its seat at senior management’s table. But there are two major reasons – involving credentials and values – why PR still does not, and may never, sit there. PR Lacks Credentials : Notably, the profession has no accepted body of knowledge, and lacks professional standards of practice that are supervised or enforced. Unlike law, medicine, accounting or engineering, it’s difficult to define or validate expertise in public relations – as evidenced, for example, by the volume of information and disagreement on issues as fundamental as press release protocol. Despite PRSA’s best efforts, its APR designation does not carry the same weight as MD, JD, CPA, CFA, an MBA degree, or even a Six Sigma belt. This credentials dilemma for PR also involves the fact that other professions such as information technology, with far less than a century of corporate membership and a similar lack of credentials, have earned a prominent place at the management table. PR Enforces Values: Ideally, public relations should function as the conscience of an organization; defining what it stands for, and working to make it accountable on that basis. Unlike any other corporate management function, the role of PR involves holding a company’s feet to the fire in terms of institutional values. Either because a particular course of action is simply the “right thing” to do (for sake of transparency, honesty or fairness), or because it may cause unwanted problems (involving morale, public opinion or legalities), it’s the job of public relations to raise its hand. This values dilemma for PR involves the fact that many senior corporate managers who have a longstanding and secure seat at the management table and who drive most decision-making would prefer not to make their decisions with Jiminy Cricket in the same room. Not giving PR a voice in corporate decision-making, and instead relegating its role to spinning a decided course of action or to cleaning up a related messy aftermath, appears to be the preferred approach for senior management at most corporations. At the upper end of the corporate food chain, executives whose function is listed as either Public Relations or Corporate Communications are rarely included in the Schedule 14A proxy filings as a “Named Executive Officer” by FORTUNE 500 companies. Corporate America’s NEO list clearly defines what’s meant by the “senior management table,” and the PR profession is absent by design, not oversight. PR’s Plan to Earn a Seat at the Table. Perhaps for the first time – reflected in Richard Edelman’s stated plan to harness PR’s collective brain trust to address this issue, and the current push for inclusion of public relations in MBA school curricula – the profession appears ready to take meaningful steps to gain the corporate legitimacy it has long coveted. But these efforts will take many years to yield change, and talented PR practitioners and potential industry newcomers may consider other career paths rather than wait, thereby compounding the problem. Regardless of size or industry, companies change direction either when they believe change will provide economic benefit, to avoid defined risks, or when they are forced to change by regulation or competitive influence. The delta between the PR function and revenue generation eliminates that rationale from consideration as a means to argue inclusion of public relations at the management table. However, both risk and regulation are strong cards PR is entitled to play in its effort to gain a seat there. For example, to quantify the tangible value of PR, it could be beneficial for the profession to conduct research that compares the long-term stock price volatility (or beta ) of public companies that include PR in its senior level decision-making process against those companies that do not. If a stock’s beta reflects market uncertainty, then a company’s track record of consistently avoiding “PR problems” as well as its ability to address those issues quickly and effectively – as a result of having a PR professional involved in operational decisions – should have a measurable effect on its stock market valuation, cost of capital and brand reputation. Armed with objective evidence that supports the inclusion of PR as a best practice of corporate governance, the profession will have a solid platform that resonates with CXOs. Corporate America’s boards of directors may then be far more likely to require that management include PR in all strategic decisions, and issuers of Directors & Officers liability insurance might begin to factor a company’s PR discipline into pricing of its policy premiums. To earn a seat at the management table, PR must argue its case with hard, relevant facts that will either incent or coerce companies to change. Otherwise, the keynote speaker at IPR’s 100 th Distinguished Lecture and Awards Dinner in 2061 will be echoing Richard Edelman’s aspirations. Uncategorized #brand management #press release #PRSA APR brand reputation C-Suite corporate communications corporate governance corporate values cost of capital CXOs D&O liability Edward Bernays Fortune 500 Institute for Public Relations IPR Jiminy Cricket MBA curricula Named Executive Officers NEO list PR credentials PR problems PR profession professional ethics professional standards public relations Richard Edelman Schedule 14A proxy senior management Six Sigma stock market valuation stock price beta'