Summer is a good time to catch up on your reading. Here are 11 articles on marketing which should keep you up to date on some very important developments in the world of marketing. Trying reading them while enjoying your favourite beverage. Read More…
One of the concepts that I have learned from Joanne O’Connell is the difference between a measure and a metric. Joanne O’Connell and I are developing a system for tracking and analyzing marketing campaigns. We also teach a course on marketing metrics at the University of Calgary.
I honestly thought that a measure and a metric were the same thing and I used the terms interchangeably. But I learned from Joanne that the difference is significant and important.
A “measure” is a number that is derived from taking a measurement. Your height, weight or temperature would all be measures. In the case of marketing, examples of measures would be the number of impressions, the number of visits to a website or the number of sales generated by campaign on Google’s AdWords search network.
In contrast, a “metric” is a calculation between two measures. Typically, the calculation is a form of division. The format of the calculated result can be a percentage, a ratio, a fraction, a decimal or a multiple.
A ratio compares the number of one thing to another. The expression is 16:9http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratio. An example would be for every pair of pant sold we sold 2 shirts.
A fraction is typically expressed as one number compared to another. For example, 3/4 which is three quarters of a whole.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraction_(mathematics). An example would be 3/4 of our marketing budget was spent on the Chicago trade show.
A multiple is a number that is greater than what it is compared to. This would be similar to that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_earnings_ratio. An example is our format for Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI): For every $1 spent on marketing we generated $5 in Revenue and $2 in Profit.
The value of measures is that a marketing team can measure the results of their marketing activities. For example, between two time periods: the visits in February were 1,000 and 1,200 in March.
The beauty of a metric is that the marketing team can establish and compare performance. For example: The click through rate (CTR) increased from 1% in February to 3% in March and the result was a 20% increase in visits.
The website for the marketing metrics system that Joanne and I are developing isMx3 Metrics.
Last year, Guy Kawasaki was preparing to speak at an annual conference. He had just published his ninth book, and contacted Penguin Publishing to fulfill 500 digital orders of Enchantment. The publisher, to his dismay, said that they could not fulfill the order. He was slightly upset.
As disgruntled anchorman Howard Beale said in the film Network, many authors are mad as hell, and they are not going to take it anymore.
Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch channeled their anger in a positive way by launchingAPE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. This resource not only dispels the mystery and mechanics of self-publishing, it also provides two other benefits: it demonstrates how entrepreneurial authors can turn misfortune (stonewalling from traditional publishers) into an advantage, and teaches marketing leaders how to spread good content across untapped channels.
Any marketing leader who takes content marketing and innovation seriously must add this book to their required reading list. Here’s why:
1. Owning more pieces of the value chain has benefits. Kawasaki asserts that “publishers are in a period of doom and gloom. Large, once proudly independent publishers such as Random House and Penguin are clinging together.” O’Reilly Media, however, is taking a different tack. They allow readers to download books in as many formats as they wish, across all devices, and sell directly to customers. It’s an author’s and bibliophage’s dream.
2. Take a calculated risk with “rising stars.” Many established publishers are eschewing fresh talent because they are not proven. In publishing vernacular, that means a business author who has not previously sold at least 10,000 copies of their book. Lisa Earle McLeod, author of Selling with Noble Purpose, fits this description. She persuaded Wiley to publish her book—even though her previous book did not sell 10,000 copies. The bet paid off. Selling with Noble Purpose reached #2 on CEO Read’s business seller list, and was a top 10 Amazon seller in the category.
3. Become familiar with your product development process. Kawasaki’s book is brilliant because it decodes the publishing process into discrete functions: agents, editors, editorial assistants, copyeditors (an essential, evergreen function), designers, and publicists.In the digital publishing world, the need for an agent or publicist has diminished. New roles have emerged, such as author distribution services. In exchange for a percentage of the book retail price, Lulu, Blurb, and Author Solutions can reduce the stress of doing these functions alone.
4. Life’s a pitch. Get comfortable with it. APE provides a powerful list of bloggers, authors, and thought leaders to help you promote your book. IndieReader.com, for example, forged an alliance with USAToday and HuffingtonPost. You can submit your book to their IndieReader Discovery Awards contest and be virtually guaranteed your book will be reviewed. NetGalley’s $399 subscription promises you six months of fame among 85,000 bloggers and book reviewers.
5. Establish and disseminate your own industry vernacular. APE contains a glossary of every publishing term you will ever need to know. I now consider APE’s co-authors the leading resource on all things digital publishing.
In my opinion, APE is required reading for content marketers and marketing leaders, even if you cling to traditional publishing. If you want to be King Kong in your field, and think more like an entrepreneur, it’s time to grab a copy.
Sue L. Blanchard, recently spoke with Mark Heard, Director of User Experience and Content Strategy for Evans Hunt. As the strategist behind branded content for clients like ATB Financial, Agrium and NASA, Mark alludes to the content he plans to present during CMA’s luncheon on June 25, 11:30 to 1 pm, at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel.
Mark, tell me about your work in digital user experience and content strategy.
I came to digital user experience and content strategy by way of journalism and communications. I spent my 20s doing overseas development communications gigs with the UN around Asia and writing Travel Guidebooks. Best job in the world, but tough to pay a mortgage on the proceeds.
Travel writing parlayed well into user experience and content strategy work: it’s all about creating the information customers want and need, and making sure they know where to get it.
At Evans Hunt, I work with our clients to help them understand their customers’ journeys and the content those customers need along the way.
You create strategic plans to manage digital content. What factors do you consider?
The most important ones are customer needs and wants. One of the biggest challenges organizations face is getting themselves out of their own internally-focused mindsets. Many have a base set of assumptions about their users or customers that may in fact not be true. The result is that they spend a lot of time on content and marketing that their end customers may, in fact, care little about.
The other component is guiding organizations to become great content creators. Content Strategy isn’t rocket science (aside for NASA’s, I guess): it’s all about understanding your organization’s strategic goals. Once we do that, some restructuring is often needed in order to create the content team. On the governance side of things, many organizations are missing a few key roles that are required to create great content.
What nuggets of wisdom do have for marketers about managing their digital content?
Know your customers’ journeys. How did they find out about you? What do they want to know about you? On what channels? At what times? Use primary research if you can – if not analytics, and secondary research; and craft your end-to-end customer journeys.
Designate or hire an editor-in-chief and a managing editor; preferably with journalism backgrounds. The key is to have people who know story-telling and publishing, to lead your content initiatives.
Measure, measure, measure. Someone needs to be looking at the analytics, so you know what’s resonating with your customers and what isn’t.
Tell me about your work for NASA?
My first large-scale content strategy project was for NASA in 2003, while I worked at a local agency called Critical Mass. At the time, NASA.gov was a very plain, static and grey governmental website, while there were literally thousands of individual websites within the organization. Kennedy Space Centre had their own site, Jet Propulsion Laboratory had their own site, and individual astrophysicists had their own sites. It was a bit of a mess. In conjunction with designing a new Nasa.gov portal to capture and present all of the amazing NASA content in existence, we helped the organization create an editorial governance model. It was no small task as you can imagine, involving editorial board design, roles & responsibilities for everyone involved with the portal, and specific workflows.
One element of the site’s content strategy was put to the test on February 1st. We launched the website the previous evening and the following morning when the space shuttle Columbia crashed upon re-entry the new site received millions of hits, and fortunately stayed up. A dark site strategy ensured users could access latest developments (for example, what to do if you found shuttle debris in your back yard, etc.)…