The Drive of the Modern Marketer

From the keynote presentation at Content Marketing World the words of Kristina Halvorson, author and CEO of Brain Traffic, “We want to win, we want to be on the big stage and we want to be the Red Bull of our industry.” Marketers want it all. Big results, huge revenues, vast arrays of technology at our fingertips, amazing metrics of social shares, content awards and most of all, new customers. But can we do it all? How can we do it all? Most marketers feel overwhelmed by the state of marketing today and as a result, under-perform. Yet, we keep creating more content, spending more budget to do more…at a great cost.

CMI stat content effectivenessAccording to the 2015 B2B Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends by CMI and MarketingProfs, we are becoming less effective in our content marketing efforts. In fact, in 2015, only 38% of respondents reported they were effective with their content marketing, down from 42% in 2014. That is not good, especially when across the board, more and more marketers are increasing their spend and their focus on content marketing.

Why the poor results? It goes back to having a defined, documented strategy. A solid Demand Generation and Content Marketing Strategy must be developed before any money is spent or a piece of content is created. Then, the secret is sticking to that strategy. If you build a strategy that enables you to connect with buyers via various channels, throughout the buyer’s journey, reaching buying committees and delivering the educational and informational content buyers seek and need, then you have accomplished a great deal. Don’t stray from the strategy! You’ve worked hard to develop it based on research, analytics, testing and more data than you care to admit. Stick with the plan. I’m not saying there won’t need to be tweaks and adjustments along the way, there will always be a need to optimize your strategy. However, stick with the plan.

“There is power in saying no,” says Halvorson. I agree. How can marketers stop being so behind, feeling like we don’t have time to do our jobs, let alone perform at optimum levels? It’s simple. Focus. Shore up your resources and get your strategy in place – it is the most important step to take. And besides, as Halvroson asked the crowd at CMW, “What would really happen if we just stopped…stopped sending those blog posts, those email newsletters, etc.?”

I think we know the answer to that.

We can’t say yes to everything because if we do, we will inevitably stray further away from our buyer…the one person we want to learn more about, to help and connect with. It all comes back to a strategy. If you have a solid, Demand Generation Strategy, you don’t need to do everything. You just need to accomplish what is documented in your strategy. Focus on what matters. The drive of a Modern Marketer is strong, but we need to learn to channel it and execute on our strategy and know it is ok to say no to the things that don’t matter.

Author: Erika Goldwater, CIPP/US @erikawg is VP, Marketing for ANNUITAS