A Visit from the Spirits of Marketing Present

A LinkedIn Marketing Carol: Day 3

December 16, 2015

Yesterday we were greeted by Three Marketing Spirits of the Past, represented by industry leaders, Lee Odden, Doug Kessler and Matt Heinz. They helped illuminate the lessons to be learned from marketing best practices from the past.

But one day of visits from the marketing spirits wasn’t enough. Not even close. Which is why we’re back for another day of “A Marketing Carol” and a second day of visits from spirits – this time by three Spirits of Marketing Present. These spirits have some counsel for marketers on how to take advantage of the marketing technologies available to us today, so that we can give our customers what they want – content targeted to them and ads they actually want to see.

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

There are a lot of tools! EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!

There are a lot of tools! EVERYTHING IS AWFUL!

How do you figure out which ones to choose? Which ones are right for you? Which ones are worth you spending your hard-earned budget on? Which are great and which are just a distraction?

From a content creation perspective, here's how I approach tool-choosing:

1. Does the tool align with our larger marketing strategy? 

Pick one:

  A. YES

  B. NO


If you answered A... proceed to Question 2. 

If you answered B... reward yourself with a cinnamon roll for being honest with yourself. (Food is love, despite what some kooks say.) Your team admires you for being a good leader. Your business appreciates your forthright, pragmatic approach.

If you answered C... behold a visit from the Spirit of Christmas Future. That's you over there -- with a strong Snapchat game but curled up in a ball, hungry and penniless. 

2. Will the tool help us engage more fully with our audience -- by delivering something useful, inspiring, and empathetic?

Pick one:




If you answered A... Buy it, learn it, use it, love it!

If you answered B... Walk away. Stiff drink. Shoulder rub. Long walk in the woods. It's ok. Sometimes the right choices are difficult.

If you answered C... Aww. Sweet little dumb-dumb. You're cute but... seriously: How did you get this far in life, anyway?

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

It's so easy to become seduced with a number of metrics, but if I were to focus on one area as a marketer, I would be obsessed with the subscriber. How do I generate more subscribers to my content? What is the difference (in behavior) between subscribers and non-subscribers? What do I have to do more of (or less of) to get and keep subscribers?

Your role as a marketer is to build an audience that knows, likes and trusts you...and thus be more likely to buy from you. Most marketers in the present time, sadly, don't realize this.

Ardath Albee, CEO, Marketing Interactions

The technology available today is definitely amazing in both number and capabilities. However, to use the tools well, marketers need to have a plan for what they want to do first. This means a strategy, preferably documented. The workhorse is the strategy; the tools are the cart, if you will.

The problem with the dizzying array of tools available to marketers is the deception that the tools will provide enough muscle that brains aren’t necessary. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Rather than trying to fit content marketing execution into the tools, marketers will best benefit from developing the story they want to tell, the engagement they want to create as defined by the needs of their buyers and the problems they’re trying to resolve.

And for me, this always starts with personas—whether buyer, customer, or end users are the target. Once you really know your audience, you can develop the story that will guide them toward solving their problems with your help. With the knowledge in hand about how best to engage them, then you can strategically select the tools that will help you to execute in the best way, as well as to glean insights for the iterative refinements that bring continuous improvement for performance.

Horse before cart. It’s really that simple.

Being a marketer in the present day is pretty exciting, but one can only imagine what the future will hold!

The Spirits of Marketing Future are still to come. Subscribe to our blog to keep up with the entire #MarketingCarol story!