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The case for inbound marketing: What’s in it for you?

By Alexandra Reid

Hubspot’s Brian Halligan coined the term “inbound marketing” to distinguish marketing activities that focus on the consumer experience from traditional outbound marketing tactics.

Inbound marketing is about earning the attention of prospective customers, media and other market influencers. This approach is different from traditional outbound marketing tactics which push messaging on target audiences.

While outbound marketing tactics still hold an important place in a company’s marketing mix, inbound marketing is gaining steam because of a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour. With new technology at their fingertips, people are more in control of what information they receive and how they receive it. As reported by Hubspot, people are skipping over TV advertisements, unsubscribing from company emails, and leaving websites because they aren’t providing them with information they value. Businesses are realizing that they have to communicate on their interest groups’ terms to earn their attention, trust and loyalty.

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Great articles roundup: Strategy, big data, content marketing, buyer personas and customer experience

By Alexandra Reid

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are the Financial Post, Harvard Business Review, MarketingProfs, Business2Community, and Fast Company.

To effectively measure ROI, think strategically

SMBs face some unique challenges on the marketing front. Most lack the resources or budget to effectively promote their product or service. Even when they do set money aside to market, their initiatives tend to be short-lived. To ensure marketing dollars are spent wisely, decide on your objective, draft a concise plan outlining how it can be executed, who’s responsible for each step and what success will look like at each stage.

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Five common content marketing mistakes

By Alexandra Reid

Getting noticed online today requires more effort than ever before, as many businesses are getting more skillful at producing content and sharing it in interesting ways to engage their audiences.

Research from Content Marketing Institute shows that content marketing spending is increasing, more tactics are being employed and marketers are getting more confident at how they use content to engage audiences online.

But that doesn’t mean most businesses are doing content marketing successfully. Content Marketing Institute also said that 90 percent of B2B marketers do some form of content marketing, whether they realize it or not. It then went on to list the most popular content marketing tactics — article posting, social media, blogs, eNewsletters, case studies, and in-person events.

Either those businesses don’t realize they are marketing when they share content through those channels or through their other less popular marketing activities, or they don’t identify those marketing activities as content marketing. Either way, it’s concerning.

But, like many statistics, this one doesn’t paint the full picture. I would like to know those details – what percentage of businesses are doing content marketing without realizing it, and, specifically, why is this the case?

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5 tips content marketers should take from journalists

By Alexandra Reid

 

As companies increasingly opt to bypass the traditional press in favour of content marketing, journalists are being increasingly sought after to tell company stories, communicate with their audiences, and deliver information that is valuable to their marketplaces.

Journalists are known to employ a number of practices to share news and other information with their audiences so that it is persuasive, easily understood and remembered. They tell balanced, well-researched, newsworthy and engaging stories to win the hearts and minds of the masses. Companies are beginning to realize that this style of communication works extraordinarily well for inbound marketing. The content marketing bar is rising as more journalists are hired to these positions and those marketers without journalism backgrounds are now obligated to learn and apply journalism best practices to improve their content marketing activities.

Here are a handful of best practices that I learned during my journalism years that I use to carry out content marketing activities for our agency and its clients:

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July roundup: What does it take to bring technology to market?

By Alexandra Reid

As usual, we covered a lot of ground last month on our blog. We talked about social media, customer service, content marketing, trademarks for small businesses, neuromarketing, the trials of RIM, government funding for startups and what they have to get right to go global. In case you missed any of our posts, here’s a handy roundup:

July 9: Trademarks for small businesses in little towns

July 23: What technology firms must get right to internationalize quickly

July 25: Have the feds finally found the right way to back winners?

July 30: The pitch from a neuromarketing perspective

And on a related note…

In addition to our series, our associates and guest bloggers were also busy writing on a great range of topics. Here are our other posts from July, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

July 26: Hard-cabled for success

July 31: A nice little story about the value of storytelling in content marketing

July 16: The best time to start a business

July 17: 5 qualities of a great ghostwriter

July 24: Throttled by those five ubiquitous rings

July 10: 7 reasons why people hate your B2B business blog

July 11: Your audience will judge you by your cover

July 3: The top 10 truths of social media

July 18: Where is Ottawa’s International Startup Festival?

July 12: Managing perceptions and product at RIM like Apple did

July 19: Why I like customer advisory boards

July 5: The price of everything, the value of nothing and customer service

Image: Cynthia Frenette

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