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Can This Radical Change Increase Content Marketing Effectiveness?

23 Jan

2014 is looking like another big year for Content Marketing. Do a search and you’ll find a vast source of predictions from the Content Marketing Institute, Mashable, research analyst Forrester, the IAB and others.   All sources forecast business spending will be up for Content Marketing this year.  Depending on whose report you believe the CM budget will increase 58% to 75%.

While more is spent on Content Marketing are the efforts more effective?  At the recent Northern California Business Marketing Association (BMA) meeting in Silicon Valley, an experienced panel of Content Marketing experts tackled the question and shared their challenges and struggles to make content marketing a success.

Informative presentations, different perspectives and implementations were shared.  One that I found most insightful came from Jeremiah Glodoveza, Director, Public Relations and Social Media at NetApp.

Much has been written and said about the importance of SEO and content strategy for CM success – but we have not heard much about (if at all) the need for organizational change to support CM effectiveness and success.  Jeremiah shared that his company is in process of changing its marketing organization so it can better integrate content marketing campaigns – restructuring from functional silos to an interconnected organization.

Current Organization

Current Organization

New Organization

New Organization

(These charts are examples only, not NetApp charts).

The change will bring together marketing functions that often times are working independently and with goals that are not aligned .

The new organizational structure is intended to better support collaboration and consistency in messaging and campaigns as well as sharing common goals across marketing functions like PR, technical writing, and communications. Jeremiah believes that more companies will begin making this kind of change to their marketing organizations.

Hats off to NetApp for thinking out of the silo. Making a radical organizational change like this one isn’t easy.  It will be interesting to find out if NetApp’s Content Marketing is more effective as a result.

Resources:  NorCal BMA Meeting, January 22, 2014, panel discussion, Content Marketing:  Why Is A Publisher’s Point of View Essential Today

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What March Madness Reminds Us About Business

3 Apr

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is over.  Like past tournaments, this year’s excitement and nail-biting game endings didn’t disappoint. March Madness is entertaining but, to be a winner it takes a combination of the right leadership, players, strategy and desire. Much like what it takes to succeed in business. Here are my top picks for winning on the court and in business.  Any others you’d include?

Basketball game, player shooting a basket

1.  The coach hires a staff that compliments his style and addresses areas where he is weakest.  The best leaders know they don’t know everything and find managers whose skills fill those gaps.

2.  The coach recruits players that believe in his vision and have the right mix of talent and skills to fill the position. The recruit may not be able to fill the position 100% on day one but, the coach sees the ability and desire for growth.

3. Everyone knows the contribution they make to the team and works together to achieve team goals.  There may be stand-out performers but, they recognize they can’t do it alone.  Winning requires every player on the team.  

4.  Individual performance is elevated because coaches focus on developing a player’s strengths.  After all, those strengths are the reason he was recruited.  

5.  Practice, practice, and then practice some more.  I worked for someone who told me that he always over prepared because there was nothing worse than finding yourself in front of an important customer or your boss under prepared. He anticipated questions, objections and various scenarios and prepared responses for them.

6.  Play Your Game with Flawless Execution.  Play to your strengths and what you do best.  If you’ve prepared, your execution will be flawless.

7.  Believe You’re a Winner.  If you believe in yourself, your talents and that you can win, you will do everything in your power to make that a reality.

8.  It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over.  How many times has a team come back from a ten point half-time deficit to win the game.  Too many to count. Fight the battle.  Don’t throw the towel in before the game is over.

Characteristics That Make A Great Leader

23 Jan

The San Francisco 49ers have had their share of losses over the past nine years and no one expected the team to be in the NFC championship game this season. While there is certainly more than one single reason attributing to this success, Jim Harbaugh deserves much of the credit.  For those that may not know Jim Harbaugh, he is in his first year as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and has led this amazing turn-around after almost a decade of dismal performance by the team.  What are the characteristics that make great leaders like Jim Harbaugh both in sports and in business?

Here are my top picks;

Authentic and Sincere.  People trust a leader who is authentic, who knows who they are inside and allows that to show to the outside world.  It doesn’t work to be something you’re not.  People figure that out pretty fast and you loose their trust.  People won’t follow a leader they don’t trust.

Leads By Example.  He does as he expects his people to do.  It didn’t work when you were a kid and your parents said, “Do as I say not as I do”.  A leader cannot expect his team to perform at a certain level, if he does not do so himself.  I had a manager once who wanted all his employees in the office by 8:30am, but he would show up around 11:00am each day.  He was not a credible leader because he didn’t set the example of performance that he expected from his people.button showing the word "leadership"

Doesn’t Dwell on Failure.  He doesn’t dwell on what didn’t work. He looks forward. Dwelling on past failure only magnifies the situation and takes the time and energy away from focusing on what it takes to be successful.

High Energy and Enthusiastic.  He loves what he does and his energy and enthusiasm is contagious. He always remains positive under uncertain and stressful circumstances, this allows the team to maintain a positive outlook and their enthusiasm.

Truly Cares.  He cares about his people and takes the time to get to know them.  He builds relationships with them by understanding and attending to their needs.

Accepts Input.   He realizes his limitations and that he cannot know everything.  He wants and looks to his people to provide ideas and solutions.

Do you agree?  What do you think makes a great leader?

Resources:
Jim Harbaugh’s glow leads 49ers out of darkness, Scott Ostler, sfgate.com
Is Your Management Style Effective? Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.
Keeping the Enthusiasm:  How to Encourage Your Team, by Kathy Ver Eecke

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