Drive buyers into your sales cycle with content

Marketers at the most successful organizations specifically design Web content to draw buyers into the sales cycle. People considering a purchase always go through a thought process prior to making a decision. In the case of something simple and low cost, say deciding to download a song from iTunes, the process is likely very straightforward may and only take seconds. But for a major consumer item such as buying a new car, where to send your child to college, or deciding to accept a job offer, the decision may take weeks or months. For many business-to-business sales, the sales cycle may involve many steps, multiple buyer personas (a business buyer and an IT buyer perhaps) and take months or even years to complete.

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Uncle Seth and podcasts: Putting marketing back into musicians' control

Here's an interesting case study which will appear in my book The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

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Content brands an organization as a thought leader

Sure online content in all its forms – web sites, ebooks, white papers, direct-to-consumer news releases, podcasts, blogs – drives buyers to action. There is no doubt that online content turns browsers into buyers. But for many companies and individuals, Web content has a powerful, less obvious effect.

Content brands an organization as a thought leader. Instead of just directly selling, a great site, or blog, or news release and podcast series tells the world that you are smart, that you understand the market very well, and that you would be a person or an organization that would be valuable to do business with. Web content directly contributes to an organization's online reputation by showing thought leadership in the marketplace of ideas.

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What are your PR and marketing goals? (ps: "clips" = wrong answer!)

Ever seen "press clips" or "advertising awards" on a company's balance sheet? Of course not because clips and awards are not company goals.

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Develop Messages Your Buyers Want to Hear

Companies with large budgets can't wait to spend the big bucks on slick TV advertisements. It's like commissioning artwork. TV ads make marketing people at larger companies feel good. But broadcast advertisements from the TV-industrial complex don't work so well anymore. When we had three networks and no cable it was different. In the Long Tail, YouTube, TiVo, blog, multi-channel, web, time shifted world, big bucks on TV ads are like commissioning your portrait to be painted in the nineteenth century: It might make you feel good, but did it bring any money in?

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Think like a publisher

The new publishing model on the web is not about hype and spin and messages. It is about delivering content when and where it is needed and branding you or your organization as a leader in the process.

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e-book from Ardath Albee: Why Naked CRM Doesn’t Work

Posted by David Meerman Scott 03:33 AM on August 21, 2006

Congratulations to Ardath Albee, President of Einsof, Inc. for writing an e-book called Why Naked CRM Doesn't Work.

Great title, don’t you think?

In Why Naked CRM Doesn’t Work: Maximize CRM Value With An Interactive Sales Portal, Albee does a good job showing how a web interface can maximize CRM value when used to nurture leads until triggering events lead to conversion and how to utilize actionable knowledge in combination with CRM to streamline sales processes through increased collaboration.

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Small is the New Big

Posted by David Meerman Scott 04:49 AM on August 19, 2006

Many say you shouldn't give away your work for free if you wish to sell it. Nonsense. Seth Godin has got a big idea with his new book Small is the New Big. This entire book of riffs already exists for free in places such as on Seth's blog or via his Squidoo lens. I've read most of the stories in the book already. Yet I pre-ordered the book on Amazon for overnight delivery because I wanted the content, again, in the new package. I want to take it to the beach. I want to have it on my desk and pick it up now and then.

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What does this company do?

I was alerted to the press release boilerplate of a company called webMethods. Here’s an example release on the company web site.

Can you tell me what the company does?

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Cervélo Cycles and The New Rules of Marketing and PR

I'm a strong believer in "show, don't tell." While writing how-to ideas about The New Rules of Marketing and PR helps to illustrate the techniques of reaching your buyers directly, there's nothing like hearing from those who have been successful with the ideas that I evangelize.

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Dave Scott the marketing guy meets Dave Scott the moonwalker

Posted by David Meerman Scott 04:10 PM on August 15, 2006

I use my full name, David Meerman Scott, for search engine marketing purposes. I carve out my niche online with my full name. There are many David Scotts out there and it gets confusing online. There's a bunch of famous David Scotts including one who walked on the moon as commander of Apollo 15.

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Tell the world your story - Directly!

The frustration of relying exclusively on the media to deliver your organization's messages is long gone. Yes, mainstream media is still important, but today smart marketers craft compelling messages and tell the world directly via the web. The tremendous expense of relying on advertising to convince buyers to pay attention to your product is yesterday’s headache. Now you can get your product seen directly online in many different ways.

Any person or organization--non-profits, rock bands, political advocacy groups, companies, independent consultants, anyone--possesses the power to elevate themselves via thought leadership on the web to a position of importance. In the new e-marketplace of ideas, organizations publish expertise in various forms such as great websites that focus on buyers needs, podcasts, blogs, e-books, online news releases, which allows companies, institutions, and non-profits to deliver the right information to buyers at the point that they are most receptive to the information. Organizations gain credibility and loyalty with buyers through content and smart marketers now think and act like publishers in order to create and deliver content targeted directly at their audience.

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Some great free ebooks to check out

Posted by David Meerman Scott 03:41 AM on August 12, 2006

E-books are great content. I've often said that the e-book is the hip and stylish younger sister (or brother) to the nerdy white paper.

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Press Releases and the Journalistic Black Hole

Although I've been researching and writing my new book The New Rules of Marketing and PR for a few months now, it's only been a few days since I've been blogging snippets of the book for comment. What fun. Thanks to everyone who has read and commented so far. Remember, you have the opportunity to help shape this book and I appreciate it.

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Public Relations is More than Third Party Ink

Public Relations was once an exclusive club. PR people used lots of jargon and set strict rules that needed to be followed. If you weren't part of the "in crowd," PR seemed like an esoteric and mysterious job that required lots of training, sort of like Space Shuttle astronaut or court stenographer.

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Dear %firstname% is why blast PR sucks

I got an email from a PR agency last week that opened: 

"Dear %firstname%": 

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Something Is Very Wrong in PR Land

I'm a contributing editor at EContent Magazine. As a result I receive hundreds of press releases a week via email from well-meaning PR people who want me to write about their widgets. Guess what? In five years, I have never written about a company based on a press release that was sent to me. Never. Not even once. Discussions I've had with journalists in other industries confirm I'm not the only one who doesn't use press releases sent to me unsolicited. Instead, I think about a subject that I want to cover in a column or an article and I check out what I can find on blogs and through search. If I find a press release on the subject through Google News or a company's online media room, or via my targeted RSS feeds, great! But I don't wait for press releases to come to me. Rather, I go looking for interesting topics, products, people, and companies. And when I do feel ready to write a story, I often try a concept out on my blog first to see how it flies. Does anyone comment on it? Do any PR people jump in and email me?

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The Old Rules of Marketing

I'm messing about with some thoughts about marketing prior to 1995 (my line in the sand for the start of broadly accessible public Web) and what such an understanding teaches us about the wrong way to market online. I'm convinced that successful marketing on the Web is dramatically different than in other media (like TV commercials) yet most marketers refuse to see the differences.

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Vocus acquires PRWeb -- direct to consumer news release pioneer teams up with media communications leader

I just heard the news that Vocus, a company that provides software tools for PR pros to manage relationships with the media has acquired PRWeb, a pioneer in direct-to-consumer news release distribution.

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Blogging my newest book - The New Rules of Marketing and PR - and you are invited

I have started writing a new book tentatively titled "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" and I need your help!

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David Meerman Scott

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