You don’t get to chose your audience; your audience chooses you

We’re all media companies now, right? So, maybe we should start thinking like media companies, then.

I’ve been on a bit of a domain name shopping spree lately. That happens to me once in awhile and it’s usually a sign that I’m not perfectly comfortable with my current positioning, or the way that I’m communicating it.

It’s not a bad thing to be drawn out of your comfort zone. I take it as a signal that the market is changing and I feel that I need to anticipate. Read more

Why it’s hard for companies to go from level 2 to 3 (and what to do about it)

In talking with companies about digital marketing & sales, and how a gradual integration of the two traditionally separate functions can yield better business results for both, it has happened to me more than once lately that members of the management team do agree that their company needs to find a way to strike a new balance between outbound and inbound practices, but are not quite ready to act on it.

There may be several factors holding them back. At a somewhat abstract level, the concept of content marketing, inbound and allbound marketing & sales may be rather foreign to the company’s current marketing and sales processes. Even if they see the need for change, managers may find that the current marketing and sales culture may be hard to change, and it may be equally hard to achieve buy-in from the whole executive team. Read more

Rub those sore sales muscles!

The seven touch points of marketing and sales. It’s an old theme that Antti Pietilä unpacked the other day with an interesting new spin on it.

While seven may not be a very scientific number and the origin is hard to determine, the principle is clear and valid: potential customers need a multitude of experiences with a brand, product or service, – to learn to know it, trust it, and determine if they need it -, before they will consider buying it.

Indeed, of course, not all touch points are equal. Having a conversation with a football mum while watching your kid’s training differs from running into the same person in the tram on your way to work. A roadside billboard of a new car is a different touch point than renting that car from the airport on your weekend trip abroad. Read more

Love is underrated

A while back, I came across a Venn diagram on Saku Tuominen’s Facebook timeline illustrating rather compellingly how a person might go about finding their professional calling.

It showed three partly overlapping circles representing (1) what you’d love to do most, (2) what you are the very best at doing, and (3) where there is most demand for your output. The sweet spot, the thing you should be looking for, obviously, is where all three overlap. Read more

Does your C-suite need to know how to ‘do’ digitalisation?

Wow. I didn’t see that one coming. It was a remark by someone (I don’t wish to put anyone on the spot) in the audience at a business panel in Mikkeli last month *1). They basically said – and I’m paraphrasing from Finnish:

“Well, a company’s leadership doesn’t need to know *how* to carry out digitalisation. That’s for their staff to know.”

As it happened, I had just been ‘spontaneously volunteered’ to the panel and asked to respond to the thesis on this slide:

It reads:

“It is still difficult for business leaders to see, how digitalisation can be applied in their own company”.

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How to hack ‘born global’ marketing? #Slush16

Slush is not primarily about growth marketing.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, there is no export hacking, international marketing or digital sales track at Slush Helsinki. Maybe it’s time for the ‘born global’ startup community to have a conversation about allbound growth marketing.

The reason I take an allbound perspective is because I believe that in many cases, a combination of content strategy, inbound marketing & sales, and paid media offers the best chances of success.

This country is in dire need of export growth as it is still struggling to compensate for Nokia’s demise. Read more

Stay on top of Helsinki #Slush16 with Twitter lists and Nuzzel feeds

Here’s an idea that may help in curating Slush16, or the social news and information coming out of Slush Helsinki this week.

Step 1: If you will attend Slush16, send the following tweet:

@slushdotblog #attendingslush16 #slush16

Like so:

and your twitter handle will be added to the public Twitter list https://twitter.com/slushdotblog/lists/attendingslush16

Step 2: If you will be on stage at Slush Helsinki this week, send the following tweet: Read more

Statistics on the efficacy of inbound marketing

Statistics provided not only by HubSpot but other marketing solution providers and research organisations as well, suggest that inbound - if done well - is significantly more cost-effective than outbound, or at least outbound alone. Selected stats from Impact Branding & Design, SmartBug Media, as well as some of my own. Categorized by (1) Inbound versus outbound, (2) Buyer preferences and behavior, (3) The impact of content, and (4) Marketing automation.

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Inbound marketing unpacked

The terms 'inbound marketing' (coined by Brian Halligan) and 'permission marketing' (coined by Seth Godin) refer to various practices that brands can apply to build positive relationships with their intended audiences, particularly on-line. The term 'content marketing' is also very closely related, although it may have a slightly stronger connotation with off-line content, like customer magazines.

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