How to Get Approval for Marketing Automation

May 30, 2018 / By Bruce McDuffee

When a company wants to market to multiple channels online efficiently, they turn to marketing automation which involves the software and technologies that allow them to do that.

Marketing automation refers to the software that automates repetitive marketing tasks typical of website actions, social media posting, and email marketing.

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3 Best Chance Tactics for Pilot Program Success

January 02, 2018 / By Bruce McDuffee

Assuming your manufacturing organization has a strong product culture and a low-influence marketing department, you might only have one shot at proving the worth of knowledge-based marketing. If you have followed my advice so far and have laid the groundwork for a pilot program, it is likely that you were given support to proceed. There are a few tactics that will provide you with a much higher chance of success. We'll call these tactics "best chance tactics."

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Want Marketing Respect? Learn to Talk the C-Suite Language

December 07, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

According to a study performed by the Fournaise Marketing Group in July of 2012, 80 percent of CEOs do not trust marketers and are not impressed by the work done by marketers. In comparison, 91 percent of CEOs do trust their CIOs and CFOs. Ouch! The number one reason given for not trusting marketers is that marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of the company.

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Persist with Good Ideas & Shout Success from the Hilltops

December 06, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”  — Mark Twain

If it is your desire to change the way your manufacturing company goes to market, then you will need to let everyone know about your pilot program successes. I will warn you in advance, it will not be easy. People generally do not like change. Some people will be jealous of your success and work behind the scenes to undermine it. Others will point out all the flaws in the idea or declare loudly that the success was a fluke. I’m sure your idea will be fantastic, but you will find a lot of resistance when you try to introduce a marketing strategy that does not pitch the product.

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The Magic of a Pilot Program to Prove Your Marketing Concept

November 28, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Sometimes you just have to go ahead and do something different, then share the fantastic results. The level of risk depends on your organization and the level of control your department and the other departments want to have over the organization. In some high-control cultures, you could get fired for going rogue. In other groups, where the culture supports new ideas, you could be lauded and promoted for doing something innovative. You will have to decide how far to push the envelope in your organization. I suggest that if your innovation is perceived as going rogue and defying the powers that be, you would be better off working for another company.

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[Buy-in] Manufacturers Want More Leads, More Awareness? Do This First.

March 30, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

In the olden days of marketing (the 1990s), we talked about positioning statements, the 4 Ps, marketing plans, branding, etc. Some pundits and bloggers might claim that these old style concepts and practices are obsolete and have been replaced with content marketing, social media, marketing automation, SEO, SEM and so on. I suggest these so-called old style, obsolete concepts, strategies and tactics are more important than ever. As professional marketers, I suggest we go back to the future and embrace the fundamentals before we begin to use the modern tools like content marketing.

Embarking upon a plan to ‘do content marketing’ or ‘do social media’ without first preparing a proper marketing plan is like building a house with no blueprint. Adding rooms (marketing tactics) on a whim without an understanding of how each room supports the overall structure (business goals), the purpose of each room (objectives) and how you will decide if the room is successful (measurement) is a recipe for disaster at worst and poor performance at best.

We manufacturing marketers (all marketers) get excited about new technology, new ideas, new media. It's the shiny object syndrome. We're itching to get started with the next promising tactic or tools we are convinced will launch our business onto the next great growth trajectory. The momentum and the enthusiasm are great.

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[Buy-in] 6 Ways to Start Gaining Marketing Respect

March 28, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

You may not know Jacob Rodney Cohen, but you probably do know his stage name, Rodney Dangerfield. There are some days I know that manufacturing marketers feel his pain. Many days, the lament of Marketing in a manufacturing company is the same as Rodney's lament, "I don't get no respect!"  This post is meant to inspire marketers. Respect is not given, it is earned. It's time for us marketers working in manufacturing to take a stand, make our voices heard, prove our high value, and claim our places as crucial, strategic contributors to the business.

Based on anecdotal experience and evidence, I feel confident in saying that the vast majority of B2B manufacturing companies do not respect their marketing team or marketing as a discipline.

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[Buy-in] Help, My CEO Hates Marketing!

March 25, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

This post was first published on the CFE Media blog, Marketing to Engineers March 7, 2017.

Maybe ‘hate’ is too strong. In a survey conducted by the Fournaise Group, they discovered that 80% of CEOs freely admit that they do not trust or are not very impressed with marketers and the work they accomplish. To add more salt to the wound, 90% of those same marketing hating CEOs do trust their CFOs and CIOs. Ouch!

It might feel like your CEO hates marketing, but it is more likely he just has no respect for the function of marketing. The painful outcome of your CEOs lack of respect for marketing is that marketing is the first place to cut budget and the last place to add resources.

When I was a global marketing director for an electronic manufacturing company working under a CMO,

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[Buy-in] How to Get Buy-in For The New Way to Market

March 24, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

These next series of blog posts will be about gaining buy-in for the New Way to Market. I've heard so many stories from bright, enthusiastic marketers who really understand the new way and know what they need to do to grow the business (or save the business). They know that to gain awareness and credibility their company MUST share knowledge and expertise. They know that old ways of pitching product to gain awareness and break through the noise don't work any more.

Then, they either roll their eyes, shrug or shake their head in frustration as they recount how they just can't get their CEO or owner onboard. He wants to keep pitching the product, driving his sales team and creating more product content. It's extremely frustrating.

Over the next few weeks, I'll share with you some strategy, tactics and ideas to help you get buy-in and ease the frustration.

Here's the first idea:

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