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The following is a guest post by Sabrina Fenster. Sabrina is the Marketing Manager for The Shelf, an influencer marketing platform that enables brands and agencies to connect with the most relevant influencers. They currently serve businesses in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, food and family space. She's also the co-creator of street style blog, StreetScoutMeYou can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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It’s never been more important for marketers to understand their company’s business fundamentals. This sounds obvious. We should know—and understand—how our companies make money, right?

Apparently it’s time for a wake up call. A full 80% of CEOs don’t trust their marketing teams, according to new research from Kapost

Let that sink in. Our job is to develop credible, profitable connections with customers—and with the people that hire us.

We must do better. Marketers are under more pressure than ever to measure their impact and prove ROI.

To help achieve that goal, I’ve listed below six business fundamentals marketers should measure and how to measure them. This list is a starting point: You may need other or additional metrics depending on your company’s business model and / or available technology.

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“Inspiration doesn't respond to meeting requests. You can’t schedule greatness.” – Jay Baer (@jaybaer) 

The grind of everyday life can get to even the most motivated marketers. Sometimes we have to go the extra mile to stay passionate day-in, day-out. It’s just one of the many reasons we are strong believers in the impact of conference season. 

Conferences are key to feeling more connected to the marketing community, staying inspired by your profession and learning from the successes (and challenges) of our peers.

The PR 20/20 team is gearing up to see many of our marketing idols, here in Cleveland and others a bit further from home. Below, I’ve highlighted the full team conference circuit, plus where you can catch a session from our CEO and founder, Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer).

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Managing your company’s reputation online is one of the most important things you can do to protect your organization. Yet, despite how easy it is, many business owners and marketers ignore what’s being said about their company online. The result of this ignorance could mean major losses in revenue.

Don Sorensen (@bigbluerobot) well-known speaker and president of Big Blue Robot, a reputation management firm, recalled in a Forbes.com article how he discovered that one of his clients was losing $2 million a year in sales due to negative reviews.

“Business owners are often taken off-guard by online reputation issues,” Sorensen said. “Many don’t even realize they need to be concerned about their reputation online.” 

The good news is that proactively managing your reputation will help protect your bottom line and create opportunities to better connect with customers. 

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This is the first in a series of university spotlights, highlighting how higher education is bridging the marketing talent gap. 

90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. — IBM

For the first time in history, marketers have comprehensive, real-time insight into the buyer journey. As consumers, our actions can be tracked, plotted and aggregated to an unprecedented degree. Open APIs enable integrations with the click of a button, connecting data points across devices. Sophisticated advertising platforms and contextual content make it truly possible to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.  

And yet, marketers are underprepared, and underperforming. Possibly one of the greatest deficiencies in the marketing skillset is that of data analysis. With innumerable data points and a rapidly expanding technology toolkit, marketers struggle to integrate systems, interpret data and pivot strategy based on performance. 

Marketers that began their careers yesterday are not prepared for the realities of today. And higher education is burdened with preparing future marketers for the uncertainties of tomorrow. Fortunately, universities across the country are up to the challenge. 

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3,500 attendees, 225 speakers and more than 550 companies, all in 123 hours … and all in Cleveland, Ohio.

The much-anticipated Content Marketing World (CMWorld) is back, and only two weeks away. 

From September 8 – 11, thousands of marketers worldwide will unite at the Cleveland Convention Center to hear from some of our industry’s greatest voices. Guest speakers include John Cleese (@JohnCleese), Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson), Jay Baer (@jaybaer), Rand Fishkin (@randfish), Marcus Sheridon (@TheSalesLion), Robert Rose (@Robert_Rose) and Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer), among many others. 

And of course, CMWorld wouldn't be the same without the man in the orange suite, Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi).

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time. And, if you’re gearing up for a trip to Cleveland, below we’ve listed 5 things not to miss in Browns’ town, and how to get the most out of CMWorld.

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Owned, earned and paid media may be converging, but that doesn’t mean marketers should ignore the distinct differences between the three.

Owned content is your foundation. It exists on your website, blog, social media channels and emails. It’s consumed by your newsletter recipients, subscribers and email lists.

At PR 20/20, owned content is often part of builder campaigns: long-term efforts that create the necessary platform on which you will develop your brand, differentiate from competitors, and expand your reach and influence. It also presents the most flexibility and control. In other words, it’s the perfect place to fine-tune your inbound strategy. 

Below, I outline easily overlooked ways that owned content can be used to fuel inbound marketing campaigns. 

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Only 50% of all boardrooms are convinced on the value of social media, according to The Guardian.

But, from a marketer’s perspective, we understand the value social brings for brand awareness, positioning and more human engagements. In fact, 92% of marketers say social media is important for their business, and 80% indicate their efforts increased website traffic.  

If you can’t prove the ROI your social media efforts are delivering to the ones that matter––whether clients or c-suite executives––then it may be time to give your overall strategy a checkup. 

To ensure you’re delivering tangible impact and delivering value to your organization, build a custom social strategy that fits with your brand, industry and audience. Read below to learn the importance of performing a social media checkup, including 3 simple variables you can monitor to tailor social activity to targeted audiences. 

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Below is a guest post by Elizabeth Victor, a brand advisor for Isentia. She enjoys sharing tips on media monitoring and analysis, as well as PR measurement. You can find her on Twitter and Google+.

Monitoring and measuring your brand's online reputation is a critical responsibility. Your brand reputation impacts every aspect of the business.

Not sure what consumers are saying?

This article will focus on the top considerations to keep in mind while setting up media monitoring for your brand, from foundational strategy, social awareness, keywords and alerts, to reporting.  

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More than 40% of the world’s population (roughly 3 billion people) are online today, as compared to a mere 7% in 2000, according to the International Telecommunication Union. It’s no wonder the marketing industry has experienced a disruptive shift over the past few years. We have more data, more technology and more channels to engage with customers on than ever before.  

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