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Mike Kaput

Mike Kaput is a senior consultant at PR 20/20. He joined the agency in November 2012 with a background in journalism. He’s a 2009 graduate of Denison University, where he majored in political science with a minor in English. Full bio.
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Recent Posts

“Strategy is a system of expedients; it is more than a mere scholarly discipline. It is the translation of knowledge to practical life, the improvement of the original leading thought in accordance with continually changing situations.”

— Helmuth von Moltke

Brands have a major problem using the S-word. The term strategy is so overused by marketing departments and agencies that it is, in many cases, meaningless. They build marketing or content strategies. They think or act strategically.

Too often, marketers are irresponsibly using strategy and its variants as synonyms for planning.

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Marketers face more pressure than ever to deliver real ROI on their marketing efforts. The good news: it’s the best time to be a performance-driven marketer. The tools, technology and talent available to build, execute and measure high-impact campaigns have never been more widely available.

But with the opportunities come obstacles from the sheer number of available courses of action. In a sea of available metrics, which ones are actually important? And once you determine that, what do you do with them?

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Snackable content like listicles, quizzes and clickbait are popular in many industries. But some businesses demand a more substantial meal. Complex B2C and B2B sales require content that educates and informs buyers on intricate software, technology, engineering or financial products, processes and concepts.

For this very reason, we’ve discussed how curiosity about different subjects is one major competitive advantage marketers must cultivate. But curiosity isn’t enough when the chips are down. What happens when your sales team demands expert content on a tight timeline in an industry or on a topic you don’t know much about?

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Congratulations! You’ve generated leads for your business. They might have filled out a form on your website, downloaded a content asset or signed up for a newsletter.

OK, but now what?

These prospects receive hundreds of offers, ads and asks for their business daily. They have limited time. And demands on their attention are at an all time high.

How do you earn their repeat attention, cultivate their trust and convince them to buy from you?

One critical method is effective email lead nurturing.

Email is still king. We spend much of our day in our inboxes. And we make purchasing decisions based on that little mail notification. Forty-four percent of people bought based on a promotional email, according to Convince and Convert.

Email is changing as both email client and consumer preferences evolve. But the principles of effective email lead nurturing are immutable.

Here’s how to craft a simple, effective email lead nurturing campaign.

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We all want to generate more qualified leads for our businesses. But how do we actually do it? For many companies, this is literally a million-dollar question.

This post breaks down how to think about qualified lead generation, which is important because the wrong mentality will cause you to spend enormous amounts of time and money pursuing the wrong goals. I’ve also included effective strategies out there for generating qualified leads.

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You’ve embraced inbound marketing or you’re considering it. And now, you want to talk results.

After all, whether you’ve been inbound for months or years—or want to know what that looks like—the million-dollar question is: How do I prove the ROI of my internal inbound marketing team or external agency partner?

Put another way: How do I know that inbound will pay off? Put simply: Many other businesses have used it to increase traffic, leads and sales. More than 92% of companies that use inbound increase their traffic; 40% increase their traffic by 75%. And 84% of companies increase their leads within seven months.

There are serious considerations that owners, executives and marketers must know about proving inbound ROI. This post details those considerations and shows you how to prove that your inbound marketing is driving bottom-line results.

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Patagonia, the outdoor clothing retailer, was founded by climbing enthusiast Yvon Chouinard in 1973. It grew into one of the world’s most trusted high-performance retailers, thanks to a strikingly transparent and relentlessly authentic brand and business model. Over four decades, Patagonia has:

The brand has earned the respect of consumers who like to see the firm do good. And it has also helped the company do well: since 2008, Patagonia doubled the size of operations and tripled its profits.

Who says you can’t have it all? If you’re a marketer who wants to tap into the heart and soul of your company—and pass that message onto consumers—Patagonia has some lessons for you.

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Noah Kagan (@noahkagan) knows all about online platforms. He helped build one of the world’s biggest as an early Facebook employee. He hacked much of’s growth before it was sold for a cool $200 million to Intuit. And he currently runs a multi-million-dollar business at AppSumo, a platform that offers discounts on tech and marketing tools.

So when Noah speaks, we listen. One of his quotes on platform is also one of his most powerful: “Marketing has always been about the same thing—who your customers are and where they are.” 

But there are more places than ever that demand consumer attention. This year alone saw the explosive and nearly overnight rise of game-changing video platforms like Meerkat and Periscope. The number and type of channels where your customers live is more fragmented than ever, too.

This presents serious challenges to marketers, executives and companies. They are in the dark about which platforms they need to be on, and how many resources to commit to each one. 

The confusion leads many marketing decision-makers to commit a critical error: They think they need to be everywhere

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“While everyone else is debating this sh*t, I’m using it,” entrepreneur and marketer Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) told a crowd at New York Internet Week. He was talking about his success on newer social media platforms like Snapchat, and how we as marketers are guilty of talking too much and doing too little with different platforms.

There’s no magic bullet or secret formula. There’s just getting your hands dirty with different sites, services and communities. That’s how you determine which channels are valuable and get there before the competition.

To help you do that, here are five unconventional platforms you might want to dig into today.

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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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