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Mike Kaput

Mike Kaput is a senior consultant at PR 20/20 who is passionate about AI's potential to transform marketing. At PR 20/20, he creates measurable marketing results for companies using data-driven strategies, market-leading content, and scalable marketing technologies. Full bio.
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Recent Posts

This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. The Marketing AI Institute was created and is powered by PR 20/20. 

For over a decade, savvy professionals have used inbound marketing to grow. Inbound marketing consists of creating and promoting content that addresses customer needs. The goal is to attract, convert, and close more qualified leads by being helpful to consumers. Today, companies use inbound marketing methodologies to market more effectively and cost-effectively.

Marketing automation company HubSpot has defined much of modern inbound methodology. That methodology looks a little something like this:

Source: HubSpot

Says HubSpot:

“Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.”

To achieve these goals, inbound marketers rely on many tools. They include marketing automation software, content management systems, and email marketing systems. They also include CRM systems, content creation tools, and content promotion tools. These systems comprise the inbound marketing tech stack. That tech stack can make inbound marketers more productive, personalized, and performance-driven.

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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. See even more like it here

If you’re a marketer who wants to use artificial intelligence, the internet certainly isn’t doing you any favors.

There’s tons of hype about AI, but little substance on the subject of how you might actually use marketing AI systems and solutions.

We’ve spent a few years testing AI solutions, implementing AI for clients and talking to solutions providers about what’s possible.

So we thought it would be helpful to outline the biggest use cases for AI in marketing that we’re seeing right now.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of what AI can do, but it is a guide to what we think marketers ought to be doing with AI.

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published on Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute (MAII), a new community for modern marketers created and powered by PR 20/20. 

Gartner predicts that a full 20 percent of business content will be written by machines starting in 2018. This is a startling claim. The analyst firm says: “Business content, such as shareholder reports, legal documents, market reports, press releases, articles and white papers, are all candidates for automated writing tools.”

Will artificial intelligence automate content creation? It’s a legitimate question. If Gartner is talking about the issue, it’s worth considering. Artificial intelligence technologies are advancing rapidly, to the point where the Associated Press now has machines writing full earnings reports. Marketers rely on content more than ever as a linchpin of their strategies. What if the creation of content was suddenly the responsibility of a machine, not a marketer?

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“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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