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Shannen Laur

Shannen Laur is an associate consultant at PR 20/20. She joined the agency in December 2014 with a background in corporate communications and marketing. Shannen is a 2014 graduate of Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
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Recent Posts

As marketers, a failed campaign is our worst nightmare.

But sadly, failed marketing attempts happen every day and everywhere. Forbes says that strategic plans fail for many reasons, including a lack of focus on results, the wrong talent, partial commitment from leadership, and resistance to change.

So, how can teams pinpoint what went wrong and redirect marketing energy?

As Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) states in Chapter 8 of The Marketing Performance Blueprint:

“Every marketing plan should start with an honest internal marketing assessment. The assessment should consider perspectives from multiple stakeholders, including marketing and sales leaders, as well as key executives. The more involved the partiers are in the entire strategy process, the easier it is to align needs, goals, expectations and priorities.”

The time is now to transform your marketing program.

At PR 20/20, we utilize a comprehensive marketing audit of 40+ questions that zero in on talent, tech, strategy and performance. As you’ll see below, we’ve broken down audit questions by each of these categories. This audit is a key piece of the puzzle when we start working with new partners to build long-term, custom marketing plans that win executive buy-in and align with stakeholder goals.

Continue reading below for 21 questions to ask your team and guide more strategic planning. For the full 40+ questions, download our Comprehensive Marketing Audit template.

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Goal-oriented marketers aim to produce top-notch results that prove their efforts are worth it. Take content creation: We want to produce the most effective assets, reach the right audiences, and in turn, gain more website visitors, obtain leads and boost our site’s rank. 

But, while a good content asset is useful, what if you aren’t reaching the right audiences? Or, what if you aren’t reaching any audience at all, and your time is wasted on stale or unusable content?

As a simple example, take into account the amount of time it takes to produce a blog post. According to HubSpot, about 30% of marketers spend two to three hours writing blog posts. Now, multiply that by the two, three or four posts you’re producing in a week, and suddenly, you’ve devoted almost an entire workday to blog production, just to have no one read your efforts.

This is where maximum content distribution comes into play. Read below to learn several different promotion strategies, along with ideas to maximize your content’s ROI across three different types of audiences.

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We originally published a blog in 2015 listing 40+ inbound marketing resources. We’ve added even more to the list, so read below for an update with even more resources for marketers.

As marketers, we spend hours researching the top trends and tactics to prove top-notch ROI and success. But what happens when you hit writer’s block, need to find the latest tech or are searching for best practices for campaign recommendations? You know the drill: You turn to the top content marketing influencers, blogs, publications and resources for a reinforcement. 

So, what marketing resources do you turn to on a daily basis? That’s the exact question I asked my PR 20/20 peers.

Check out the round up below to learn what the PR 20/20 relies on as the industry’s best marketing resources.

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We’re in the thick of a new year, and like many professionals, marketers are searching for the next top trends to drive results in 2017. 

This and every year, we search for ways to break through the clutter to ensure our content reaches the right audience at the right time. But with the number of bloggers projected to hit more than 31 million by 2020 in the U.S., it’s our duty to seek out and test the hottest trends to make our content stand apart from the rest. 

According to a 2016 study by Content Marketing Institute, B2C marketers ranked the following as top content priorities:

  • 73% indicate that they want to create more engaging content.
  • 55% want to create more visual content.
  • 44% say that better repurposing content is a must.

Luckily, there’s a surefire strategy that satisfies the needs listed above: visual content marketing. Let’s face the facts that our audience craves visuals: The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and we read only 28% of written content. 

Are you still contemplating how you’ll incorporate visual content marketing into your 2017 strategy? Check out the list below for three ways to rely on visuals this year to drive results.

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In the age of Amazon-style buying, customers expect instant answers and hassle-free purchasing. 

Plus, competition is virtually everywhere you look. In one click, customers can abandon your site and move on to a competitor who offers faster, easier service.

Our one saving grace to retain recurring sales is through customer loyalty. It’s no secret that many businesses rely on the loyalty of returning customers, as it costs nearly 10 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

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You know the drill. As marketers, we are forever pressed for creative, performance-driven ideas. In the era of fast-paced, connected consumers, we must constantly evolve to prove our marketing success. And, we must do it quickly. 

In a recent blog post, Paul Roetzer articulates the challenge: 

“There have never been more choices for marketers. There has never been more noise. There has never been more demand for performance.” 

To solve for business growth challenges, PR 20/20 organized an interactive Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) event on Wednesday, March 23 featuring the Marketing Growth HackathonTM. In as little as one hour, attendees collaborated to come up with campaign ideas that could be activated in as little as 30 to 90 days. (Sending a special thanks to Advance Ohio for hosting the event!)

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Who doesn’t love a good round up of predicted trends every New Year? Marketers are especially into emerging mediums, as it’s imperative we build our activities and tactics around the latest and greatest innovations.

Now that we’re nearing the end of the first quarter, we’ve noticed a reoccurring prediction for this year: video marketing. Our consumers are demanding video content more than ever, and here are a few numbers to prove it

  • 100 million Internet users watch online video every day.
  • 90% of online shoppers indicate they find video helpful for buying decisions.
  • 65% of executives visit a marketer’s website after viewing a video online.
  • Emails that include videos have a 96% higher click through rate.

Video has been on the scene for quite some time, but now it’s becoming a must-have piece of marketing strategies. It’s normal to feel that you may not have the proper equipment or skill to give into this trend. But, don’t fear because there are plenty of ways to quickly and easily incorporate video into your 2016 marketing plans.

Continue reading for three ways marketers can dive right into the video trend.

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What if there was a single product that helped streamline all marketing tasks, improved lead management, and impacted overall revenue?

Oh wait … there is.

It’s marketing automation, and unless you’re stuck in the marketing stone age, you’ve probably at least heard of it. 

Businesses and marketers in all sorts of industries are recognizing the power of marketing automation, and these stats prove it:

  • Businesses that nurture prospects via marketing automation experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.
  • 25% of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are using marketing automation.
  • 76% of the world’s largest SaaS companies use it, too.
  • 63% say the ability to set measurable objectives is the biggest value driver. 

We all agree that marketing automation has endless benefits like shortening the sales cycle, enhancing efficiencies and improving lead scoring, just to name a few. But, unfortunately, there is one major issue: we have an overwhelming number of solutions to consider (more than 239 are listed by Capterra as “top” products).  

If you’re looking to adopt a marketing automation solution or ready to make a switch from the product you have now, don’t let the sheer number of options scare you. Read on for five factors to consider when comparing software to get you on the road to the perfect solution.

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With 1.5 million blogs producing content on a daily basis, it’s no secret that blogging is an integral part of any inbound marketing plan. Blogging helps increase website traffic, establish authority and boosts search engine rankings. 

But, have you found numbers a bit stalled lately? Maybe your subscriber count is high, but readers aren’t engaged. The point of blogging is to convert visitors to leads and leads to customers, right?

The average person browses several posts daily, yet only 13% of blogs inspire a purchase. We can’t exactly blame our readers for not converting, as they’re probably suffering from information overload.

In order to convert our casual readers into leads and customers, we need our content to differentiate. Read below for six ways to transform your blog into a conversion machine.

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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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