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Inbound marketing requires a champion—those who believe in the power of inbound, and are willing to take a risk on a new direction, methodology and technology. Here at PR 20/20, we call these champions change agents.

We’ve helped many change agents implement inbound tactics, and prove MROI to leadership. It doesn’t happen overnight, and every journey is unique. That said, their successes continue to inspire us.

In this spotlight, we’ve featured Chris Schmitt (@ChrisSchmittEsq), senior director of strategic development at National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). NAM is a DC-based trade association with more than 14,000 manufacturing members representing 80%+ of the manufacturing economy.   

Prior to his current role, Chris executed digital transformation at two Cleveland manufacturing powerhouses. Read on to see how Chris implemented an inbound approach at both organizations, and proved long-term value to the C-suite.

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive.

The proliferation of marketing channels, apps, mobile devices, social networks and content has given consumers more choices and greater control, while increasing complexity for marketers.

We want to help simplify and optimize the marketing planning process for your business.

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Unless you’re a marketer stuck in the Stone Age, you’ve likely heard of marketing automation. At its core, marketing automation is designed to automate marketing actions, reduce repetitive tasks, better nurture leads and ultimately, close more sales.

While you may have heard of it, are you actually using marketing automation? According to CMO.com, nearly half of all companies use marketing automation, and 91% of the most successful users agree that the solution is “very important.” Marketing automation:

  • Improves productivity
  • Automates manual workflows
  • Serves as a centralized hub for activities
  • Increases revenue
  • Improves customer retention
  • Tracks and monitors all campaigns

The best part? With best-in-breed solutions that offer a strong customer support team, it doesn’t take a tech genius to reap the benefits of marketing automation. The hardest part is recognizing your marketing needs more automation, and diving in.

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Content production is one of the more time-consuming functions of a modern marketer. Most people spend 2-3 hours writing a single blog post, and many brands publish multiple times per week—sometimes multiple times per day.

This production rate is required, considering that 84% of people expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells stories, provides solutions and creates experiences and events.

That’s a tall order.

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You use artificial intelligence dozens, if not hundreds, of times everyday. From choosing recommended shows on Netflix, to navigating trips in Google Maps, asking questions of Siri and Alexa, ordering products on Amazon, reading your Facebook Newsfeed, and unlocking the iPhone facial recognition.

In short, your life is already machine assisted, and your marketing will be too.

AI makes things more convenient, more simple, and more personalized. And, the real magic of AI is that consumers often have no idea it’s there. Things just work, better.

Marketers who take the initiative to find AI-powered solutions will be able to intelligently automate time-intensive, data-driven activities, and execute personalized campaigns of unprecedented complexity that drive meaningful business results.

But, how do you get started?

How do you figure out which use cases to prioritize? And, how do you navigate the hundreds of vendors touting AI and machine learning capabilities?

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HubSpotters have been busy. Over the course of the second quarter, HubSpot released significant product updates across marketing and sales—and (in case you missed it) unveiled Service Hub.

If you’re like our team, we eagerly geek out over new tools. So we decided to feature the product updates at our latest HubSpot User Group (HUG) event in June. Maggie Bomze (@Maggbomze) joined us from Boston to give our guest the inside scoop on what’s new and exciting in your portal.

Below, we’ve featured five of our favorite new features and tools. View the full SlideShare at the end of this post to catch up on everything you missed.

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If you’re Bethany Johnson (@thanybethanybe), you learn as much about it as possible.

Johnson is a content marketer who wrote an article for Skyword’s Content Standard about natural language generation (NLG), an AI technology that automatically writes data-driven narratives. She caused a stir among freelancers and writers who feared bots were going to replace them.

“This particular form of artificial intelligence may one day have the potential to put many of my buddies out of a job,” she writes. “What I consider exciting really upset many community members, so I decided to dig into the topic to clarify.”

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At a marketing agency, no day is like the day before. In the morning you’re reading news and reporting on the latest healthcare overhaul, then in the afternoon you’re presenting to a room full of engineers on differentiation within a niche manufacturing submarket.

Welcome to agency life.

At PR 20/20, we work with clients across industries—from manufacturing and distribution, to  healthcare, insurance, finance, real estate, technology and more. We’ve worked with select markets over the years to establish internal expertise, and we know that it’s a game-changer for our team and for the quality of client work, strategy and results when we can establish domain expertise within an industry.

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive.

A flowchart—the visual representation of a logical progression of things. 

In my humble opinion, one of man’s greatest accomplishments, right next to the spork. 

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Great marketers understand the importance of having good data on their businesses. So much, in fact, that they’re doing everything they can to get their hands on as much data as possible. 

That’s great! We recommend that. But what are you doing with all of the data you’re collecting? 

For many of us, the answer is glancing at our collected analytics once a month, quarter or year because we don’t really have the time to deep dive through Google Analytics and excel spreadsheets.

All that telling data you’re collecting, including trends and insights your boss and CEO might be very interested in, is going to waste.

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