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Over the past year at PR 20/20, we’ve spent time reflecting on our core audience—who they truly are and how we can inspire them. We call these people change agents. In the words of a colleague, a change agent is “a visionary who looks beyond, brings vision to life, and successfully champions ideas forward.” 

These marketers aren't afraid to take risks to make an impact. So, we decided to spotlight these professionals in an ongoing series so we can all learn from their successes (and failures too).

In this spotlight, we’ve featured Cathy McPhillips (@cmcphillips), Vice President of Marketing at Content Marketing Institute (@CMIContent). Just in case you’re not familiar, CMI is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching enterprises how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. 

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: conference season.

It’s up to proactive marketers to stay on top of emerging trends and best practices— or risk falling behind. What better way to come together with fellow marketing pros than during industry conferences? 

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Marcus Sheridan kicked off this year’s IMPACT Live conference by asking one mission-critical question: How do we define inbound today?

Since its inception in 2005 (thanks, HubSpot), inbound has become a loaded term. It means a lot of different things to different people. But at its core, and in Sheridan’s words, “To be inbound is to be helpful.”

It’s no wonder then that Bob Ruffolo’s motivation to host IMPACT Live once again was to “make you and your organization successful.

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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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Inside the enterprise, driving change isn’t easy.

A true digital transformation requires a champion—one person who believes in the power of inbound marketing and is willing to take a risk on a new direction, methodology and technology. Here at PR 20/20, we call this person the enterprise change agent.

We’ve helped many change agents implement inbound marketing, and prove MROI to leadership. It doesn’t happen overnight, and every journey is unique. That said, their successes continue to inspire us. So we’ve decided to share their stories, starting with Jorge Solorio (@JorgeLubrizol), Americas Industrial Business Manager at The Lubrizol Corporation.

Jorge oversees the Americas business operations for the Corzan Industrial Systems brand at Lubrizol, and has played the pivotal role of change agent over the past few years. He began experimenting with inbound for Corzan Industrial Systems, a Lubrizol brand, in 2016. This included the creation of a simple, five-page Wordpress website and blog. In January of 2017, he partnered with PR 20/20 to continue building a case for digital transformation.

Read on to see how he used inbound to reach double-digit returns and drive international change.

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17 Must-Read Marketing Posts from 2017

Posted by Sandie Young on December 19, 2017

The marketing industry reached a tipping point in 2017.

New, artificially intelligent tools are working to make our campaigns smarter than ever before. Increased access to consumer data enables more contextual, relevant content. And, more and more manual tasks are being left to automation.

But, we are just scraping the surface of disruption to come.

In the words of ChiefMartec.com’s Scott Brinker (@chiefmartec), “...the truth is that AI is already having a significant impact on marketing. And over the next several years, it will dramatically reshape the nature of business and marketing — no hype.”

Before we push on into 2018, we’d like to take this time to reflect on the best of 2017—PR 20/20 style.

Below, we’ve curated our top 17 blog posts from 2017. We ranked posts in order of pageviews, and excluded any with an average time on page that fell below two minutes.

Cheers to our blog readers in 2017. Enjoy a bit of marketing know-how over a hot cocoa!

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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 Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) blog.

Unlike the traditional marketplace, modern corporations cannot survive on brand and historical relevancy alone. In fact, research from Innosight estimates that 75% of today’s corporations on the S&P 500 index will be replaced by 2027.

You must constantly fight complacency to change the status quo. 

This forces marketers to answer a vital question. Should you continue traditional marketing efforts to face inevitable irrelevancy? Or, should you adapt and align your technology, talent and strategy to effectively reach consumers in this shifting marketplace? 

This changing landscape can be intimidating and overwhelming, but the decision to go digital and embrace inbound is clear. 

Learn from organizational change agents who challenged their businesses to think differently and are seeing the return.

At the latest Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) event, PR 20/20 founder and CEO Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) led a panel of inbound marketing champions who discussed their role as organizational change agents. Panel members featured include:

  • Jorge Solorio (@JorgeLubrizol), the Americas Industrial Business Manager at Lubrizol.
  • Chris Schmitt (@ChrisSchmittEsq), the Global Marketing Director at Pentair (formerly ERICO).
  • Evan Dean (@InBoundEvan), a Principal Channel Consultant at HubSpot, who works with organizations to activate the HubSpot platform and helps advocates prove the value of inbound marketing. 

Read on to learn four key insights from these business leaders, all of who made a case and won company-wide support for inbound marketing implementation.

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2013, and was updated in August 2017 per latest best practices and data. 

Why do we need a blog? What is the ROI of social? What if we get sued? I want to review this before it’s published. Who will own this?  

Sound familiar?

At times, working in a marketing department can feel like being on trial. You’re constantly defending programs, proving value, fighting for dollars.

HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound Marketing annual report asked marketing teams about their top challenges. While only 7% cite executive sponsorship as their paramount challenge, 40% indicated that the most common challenge—proving ROI—points to a crucial need to drum up and perpetuate internal support.

My own experiences echo these findings. The primary reason I’ve seen inbound marketing programs get squashed is not lack of resources, lack of data or lack of success, but lack of buy-in. 

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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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