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2019 Marketing Strategy: Food for Thought From Seth Godin

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on January 16, 2019 at 2:24 PM | 6 minute read

The start of a new year is a great time to reevaluate your current marketing strategy and decide which tools and changes you can implement to drive maximum success in the months ahead. Now, I know strategizing is no easy feat, but approaching this task doesn’t have to be daunting when you’ve got guidance from the pros.

Seth Godin, a best-selling American author and entrepreneur, recently shared a multitude of thought-provoking perspectives while promoting his newest book This is Marketing on the podcast Self Made Man. The episode focuses on how marketing is changing, and when the host asks about how people should measure the effectiveness of their marketing today, Seth said:

“It begins with the feeling of knowing who would miss you if you didn't show up tomorrow. If your brand were to disappear tomorrow, who would truly miss you? If your podcast didn't go live on its scheduled day, how many people would you hear from? If you shut down your restaurant on Thursday, how many people on Friday would feel bereft?”

You can get a better idea of where you are today, and where you want to go, by considering your answer to this question and contemplating some more of Seth’s marketing points.

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Topics: Online Community, Marketing Automation, Marketing, Customer Engagement, Customer Advocacy

7 Ways to Refine Your Buyer Personas with Community Data

Written by Annie Moncure on January 15, 2019 at 8:30 AM | 13 minute read

All great buyer personas are alike; each bad buyer persona is bad in its own way. 

Sound familiar? Well, it’s not exactly how Leo Tolstoy began his classic novel, Anna Karenina, but if he’d been a marketer, we’d bet at least a dollar that he would have.   

And what is that common ingredient that makes all great buyer personas alike

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Topics: Online Community, Marketing, Marketing Automation, Online Community Management, Online Community Software

Making Connections, Expanding Reach, Improving Data: A Trade Association’s Community Story [Case Study]

Written by Elizabeth Bell on January 8, 2019 at 9:15 AM | 6 minute read

Staying relevant, providing value, connecting with members and customers – do these challenges sound familiar to you and your organization? Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) was thinking through these goals.

Leadership had sensed that PPAI’s relationship with members wasn’t very “sticky.” Members might pay dues so they could gain education at tradeshows or access a search tool, but the connection didn’t go much deeper.

PPAI wanted to find a way to show members the real value of their membership.

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Topics: Associations, Member Engagement, Online Community, Online Community Management, Marketing Automation

New Year, New Association Goals: 3 Online Community Building Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on January 7, 2019 at 10:57 AM | 5 minute read

The good news: there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s Cup. The bad news: there are at least a few wrong ways for an association to approach online community building. And by wrong, I mean misguided – you may not recognize that you’re making these mistakes, so how would you know to resolve them?

In the spirit of reflection, strategy, and righting our wrongs in the new year, I invite you to take a step back and ask yourself: Am I making any of these online community building mistakes? If so, how committed am I to building a strong and sustainable community in 2019 and beyond?

Regardless of what kind of community you’re building, one thing is certain: demonstrating real value to your members should be your ultimate resolution.

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Topics: Online Community, Marketing Automation

Ace 2019 with 6 Expert Marketing Strategy Tips

Written by Marina Devalia on January 2, 2019 at 11:32 AM | 13 minute read

How can we better engage our customers? How can marketing and sales teams work more efficiently? How can we produce more qualified leads?  

If these types of marketing strategy questions are floating around in your mind as we enter the new year, keep reading. Nobody wants to be the company left behind because they missed the trend, and everybody wants to get ahead with new groundbreaking marketing techniques. 

As always, marketing is evolving. Successful marketers know that staying ahead of the game means adopting the trends that will give you sustainable growth and make your company more competitive 

So, how do you know which trends are worth pursuing? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the six most promising trends to adopt. You’ll find practical tips along the way to help you get started with each one. 

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Topics: Marketing, Marketing Automation

How to Use Social Media to Humanize Your Brand in 2019

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on December 27, 2018 at 12:54 PM | 4 minute read

Dear [Valued Customer/Wrong Name],

I have a hunch that being greeted like that made you feel more like a machine than the living, breathing, unique, and invaluable human that you are. Wouldn’t you say? Now, as a consumer in 2019, how much generic and lifeless content are you hoping to, well…consume? My guess would be little to none, but you’ll still run into it, whether it’s in your inbox or your social feeds.

When you’re thinking about how to market your brand in the new year, remember that generic content might be easier to produce, but it’s also easier for people to ignore (and to be honest, it’s not even that much easier to produce, thanks to timesaving tools like marketing automation). Don’t be afraid to take risks. Because here’s the thing about risks – people take them, not brands.

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Topics: Marketing Automation, Customer Engagement, Member Retention, Social Media, Marketing, Engagement

3 Ways Online Communities Help Software Companies Drive Revenue

Written by Brian Sugarman on December 20, 2018 at 8:17 AM | 8 minute read

As consumers, we know that brands that consistently deliver value and make our buying experience effortless will continue to win our business over time. In my household, for example, we’re more likely to buy add-ons like Audible and Amazon music because we know the same level of convenience we get with our Prime membership will exist.

Our relationships with companies like Amazon remind us of the high bar that’s been set for the modern day customer experience, not just in the consumer world, but also for business-to-business (B2B) sales. Whether consciously or subconsciously, this standard of service influences our expectations for our buying relationships with B2B technology vendors.

This is nothing new, by the way...although technology has changed how and where we buy, successful brands have always focused on delivering valuable products to their customers and making it easy for them to purchase. However, companies that compete in markets with little to no competition have found ways to be successful over time, simply by being the best or only option available.

Think old school cable television – with so few consumer options, your area provider could win your business despite a reputation of delivering horrendous customer service. Now, with the rise of Over-the-top (OTT) streaming subscriptions, I’ve found that the level of service and ease of doing business has actually improved with my cable company.

The software business model is another example with (historically) limited competition – until now. In a sea of growing competition, it pays to focus on your customers.

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Topics: Online Community, Marketing, Customer Retention, Customer Experience, Customer Success

Member Retention in 2019: Why They Leave & 3 Ways to Keep Them

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 19, 2018 at 8:27 AM | 12 minute read

Member retention: it’s always on our minds. In 2019, how do you plan to get your members to stick around? When people face so many competing demands for time, attention, and money, this question is bigger than ever.  

The Membership Marketing Benchmark Report asked associations why they think members don’t renew. The two biggest reasons they mentioned, after “lack of engagement (37%) were: 

  • Members could not justify membership costs with any significant ROI (28%) 
  • Members thought their membership lacked value (23%) 

If you’re wondering how to attack the retention question this year, these stats are a pretty good indicator of where you should start.  

We talked about engagement pretty extensively in another post, so, I want to get into this idea of value.  

These stats are really about how your members perceive the value of their membership with your association. You could be offering what you think are the best membership benefits in the world, but if these benefits aren’t what your members are looking for, they won’t value them. Furthermore, they may not be willing to pay up when it comes time to renew their membership.  

So, how can we bridge this divide between what you’re offering, and your members’ expectations? 

We need to take a member-first approach, and we’ll get there through: 1) research, 2) refinement, and 3) follow through. 

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Topics: Member Retention, Online Community, Marketing Automation

Be on the Guest List, Not the Blacklist: Improving Your Email Deliverability

Written by Jennifer Hockford on December 13, 2018 at 7:54 AM | 3 minute read

Getting into your subscribers’ inbox is a bit like getting into a swanky, invite-only party. There’s a bouncer, and his name is Spam Filter (he’s about 6’10” and 350 pounds). If your contact already left the party, if you seem a little suspicious, if you’re not dressed to the nines…you’re not getting in.

No one wants this to happen to them. Email is such a dynamic, easy, simple way to communicate. But it can also be complex.

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4 Community Managers, 25 Community Building Questions Answered [WEBINAR RECAP Part 2]

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 11, 2018 at 1:00 PM | 13 minute read

Last week, we shared advice from four of our community managers about challenging scenarios you might encounter in your community (and their recommendations on how to solve them).

This week, Lindsay, Will, Annie, and Emily are back to share their answers to 25 questions on topics like increasing engagement, finding an expert for your Q&A session, and encouraging lurkers to participate.

Sound like fun? Let’s go!

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Topics: Online Community, Online Community Management, User Group Management, Member Engagement, Customer Engagement, Engagement

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