The Unmuted Marketer

Sounding Off on Real-Life B2B Marketing Mistakes, Missteps and Miracles


Marketri Blog

November 12, 2014

Why Do Marketing Departments Fail?

As an experienced business professional, you have likely worked for multiple organizations.  Do you remember your opinion of the marketing department?  Were marketing professionals an integral part of the firm in the same way as operations, finance and human resources?  Did marketing team members hold seats at executive tables?  

Unfortunately, the marketing department in many companies is often thought of as pure overhead and is a bit of an afterthought when it comes to being included in serious business decisions.  I've seen it firsthand during my career and it's unfortunate and frustrating!! A world class marketing department has the potential to transform companies and drive strategic goals.  

But more often than not, marketing departments live up to the low expectations that are placed on them and fail to deliver results. The big question is, why?  From discussions with senior executives, fellow marketing professionals and my own observations, here are some of the top reasons marketing departments fail:

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Marketing Departments

October 22, 2014

Blogging Bullies: When User Generated Comments Turn Nasty

On a recent peaceful, fall Sunday morning, I noticed an email from my colleague, Eileen Martin, marked 'highly important' mixed in with the normal overnight spam.  She expressed, "Wow, did you see the rude comments on your LinkedIn page by a couple folks re: the SEO blog post? Have you heard from those guys before? I was taken aback by them."

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October 15, 2014

The Top Frustrations of In-House Professional Services Marketers

"I just spent the better part of a day ordering thank you cards," sighed Mary (anonymous Marketing Coordinator).  "I've sent four reminders to Partner Dan about his blog post that was due two weeks ago. He just ignores my emails," complained Terry (anonymous Marketing Manager).  Sound familiar?  Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone by a long shot!

Here are the top frustrations of in-house professional services marketers and how to fix them:

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October 7, 2014

The Top Five SEO Tips for Professional Services Firms for Q4 2014 and Beyond

Getting website pages and other forms of content, including blogs and videos, ranked highly on Google is usually on the top of any firm's marketing wish list.  And for good reason:  approximately 33% of all clicks happen in the first position and 18% in the second position.  So let me give you some insight.  Are you listening closely?  IT'S SUPER HARD.  That's the theme that runs throughout today's post.  There's no short-cut to achieving those coveted top positions.  The fitness mantra '-no pain, no gain' (or increased rankings in this case) - seems to apply to SEO now and into 2015.  But, if you're willing to sweat a little, sacrifice some billable hours and invest in your digital marketing, read on!

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September 29, 2014

Independent Accounting Firms: Stop Marketing Like it's 1999!


Cause they say two thousand FOURTEEN

Party over, oops out of time


ACCOUNTING FIRM like it's 1999  



Sorry Prince for using a "tweaked" version of your "Party Like it's 1999" lyrics to kick-off my blog about accounting firms using musty, unimaginative marketing tools, tactics and campaigns. While the song brings back pleasant college memories for many of us and makes light of ineffective marketing, it actually is a serious matter with potentially grave outcomes for independent accounting firms.  Why do I care about this topic?  More importantly, why do you need to put down what your doing and read this post? The short answer is I care about your firm's longevity and so should you.

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September 25, 2014

The Only Content Marketing Advice Professional Services Firms Need To Know


Do not read another blog this year on content marketing.  This post has everything you need to know. Now, please don't jump to the wrong conclusion - I'm not a know-it-all or think I'm big stuff.  In fact, the knowledge I'm about to share isn't even mine.  I attended INBOUND, HubSpot's annual conference, and took really good notes, a skill that I mastered in college. So, go ahead and bookmark and favorite this page right now as you are about to hear exactly what you need to do to succeed at content marketing from some of the nation's top thought leaders.

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Topics: Content Marketing

September 21, 2014

Martha Stewart - The Only Bad Apple at INBOUND 2014

 HubSpot's annual conference, INBOUND, was over-the-top fabulous....except for one bad apple. There were insightful break-out sessions and a line-up of many high-profile keynote speakers such as Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell and the one and only, Martha Stewart.  I was particularly interested in what the lifestyle guru had to say since she had grown a company from nothing into an multi-million dollar (yes, I'll be cheesy for a second) orchard. I got in line early and scored a great seat. Eagerly, I took out my notepad and pink pen to capture all the juicy business tidbits.  Thirty minutes into her speech, I quietly slipped  them back into my bag.  Making vegetable juice was the only key takeaway.  And quite frankly, I'd rather eat my kale than drink it!  I pondered, "How could a highly successful business woman be the one bad apple at INBOUND?" After a fleeting moment of disappointment, I assumed that just like cooking a new recipe and having it flop, there surely must be lessons to be learned.  
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August 19, 2014

Want to do a Professional Services Video but Scared it will be a Snoozer?

Follow EMG’s Lead and Dare to be Different!

The second most popular search engine after Google is YouTube. Why? Video is powerful. It’s emotional. It moves us. It makes us laugh, cry and buy. We know this in our personal lives, yet so many professional services marketers in 2014 are still relying on the old “talking head” video formula, if they’re using video at all.

 Videos Drive Results, Including Lead Generation 

 Times are changing—and accounting firm, law firm and A/E/C marketers who perfect short-form video will be very successful indeed. As far back as 2010, a Google and Forbes Insights “B2B Trends in Mobile & Online Video” study involving 306 U.S. executives found:

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August 7, 2014

Signs that Your A/E/C Marketing is “Old School”

While our kids may think old-school is nerdy, doing things the old-fashioned way doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.  For instance, I still love handwriting notes in meetings and reading an actual book instead of a Kindle.  When you get to be a “seasoned” professional (yours truly included), some old-school habits are hard to break.  But in the field of marketing, it’s not always good to stick with the status quo.  At a minimum, you should evaluate the effectiveness of your various marketing collateral (print and digital) and activities.   To get you started, here are some signs that your A/E/C firm’s marketing may be a bit out-of-date. 

  1. Your website isn’t self-administered: Most modern websites are built on user-friendly open source platforms, such as Word Press, which enable you to update copy and photos on the fly.  If you are paying a developer $100 per hour to maintain your site, consider a re-launch into the modern age. 
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July 22, 2014

Don’t be Vanilla! A Spotlight on Accounting Firms that Dare to be Different through Marketing

Sure, most professionals have heard the term ‘Big 4 accounting firms’ and even know that it stands for KPMG, E&Y, PwC and Deloitte.  Once you step off that ledge to the second tier of accounting firms, there is still brand recognition, especially among firms untainted by merger activity such as Grant Thornton.  But, take one more step down to mid-sized accounting firms, the competition steepens and brands just seem to blend together like a perfect milkshake.  As the leader of a mid-sized firm, what can you do to stand out from the crowd, or are you destined to simply be…vanilla?
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