This is my last post of 2012 before breaking up for Christmas and I thought I’d finish with one of those lazy “Everyone’s out for Christmas, let’s just re-use some old material” posts, summarising my favourite articles that I’ve read this year.
Rather than keeping a methodical record of what these have been this year, I’m actually just going to use the items that exist in my Pocket app, on the iPhone. This great little app lets you store articles that you find for reading later, when offline, though it’s also useful as a way of keeping track of “Things I really want to read, I just don’t have time right now”.
Sadly, I realised that this totals around 30 or 40 items, which reflects poorly on my ability to get round to reading anything. So I’ve tried to group these in some way and just give a brief summary for each, for why I found them so useful. Also items marked *** are my particular favourites. Enjoy!
- Better results, (still) early adoption: Marketing attribution in a complex – marketing attribution is a top priority for me next year, so I’m doing research in preparation for this. The Google Analytics team always have great content for this, and this is a great example.
- Attribution Modeling – more from Google on the attribution models they provide albeit in their premium GA product only (for now…)
- Are Online Companies Using the Wrong Data to Measure Success? – what end measure are you actually using to measure success? Just “traffic” might not be enough (as she says, it’s a bit like measuring people walking in to a store, whether they buy something or not)
- Looking Ahead at Next Generation Measurement – even more from GA on attribution. Are you seeing a pattern here?
- The Paradox of Easy vs. Hard to Measure Marketing Channels – Rand’s Blog – for me, a really important post about measuring marketing ROI which reminds me of the slogan we have on our HR wall – “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”. ***
- 8 Super Awesome Google Analytics Conversions Segments you Must use – a superb and specific article on measuring the impact of certain activities (e.g. display advertising) on others (e.g. Organic Search). ***
- How to Prove the Value of Content Marketing with Multi-Channel Funnels – An – a great post from Google (again) on grouping “Content” sources to really show the value of content marketing ***
- Why You Should Care About Marketing Attribution | Inc. 5000 – brilliant, if only for the great link to the paper from Xuhui Shao. ***
The Buyer Lifecycle
- Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy: Who Do B2B Buyers Trust? – another big priority for next year is mapping the customer journey/lifecycle and provide appropriate and well-timed content for our customers (aka context marketing). This is a nice practical guide to the sort of content people want at different stages.
- Starting – this great post from Chris Brogan runs through what you need to do to start blogging, how to promote it, his views on various social network assets and so on. Very useful for our blogging efforts in the office, as well as for this very blog!
- 20 Tips for a Better Blog Launch – another great “How to” on what you need to do to set up a blog ***
- The Business Blogger’s Ultimate Guide to Mastering Lead Generation – more great content from Hubspot, this time on using your blog for lead generation
- The Simple Guide to Business Blogging – Simply Business – a nice chart for the wall on how to set up a business blog and the processes you need to put in place
Product Marketing and Roles
- Guest Post: If Product Marketing is so Strategic, why do I always get stuck – a great post on the job of “Product Marketing”. How nobody is really sure what they’re supposed to do, and how they keep getting pulled in to non-strategic work. ***
- Marketing and Communications Are No Longer Just About Talking Well – another Chris Brogan post, this time about how many roles in marketing do now need a lot of technical expertise
- Technical Marketing – a nice slideshare on the role of a “Technical marketer”
Marketing Automation and Lead Qualification
- What the Evolution of Marketing Automation Looks Like [Infographic] – something else we’re keen on for 2013, is marketing automation and lead nurturing – this is great little infographic on why you should bother
- The Steps You Need to Define the Stages of Your Sales & Marketing Funnel – one of many pivotal pieces from Hubspot that have really guided activity at Red Gate this year. A superb piece on how to deal with Sales<->Marketing Lead Qualification process ***
- 10 Questions Every New VP of Marketing Should Ask – simply, what should you focus on, when starting a senior marketing job? Generating high quality leads. It’s not complicated.
- How to Diagnose and Repair Rotten Lead Nurturing Workflows – more genius from Hubspot on spotting problems with your lead nurturing processes ***
- What’s the Deal With This Whole ‘Context Marketing’ Thing? – Hubspot, again, this time explaining what “Context” marketing is – marketing to people based on what you know about them ***
- Social Media Measurement Is Still In Infant Stage of Growth – I’ve struggled to measure the ROI of work in social media (I’ve ended up at “Not everything that counts can be counted” – not very satisfactory) and although this post doesn’t give many answers, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one!
- Search versus Social – which one wins? I love this infographic on which is better for marketing activity, Search or Social. E.g. what is better for lead gen? Search. For brand awareness? Social. ***
- What can content marketing do for your business? – a great infographic showing the different types of content marketing ***
- 17 Brilliant Sources of Content Hiding Right Under Your Nose – one of many Hubspot posts in here. This one on “Where to get some more content, when you’re running low”. Really practical and useful ***
- Content Marketing for B2B Is All About Lead Gen – a short piece on “Why do content marketing in a B2B environment?”
- A Blog Is Not A Content Strategy | John Doherty – if I had more time, I’d read this properly – looks very interesting
Practical SEO Tips and Tricks
- 7 Shortcuts to Take While Doing Keyword Research – I like very practical articles that explain “If you want to do X, Y and Z then just follow these steps”. Here’s a great example for SEO Keyword research
- Leaders West Social Media » How to get Google News to take notice of your W – this is about SEO and Blogging in fact and points to a plugin to help you get Google indexing your WordPress site
- SEO: The Free Beginner’s Guide From SEOmoz – a fantastic beginner’s guide ***
- Technical SEO Audit with Google Webmaster Tools | Kaiserthesage – a really useful, practical guide to carrying out an SEO audit on your site. Finding things like duplicate pages and so on.
- Your Business Tech Buyers Are More Social Than Ever | Forrester Blogs – Red Gate are a B2B organisation (well, we sometimes like to say, B2BC – treating business buyers like end consumers), and I thought this was an interesting Forrester post about how you should be using Social Media in the B2B environment – these people are still using Twitter to find information, particularly for the type of buyers Red Gate has
- Corporate Blogging Hits the Skids – an ad-hoc article on why you should keep blogging for your company rather than relying on fleeting activity on Facebook/Twitter
- Free Friday: 27 Must-Have Charts to Guide Your Marketing in 2012 – I’m sure there’s some great “Print them out and stick them on the wall” charts here, but I’ve just never got round to looking. Perhaps I would have looked if it had said “10 Must-Have Charts…”
- How An SEO Conference Helped Us Sell More – useful little post on optimising the home page for your product
- 10 things no one will tell you about a content audit – I dread the thought of having to do a content audit of our site but if I did, this would tell me how
- How I created 3 great websites in 2 days Marketing Wizdom – here Robert Clay explains how he took a very agile approach to knocking out 3 websites in 2 days – could be useful one day!
- 75 Must Read Marketing Blogs to Make Your RSS Reader Epic | Unbounce – if you had zero marketing RSS feeds to follow and wanted some, here’s your starter for 75. Some great stuff though I just don’t know when I’d ever have the time to trawl through this lot ***
- marketing worth sharing | Google keynote | Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist – a bit generic, but I like his point that “Technology can’t save a boring idea”. I.e. regardless of the channels and technology, your message has to be right
- Top 10 Free Marketing Ebooks of 2012 | Unbounce – I’m not a big fan of marketing books, but there might be a few here for my Christmas reading
- 8 Insightful Marketing Predictions for 2013 and Beyond – who knows, but I include it because it makes a good point about being wary of “Death by Marketing Automation”
- How to Set SMART Marketing Goals for 2013 [TEMPLATE] – we’ve been going through end-of-year planning and this was very useful for that