You are a B2B marketer. And for quite some time, life has not been a bed of roses.
Your leads are drying up. Phones are ringing less frequently. And when you call prospects, you get directed to voice mail.
You struggle to keep yourself updated on the latest and the shiniest techniques and tools that seems to change every couple of months or so but it’s already a lost battle.
Are you doomed to keep running on the treadmill, forever trying to catch up and demonstrate measurable results but not getting anywhere?
Gini Dietrich says no. She says it does get better; all you need is a solid plan coupled with a desire for change. And she has a book that shows how.
Who is Gini Dietrich and Why Should I Care?
Gini Dietrich is the CEO and founder of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm, as well as a lead blogger at Spin Sucks. Her work with clients -- both B2B and B2C -- involves designing content strategies, monitoring online conversations, creating marketing campaigns and building a community of fans and users.
She also speaks frequently at conferences and workshops across US and Europe about technology and marketing.
Gini has just co-authored a book titled Marketing in the Round in which she maps out a framework that marketers can use to run a holistic campaign and get the kind of results that the C suite loves.
I caught up with her to ask more about her book.
A Chat with Gini
Bhaskar: Tell me how this book came to be.
Gini: Pearson (the publisher) asked if I was interested in co-writing a book with Geoff Livingston. I've always wanted to write a book (fiction, though) and I thought this was a good entrée into the publishing world.
I already had an online relationship with Geoff, and respect the heck out of him, so he and I decided we'd do it!
B: Who’s the ideal reader for this book, why write itand what are the things you want your readers to take away from a reading?
G: It's aimed at anyone responsible for any marketing discipline.
For the past 10 years, we've been focused solely on just surviving the crazy economy in the United States. Now it's time to break down organizational silos and create a team of people that work together, instead of in a hierarchical organization.
By reading the book, you'll learn how to break down those silos, how to create a marketing round, how to choose the right approaches for your strategy, and how to measure your results.
B: Please define the term marketing round.
G: A friend related it to rock stars performing on a round stage so they can see their entire audience. The idea of the marketing round is that all disciplines – meaning advertising, direct, search, social, PR, marketing, web, etc. – work together instead of in silos.
B: What’s the goal of a marketing round, and should it be different for different types of companies?
G: The goal is the same regardless of company type, and for-profit companies it is to make money. We help the reader create SMARTER goals in order to achieve business success. (Editor’s note: SMARTER stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound, evaluate, reevaluate.)
B: When is a good time to integrate marketing functions? For example, can this approach work even when the company is weeks away from filing for bankruptcy?
G: I'd argue the best time to make a serious change like this is when the company is about to crash. People don't like change and what we advocate in the book is HUGE change.
B: Can this work if the company's culture and DNA do not favor this sort of conversation between departments? What are the basic requirements for success?
G: Nope. It can't and won't work. It's a big cultural shift. In some cases, you'll become a change agent internally. You have to get your executives on board. If they're not in agreement about doing this, you won't succeed.
But if they are, even when you have people fighting you, you'll succeed because the top leadership wants it to happen.
B: One of my hobbies is military strategy and though I am more familiar with Sun Tzu and von Clausweitz than with Miyamoto Musashi, I was stoked when you talked about his treatise "The Book of Five Rings." How does it relate to integrated marketing strategy?
G: Musashi talks about five approaches to military strategy: The middle, above, below, and the left and right sides. We took that same idea to create four approaches: Direct to the customer (the middle), top-down (above), the groundswell (below), and flanking (the left and right sides).
Direct to the customer is usually things such as direct marketing, email marketing and (in some cases) social media. The top-down is what we know as traditional public relations. The groundswell is social media, brand ambassadors, and word-of-mouth. And flanking is typically advertising.
B: How do you approach ROI, measurements, metrics and benchmarks?
G: ROI, results, measurement all are a big deal to me. We spend the last three chapters of the book talking about how to measure your results, and the right things to measure. I come from the for-profit world so I want readers to think about affecting one of three things: increased revenues, improved margins, or a shortened sales cycle.
B: Tell me a bit about tools, both free and paid, that companies can use to help run their campaigns and measure results?
G: It depends on your specific resources, but the following is a good compilation of tools for each approach:
- Social media
- Direct mail
- Media relations
- Public relations
- Word-of-mouth marketing
- Brand ambassadors
- Content marketing
- User-generated content
- Social media
- Brand monitoring
- Guerilla marketing
- Event marketing and networking
- Trickle-up media relations
B: This chat has been very useful. Best of luck with the book
G: Thank you.
Marketing in the Round is available for purchase at Amazon.
About the Author: Bhaskar Sarma is a B2B copywriter and a content marketer. He writes about web content, writing and marketing strategies at Pixels and Clicks and works with IT companies to create persuasive and useful content.