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Top 10 Marketing Take-Aways from BOLO

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Want to know what the best marketers are thinking and talking about? We just spent three days at BOLO (Be on the Lookout), an intensive conference dedicated to digital marketing excellence. With over 30 sessions and speakers to choose from, in addition to ten plus vendors, the days were packed with non-stop, useful content. Sessions addressed marketing from technology solutions to writing and publishing content to how to better engage customers.

We’re always thinking about how to do better marketing. The rare occasion to spend three days immersed in content, surrounded by smart people and really thinking about how to kick our client work up a notch was invigorating.  So we’re highlighting some valuable take-aways that apply to any business that’s in the business of marketing itself or others. Here are the top 10 marketing tips from the 2013 BOLO conference

10. Embrace technology. The possibilities are endless for this. There are technologies to make your marketing faster, better and less expensive. Automation can give you more data to use so you can measure results across channels.

9. Do business like a start up. Think about it, start-ups act like they have nothing to lose – they are lean, creative problem solvers and they aren’t afraid to make mistakes so they take risks. Try looking at your next project with this fresh perspective.

8. Be obsessed by the outcome, not the output you create. If your marketing doesn’t work it’s not doing any good for your business. ROI says it all.

7. Focus on telling a good story. Make your content and marketing messages interesting so people want to read them. See our Feature article about improving your email marketing.

6. Multiple-screen and multi-channel are the new marketing reality. Think about how to reach people where and how (desk-top computers, tablets, mobile, print, mail, outdoor, etc.) they interact with your content and your brand, and make their experience consistent. Integrate the offline and online experiences.

5. Mobile is reaching the tipping point. More and more people are shopping, buying and banking from their smartphones. People are on mobile everywhere for everything. If you’re not addressing this important channel in your marketing, you will miss out.

4. Build an advocate army. Social media has changed the way people want to interact with brands. They want conversations and an affinity for something – to be advocates. They want to participate in the brand relationship to help shape it, so it cannot remain a one-sided communication from the brand. Let them in and build an army of your most loyal customers.

3. Be an expert of your audience. As direct marketers we’ve always understood this. Take the time to create personas of your customers. If you’re writing content, you need to know who you’re writing to and what type of content resonates with them. Personas are a great way for you to visualize your customer and make your writing more authentic.  You can’t solve a problem for someone if you don’t know who it is you’re talking to.

2. Have a content strategy. Once you know your personas you can create a content strategy around what their interests are professionally and personally, what channels they use to access content and how often they prefer to engage. Your content strategy should be tied into your business goals.

1. Content is king. Create moments of excellence. You’re only as good as the information you are publishing. Whether you are giving financial advice or educating your audience on new ideas or products, people are looking for content that helps them in their personal or business lives. They will find and follow you because your content resonates with them, so make it count.

Usually we get excited if there is one thing to share out of a conference, so to have the concentrated topics to fill a top 10 list is thrilling! We hope you find one or two helpful ideas or good reminders of what your business marketing should focus on. Please let us know what you think on Facebook.