Marketing skills

My Marketing Role Shift at Hudson

Mon, 27 February 2012

In this, my eighth year at Hudson I have embarked upon a different role that has already made me crazy busy in the first quarter. It started in the middle of last year, when my boss and I discussed the changing roles of marketers, and the skills we needed in the department to be the best possible business partners to the organization. Able to make one additional hire, I was given a unique choice; hire a marketer to lead the IT practice, or hire my replacement so that I could become that lead marketer. This was not an easy decision. I have prided myself on being the online marketing guru within my company. If I brought in more online talent, wouldn’t that limit my unique value proposition to the organization?

The answer as I thought about it, should be no. In fact online marketing ought to be the core competency of ALL marketers in a B2B professional services business. Why? Because buyers have shifted the primary source of their decisions from their peers to online sources. It only made sense that whatever role I wished to play, we should go out and find the best potential online marketers to join us.

With that decision made, we posted an online marketing manager job in June. We screened many excellent candidates. In the end, it came down to 2. Just as we had to make the tough decision on who to hire, a more traditionally trained copywriter decided to leave our team. We made the bold move to hire BOTH of our top candidates (one to replace our departed colleague). Starting in August, I had the great pleasure to onboard Bobby Wilson and Beth McEnery, two outstanding professional services marketers in the Chicago area.

Through the end of the year, our entire team was tied into the rebuild and launch of all of our global websites on a new Content Management System (DotNetNuke) with a new design, and a heightened focus on SEO and lead generation. As the project wound down to launch, I finally had the team that could effectively do some of what I have been doing in interactive for 8 years so that I could transition to a more all-encompassing lead marketer role.

Onward Toward Hudson IT
I have always preached that the only way to grow is to make yourself uncomfortable. If you aren’t uncomfortable in the things you are doing, then you aren’t learning. You have to learn new skills and do them with proficiency in order to make yourself comfortable again. It is purposeful career stress. Even though I was performing my interactive marketing duties to a level of proficiency, I needed a new challenge. I needed to be uncomfortable.

I accepted the responsibility of becoming the lead marketer on the Hudson IT business as well as continuing my primary responsibility as Director, Interactive Marketing for our North America region. Check out my new professional bio on the Hudson IT website. As lead marketer, my duties have already diversified to marketing strategy, increased budget responsibility, sales literature development, event planning and management, and brand positioning to name a few. While these new areas of learning alone are enough to keep me busy, I have also taken on additional people management responsibilities within our team. I’m very much looking forward to achieving outstanding results for the IT practice and helping to guide the careers of our new marketers. 2012 should be a great year!

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Marketing skills | No Comments »
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Hudson North America Hiring an Online Marketing Manager

Fri, 10 June 2011

There’s some big things happening at Hudson. We are undergoing transformational change with a new CEO on board and new web platforms to take the company where we want it to go. Many of the initiatives will take place in the digital realm of which I am the leader in our North America operation. I’m very much looking forward to the process of bringing on a new team member in our Chicago office to help us to innovate with all of the tools that are at our disposal. Check out the job description for our Online Marketing Manager position in Chicago, IL.  

Here’s a little taste…

Help build a top professional services brand using your talents as an online marketing expert. Hudson North America is seeking a skilled and motivated digital marketer to work with our line-of-business marketing managers and our web development team to build programs that achieve business results.

Catch the market upswing as we re-position our websites onto DotNetNuke, reposition our brand as Trusted Advisors globally, and position your interactive abilities as a centerpiece of the digital marketing department of the future. If you know more about thought leadership than online shopping carts, please apply!

If you know that you can rock this job, or you can refer someone else who will, please have them Apply. I will see every resume that comes into the Job Posting.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Marketing skills, Professional Networking, Workplace | 1 Comment »
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Marketing Campaign Diagrams – Not for the Faint at Heart

Mon, 22 February 2010

I have spent since the beginning of the year working with my teammates here at Hudson on putting our first true B2B Lead Generation campaign into the market. The first is a bit of a misnomer, because we’ve done plenty of webinars, email blasts, tradeshows and breakfasts in the past. What we haven’t done is hook these activities into a CRM for tracking of leads with the sales team and a marketing automation system to really turbocharge the messaging, calls-to-action, follow up and lead nurturing.

We all know the feeling when we’ve been “nurtured”. We sign up for a webinar. 1 minute later you get a contact from a sales person. After the webinar you get follow up emails on additional offers and additional whitepapers on the subject you were interested in. What you don’t realize is all of the pre-thought, strategy, and setup that goes into that orchestrated series of events. Let me tell you, it’s not for the faint at heart. After countless hours with a full-time consultant building our strategy and integrating automation systems it all comes down to a diagram. To be able to visualize all of the steps and how they will work together you need a campaign diagram, so says our vendor Silverpop. I’ve built plenty of information architecture diagrams in my career, but never anything like this. Apparently these are notoriously complex exercises, since Silverpop themselves had a contest last year to find the most convoluted marketing campaign diagram.

My Piece of Convolutedness

cloud-lead-camp-diagram4

Here’s my rookie effort at a campaign diagram (page 1 only). This was at its very worst. I have since revised the diagram many times to simplify and better communicate how we will be setting up all of the assets in our different systems. Nonetheless, you have to go this far if you want to pre-plan an automated campaign. This has been an awesome learning experience. I’m very much looking forward to the campaign launch and finding out how effective each little block in the diagram will or will not be. Stay tuned.

Posted in: B2B Inbound Marketing, Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Marketing skills, Marketing Strategy | 1 Comment »
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This Guy is Bustin’ Interactive Marketing Knowledge

Fri, 18 April 2008

Check out more of the Poetic Prophet, m0serious on YouTube. He raps about the nuances of Search Engine Optimization, paid search, and link building and campaign conversion. I actually get more information out of listening to his raps than most “real” webinars. I think it’s because very few words must be chosen to get across big ideas. This is not a skill most public speakers have mastered.

Hat tip to Ann Handley of MarketingProfs.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Marketing skills, Staffing SEO/SEM | No Comments »
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Microsoft Excel in Marketing. Really?

Thu, 24 January 2008

Trust me when I say that I became interested in art, design, and now marketing because of my dislike of math. I came to this conclusion mid-way through my high school career as I examined which classes I liked best. At the time I was experimenting with the first Macs in art class, and spending the rest of my day trying to figure out what the hell an imaginary number was in AP Calculus. When it came time for college, the decision was easy. Head off to design school to “be creative” and leave all of that math stuff behind.

So, imagine my surprise 15 years later when I’m operating an application that I NEVER thought I would have to even look at; Microsoft Excel. I use Excel more right now than I use Photoshop. A tiny little piece of me dies inside when I click that little green X icon in my task tray. The first time I opened a brand new sheet, with its unending grid and unfamiliar map coordinates, was more intimidating than any blank canvas I’ve ever encountered.

Here’s the news to any interactive marketer worth their salt. Excel is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. Heresy? Perhaps. Unfortunate Reality? Absolutely. Here’s why.

  1. ROI=Longevity. The biggest opportunity interactive marketing offers is the ability to track Return on Investment. To measure that, you need a calculator not a paint brush. Have you ever tried to calculate the conversion ratio of traffic to leads using Photoshop?
  2. Dirty, Filthy, Data. At some point the interactive marketer will be handed some list of names scraped from the internet, or scanned from some association flyer or whatever and be asked to run an email campaign to those people. Without Excel skillz, that is like having someone leave a flaming turd on your doorstep. Grind it through Excel correctly and run a few formulas…shabam! pristine data lined up in pretty little columns that can be sucked into an email marketing tool.
  3. I want it cut in triangles not squares. Kids always want their sandwich cut a different way than you were planning on. Business leaders always want their marketing analytics sliced a different way or diced down to just their little corner of the world. Give me the raw data, and that magical Pivot table (which this rookie Excel user took forever to grasp) and voila, the big kids are VERY happy.

While I believe Excel is important, I also have learned everything I know by reading the help or asking a colleague. Going to get formal training is as pleasant as going to the dentist. I received some mail the other day on some cheapo Excel training classes that I might break down and sit through. I could even buy a book that sounds like it’s targeted right at me: Excel for Marketing Managers. Alas, I think I’ll probably spend my time learning to make a spreadsheet crossbow as in the video below.


Tip o the hat to Codswallop

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Marketing skills | No Comments »
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This is my Life as a 37 year old husband and father of two and my Work as Executive Director of Marketing at Bennett International Group in Mconough, GA relocating from home in Rochester, NY.
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