I have never been a marketing director. When I was running my PR firm though I worked with hundreds of them. They usually fell into two categories: 1) the innovators and 2) the followers. But what they had in common was they were bound by the notorious "B" word...BUDGET!
You would hear that word over and over again.
"It's not in my budget"
"I don't have the budget for that"
"I am over budget"
The good news is that today, so much of what can be done from a marketing standpoint costs virtually nothing, or at least very little in the scene of things. And, these strategies are THE MOST EFFECTIVE.
Several massive, transformative trends in the media and communications side of the marketing business have given way to an entirely new way of thinking. And a result, new tactics and tools.
One of the most significant marketing trends over the past few years is that brands are becoming media.
Gary Vaynerchuck has written about that extensively, and he is as good as it gets these days in my opinion.
What does it mean for a brand to become media you ask?
If you haven’t noticed, many media outlets are either disappearing or substantially cutting back, thereby creating an enormous content and information void. In their place, there has been incredible growth of platforms and networks, and brands are creating their own content and positioning themselves accordingly.
I would be all over this trend if I were a marketing director. It's honestly the most powerful and cost effective marketing strategy, other than SEO, that I have seen in my 30-year career.
So, if I were a marketing director, I would obsess about these three things:
1) Creating great, original content.
I would write about local and national market trends. I would create a news site featuring my content and that of others who add value to the conversation. I would have my colleagues create content on their particular expertise. And, I would stream industry news. I am not talking about press releases or newsletters, I am talking about blogs, podcasts and media properties.
Here are some great examples:
- NAI Global Newslink
- Jon Schultz’s Blog
- JLL Real Views
- CBRE Blueprint
- Colliers International Knowledge Leader
2) I would share.
There are so many amazing and free places to share your content. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Medium are the obvious ones. But there are also many news outlets and other industry specific platforms, like The News Funnel for real estate, that will gladly accept your content…usually for FREE! And each of your professionals at your company should be doing the same.
3) I would analyze the results obsessively.
There are gazillions of ways to monitor and track your content and sharing efforts. Rather than just look at clicks – which is important to figure out which topics resonated and which didn't – it's also important to understand what was shared, where it was shared and who shared it. I would also monitor all comments and respond quickly. This will enable you to really engage and build your audience effectively.
I doubt at this stage in my career I will ever become a marketing director, but the truth is I am one and always have been. It's just that my brand is and has been ME. I realize that I have to practice what I preach and be my own brand ambassador.
And that's exactly what I am doing with this blog :)