Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Building a Lean, Mean, Self-Perpetuating Marketing Machine

Thank you to everyone that attended MassTLC’s sold out Sales and Marketing summit “Building a Lean, Self-Perpetuating Marketing Machine” on April 4, 2014.  The day started off strong with the sun shining brightly at the UMASS Boston campus – finally! 

Two guest bloggers provided terrific overviews of the event.  Michael Gerard, CMO at Curata penned the first post with key takeaways across each session at the summit. Links to the keynote presentations can be found on the Curata blog as well as here for David Skok's slides and here for the SiriusDecision slides.

In addition, the day also consisted of a marketing technology fast pitch.  Ten companies were given 90 seconds to pitch the audience on their marketing and sales technologies.  There was no winner as it wasn’t a contest but the audience walked away armed with information on some of Boston’s latest new technologies to help them solve their sales and marketing challenges.  Check them out: Assembla, Black Ink,, Brainshark, Evergage, Epsilon, Proximate, Quant5, V.I. Labs, Vsnap

Next, Alan Belniak, who presented the content strategy workshop along with Jonathan Burg from Apperian writes the following about his session:

Growth Hacking, Modern Marketing, MVP and Serendipitous Virality…  call it what you like.  The way successful products go to market today has little to do with accident and much to do with the approach before the product hits the virtual shelves.

Speakers such as David Skok, Brian Balfour, Damian Roskill, Heather Loisel, Michael Yaffe and Justine Jordan all shared examples and tales of what they done as part of the front lines of product and marketing, strategy, and entrepreneurship.  It’s never easy. There is no silver bullet.  But there are some things that are repeatable.  I’m hopeful my colleagues shared their slides so you can get a sense of the great discussion that led up to this workshop.

So where does content fit into all of this?  Smaller companies rarely have tons of extra cash lying around for a huge paid media push.  And even if they did, that’s a temporary boost that’s often fleeting.  What’s a company or product to do?

Create useful, interesting, relevant content that gets viewed, downloaded, shared, commented on, and generally advances a suspect or prospect through the marketing funnel by befriended them and aligning content with their needs.

Oh, that’s it?  Great.  Off to the races, then!

Not so fast.

Who are you talking to?  To whom do they listen?  What keeps them up at night?  Will podcasts work for them, or maybe just blog posts? Or neither?  What content do you already have that you can use?  Will they be consuming the right content at the right time for the right reason?  How much?  How often?
These are the kinds of questions you need to answer to develop your content marketing strategy, and that strategy needs to align to your funnel.

These are the questions, and more, that Jonathan Burg and I set out to ask and help answer in our 90-minute workshop/audience participation session of the summit.  The slides are below for your download and use, complete with the handouts during the exercises.

All in all, it was a great session.  There was some good information sharing from the tables as we walked around, as well as when we surveyed the audience for the brave souls willing to share their stories.
What about you?  If you attended, do you have a story to tell from the workshop?  If not, we’d love to see some of your reactions below.  Sound off either way in the comments below.

Thank  you to our Global sponsors and to our sales and marketing community sponsors, Dassault Systemes, Evergage and SiriusDecisions for helping us host a valuable day for marketing and sales executives throughout the state.

Alan can be reached at @abelniak on twitter or Google+

We scheduled our next CMO/VP of Marketing peer to peer group for May 15th. Ed Jennings, CMO at Veracode is hosting and discussing Driving Pipeline; Where Sales & Marketing Meet.  If you would like to join us and need the passcode, please email This meeting is exclusively for CMOs/VPs of Marketing of technology companies.

We are also launching a new demand gen peer group for heads, directors and VPs of demand/lead generation at technology companies. Email me if you are interested in participating.

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