First things first: Huge fan of Joe Pulizzi at the Content Marketing Institute. And if you've ever had to do a market analysis on your own, then you know how much fun it is to type "The End" and then paint a big cross hair on your back with a "Kick Me" Post-It right in the middle.

But I think what we have in CMI's new annual Marketing Benchmark study is "a failure to communicate." Cool Hand Luke aside, the new report raises as many questions (for me) as it purportedly answers.

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Type "link building" into Google, and the search engine finds more than 87 million sites. It seems that everyone has an opinion on the topic, and rightly so, considering the value of SEO. So how do you break through all this clutter to make sure you're doing right by your client and getting them page views? I've gathered some of the best tips out there from the likes of Vertical Measures and SEO Book, among others, who live and breathe link building.

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Great post here from Ann Meany that's timely -- not just because it's nearly Halloween -- but because there is no better way to spend your promotional dollar than content that helps your customers do their job better, faster, cheaper.

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To be fair, when I see companies posting press releases to groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, Association boards, etc., its usually from a sales person.

You can understand how this happens. Social media is labor intensive, even if you have a good dashboard to manage all your channels and the expertise to use it wisely. But even then, unlike traditional PR operations, social media marketing (SMM) takes some time (and content creation) every day.

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My favorite economist, Alan Beaulieu, spoke at the Automated Imaging Association's Business Conference this week and had good news for the advanced automation industry: 2012 will be a good sales year.

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