My Media Labs Blog

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Do You Need to Be “Lucky” in Marketing to Succeed?

The other day, someone told me that My Media Labs was “lucky” to have ran a certain successful marketing campaign last summer, and then wished us “luck” in replicating the results this year. I know that he meant well, but statements like this are the perfect example of the fact that most people have the wrong idea about marketing. If you are promoting your business with this kind of “blind luck” about marketing then this post is for you. What Great Marketers Learn From Black Jack We generally define luck as “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions”. When applied to marketing, luck seems to favor the “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” approach. It means not really doing your homework, spending money on the latest software or Internet fad and basically tossing marketing dollars (or shekels) into the trash can. But if we really look at the idea of “luck” we see that it’s a figment of the imagination, a mental security blanket we cling to in the hopes that a course we’ve chosen will come out right. For example, let’s take the game of Black Jack or any “game of chance” for that matter. There are certain rules to the game: Each deck has 52 cards: 16 cards in the deck have a value of 10: Jack (4), Queens (4), Kings (4), 10 cards (4) 4 cards in the deck have a value of 10 or 1: (4) Aces 32 cards in the deck are broken up into groups of 4 cards each with values between 9 and...

How to Write a Really Simple Business Plan

True success in any venture needs planning. Successful planning needs a clear direction with actionable steps towards getting there, a way to measure success, and a separate plan for dealing with setbacks. Fear of the unknown, the need for deep soul searching, and of course the ever elusive resource of time, can all conspire keep you from even starting to plan – especially when it comes to your business. Enter the Really Simple Business Plan The ideas for the questions below were first developed by one of my favorite bloggers, Sonia Simone, as part of her free email course Internet Marketing for Smart People. I strongly encourage you to sign up for her course, which consists of 20 emails sent to your Inbox over a period of 2-months where she lays out multiple approaches to Internet Marketing. The nine questions presented here are adapted from Sonia’s original post, and I have used them in presentations and when working with clients to get them in planning mode. 1. Who are the right customers, where are they now, and how will they find us? This question should focus on your target market. If you say “everybody” is your customer then I think you are lying. There are very specific people your business will appeal to, which you can determine by doing a little research and analysis. Free tools like Google Ad Words, Talkwalker and Meltwater can reveal so much about your potential customers. Another great way to zero in on the right targets: identify your successful competitors, see who they are going after and then analyze that for your offerings. These...

Remember When the New York Times Interviewed Me About Social Media?

You find the most amazing things when you Google yourself. A few months into my community management gig at Martindale.com, I had the privilege of being interviewed by award winning journalist John Schwartz for an article in the New York Times. We spoke about lawyers and social media, the subject of his piece, for almost half an hour. When published, all of my insights amounted to a single quote and link to my old technology blog, but hey – it was a major article in the Sunday edition of the New York Times (can’t argue with that!). Here is the write up I did about the experience. The New York Times Quoted Me … Cool So about 5-weeks ago, I’m sitting in an all-day team building conference for Martindale Hubbell Connected.  My phone rings.  It’s the PR team: (I must admit it is taking some getting used to having a PR team). “Lets talk about the New York Times,” they said.  John Schwartz, a reporter for the Times had emailed me the day before to talk about doing an interview.  He was writing an article on lawyers, social media, ethics, etc. and wanted to talk to me.  Being a diligent corporate citizen I told him I’d get back to him, emailed my team, and put the ball in play.  Surely there was someone more senior, more qualified, and more authoritative that John could talk to.  The PR reps said, “no, he wants the man on the street perspective.  That’s you.” “Cool,” I said and thought how proud my mom would be (her mother, ohevet v’shalom, LOVED the NY Times and would have...

What Is The ROI of Custom Content Marketing?

Many businesses are in the dark when budgeting for online content and marketing. Picking a dollar amount based on available funds, taking a best guess or using past budget allocations without renewed analysis does not work.   Calculate the potential return on investment (ROI) before you devote employee time or hire a vendor to produce blog posts, videos or webinars. To get started, you need to determine the lifetime value of your customers.   How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value   Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)represents the estimated amount of revenue a typical customer brings your business over a set period time. Professional practices like law firms and doctor’s offices can also determine the average revenue per client for a typical year, even though billings may vary greatly between clients or insurance company payments.   The 2013 Survey of Law Firm Economics provides some insight on what the ROI of content marketing should be for licensed professionals in the legal industry.   Average gross revenue per lawyer (1 to 10 in firm) = $300,000 Average gross revenue per lawyer (10 to 20 in firm) = $400,000 Firms spent 1.9% of gross receipts on promotional expenses (marketing)   For example, let’s say a personal injury law firm in Georgia has ten lawyers, working on 30 to 40 cases each per year. The firm earns around $4 million per year with 90% of cases yielding settlements at an average of $10,000 per settlement.   The CLV for each new client acquired through promotional efforts can therefore be set at $10,000, since the firm only takes on cases that it believes can be settled or won...

Serenity Now: How to Disable LinkedIn Video Ads

LinkedIn has been one of my favorite social and professional networking sites for years. Recently, they allowed 3rd party advertisers to generate video ads on the sidebar that autolaunch about 30-seconds after you sign in. The first time this startled me, I frantically scanned the page searching for something to click it closed only to find other video ads starting simultaneously! Do you hate these irritating LinkedIn video ads as much as I do? If so, the following post offers some solutions put the Zen back into your LinkedIn user experience. Panic Button: Mute Your Sound This one may seem obvious, but the quick fix to disturbing LinkedIn video ads is muting your sound. Mac users have it made when it comes to this as the F10 key on most keyboards will do that for you instantly. For Windows users, depending on which OS you use (XP, 7, 8 or hopefully not Vista) there are a number of ways to kill sound instantly. Some keyboards will have this functionality, you can right click on the speaker icon in your task bar or (in Windows 8) click WINKEY + I to access system settings and right click sound to mute. Browser based solutions to muting LinkedIn video ads are also an option. This allows you to continue using sound in other applications, such as Skype, Zoom or iTunes while keeping those annoying ads from disturbing your video conference or music. Internet Explore (IE) – mute sound by right clicking on Volume icon, Open Volume Mixer (shows you all applications using sound) and selecting mute next IE Firefox – add an extension...

Outsourcing Helps B2B Marketers Meet Content Demands

Any company can boost sales if they do one thing right: influence customers earlier in the purchase process. By the time most customers engage your sales department, they have already progressed 57% through the purchase process, says a study by the Marketing Leadership Council in partnership with Google. That means your customers minds are more than half made up about doing business with you before you even speak to them! Customers base these purchase decisions on the content they find about your business online.  Does your business have the right message out there? Dis-Content: The Role of Content Creator Goes To … High quality content plays a critical role in customer acquisition, often influencing customer decisions more than the actual product or service being sold. Despite content’s central role in generating sales, many companies lack in a clear and effective approach to creating it. One executive quoted in the MLC study said: “content still seems to be everyone’s job and no one’s job”. According to MLC, content has historically been a “minor aspect of the marketer’s role in supporting specific campaign objectives” such as product launches or corporate rebranding. In recent years, the demand for high quality content has soared in large part to five factors identified in the MLC study: Lead nurturing programs Blogging and social media Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Providing richer user experiences Consultative selling methodologies The assumption that marketing departments will have the time and subject matter expertise to effectively address enterprise content needs results in missed opportunities to generate truly qualified sales leads. This resource gap often results in delegation of content creation responsibilities to...

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