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It’s 2016 – How Are You Marketing?

February 5th, 2016 by Mardy Sitzer

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 9.13.31 AMIt has been awhile I grant you, but you’ve never been far from my thoughts, just temporarily out of my reach. So to those of you whom I promised ‘soon, real soon’ I hope you’ve forgiven me and are ready to get back into the social media, search, web site, and all things digital marketing conversation.

I am returning from Washington, DC at the moment after having been a panelist on Social Media Discussion at the 2016 Annual Conference for AAP’s Professional and Scholarly Publishing group – PSP. Well, it was originally supposed to be a panel but turned into a short presentation with my end of the story toward social and digital trends.

I received a good amount of kudos after and several folks found the information of value so allow me to share some with you as well.

First of all, I need to preface this with I am not the fortune teller here and will offer the citation to the experts who espouse these predictions and insights. I curated them for the purpose of the presentation and of course sprinkled in my own take of things. If you would like a copy of the deck I used that has all the graphs, charts and citations just let me know as I am happy to share.

In no particular order, the following are some of the ideas, thoughts and trends identified and shared. Read more…

Which Digital Marketing Solution: The Correct Answer is “It Depends”

March 17th, 2015 by Mardy Sitzer

21427477_s I conduct workshops and teach, network and get referrals; and without fail, the early conversations and first questions are always a business owner asking if they should use this or that; or ask what should they do. I always answer the same way with “it depends”.

I confess that it was beginning to feel like a cop out, but then I started reading more and more articles that asked a question and began their articles answering the same way. I feel vindicated each and every time.

While study after study demonstrates the best times to post, the best posts, the best headlines, the best conversion page layouts and the best calls to action, rarely do they address where this tactic works versus where it might not work.

So when someone says “We’re B2B so Facebook is a waste of time.” Or, they ask if they should blog versus do email marketing because they can’t afford the time or money to do both. The answer is always “it depends”.

Another common challenge I am given in these conversations is “I tried Twitter and it was a waste of time.” Well, that might be so in your case, either the audience was wrong or the tactics were wrong, without further investigation, it is impossible for me to know why it was a waste of your time.

I heard someone say “a good craftsman never blames the tools” and that is true not only with craftsmen but with marketing – especially digital marketing. It is as easy to pick up a drill as it is to open a Twitter account, yet picking the tool up does not make you a craftsman or a professional marketer. A craftsman has years of experience and has a vision and a plan; a marketer has years of experience and has developed a strategy and a plan.
There is no magic formula or secret recipe that is going to work for every business so I would caution anyone who buys from a company or consultant that starts off with a tactical recommendation before they understand the strategy, the business model, the target audience and the goals.

An example is ‘the best times to email’ I am confident when I say that if your target audiences are mompreneurs versus senior executives that those times would not be the same. Read more…

Your Website Was Hacked And You Didn’t Even Know

October 13th, 2014 by Mardy Sitzer

hackYou visit your website and it all looks fine, yet your rankings have plummeted and you don’t know why. You notice a ton of traffic from strange places and your bounce rate has soared to new heights. You’ve been hacked.

Even the most sophisticated sites on the Internet and data centers, such as Target, banks and others are getting hacked – I’m sure you’ve read about them in the news. And Adobe and Snapchat were recently in the news after being hacked.

Recently, one of my client’s sites was hacked. Everything looked fine; we had just updated the programs and added a respected security plugin to the website the week before. I was examining the schema code through Google’s Webmaster site to make sure the schema was populating correctly throughout the blog when I noticed the numbers going from a reasonable amount that mirrored the number of blog posts, to a number that reached nearly 7,000.

Drilling down I found that there were nearly 7,000 new pages added to the site in just a matter of days. There were no other indications that the site had been hacked.

The site had not been breached through the admin panel so I ran some tests to evaluate the server (not one of ours) and found that the operating system was out of date and the file structure was set up with out some basic security measures.

The truth is, unless you or someone on your behalf is tracking your analytics and reviewing your Webmaster account regularly, you may be host to some nasty stuff and not even know it.

How does this even happen? Read more…

Top 10 Marketing Priorities

October 5th, 2014 by Mardy Sitzer

choicesLately I’ve been faced with several clients asking the same question or seeking advice as to where to start with their marketing. There is a general sense of being overwhelmed with options and marketing tactics that all seem to scream ‘do me now’.

Limited budgets and staff establishes that doing everything now is not an option, and so how does one decide what to do first or what is a logical progression? And while I would love nothing more than to provide a 1-2-3 guide that could be universal, it just isn’t possible. This coupled with an insatiable drive to be successful leads to an exasperated state of impatience to see results, often drives owners and marketing managers to engage in shotgun marketing tactics. Read more…

Numbers And The Stories They Tell

September 1st, 2014 by Mardy Sitzer

data analysis cartoon1Every business owner that I know is focused on numbers. They either feed off of them daily or procrastinate exploring them. Regardless of a business owner’s relationship to numbers, you can be sure that their business data influences their mood on any given day.

In business, it is always about the numbers. But which numbers should you be looking at?

I get exposed to a lot of data in my line of work. Not just the data for Bumblebee, but more so the data for my clients. I see web traffic analytics data, lead tracking data, social post analytics, email campaign data, sales data, and so on.

I also learned something about numbers a long time ago – we really don’t speak the same language.

I was never good at math in school and I won’t even discuss my performance in the college statistics class I took my sophomore year. And in my early days of selling, I would break into a sweat when my boss would ask “what’s the GP on that project?” And I won’t even describe my mental condition when told “I need your projected sales for next quarter.”

What I learned about my relationship with numbers was that I always had a kind of gut feeling about them. While I couldn’t do the math and calculations with any style or grace, I always had a good sense about them. What I also learned about numbers is that we aren’t always paying attention to the numbers that matter when it comes to improving outcomes, and that is what I want to explore through this post. Read more…

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