Author: Bruce McDuffee

Bruce McDuffee helps manufacturing companies significantly increase organic growth by teaching them how to engage with a much larger portion of the target audience through education and sharing their expert knowledge. At his company, Knowledge Marketing for Industry (KMI), he is fond of saying “Knowledge marketing sails where product marketing fails.” Check out his most popular SlideShare presentation, The Manufacturer’s Growth Manifesto and follow him on Twitter @BruceMcDuffee Bruce is happy to entertain more discussion via email or phone conversations (see his LinkedIn profile for contact information).

By brumac published April 29, 2014

3 Marketing Automation Tactics That Are Vital to Success

marketing automation image

Quarry Marketing (click to view larger image)

I was first exposed to marketing automation back in 2008, when my boss sent me a link to a video from National Instruments on the topic of marketing automation platforms (MAPs). I knew immediately that this was a must-have tool for me (a newly minted Marketing Director at the time) — and for the future growth of my company. I jumped through all the internal hoops, got all my approvals in line, and placed the order. (If you must know, I chose Eloqua, which was really the only enterprise player six years ago.)

On the day my new marketing tool arrived, there I sat with my brand new shiny administrative login and thought to myself, now what? I didn’t have a team; I didn’t have a plan, and I didn’t have a clue about what to do next. Being a former field salesman, I was used to operating in a reactive mode (no offense to my sales friends). Nevertheless, I had committed the company to paying something like $3000 per month and made some boastful predictions, so I knew I had to do something.Continue Reading

By brumac published March 2, 2014

The One Mistake Standing Between You and Successful Content Marketing

gauge-bs detectorSurveys (including those in CMI’s Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends yearly series) generally agree that approximately 90 percent of marketers are using content marketing in one form or another. Surveys also generally agree that only about 40 percent feel their content marketing efforts are effective — and only about 10 percent of marketers feel their content marketing efforts are very effective. There must be a lot of frustrated marketers out there when it comes to using content marketing strategies to grow revenue.

Although there may be many reasons for ineffective content marketing, I contend that there is one mistake that practitioners make that keeps them from producing successful content marketing. In fact, it’s one I think we all make at some point in our content marketing journey — and one that some marketers continue to make year after year. Continue Reading

By brumac published January 14, 2014

Go “Back to the Future” with Strategic Marketing Plans

house with no blueprint-marketing strategyIn the olden days of marketing, we talked about positioning statements, the “4 Ps,” marketing plans, branding, etc. Some pundits and bloggers might claim that these concepts and practices are obsolete and have been replaced with content marketing, social media, marketing automation, SEO, SEM, and so on. I suggest these so-called “old-style,” obsolete concepts, strategies, and tactics are more important than ever. As professional marketers, I suggest we go back to the future and embrace the fundamentals before we begin to use the modern tools like content marketing.

Implementing content marketing tactics (or social media tactics, or any communication practice, for that matter) without first preparing a strategic marketing plan is like building a house with no blueprint. Adding rooms (marketing tactics) on a whim without an understanding of how each room supports the overall structure (business goals), the purpose of each room (objectives), and how you will decide if the room is successful (measurement) is a recipe for disaster at worst, and for sub-par performance even in the best-case scenario. Continue Reading

By brumac published December 20, 2013

Prove Your Thought Leadership Strategy’s Worth: A Caveman’s Tale

cave drawing-mammoth and hunterThis is a story you may use to help explain why a content-focused thought leadership strategy works. Simply put, if you are willing to create content that shares your expertise with your target audience — with no strings attached — that audience is more likely to place your firm at the top of its credibility list, and potentially give you its business.

Successful content marketing helps to make the lives of your target audience better in some way. The following story of Ugah, a Neanderthal thought leader, explains how the concept of “Youtility” combined with thought leadership, is a highly effective marketing strategy. This story is meant to be fun (and even a little whimsical) to help gain the attention of your internal audience and spark some discussion around the topic. Let me know how it works out for your tribe.Continue Reading

By brumac published December 5, 2013

Convert Your Content Marketing to Revenue: 7 Pieces of the Puzzle

figures at a round table-colorful puzzle piecesAccording to the B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends survey published by CMI, 93 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing, and only 9 percent consider their efforts as “very effective.” Although we are not sure what the term “very effective” means to those who responded, it is safe to assume that revenue generation influences whether or not the effort is effective at some level.

In the B2B world of marketing, if our content and associated content marketing efforts are not generating revenue, then we should fix it — or stop the effort altogether — so budget and resources can be diverted to those tactics that are generating revenue.

The framework I present below is highly effective — and measurable. In fact, I have employed it at a global electronics manufacturing company, resulting in growth rates of 20 percent to 30 percent.Continue Reading