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Marketing Director
Content Marketing Manager
Intro 4
A New Perspective 7
A View From the Top 13
How to Coexist as the Marketing Manager 18
How to Coexist as the CEO 25
Im going to let you in on a little secret.
I hate talking on the phone.
Dont get me wrong, I love to communicate. I love conversing with
others. The same applies to writing and expressing emotion. I just
dont like doing it with a piece of plastic attached to my ear. At least
not for very long.
My dad, on the other hand, who owns a small business in the town I
grew up in, talks on the phone all day long. He prices jobs, schmoozes
with customers, haggles with vendors, all with a million dollar smile
on his face.
Me? I send emails, reply to tweets, and publish blog posts as a means
for establishing a community.
Both of us are successful. But my dad is fascinated. He has an innate
curiosity for new things thats enabled him to keep up and stay
successful for just about as long as he wants.
Instead of denouncing the methods of a younger generation, he
attempts to understand them in order to learn and adapt. I do the
same. Truth be told, theres a lot we can learn from each other in
matters of business.
Unfortunately, not every business relationship can mirror that of a
father and son. Most businesses right now are letting generational
gaps hinder their ability to progress in some form. Yes, even yours.
I hear these kinds of stories every day from prospects. And for the
frst time, were going to share them with you.
No guessing. No propaganda. No stats. Just a real story.
And while the following story may have some fctional names, the
scenarios are quite real, as theyre based of of real conversations
weve had with prospects just like you.
If it hits too close to home, worry not. Weve included ways for
learning to overcome these diferences for the better of the business
later on in the ebook. Enjoy.
- John Bonini
Kelly is an assertive 26-year-old marketer who, up until this point, has held a
junior level marketing position at an agency.
But those days are over. Kellys hard work has fnally paid of as she recently
landed a job as a marketing manager for a B2B software company.
Having held the position for a few months now, Kelly has found that her
enthusiasm is beginning to fade.
She thought shed have the freedom to rework their current marketing
strategy, but instead shes done nothing but carry out her eforts under the
watchful eye of her boss, Clif. Sure, she has respect for her superiors, but
Clifs antiquated approach to marketing is enough to make her lose faith in
the overall direction of the company.
Not to mention, the current marketing situation isnt driving the awareness
or business that they need. Its why Kelly was brought on in the frst place.
Clif has made it clear that he wants to see a six month turnaround, so for
Kelly, the pressure is on.
The problem is, every time she develops a plan to progress the approach, Clif
meets her with a resistance.
Having grown several B2B companies with traditional marketing methods in
the past, he insists on sticking with whats worked.
However, with the website currently receiving somewhere between 500 to
1,000 visitors a month, Kelly worries that when Clifs PPC and direct mail
eforts expire (which they will), they wont have any initiatives in place to
continue driving trafc.

We need to start blogging more so we can get found and drive more residual
trafc, Kelly tells Clif.
But Clif doesnt think blogging works. Kelly has managed to convince him
and a few of the other C-level executives to create some content recently,
but due to its extremely lengthy, dense, jargony nature, it received minimal
It was way too high level. It didnt resonate with their audience.
Rather than the invest time and energy into coming up with a content
strategy centered around their ideal customer and their needs, Clif continues
to pour their budget into PPC, print, advertising, and direct mail.
Kelly simply cant wrap her head around why anyone would want to prioritize
what she refers to as junk mail, when they could be creating blog content
and premium ofers that are sure to build traction long beyond their publish
Feeling like shes lost the blogging battle, Kelly is rattled by Clifs next
request to blast out their new email campaign to their entire contact list.
Doesnt he know that by segmenting our contact list we can improve the odds that our
message will actually resonate with the audience and inspire action? Apparently not.
Having been tracking the numbers everyday, Kelly is more than aware that
their eforts arent sustainable. Even the process of measuring metrics feels
like an uphill battle. With no integrated software in place, Kelly has to jump
from platform to platform trying to uncover anything that would be of value
to her or her boss.
If Clif doesnt see a turnaround, Kelly is afraid she might lose the position
shes worked so hard to land.
So as a fnal push, she decides to go to Clif with a plan for building up a social
media marketing strategy for the business to yield some brand recognition,
boost trafc, and get involved in the community.
Seriously Kelly, you think I have time to do the Twitters?
Aware that doing the Twitters isnt even a real thing, Kelly quickly realizes
this is another battle she isnt going to win.
By now shes feeling just about ready to pack her desk into a cardboard box.
How could anyone not see the value in inbound marketing?
What was she doing wrong?
Meet Clif. A 55-year-old CEO of a B2B software company who is charged with
ensuring the growth and fnancial stability of the company by generating revenue
and increasing market share.
Clif found himself in his current position almost eight years ago, after
proving his ability to successfully grow several other small B2B service
companies with methods like PPC and print advertising.
Having traditional marketing methods to thank for his success in the
past, Clif isnt very open to experimenting with some of the more modern
platforms and practices for driving business.
When he noticed the business depreciation in website trafc and customer
acquisition, he assumed it was due to their new hire Kellys lack of experience.
Recognizing that she certainly has a lot of potential, Clif allotted her a six
month grace period and taxed her with the task of changing the direction of
their current eforts.
Wanting to ensure they were avoiding any bad investments, Clif strongly
encouraged Kelly to adhere to the approach he had been using to advance
businesses for years. This wasnt the time for risky new approaches.
While Kelly urged him to create blog content, Clif felt like their time and
resources would be better spent on the creation and distribution of direct
His argument being that delivering their message straight to the mailbox of
potential customers was much more efective than publishing an electronic
article that might not even reach them.
When it came time to roll out their new email marketing campaign, Clif
wanted to be sure that they received a ton of exposure. By blasting it out to
their entire contact list, they were ultimately putting their name in front of as
many eyeballs as possible. After all, they had worked hard to earn the contact
database they currently have, what would be the sense in not utilizing them?
While he applauded Kellys attempt to pitch the value of social media
marketing to him, her approach was far from convincing. As far as he is
concerned, Twitter simply isnt a good ft for their business because its not
particularly popular with their intended audience.
Sure, social media is popular with his teenage daughter and her friends, but in
terms of B2B business, he doesnt see the value.
Even though Kelly insists they needed some type of all-in-one marketing
software, Clif isnt willing to tie up more budget in assets that arent
necessary. These types of software are expensive, and free alternatives like
Google Analytics and MailChimp have provided their team with everything
theyve needed thus far.
Concerned that Kelly just isnt getting it, Clif stands frm in his decisions.
The type of initiatives she is trying to implement dont have the ability to
produce the type of results the business needs to bounce back.
Wasting time with blogging and social media will ultimately distract
them from their overall goals, or worse, put them at risk of losing valued
Clients want tried and trusted service, they dont want to be treated like
guinea pigs while Kelly experiments with new practices.
When will this girl learn?
As a marketing manager with more progressive views, its important to slow it down
and understand how a boss like Clif understands and perceives value.
When you think of results, youre thinking in terms of the resources, platforms, and
actions needed in order to hit numbers. Your boss on the other hand, is thinking
about one thing: numbers.
Whats the return on my investment? Will this increase our proft margin? Market share?
Executives are conservative
by nature, as change
oftentimes means risk.
And when youre in charge,
youre constantly protecting
against risk. So check your
ideology at the door.
If youre looking to implement real change to the marketing strategy, do your
homework and come prepared. Dont focus on problems unless you have a plan for
how you can solve them. Your boss wants you to come to him with solutions, not
Make a strong case for why your bosses should be thinking diferently.
Never bring a solution to the table without measurable data to back it up.
Dont tell your boss that we should be on Twitter because thats where the industry
is going. Instead, show him the data that says 59% of all Twitter users have visited
B2B tech brand sites, compared to 40% of the average population. (Source: Compete
and Twitter)
Most importantly, tie data like this into the overall vision and goals of the business.
A statistic in and of itself isnt all that impressive. If youre looking to resonate with
your more traditional boss, provide context.
Since were looking to increase market share, we need to invest in platforms that allow us
more exposure to our audience. The audience wed have access to on Twitter is actually 20%
more likely to visit our site and spread our message than the average internet user. We need to
capitalize on opportunities like this. Right now...were not.
Notice how data is much more efective when provided context and aligned with the
overall business goals?
Its also much more powerful, and your boss will appreciate this and be far more
likely to listen and respect the direction youd like to take.
If the help you need is dependent on additional resources, its important that you do
your research before meeting with your boss.
Ask yourself:
Who can help us do this?
At what cost?
Whats the timeline?
What will they need from us?
Who will manage the process?
Most importantly, fnd case studies that prove the value of the vendor youre looking
to work with.
If youre looking to invest in a marketing automation software in order to equip
yourself with the level of intelligence needed to execute a more successful strategy,
focus on fnding materials that prove the value of the investment to take to your
If its an agency that will act as the extension of your marketing team you know you need
to do your job, focus on the business value of having a team of experts at your disposal.
Again, the formula should be measurable data + context = success.
Your boss doesnt have time for ideological nonsense on why he should be blogging or
using Twitter.
Show him the real business value that said platforms have on the future success of
the marketing strategy. While your more traditional, conservative boss may be slow
to adopt new strategies, hes also operating with the curse of knowledge, meaning
hes only going of of what he knows to have worked in the past. He cant unlearn
these things.
Let him down easy.
Identify solutions. And more than anything, prove their value.
Youre the CEO.
Responsible for creating, communicating, and implementing the companys overall
mission, vision, and strategy for getting there.
A signifcant part of this process was hiring a marketing manager to carry out this
The most important thing you can do now is empower this person to make decisions.
Youve hired them. Now the hardest part you need to trust them.
Chances are you hired on the younger side for the marketing manager position in the
hopes that theyd be more tech savvy and familiar with modern platforms than you
are. But if youve hired right, theyre capable of much more than that.
Recognize that the generational gap is actually a positive. Your marketing manager
is plugged in both socially and technologically in ways that you are not. These are
strengths. Dont stife these strengths with whats already worked in the past.
Consumers are behaving much diferently than at any other time during your career.
Technology has empowered the buyer, and as a result, the buyer has the power.
Theyre not waiting to be sold. Theyre conducting their own research and
averting the middle man (your paid advertising) altogether, preferring instead to
communicate with brands directly.
Think about your own buying behavior and how its changed. When you buy a grill,
what does your buying process look like? Are you still thumbing through print ads
in your Sunday paper? Or are you doing your research online, maybe even from your
mobile phone, to get the information you need?
Mobile phones, search engines, social platforms: these all play into the digital
strategy your marketing manager is trying to implement.
Empower them to do so.
So your marketing manager is insisting on additional resources in order to do his or
her job better?
Great. This should be applauded.
Empowering your employees, while not easy, is paramount in achieving sustainable
However, in order to ease your concern of implementing new strategies, set clear
expectations and require accountability. But dont shy away from changes just
because of perceived risk, even if they are additional expenses.
If your marketing manager has approached you about partnering with an agency,
before you denounce the expense as unnecessary, put your consumer hat on for a
Chances are youre buying process covers a lot of ground.
Between search engines, social media, blog articles, mobile phones, and consumer
reviews, does your marketing manager have the resources necessary to maximize
your overall presence to attract prospects?
And if not, how much would hiring experienced marketers to join your team cost you?
Hiring an agency is actually much more economical, and allows you access to
designers, developers, and marketers all under one roof.
If its a marketing software like HubSpot theyre trying to convince you on, simply
consider the business value of having an all-in-one software to both execute and
measure your entire marketing strategy.
Dont fall into the typical generational bashing that many executives are guilty of.
Embrace the generational gap and empower your marketing manager to make
decisions that lets face it theyre in a better position to make.
Most importantly, your investment of time is just as signifcant as any monetary
resources needed. Just because you blogged once every quarter last year and didnt
see results does not mean that it doesnt work.
It means you were doing it wrong.
Executives often fail at tasks like blogging for the following reasons:
The Curse of Knowledge means youve forgotten what its like to be the
prospect. You cant unlearn your experience, therefore its hard for you to talk on
an intermediate level.
The content you produce is dense and dependent on industry jargon. Youre
talking over the audiences heads. (See also: The Curse of Knowledge)
Its not being done regularly. Best practices are to blog a minimum of once per
Its reasons like these that make your marketing manager more efective at putting
together a strategy. Theyre in a unique position wherein they understand and
empathize with prospects from the standpoint that theyre an end user as well. They
identify challenges. They research solutions. Theyre trying to become more efcient.
Sounds a lot like your customers, doesnt it?
Lets talk about your marketing.
Let us walk you through how inbound marketing can transform your business, and
why its the proven method for doing business online.
What you can expect:
A 30 minute phone conversation with one of our consultants
An evaluation of your current marketing strategy
An analysis of your website
Suggestions for improvement