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I was part of Brian's marketing team at Eloqua. Over the past several months, most of his direct reports, myself included, have landed lead marketing jobs at Boston's top startups. We all got together recently, and everyone said the same thing: Every single day we appreciate Brian more. We constantly find ourselves asking how Brian would have approached a challenge or realizing, after the fact, why he handled something the way he did. Helluva boss, helluva marketer. But most of all, he's a helluva guy. Thanks for posting this article, David. -Joe
David - First of all, huge credit to you for having an opinion. There's too much Mitt Romney in social media ... too many people practiced at the art of not standing for anything for more than a moment. The only behavior that's more common than the lack of opinion is the art of false science. I'd love to give a ratio (80% of your content should be original, 20% should be curated), but the stat would be invented. That said, I think manually, deliberately, carefully curated content (e.g., What 10 Thought Leaders Have to Say About Infographics) is excellent SUPPLEMENTAL content in a content marketing program. The problem is when it's the thrust of the program, a problem that's exacerbated by low-value "automated" curation. Translation: I think curation is valuable if two criteria are met: (1) It's in moderation, (2) It's done carefully and purposefully. That's the end of my rant. Mostly I just wanted to say that I am always happy to read a post in which the author has an opinion. Kudos to you. -Joe Chernov / @Jchernov / Eloqua
Completely agree, Ardath. Demanding the spotlight is for stage moms, not content marketers! ;)
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Ardath, Great stuff, as always. Thanks (I think!) for articulating the key points of this webinar better than I (a presenter!) did in the session itself. I too find it surprising (but reassuring, from a job security standpoint) that so many marketing and sales people struggle with the counter-intuitiveness of "a smaller logo equals a bigger audience" thinking. But you are right: It is something that many folks don't process so easily. There is another point, one along these lines, that I'd hoped to make in the session, but time didn't permit. And that's this: Sharing the spotlight. At Eloqua, we let our design firm, JESS3, share equal branding in all of the creative content they produce for us. This caused a bit of a stir internally (and, if observing other marketing automation providers' content is any indication, isn't the norm outside of Eloqua). I think it's crazy to try to "hog" the spotlight yourself. Here's why shared branding works: 1.) Two companies = double the spotlight. Both companies staff, partners, fans, customers are likely to share the content if both organizations get credit for the work. Why cut your distribution in half? 2.) When someone's "name" is on the finished product, you can believe they'll bring their A-game. It's quality, guaranteed. 3.) C'mon, does anyone think Eloqua is toiling away creating animated videos and infographics anyway? That's crazy talk. We make marketing automation software. We are only fooling ourselves if we pretend the public thinks we moonlight as infographics designers. Great stuff, as always. Your fan, Joe Chernov / @jchernov / Eloqua
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Ardath, Your posts are always great, but you've really nailed it this time. You have identified so many of the essential issues all marketers, including B2B marketers, *should* be aware of, but for some strange reason, many seem to ignore. While chairing the WOMMA ethics panel, I noticed a few patterns. Most popular of which is this one: A company feels like just requesting that incentivized endorsers disclose their connection to the brand is sufficient. As you correctly point out, it isn't. Here's a parallel that might help clarify why merely requesting disclosure isn't enough. Imagine you have a kid in school. You tell your child to do his homework. He doesn't do the work, despite the fact that you asked. You never enforce the requirement, and he fails to graduate. Who is responsible? Clearly the parent. That's where some marketers are today. They *think* placing the request is sufficient. But they need to make sure the desirable behavior happens. It's their obligation. I also think that the "not enough characters" in a tweet is a misconception. There are companies like CMP.LY that facilitate short-form disclosures. Alternatively, instead of advocating a pro-brand hashtag, marketers could instead require a disclosure hashtag (like #contest, or #sponsored) to make sure the material connection is clear to the average consumer. The marketer could also require a link (to a contest rules page or a Facebook page displaying rules) be embedded for eligibility. At Eloqua, we've done both #contest hashtag and hardwired links. B2B marketers often follow in the wake of their B2C counterparts, especially when it comes to new media. Several B2C companies took their lumps in recent years from the FTC for violating the commission's guides. One of my 2012 predictions is that a B2B marketer is going find itself in the government's crosshairs. If, as a marketer, you think not enough endorsements is a deep hole to climb out of, imagine trying to recover public trust after an FTC investigation? Again, and as always, great work here. -Joe Chernov / @jchernov / Eloqua
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Katie, Gosh I always love when someone blogs about the content we produce, but when it's the measurement superstar herself, well, that's all the better. Thanks so much for the post, truly appreciated. (I'll tell Sue & Jay about this funny happenstance and they'll get a kick out of it.) -Joe Chernov / Eloqua / @jchernov
David, I must have officially become a client, because a laughed -- belly laughed -- no fewer than four times reading this post. I cringed at this one: "We've gotta run the tweet by legal, HR, the CFO, and compliance. I can get the tweet approved in three weeks." For me this is the best of the three-part series. You nailed it. Joe
Very interesting post, David. I agree with your observations, and I think the criticism is fair and deserved. There is, however, a character missing in this narrative, and it's the client. I just read that PR is the second most stressful job ( I have to imagine that it's the needy, by-any-means-necessary, our-competitor-was-mentioned-we-weren't clients that are behind the wheel for most of these email fender-benders. The PR person just sorta follows bad instructions.
Toggle Commented Apr 26, 2011 on PR agency pitch mentality at Web Ink Now
Jchernov is now following Jacques Spilka
Feb 18, 2011
Hello Jacques, I'm Joe Chernov, the director of content with Eloqua. We agree with your premise that a set of tools alone does not equal marketing automation. As you suggest, marketing automation success relies on the combination of technology, business processes and human alignment. When those three pieces come together, that's when companies truly make non-linear improvements to their revenue performance. In fact, we see a new category emerging, which we're dubbing Revenue Performance Management, comprised of vendors who are committed to practicing the "science" of revenue growth. More on that here: Yours, Joe
Are we all complicit in the war on our personal privacy? Absolutely. -Joe
That's a great question (how we computed NPS). Eloqua has doubled-down on NPS. We survey all of our clients, we track change fiendishly, and a significant percentage of our bonus is tied to the metric. It's a big deal for us. So fortunately when set out on this study, I knew I would have real data against which to compare our social media followers. But you are 100% right, NPS is a labor-intensive commitment. -Joe
Scott, Thank you for the kind words and support. This project was a blast. You are right, JESS3 is amazingly creative and I am fortunate to have them as a partner. I also stumbled upon (vs StumbleUpon ;) the ReadWriteWeb article you mentioned, and was thrilled to see that Leslie quoted me. This has been one wild day. But really what matters is this: the people that matter find value in the type / quality of content we are trying to produce. The world is self-referential. I am trying to focus instead on the true difference makers: people like you. Yours, Joe Chernov / @jchernov / Eloqua
Hello Ardath! Love your post. It's a very "elegant" perspective, and articulated wonderfully. You are 100% right that the idea here is that content creation doesn't happen in a vacuum ... that said, the "Blog Oreck" didn't have quite the same ring to it! ;) -Joe
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Wow is your mind programmed to think in terms of content creation. It's truly remarkable. Great post, love the fresh perspective. -Joe
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2010 on Lollapalooza in sign language at Web Ink Now
Great fundamental tip, David. Have you ever checked out Rafe Needleman's (@Rafe) "PR Pro Tips" blog? ( It's equal parts valuable and hilarious.
Jchernov is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 18, 2010