Archive for Kent Lewis

What a 9-year-old taught me about marketing with digital video

Posted by Kent Lewis on March 24th, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Nearly three years ago, I wrote The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing on YouTube. I understood relatively early on in the growth curve of digital video and YouTube that both would play a significant role in the future of marketing. A year or more ago, however, a 9 year-old helped me see the true potential of digital video for sales and marketing.
With roots in search engine optimization (SEO), I’ve long extolled the virtues of YouTube, as the world’s second largest search engine. Unfortunately, the full potential of the video social platform didn’t fully come into focus until my son shed light through his interest in skateboarding and bracelet-looming.
Last Spring, I noticed my son’s rubber band bracelet creations were getting increasingly complex. I also noticed his skateboard knowledge and abilities improved drastically in a short period of time. I asked him how he learned these new skills and he replied “YouTube.” Like many other young web surfers, my son was using YouTube as his PRIMARY search engine and educational tool.
I quickly realized that my son was not alone in relying heavily on YouTube videos as a primary if not sole information source. If he was searching YouTube for “how-to” videos on... Read more

2015 Marketing Predictions You Can Set Your Digital Watch By

Posted by Kent Lewis on December 19th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

However improbably, December has already arrived, and with it, the traditional impulse to take stock of the year drawing to a close and try to imagine what we’ll be getting ourselves into with the next one. Digital marketing is particularly rich soil for this treatment both because of the blinding pace at which the underlying technologies evolve, and the fact that most of us in the field are more than a little inclined toward the sentimental. Accordingly, we at Anvil enjoy making a formal exercise every year out of having this conversation, and it’s time to have it again, so take a break from wrapping presents and meet me over at the crystal ball.

The Collaborative Economy: What Big Brands are Learning from Disruptive Startups

Posted by Kent Lewis on October 23rd, 2014 at 6:05 pm

The final session of the day at Startup Marketing Conference focused on the collaborative economy and how large brands are learning from disruptive startups. Ben Kaplan from PR Hacker hosted the session and mentioned how brands like GE and Virgin are learning from and collaborating with startups. Kaplan also mentioned Meow Mix CatStarter as a recent example of leveraging a passionate community willing to innovate.
Matt Kaufman, President at CrunchBase, kicked off by sharing an example of how Nestle is working with startup to stay ahead of the game. From his experience, Kaufman believes brands aren’t exactly sure what they want. That means agencies can get into a trap of selling what they know instead of what agencies need. It also increases the chance the brand won’t buy something they are not sure they need, even if they can afford to pay.
Michelle Regner, CEO and Co-Founder of Near-Me.com, discussed how big brands look to her company for help in understanding the customer journey. For example, Cisco wanted a better way to sell used routers and Near-Me created a marketplace for the partners to use. She also mentioned Hallmark creating an Etsy-type marketplace for customers to interact, and Hallmark gets the benefit... Read more

The Future of Search: Drive Big Profits with Competitive Intelligence

Posted by Kent Lewis on October 23rd, 2014 at 5:27 pm

In the second to last session of the day, Michael Sticker, Director of Marketing for SEMrush, stepped up to discuss competitive intelligence and search marketing. The first topic Stickler covered understands the value of organic traffic and how to put a dollar value on it. Of course this is what his platform does and as a customer, I can tell you it is a powerful competitive intelligence tool. He included links to helpful reports that outline how much Fortune companies spend on paid search that will be available on SlideShare soon. He cites Patel’s generously detailed blog posts with insights, most recently on how he grew traffic 174 percent with is latest startup. He spent a good deal of time walking through the SEMrush platform and recommended a few other tools like MOZ FollowerWonk.
Jamie Smith with EngineReady and iSpionage followed Stickler to provide perspective from the paid side of search in regards to competitive intelligence. Smith outlined seven spying strategies to dominate your competition. For starters, there are four components to measure:

Visibility: impression, rank or position)
Creative: click-through rate (CTR) or conversion rate
Continuity: CTR, bounce and conversion rate
Conversion: conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), return on ad spend (ROAS) or return... Read more

Startup Marketing Conference: Running A Marketing Organization That Supports Sales At All Levels

Posted by Kent Lewis on October 23rd, 2014 at 4:51 pm

For the mid-afternoon expert panel session at Startup Marketing Conference, an esteemed group of marketers and technologists discussed how to manage a marketing organization that supports sales at all sizes of business. Panelists included:

Adam Metz, VP BD, Pandadoc (host)
Mike Berger, Director of Product Marketing @ Marketo (SMB)
Mikita Mikado, CEO, Quote Roller (startups)
Martyn Crew, Founder and CEO, Bootstrap Marketing (enterprise)

The first question related to each of the panelists first marketing objective and how they each nailed it. Mikado’s objective was signups and it took him three months to gain 4,000 users, but very few converted to paying customers. Crew’s enterprise background meant marketing supported sales and the key objective was deal flow. Berger’s primary objectives related to fueling the demand generation engine, putting in a system of measurement that correlated with business outcomes and creating a compelling story that differentiated the brand (messaging and positioning).
The next question: In the last five years, what was the single worst investment you made in marketing? Crew stepped up and led with general feedback from clients who were asked that question and the answer was universally “feel good” marketing campaigns (colors, fonts, and other fun stuff). Mikado’s thought was on hiring talent you don’t need... Read more