We are excited by the up-coming launch of Revenue Grader, our new application for business leaders.

Inspired in part by Hubspot’s Grader apps, Revenue Grader is a management-level diagnostic tool to rapidly assess revenue performance potential and develop a prioritized top level plan – in minutes.

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We were fortunate to escape the confines of the office in order to attend a NEDMA (New England Digital Media Association) Conference at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center.  From the moment we walked up to the second floor, we were immediately submerged in innovative ideas and new data that will help shape future marketing campaigns.

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It is not new news that a newsletter can help to strengthen your relationships with clients and to draw in potential new clients.  Small and medium sized business owners that we work with are publishing issues on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. The format, time frame, and content will depend on budget and  priorities, but we recommend a level that you can maintain easily with your capacity and resources. While more publishing and corresponding social media engagement can increase the level of activity on your website, it is pointless to over-commit and detract from your brand identity.

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This article was posted on Revenizer is an affiliate business to Revenue Architects focused on building useful business applications that support revenue acceleration.

Revenue growth requires focus.

Today, there are almost unlimited sources of data and opportunities to invest time in complex analysis. For most businesses, analysis can suck in time but have little business impact. Is an hour spent by a business owner exploring Google Analytics to uncover that she has a customer in Russia useful? Does using a social analytics package to discover that 60% of users are female (based on an algorithm that analyses names) drive a business forward. Probably not.

The Bugatti Veyron is a $2.4 million piece of technology. It can reach 253 miles per hour. There is no shortage of data that could be presented to the driver. There is only one thing that matters given that the objective is to accelerate as fast as possible. Engine revs – because this metric is the leading indicator for speed and also communicates engine damage risk potential. The rev counter is the center gauge on the console. In an environment where time and attention is limited, this is the driver’s main focus.

Businesses need to have the same laser focus on leading indicators. Social media may not directly create leads but it shows an ability to create community around an idea. The essence of a brand. Web traffic means nothing unless it converts but generally increasing traffic will lead to good things.

The big lesson – metrics are about communication not analysis. Communication makes people accountable, gives direction and motivates. The rev counter in the Bugatti makes the driver accountable for engine damage, tells her when to change gear and gives her a clear target range. This focus means 0 to 210 miles per hour in 27 seconds.

Are you focused on a few leading indicators that matter and motivate?

We had fun this year with our holiday greeting and we offered a top 10 list of resolutions. Why not share it with the blog reading audience.

We hope you can be:

  1. Visible… Get to the top of search results page with your content and SEO strategy.
  2. Present… Extend your brand beyond your website with social media outposts.
  3. Approachable… Build relationships by being authentic in your online dialog.
  4. Focused… Identify your strongest niche markets and tailor your value proposition.
  5. Nurturing… Help your prospects remember you and understand your value.
  6. Synchronized… Develop a revenue attack plan that aligns marketing and sales teams.
  7. Automated… Use marketing and sales technology to free up time for new ideas.
  8. Relevant… Provide the content that your customers value.
  9. Tenacious… Follow-up on your leads and manage your account relationships deeply.
  10. Engaging… Make your story more entertaining with video, mobile and multi-media.

Some might say- “OK, but I already have these items on my wish list… how do I get them all done?” To that I would ask whether they have a plan in place.

  • Have you clarified your strategy?
  • Is everyone on board – including both marketing and sales?
  • Have you prioritized and considered the dependencies (people, skills, process, technology)?
  • Can you place initiatives into a timeline and a release plan (must, could, should)?
  • Do you have the right team and skills to execute?
  • Do you know the budget required?
  • Is the ROI clear?

If you can’t answer these, it is worth a little time to get organized – it will save you in the long run. Most every client we work with is on a continuous path to maturity around each of these areas and the bar keeps moving. Just when you think you have your content marketing plan in place with relevant articles and blog posts, you realize digital video is more important to reach audience and communicate message.

This week, I was invited to speak at a Content Marketing Webinar with BrightTalk ( ) – Other than learning to turn off the mute button when speaking (gulp!) it was a good discussion.  In preparing for the meeting, I was asked to consider best practices and thought I would offer a few from my perspective here.

Is Content Marketing over-hyped? 

My answer is yes- but I think it is still critical to an effective online presence. By embracing some solid practices, content marketing is an effective and a critical component of a marketing strategy, sales strategy and revenue architecture.

Today businesses need to attract and engage audiences with content – the trick is to make sure you focus on relevance!  There is a proliferation of content as businesses are scrambling for search visibility and placement and it is easy to get caught in the noise.  This article may be hard to find through search unless I pack it with the right key words that are relevant to the searching audience. For broad topics like this, I recognize that the article may get a little lost among the noise – but at least I am engaged in the conversation and offering a perspective, perhaps maintaining a level of credibility.  If a potential client is considering Revenue Architects, they will at least see that we are engaged in these important revenue architecture topics.

I advise my clients to really think long-tail and relevance if the content goal is visibility and awareness through search marketing. With so much content on the web, what can you add to the conversation?  For Revenue Architects, we will start to write more about how integrated sales and marketing is applied in different industries we work with – these articles will increase relevance for our target segments.

What were these best practices we were talking about? Here are a few from our perspective:

1) Relevance – as just discussed, try to ADD to the conversation by bringing in new relevant content to your audience. Repeating and repurposing what is already out there is not “digital native” and also not helping differentiate.

2) Integrated Programs: Think about the mix. More digital video combined with blog posts, white papers and briefs. Webinars and video together? Connected into a trackable program with tools like Marketo or Eloqua and applying personalization.

3) Audience Aligned – obvious but we often forget. Are we writing for the CIO? CTO? CEO? VP of Sales?

4) Pipeline Aligned: What content works to generate interest? Educate? Facilitate decisions? Modular content will help your audience get just what they need and not be forced to navigate through your entire story.

5) Top-down:  Use persuasive communications to drive your message forward.

6) Peanut Butter:  Make your content sticky and spreadable: These are Amy Hunt’s words. Make your content sticky “I want to check this out” and spreadable “I want to share this with Jim”

7) More Free:  We all think we have premium content and that we deserve your personal information in order to share our great insight. Increasingly your content will need to be more distinctive and value-add before you should expect to get people to register for it – or hand over extensive demographic information. Permission marketing suggests a value exchange – make sure you have one. Premium content should be valuable enough to collect profiling information from your audience – and the more relevant the questions are to the content, the better.

These are a few thoughts on content marketing, there are many more. What do you think?  Good luck and good selling…















This is the time of year for lists – holiday shopping, family dinners – why not add on one more: Getting started with your 2010 new media marketing agenda!

During 2009, you likely learned about the potential role of social media in your marketing plan. You recognize how the explosive growth of social networking – with tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viddler, BlogTalkRadio, and YouTube – is fundamentally changing the way your clients learn, evaluate and ultimately make their decisions. You recognize that these web 2.0 tools are an increasingly important influence in the buy-sell process. Buyers seek evidence online to validate decisions and get instant feedback from others by listening and participating in the online conversations.

We work with leading wealth managers and financial advisors who recognize that their clients are using social media and the web to help them evaluate an advisor. The content and professional credentials visible online are an increasingly important part of their decision process.  Successful advisors use their online presence to drive new business. They use blogs, Facebook Groups / Fan Pages and Twitter to engage in the online conversation increasing referrals and attracting new clients.

However, new media marketing is not a panacea. Your online presence and activity won’t replace your existing relationship building activities and the quality work you perform with clients. Your approach to new media marketing should be authentic – engaging in meaningful activities around the quality of your work and personal relationships.  Tackled the right way, a new media marketing approach will further accelerate your growth.

But where do you begin? Which networks should you join? How do you build an online presence? How do you avoid introducing risk with your current brand? What is involved in using social media and inbound marketing techniques day-to-day?  To help you get started, we developed the following checklist. This ten-step plan will guide you in taking positive steps forward in your new media marketing plan. With a thoughtful approach and a committed strategy, you will be rewarded with professional online presence and accelerated growth.

10 Steps to Get Started with New Media Marketing

  1. Define your purpose.  Determine in advance why you are engaging in new media.  Is it for educational purposes or to market your business?  If you don’t have clear intentions, how can you expect to have clear results?
  2. Find your target market. Join the social networking sites which are comprised of your target niche market.  Remember that the most popular social networking sites might not be the sites where your ideal clients visit.  Go to where your potential clients are and don’t just spend time with your peers.
  3. Craft your message. Your audience will only hear bits of pieces of your message at a time, so it is critical that you consistently and frequently broadcast a clear message about who you serve and what you offer. Don’t make your audience guess what you do, make it clear to them.
  4. Gather and create content. Content is king in new media marketing.  Demonstrate your expertise by educating your audience through blogs, articles, videos, or podcasts.  Gather or create useful content to aid you in your new media marketing efforts.
  5. Build your web presence & social media profiles. As you build out your profiles, you will be building a web presence that will give you a footprint beyond your website. This presence will increase your exposure to potential new clients. As you decide to participate in LinkedIn, Facebook, or other networking sites, it is important that you complete your profiles.  A person is likely to only visit your profile once, so make a lasting first impression.
  6. Build your network. The more people you connect with on social networking sites, the more people will see your message.  Make a conscious effort to continually build your connections on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and other networks you are targeting.
  7. Promote your profiles and cross connect. Let people know you are on the various social networking sites by promoting links on your website and email signature.  This will help you organically grow your network. The more sites where you connect with someone, the stronger your relationship will become.  Where it makes sense, find and connect with contacts across multiple social media sites.
  8. Build an inbound strategy. Craft a strategy for your own website and your email/newsletter marketing programs. It is important that when potential new relationships click back to your website that they experience your brand in the right way. Ensure your website is professional and visually branded for your target audience and includes interactive web features like RSS and social bookmarking. Search engine optimization (SEO), landing page lead capture, and lead nurturing should be part of your website strategy.
  9. Communicate Persuasively. Ensure your messages are sharp and clear. Are you delivering a persuasive message? Is your logic clear and concise? Are you listening and empathetic to client needs?
  10. Actively engage. Use social networking sites and your website as a way to promote your content to your targeted market.  This helps educate your audience and keeps your name top-of-mind.  Social media is the same as any networking or marketing strategy – the more consistent you are, the better the results.  Actively participate in the various social networking sites on a weekly basis to achieve the greatest results.

About Kristen Luke

Kristen Luke is the Principal of Wealth Management Marketing, a firm dedicated to providing marketing strategies and support for financial advisors. Kristen works with independent advisors to develop effective marketing plans and provides the back office support required to implement the strategies. For more information, visit 


About John Stone III

John leads Revenue Architects and provides consulting, general management, education and solution services focused on profitable revenue models and integrating sales, marketing and technology systems. Clients include Putnam Investments, Natixis Global Asset Management, Charles Schwab, and HighMark Funds.  For more information visit