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December 31, 2019

Is your marketing still relevant for 2020, 5 best marketing books you might have missed in 2019, and our top 19 marketing articles and trends from 2019 ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

🎨 Want to work for IMPACT? We're currently looking for an experienced, senior-level director to lead our award-winning web design team. Learn more about the role and apply today.

If you had told me at the start of this year what my life would be like right now, I wouldn't have believed you.

At the time, my life seemed perfect.

Perfect job. Perfect doting husband. A perfectly enviable and undeniably cool side hustle as the beer writer for the Capital Gazette, a local newspaper. Happily hunting for the perfect house in the perfect little bay-side town of Annapolis, Maryland. Two perfect dogs. A perfect cat. A perfectly quirky orange car. A perfect dive bar around the corner. A perfect set of friends.

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

On paper, I had everything I ever wanted. Now, here I am, on the doorstep of a new year and a new decade, with an entirely different life ahead of me. 

IMG-4704-1

Don't you worry, I'll still be here at IMPACT creating content and leading our immeasurably talented content team. But this is my last New Year's Eve as a Maryland resident. In less than two months, I will be packing up my (new, now black) Jeep and a U-Haul for a new chapter of my life as a Connecticut resident.

And I will be doing so with Pumpkin as my only companion. 

To pull back the curtain, the past 18 months have been some of the most difficult and emotionally challenging times I have ever been through β€” including losing dear friends in the blink of an eye to mindless, tragic violence

During this time in my life, I've been angrier than I ever thought possible. There have also been moments where I've felt my chest open up into a seemingly endless, empty void of sadness, of which I did not realize I was capable. 

But the highs born out of these moments are indescribable. 

Personally, I feel as if I finally know who I am, what I want, and how I want to approach the world around me. Whereas before I often held my tongue to keep the peace, I now use my voice to stand up for myself, what I believe in, and what I value in this world. I also made time for the people who mattered, showed up, and pushed me to continue on this journey through uncharted territory of who I am now and who I will become.

Professionally, finding my work family at IMPACT has been one of my greatest blessings. I don't know how I got so lucky to have ended up here. I've also found a home on stages as a speaker at INBOUND, IMPACT Live, and (next year as a keynote) Digital Sales & Marketing World, where I'm able to empower others to be unforgettable, breakthrough thought leaders through their words and stories.

I don't know what this next year will hold for me. 

If the difference between me on January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019, is any indication, absolutely anything is possible.

And the same is true for you. Go fearlessly into 2020. Take risks. Make bold choices. Know that, sometimes, you'll only know you're doing the right thing because you're scared β€” in business and at home.

Accept and embrace that sometimes the people you start with aren't the people you grow with β€” and that's OK. That's how you let new people in.

No one ever wins by playing it safe. So, let's go find out together what's possible.

πŸ‘‰ Looking ahead to 2020 β€” which is TOMORROW β€” how relevant is your marketing still? (3-minute read)

What’s working? What’s not? What are the newest digital sales and marketing trends? What are the tried and true principles that never go out of style? These are the questions all of us β€” digital marketers, business leaders, and sales pros alike β€” should be asking ourselves going into the new year. To jumpstart your thinking, here is a short, but impactful interview with IMPACT partner, author, and speaker Marcus Sheridan about what all businesses should be doing in 2020, what they should stop doing in 2020, and his favorite tips for staying relevant with marketing in the new decade.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Here are the 5 best marketing books from 2019 that you may have missed (8-minute read)

I'm not a huge fan of articles that list 5,374 books I need to read going into a new year. Why? Because there is no chance in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that I'm going to read even a handful of them, let alone all of them. My nightstand is already buckling under the weight of books from last year that I haven't even touched yet. Which is why I curated this short list of the five most impactful digital marketing books that came out in 2019 that you may have missed β€” because you don't need to read a library's worth of books to get ahead in 2020

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Here are the top content marketing trends and our 19 highest-performing digital marketing articles from the year (5-minute read)

I don't know about ya'll, but I feel like we were greeting 2019 with open arms and champagne only yesterday. Yet, here we are... getting ready to welcome not just another new year, but a new decade. This year, in particular, has been a big one for IMPACT as we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. But it's also been one of our biggest and best years for content. In this insightful wrap-up from IMPACT Head of Editorial Ramona Sukhraj, learn our most important lessons from creating content in 2019 and take a look back at our 19 highest-performing articles from the year.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ† Get on the path to inbound success fast, without the long-term commitment (learn more)

You’re looking for an inbound marketing agency to help bring your business to another level. All too often, however, the sales process goes too fast. And it doesn't take long for you to realize your agency partner never made enough time to get to know your business or its true challenges in the first place, so as to help you achieve your most aggressive growth goals with inbound marketing.

Don’t get stuck in a long-term contract and then find out what your business really needs to be successful with inbound in the long-run. With IMPACT’s Fast Start Program, you can get your inbound marketing on the right path fast, while truly getting to know us as your agency partner, risk-free.

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

⏰ Looking back on 2019

I'm going to use this spot to be completely self-serving. This year, I wrote a record 55 articles for IMPACT β€” and I'm excluding the publication of the Content Lab podcast. While I'd love to pretend they're like children and I love them all equally, there are five articles I consider to be my absolute favorite. 

Here they are, in no particular order:

Talk to y'all next year! 

December 26, 2019

Is your website a sales tool or a marketing tool, how HubSpot compares to 8 competitors, and why in-house finance is the key to business growth ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

🎨 Want to work for IMPACT? We're currently looking for an experienced, senior-level director to lead our award-winning web design team. Learn more about the role and apply today.

Over the holiday, I learned what a "toddler-proofed" Christmas tree looks like from a dear friend of mine:

IMG-4765

The culprits, of course, look so sweet and innocent on the surface:

IMG-4758-1

As Sena shares her latest creation, Sena, destroyer of worlds, attempts to conquer the entertainment center in the background. Next, the world.

It seems as if we're always trying to "proof" something. Future-proofing our digital marketing strategies. Recession-proofing our business. Cat-proofing my dresser, since Pumpkin's favorite thing to do is to ruin my life by napping in my clean laundry.

Don't get me wrong, these are necessary conversations we should be having. But we should all be wary of living exclusively in what is, essentially, a fear-based, protectionist mindset.

In addition to [fill in the blank]-proofing everything around us, we must also evaluate what preconceived notions about our strategies, websites, and processes need to be challenged, discarded, or turned around. Because, sometimes, we need to burn something down instead of safeguarding it, in order to achieve what we really want.

And with 2020 arriving next week, there's no better time than now to start.

Now, without further ado, here's THE LATEST...

πŸ‘‰ Learn why your website is a sales tool β€” not a marketing tool β€” and why that distinction is so critical (6-minute read)

Whose responsibility is it to create a website strategy and experience that is going to drive the right traffic and produce high-quality leads for your business? It is up to marketers, or is it up to the sales team? The answer is both teams. Marketing needs to create a traffic-driving, lead-generating site, but they can't do that without sales creating the content potential buyers are seeking. In this tactical, insightful article from IMPACT Principal Strategist David Little, you'll learn why this shift means your website is a sales tool, not a marketing tool, and what that means you should do in 2020 to create the lead-generating website you need.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ† Get on the path to inbound success fast, without the long-term commitment (learn more)

You’re looking for an inbound marketing agency to help bring your business to another level. All too often, however, the sales process goes too fast. And it doesn't take long for you to realize your agency partner never made enough time to get to know your business or its true challenges in the first place, so as to help you achieve your most aggressive growth goals with inbound marketing.

Don’t get stuck in a long-term contract and then find out what your business really needs to be successful with inbound in the long-run. With IMPACT’s Fast Start Program, you can get your inbound marketing on the right path fast, while truly getting to know us as your agency partner, risk-free.

πŸ‘‰ How does HubSpot hold up against 8 of its biggest competitors? (5-minute read)

HubSpot has completely transformed our agency and we honestly wouldn’t be where we are today without their help, which is why we’re strong advocates of their service and product. That being said, we know HubSpot isn't the right marketing automation solution for every business β€” factors like company size, marketing and sales goals, reporting needs, and so forth, will determine what you really need. In this article from IMPACT HubSpot Consultant Lexie Ward, learn how HubSpot stacks up against its eight biggest competitors (including Pardot, Marketo, Infusionsoft, Act-On, Mailchimp, and more), so you can make the best decision.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Why bringing your finance and accounting needs in-house is the key to business growth, according to the experts (5-minute read)

Most small and mid-size businesses outsource their bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, and other financial needs. However, according to IMPACT Controller Eric Choma, companies should seriously consider brining these tasks in-house, as it not only creates more stability, such a move will also empower you to make smarter business decisions faster. In this expert interview with Eric, learn why hiring your first financial expert needs to be done with care, as the right person can help your company grow intelligently

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎧  Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Did you miss the little Christmas gift John Becker and I made for you with this week's edition of the Content Lab podcast?

Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 1.05.23 PM

It's only two minutes long, check it out.

🎁 One last thing

Recently, IMPACT Director of Community and Events Stephanie Baiocchi was featured as a guest on the awesomely named Beer, Beats, and Business podcast:

B3-Banner-Baiocchi

Listen to this great discussion about online community management, where online communities will exist in a few years, and more.

Talk to y'all on Thursday! 

December 24, 2019

What's killing worldwide marketing morale, the importance of website backups, and consumer spending habits during the holidays ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

🎨 Want to work for IMPACT? We're currently looking for an experienced, senior-level director to lead our award-winning web design team. Learn more about the role and apply today.

I've made a lot of changes in my life this year. Many, however, are the kind where you feel more like you're a complete lunatic willingly throwing yourself off a cliff into the great unknown, rather than making a measured decision about the future.

As a result, I've spent much of 2019 β€” the last two months, in particular β€” vacillating between feelings of paralyzing fear and utter exhilaration about what the road ahead might look like for me. Because other than my job and the town I will be living in, my 2020 is filled with question marks. 

But as I sit here on the morning of Christmas Eve, I am feeling an unexpected wave of gratitude, warmth, and contentment. 

Pumpkin has staked out her usual napping spot behind the Christmas tree. Nugget is desperately trying to get her sweet little puppy paws on a few leftover seared meatballs on the kitchen counter. Meanwhile, the vast majority of those very same meatballs are simmering safely in a pot of my family's traditional Italian wedding soup recipe on the stove, in preparation for a great Italian feast tonight I will be attending with friends.

And playing in the background, a holiday playlist I have been curating and refining for years, which I am now sharing with you:

Listen to my Christmas Joy playlist on Spotify

It includes songs that I remember listening to with my mom while riding through the snowy streets of Georgetown in Washington, D.C., at Christmastime as a child, as well as recent favorites I can't believe I hadn't heard until now. (Also, I relate on an almost spiritual level to Snow Miser in this song.)

It may sound cheesy, but I consider this playlist to be like a small biography of myself, with each song a chapter from a different point in my life. I wonder what I'll add to it over the next 12 months and what my life will look like next year when I dust off the playlist for yet another holiday season.

Anyway, to those celebrating Hanukkah this week, chag urim sameach! And to those who may not be celebrating either holiday, know that today (and every day) I am so profoundly grateful for the gift of you letting me into your inbox a few times a week.

And now, here's THE LATEST...

πŸ‘‰ Lack of sales and leadership buy-in is the #1 killer of marketing morale worldwide (5-minute read)

The digital marketers who are really, really good have recognized the overlap that exists today between sales and marketing. They recognize that the buying process has changed and that customers educate themselves about purchasing decisions long before they talk to a sales rep. Still, most of these marketers are feeling a lot of pain, and the tenure of the modern CMO is shorter than it's ever been. In this candid analysis of today's modern digital sales and marketing landscape, Marcus Sheridan explains why we've reached this point, how sales and leadership are the cause of diminishing marketing morale around the world, and what needs to change in 2020.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ† Get on the path to inbound success fast, without the long-term commitment (learn more)

You’re looking for an inbound marketing agency to help bring your business to another level. All too often, however, the sales process goes too fast. And it doesn't take long for you to realize your agency partner never made enough time to get to know your business or its true challenges in the first place, so as to help you achieve your most aggressive growth goals with inbound marketing.

Don’t get stuck in a long-term contract and then find out what your business really needs to be successful with inbound in the long-run. With IMPACT’s Fast Start Program, you can get your inbound marketing on the right path fast, while truly getting to know us as your agency partner, risk-free.

πŸ‘‰ Why do regular backups of your website matter? (5-minute read)

In our personal lives, it’s common practice to protect the things that we love, need, or would debilitated by their loss if something catastrophic were to happen to them. For these things we procure insurance. Much like we do in our personal lives, it’s important for us to seek that same protection for our websites β€” an insurance if you will. In this detailed article from IMPACT front-end developer Daniel Escardo, learn why regular backups of your website are so important, what the three different types of website backups are, and how to backup your website appropriately based on your company needs.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Finally, here's a look at consumer spending habits for the holiday season (2-minute read + infographic)

Even with uncertainty about the economy and wavering consumer confidence, it seems that the holiday forecast from eMarketer still shows [holiday] retail sales in the United States will climb 3.8% to $1.008 trillion, making it the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season, while US retail e-commerce spending will rise 13.2% to $135.35 billion. In this insightful, fun infographic from eMarketer (with analysis from IMPACT account manager Shandia Drummond-Butt), get the inside scoop on how your consumers are spending their dollars this holiday season

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered


🎧  Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

🎁 One last thing

If you're not subscribed to my podcast with John Becker, Content Lab, I would recommend you do so now. (You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or wherever else you listen to podcast goodness.)

We're dropping a little gift tomorrow morning around 7:30 a.m. Eastern I think you'll enjoy.

Talk to y'all on Thursday! 

December 21, 2019

How to get sales creating content, 31 new video marketing stats for 2020, and backlinking strategies that actually work ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

πŸ’― Ticket prices for Digital Sales & Marketing World will never be this low again. Use code HOLIDAY25 to get 25% off super-early bird pricing for DSMW2020 now through December 31!

Yesterday, around 11 a.m. Eastern, my friendship with IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi came to an abrupt and unsettling end:

Screen Shot 2019-12-20 at 11.16.31 AM

Much like the unflinching, rigid purity of AP Stylebook in the world of content style guides, I have a set of equally rigorous personal standards from which I will never waiver, under any circumstances. 

For example, aside from categorizing peas and pineapple pizza as outrageous violations of human decency, I simply cannot abide by those who still don't see the value of video marketing going into 2020. 

And I say this as someone who, initially, did everything they could to avoid going in front of the camera for work here at IMPACT.

"Oh, sorry, I can't film today. In fact, I have to leave right now. It's my hamster, you see... she needs help with her taxes. She did a lot of work as a contractor this year, and I promised I would walk her through all of the forms."

But when you hear stats like 96% of consumers (aged 18 to 34) watch videos several times throughout the week, and 75% of millennials watch at least one video per day, you have to acknowledge our potential buyers have shifted how they consume online information.

(And who can forget about how video is proven to build trust with audiences faster than any other medium, in addition to shortening the sales cycle?)

Yes, the written word still matters (whew), but if video isn't already a part of your digital marketing strategy for next year, it needs to be.

And now, here's THE LATEST...

πŸ‘‰ How to get your sales team excited about creating content for your marketing strategy (5-minute read)

IMPACT Digital Sales and Marketing Advisor Marc Amigone is a member of our sales team. So, needless to say, he's a super busy guy. But even though his days are packed with calls with prospects, building out proposals, and developing tailored solutions for unique organizational challenges, he still contributes one piece of content a month for IMPACT. And he's happy to do so. Read this article if you want to learn how to get your sales team equally excited about creating content for your digital marketing strategy β€” with tips directly from someone in a sales role.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ† Get on the path to inbound success fast, without the long-term commitment (learn more)

You’re looking for an inbound marketing agency to help bring your business to another level. All too often, however, the sales process goes too fast. And it doesn't take long for you to realize your agency partner never made enough time to get to know your business or its true challenges in the first place, so as to help you achieve your most aggressive growth goals with inbound marketing.

Don’t get stuck in a long-term contract and then find out what your business really needs to be successful with inbound in the long-run. With IMPACT’s Fast Start Program, you can get your inbound marketing on the right path fast, while truly getting to know us as your agency partner, risk-free.

πŸ‘‰ Here are 31 brand new video marketing stats for 2020 that will blow your mind and shape your strategy (6-minute read)

Video marketing isn't the future. It's already here, y'all. That said, I know there are a few of you out there who are, for whatever reason β€” fear of being on camera, fear of massive organizational changes, fear of investing in new equipment and people β€” still refusing to take action on what we already know to be true. That, in order to achieve your most audacious digital sales and marketing goals in 2020, video must be a part of the equation. If you still need more convincing, this round-up of essential, brand new video marketing statistics from IMPACT Account Manager Shandia Drummond-Butt is a must-read for you before you make any other plans.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Finally, here's how to get more backlinks to your content and increase site traffic in 2020 (2-minute read + infographic)

Backlinks are created when one website links to another β€” they are also often referred to as β€œinbound links” or β€œincoming links.” If done successfully, backlinks can drastically improve your rankings and significantly increase website traffic β€” but if done incorrectly it can cause your rankings to disappear. In this article from IMPACT Web Project Manager Melanie Moore, learn the most effective backlinking strategies from 850 SEO and digital specialists, as surveyed by SEMrush.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎧  Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

❄️ Weekend nonsense

Yesterday, we celebrated National Ugly Sweater Day at the office with our Secret Santa gift exchange. But, honestly, we should all feel ashamed that we weren't as smart as this dude from Reddit...

cvs-receipt

An honest-to-goodness, knit CVS receipt scarf. Absolutely spectacular.

☝️ One last thing

Still scrambling on putting together a digital marketing strategy for 2020? Don't panic, I've got your back. Not too long ago, I wrote this comprehensive, step-by-step process that teaches you exactly how to do it. You're welcome.

Have a great weekend, everybody! πŸ’‹

December 19, 2019

2020's best marketing events, real-life assignment selling examples, and how B2B sales managers should prep for next year ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

πŸ’₯ Guarantee better results in 2020. Get on the path to inbound success fast, without a long-term commitment with IMPACT's brand new, six-week Fast Start Program

So, in the last issue of THE LATEST, I shared that we were going to be unveiling one of our amazing keynote speakers for Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020... 

mystery-speaker-who-could-it-be

If you missed the announcement, don't panic β€” I've got you covered. 

Tyler Lessard & Vidyard DSMW2020 Announcement

That's right, y'all. Vidyard VP of Marketing Tyler Lessard will be back again this year and rocking the main stage at DSMW2020! 

Also joining him as one of our spotlight speakers, crowd favorite IMPACT Director of Inbound Training and Video Strategy Zach Basner:

digital-sales-and-marketing-world-speakers

You may remember Zach from such timeless classics as:

Don't forget to follow DSMW on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, because we still have more exciting announcements and speaker reveals coming your way...

who-could-they-be

...but until then, now is the time to get your tickets for DSMW2020:

25%--LB_FI

Now is the time to give yourself (and your team) the gift of alignment, growth, and true business transformation, because this is the lowest price tickets for Digital Sales & Marketing World will ever be. Really. 

OK, time for me to get back to staring at the Secret Santa gift that has been taunting me from its innocuous little spot in the corner of my office ALL WEEK LONG. Whatever this mysterious gift is, it's packaged in a three-foot tube, it's not heavy β€” but it's not lightweight either β€” and it says "Store Upright" at the top. 

It's driving me crazy. What could it be?!

Anyway, here's THE LATEST...

πŸ‘‰ Here are the 8 best marketing events you need to check out next year (5-minute read)

Whether you're looking for the latest digital sales and marketing strategies to increase website traffic, leads, and sales with marketing, or you simply want to grow your network, marketing events are a great way to build your career and learn how to get better results for your company. In this article from IMPACT Director of Demand Generation Kristen Harold, get the skinny on the eight marketing events that are worth your investment to attend in 2020.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ 5 real-life examples of assignment selling in action that every sales rep and marketer must see (10-minute read)

The theory behind assignment selling posits that the more educated the prospect, the faster the sales process, and the higher the close rate. But how do salespeople know the right content to assign? How much β€œhomework” is too much? What’s the proper timeline? In this article from IMPACT partner and Director of Client Success Tom DiScipio, you'll get an inside look at how and why we use assignment selling at IMPACT during various stages of the sales process, and what we do when problems arise.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ† Get on the path to inbound success fast, without the long-term commitment (learn more)

You’re looking for an inbound marketing agency to help bring your business to another level. All too often, however, the sales process goes too fast. And it doesn't take long for you to realize your agency partner never made enough time to get to know your business or its true challenges in the first place, so as to help you achieve your most aggressive growth goals with inbound marketing.

Don’t get stuck in a long-term contract and then find out what your business really needs to be successful with inbound in the long-run. With IMPACT’s Fast Start Program, you can get your inbound marketing on the right path fast, while truly getting to know us as your agency partner, risk-free.

πŸ‘‰ Finally, there are 4 things every B2B sales manager should assess at the end of this year (6-minute read)

Great B2B sales managers must calmly face chaos, enthusiastically embrace change, and always adjust to whatever tough challenges lie ahead. But what should you be looking at as the year comes to a close? How can you use this information to improve your efforts for next year? In this super insightful read from one of our favorite contributors, Steve Bookbinder of DM Training, you'll learn about the four mission-critical areas every B2B sales manager must review in order to best prepare for the year to come.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎧  Latest shows and podcasts

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Writing a blog post introduction is probably one of the worst parts of content creation. Yes, even though I eat, sleep, drink, dream, and breathe creating content, even I am not immune to that feeling of complete and utter defeat when I don't know how to write a catchy opener that succinctly explains what I'm going to talk about in a way that engages the right audience and gets them excited to read more.

If this sounds like you, listen to this recent episode of Content Lab, during which I share my six fail-proof formulas for writing blog post introductions. If you're more of a reader, however, you can also find all of them (along with my blog conclusion formulas) in my definitive blogging tips guide.

πŸ€• One last thing

I don't want to laugh too hard, because I might slip a disc... 

falling-down

Until we meet again! πŸ’‹

December 12, 2019

Sales enablement in 2020, CCPA compliance framework, and how to give feedback to web developers ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

πŸ‘‹ Want to work for IMPACT? We're hiring! We’re looking for an experienced digital marketing consultant/strategist with a proven track record of advising and leading clients to digital sales and marketing success. Could it be you? Learn more about the role and apply today.

I don't know about you, but I find English equal parts fascinating and frustrating. 

That's why this classic English poem from the 1920s, which shows how absolutely bonkers the English language is, has consumed my shower thoughts all week long.

It starts like this:

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Naturally, I decided to try to read it for you:

Check out this Video

The Choas, by Gerard Nolst TrenitΓ©, demonstrates the irregularity of English spelling and pronunciation through about 800 of the worst examples out there.

Of course, English isn't the only thing I find both fascinating and frustrating. I've compiled three articles for you below that have helped me become less frustrated with enabling my sales team, managing data privacy, and giving feedback to web developers (and will help you, too).

πŸ‘‰ Why most people will fail at sales enablement in 2020 (12-minute read)

"Sales enablement" has been a bit of a buzzword in recent years. And yet, many companies still fail to properly enable their sales teams to succeed. It can be super frustrating to want, so badly, to help your team but still not quite be able to. Fortunately, President and Founder of Brand Fuzion Walter Pollard is here to help with 11 common mistakes to avoid when it comes to sales enablement.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ IAB releases CCPA compliance framework ahead of Jan. 1 rollout (3-minute read)

If data privacy law isn't both fascinating and frustrating then I don't know what is. It can be tough to wrap your head around implementing yet another data privacy regulation in your marketing. CCPA requires an opt-out option and, when someone chooses to opt-out, this information must be relayed to third-party entities like ad vendors. Sound complicated? It is. Fortunately, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), has released a framework to help. 

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🚨 Are you making completely avoidable mistakes with your agency?

The journey to growing an agency isn't a smooth one, but you don't have to go it alone. Sure, mistakes will always be made but rather than learning the hard way, you can prepare by learning from those who've gone before you.

Join IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo and Growit Group's Clodagh Higgins to learn the 7 biggest mistakes Bob made in growing IMPACT and how you can avoid them. Save your seat for the webinar, which is next Tuesday, December 17th at 2:00pm ET.

πŸ‘‰ How to give constructive feedback to website developers (4-minute read)

As a marketer, I rely on our website developers to make our website function and allow us to capture leads! Unfortunately, when building new parts of our site we don't always communicate in the same way (fascinating and frustrating). That's why I love this super actionable guide by IMPACT Front-End Developer Melissa Smith for giving constructive feedback to website developers.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered


🎧  Latest shows and podcasts


πŸ“Œ One last thing

I'm definitely one of those people who has no shame in buying three different pieces of the same item of clothing in three different colors.

Once you find something that's just a perfect fit, why not? I mean, I can only do so much laundry anyway (right, Steve Jobs?)

That's why this Instagram post absolutely cracked me up - it's the perfect convergence of how I want to live my life with clothing AND doggos.

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 9.51.11 AM

Thanks @not.a.millennial on Instagram for this. The irony of your name is not lost on me.

See you in Elite! πŸ‘‹

December 10, 2019

Best digital marketing news sites, best HubSpot training resources, and best video marketing training ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

πŸ‘‹ Want to work for IMPACT? We're hiring! We’re looking for an experienced digital marketing consultant/strategist with a proven track record of advising and leading clients to digital sales and marketing success. Could it be you? Learn more about the role and apply today.

As I've been busily meeting and planning and filming and collaborating here at IMPACT HQ over the past few days here, I've been struck by something.

This time of year is when many of us are working tirelessly to build new digital marketing strategies for the coming year, as we also reflect on how we want to develop ourselves as professionals.

(It's also when I do a lot of extensive Christmas pajama-themed planning, but maybe that's just me.)

Usually, the goals and plans we develop fall into two completely opposite buckets:

  • Goals and plans for growing and achieving success for the brand.
  • Goals and plans for growing and achieving success in our careers.

But what about goals and plans for growing and developing our people β€” as teams, specifically? 

We're all well aware that what it takes to be successful in the digital age is rapidly changing all the time. Heck, just look at how inbound has evolved β€” it wasn't long ago that sales wasn't even a part of the conversation.

So that's why I'm dedicating this entire issue to how you can best develop your teams in 2020. Because your plans may be perfect for self and brand; but if you don't invest in your teams and your people to stay cutting edge and get aligned, you'll never achieve your most aggressive digital sales and marketing goals.

πŸ‘‰ Have your team self-educate with these 21+ digital marketing news websites (6-minute read)

There are 21+ digital marketing news websites I have hand-curated for myself and my team, so we can continue to stay on top of trends and deliver y'all the most expert and relevant insights you need to know to do your jobs better and grow your businesses. In this article, find out what the best digital marketing news websites are and how to make it easy for your team to stay informed on what's happening in the industry.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Maximize your marketing automation investment with these 12 incredible HubSpot training resources for teams (4-minute read)

While HubSpot offers onboarding solutions, group coaching, and troubleshooting, at its core, HubSpot is a SaaS company that focuses on perfecting a multi-purpose sales, service, and marketing platform. More to the point, there are more resources out there that are specifically designed for teams to help companies make the most out of their investment. In this article from HubSpot alumna and IMPACT Digital Sales and Marketing Advisor Genna Lepore, find out the best HubSpot training options and resources for teams from an expert.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ†˜ You've made the investment in HubSpot, but you're still not seeing the results you want (do something about it)

Maximize your investment in HubSpot’s marketing, sales, or service platforms with our time-tested guided HubSpot training program and HubSpot consulting services.

πŸ€” What do you want to do now?

πŸ‘‰ Finally, the 4 best ways for your team to get the mission-critical video marketing training they need for 2020 (8-minute read)

Video marketing is a must these days, but it's not enough to just pick up a camera and start recording. You need to learn how to do it right. That's where training comes in. If you’re looking for great video marketing training, there are a few different options, all with pros and cons that you might consider. In this expert overview from IMPACT Director of Inbound Training and Video Strategy, get the scoop on the the four essential ways to get your teams trained up on video marketing for 2020.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered


🎧  Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ“† Upcoming events

πŸ‘‰ A few last things

These are the resources you need to read to prep for the coming year:

Talk to y'all later! πŸ‘‹

December 5, 2019

The average email open rate, optimizing your Google My Business page, and 4 team productivity tools you need ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

πŸ‘‹ Want to work for IMPACT? We're hiring! We’re looking for an experienced digital marketing consultant/strategist with a proven track record of advising and leading clients to digital sales and marketing success. Could it be you? Learn more about the role and apply today.

Recently, I conducted a super scientific (see: "completely illegitimate") survey of ~50 digital marketers outside of IMPACT about how effective and efficient they feel at work. Here is how the data broke down, once I crunched the numbers:

team-efficiency

Unsurprisingly, efficiency β€” as an individual or as a team β€” seems to be an across-the-board sore spot in our field.

Personally, I typically run into this problem when I have to switch from working remotely to working out of the IMPACT home office in New Haven, Connecticut, as I'm doing this week!

At home, I know exactly the conditions I need to be successful, from how my office needs to be set up to how I manage my day-to-day calendar. But when I come into the office, all of my beautiful, rigid rules completely go out the window. And, when I return home, the list of what I didn't get done is longer than the list of what I accomplished.

To combat this, I'm trying something new this week:

shareImage-1575562165

Instead of trying to get a bunch of my usual "Pretend I'm not here, leave me alone!" content writing done this week, I'm going to focus on filming videos for IMPACT, getting face time with my people, collaborative strategy meetings, and so on. 

Basically, I'm trying to be more strategic about what is the best use of my time, based on the context of where I am. 

Still, I'm always open to trying new things that will help me work smarter β€” so, what are your favorite productivity tips? I'm all ears, because I have so much I need to get done while I'm here.😨

πŸ‘‰ Learn the average email open rate, so you can measure your email marketing success accurately (4-minute read)

When you click send on any marketing email, there are many metrics to track to evaluate its efficacy. In concert, all of these measurements attempt to paint a picture of who engaged with your email and how. Among the most important statistics is open rate. In this article from IMPACT Editorial Content Manager John Becker, you'll learn the average email open rate, the factors that influence that number, and our best practices for sending irresistible emails.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ How to completely optimize your Google My Business page listing for success in 2020 (10-minute read)

Google My Business (GMB) is a free, easy-to-use tool that helps businesses manage their online presence and appearance in Google Search and Google maps. It's also one of the most powerful digital sales and marketing tools for businesses who are targeting geo-specific markets. In this article from IMPACT Lead Content Marketing Trainer Kevin Phillips, you'll get an exhaustive, no-stone-unturned overview of how to make your Google My Business listing an unstoppable revenue-generator for your company.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

β›” The #1 reason a 2020 digital marketing strategy will fail is lack of buy-in from sales and leadership (learn more)

We've helped hundreds of companies around the world solve their most pressing digital sales and marketing challenges β€” alignment, lack of excitement, a website that isn't generating enough leads, creating the right content, and so on β€” and it all began with our transformative inbound culture workshop.

πŸ€” What do you want to do now?

πŸ‘‰ If you want to maximize your team efficiency in 2020, here are the 4 tools you need to look at (6-minute read)

It’s pretty easy to point to tools that will improve the external results of your organization β€” for example, HubSpot for digital sales and marketing automation, or Vidyard for business video hosting. But one of the biggest boosts a tool can give you is in how well your people and teams work together. In the latest installment of the IMPACT Toolbox series, IMPACT front-end developer Morgan VanDerLeest shares the top four tools you need to look at in 2020 to improve team efficiency and productivity.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎧  Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ“† Upcoming events

⏰ Throwback Thursday 

As I mentioned at the start of this issue, we're expanding our digital sales and marketing team at IMPACT. If you're doing the same, I highly recommend you bookmark our ultimate marketing interview questions list:

marketing-interview-questions-1

If you still need more hiring resources, check out our digital marketing manager job description, content manager job description, and our ultimate list of culture fit interview questions.

πŸ“š One last thing

Fun fact about me: I am a huge murder mystery nerd. (One of my favorite authors is Agatha Christie.)

Which is why I am so, so excited that Content Marketing Institute's Joe Pulizzi β€” also of Killing Marketing fame β€” has released a new book, and it's a murder mystery!

the-will-to-die

The audiobook version of The Will to Die is now available FOR FREE (for a limited time!) on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Sticher, Spotify, and Overcast.  

Congrats, Joe! Now I know what I'll be reading over the holiday break.

Talk to y'all later! πŸ‘‹