This Week’s Coverage

1. Inbound vs Outbound Marketing (& Why You Need Both)

Outbound marketing is the process of using targeted outreach to reach your prospective customers. The intent of outbound marketing is to start a conversation that can lead to making a sale, performing market research, or getting press coverage for your company.

While there are many different types of outbound marketing (cold calls, direct mail, and ads), the most low-cost, fast, effective approach for B2B marketers is cold email.

It’s important to remember that outbound marketing essentially relies on interruption. This is in contrast with inbound marketing, where your prospects are already searching for you.

In contrast, inbound marketing is the process of using content (blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.) to drive traffic to your website so that you can generate leads that can then be converted to buyers.

There is one problem, however, with starting inbound marketing first.

If you haven’t yet had enough direct contact with your target market, how are you going to know what their problems are, and more importantly, the exact words they use to describe those problems?

Putting your customer’s problems in their own words is critical for successful inbound marketing. Without this, your attempts at inbound marketing will likely fail, and that is why I’m such a proponent of using outbound marketing early on.

In addition, content marketing is a long-term play. It isn’t easy to rank for most Google keywords, and you won’t typically see SEO results from a single blog post… but a single email campaign can rapidly reach potential customers.

Ultimately, it’s not actually inbound vs outbound. Ideally you want to use both. When done well, outbound tactics and inbound strategies complement one another.

2. Musings on Company Values

We recently took time to formalize company values for my software company Flowster.

So, why bother with company values? Aren’t they just a feel good exercise without any application?

Well, they can be.

After all, Enron’s company values back in 2000 included Communication, Respect, Integrity, and Excellence.

Obviously, Enron wasn’t living their values. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Ideally, you’re using your values to help drive decisions (hiring & firing, for example), and to shape the corporate culture.

Don’t be like Enron. Here are a few things you can do instead.

Make Them Memorable

  • Don’t pick too many values. You definitely want less than 10 if possible.
  • The more values you have, the more difficult it will be for your team to remember them. And speaking of remembering them..
  • Create a mnemonic. In our case, we were able to identify values that aligned with a specific word (Flowster!), but you don’t need to do that – ideally, determine your values and then find a mnemonic.
  • You can make a funny saying to help remember them. For instance, Trulia used BOFFI as shorthand for “Best idea wins, Output not input, Feedback, Fun, and Integrity.”

Build Values Into Your Company Processes

  • Take the time to assess where you can build your values into your current processes
  • For instance, one portion of our hiring process is geared towards assessing whether the potential candidate is in line with our values

Find a Way to Showcase Your Values

  • Build values shout outs into company meetings
  • Display them on your wall (in my former company, we had a company art project where we painted wooden letters and mounted our values on the wall)
  • Create a company values Slack channel and shout out there

3. Greatest Hits

  1. Feedback on your online presence: I offered to make 1 min Loom videos for anyone who shared their website or LinkedIn profile with the group. Offer still available if you missed it the first time around.
  2. BI 352: How to Get Started Selling Private Label Products on Amazon: Eleonora Pogorelova, from Amazon seller app IO Scout, shared her tips.

4. Bright Ideas

  1. Amazon Private Label: Catch the Bright Ideas’ exclusive live training workshop: How to Find Profitable Products to Sell on Amazon:
    • How to search for products to sell on Amazon
    • Finding Amazon niches to enter
    • How to analyze Amazon keyword trends
    • How to quickly estimate product costs (without having to get supplier quotes)
  2. The Optimistic Child – a proven program to safeguard children against depression and build lifelong resilience.
    I recently finished this Blinkist summary of Martin Seligman’s book, and it was chock full of good ideas. I printed out some key takeaways and posted them on the fridge.

5. Under the Hood

This week I’m continuing to work on my Definitive Guide to Outbound Marketing. Specifically, I’m putting some finishing touches on the system to enable it to be fully automated – set it up and generate leads on autopilot.

This is a big project, and I’ll be sharing more soon.

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