Best Marketing Stories of January 2016

I wanted to share with you the best marketing stories of January 2016. This is a new series I've started (last month was the second one), with the hope that I can collect the best marketing articles so that you don't have to do the hard work.

Now, I understand, this is a near-impossible–if not completely–impossible undertaking, as I can't read everything. But I've been in this game long enough to know who the respectable parties are and they are the sites I visit first and foremost and the bulk of the content I “roundup” here will come from a handful of trusted players.

And don't worry – I'll keep you from reading the crap in the internet marketing world. God knows there's a lot of it. And there are more than a few shady characters.

Without further adieu, here are the best marketing stories I found in January 2016.

[tweetthis url=””]Get the best marketing stories of January 2016 right here.[/tweetthis]

The 5 “Why's”

The 5 "Why's" - how to get to the root cause of an issue
The 5 “Why's” – how to get to the root cause of an issue

This isn't a marketing article, per se, but it applies to anything about your business because–from time to time–something will go wrong. This is a neat tip from Neil Perkin about how to get to the root cause of any problem.

This one takes me back to my quality days back at the phone company!

The gist is this: State the problem and ask yourself 5 questions about why this is a problem, like so:

  1. Why didn't we get a raise? Profits declined.
  2. Why did profits decline? Sales went down.
  3. Why did sales decline? We stopped sending out email flyers.
  4. Why did we stop sending out email flyers? We switched to a new email solution provider.
  5. Why did we move to a new email solution provider? Because Bob the CEO went golfing with their CEO.

So we didn't get a raise because Bob is friends with the ESP's CEO. Nice.

Obviously, I've simplified the problem scenario. You see, Bob became golfing buddies with Sam because his old golfing buddy, Jim, ran off with his wife and now Bob is getting a divorce, he's losing half his assets, and he exercised a bunch of stock options, which drove down the price of the stock so drastically that our customers are fearful that we're about to go belly-up, so they pulled all their business from us and gave it to Jim's new girlfriend's company.


Go give Neil's article a read. It boils this process improvement skill down into a nice little exercise.


The Top 10 Digital PR Trends for 2016

Top Ten Digital PR Trends for 2016

This one is from my good friend, Marc Harty. He's a seasoned pro in the public relations and advertising space, having worked for decades with large and small businesses in his own agency.

Marc spent a lot of time diving deep into what he believes will be the hottest trends in digital PR this year. I know he talked to a lot of industry insiders on this. This is a series, so you'll have to read this first post, sign up to his newsletter, and then follow it along.

I have a little insider information on what Marc will be revealing, but I can't spill the beans and steal his thunder. Go check it out!


16 Gaps to Fix in Your Blog This Year


Everybody loves list posts, and this is a good one! It covers 16 things (Leona Hinton calls them “gaps”) you need to do to make your blog better.

These are the ones I especially like:

  • Your readership comes first
  • Explain, explain, explain
  • Use bulleted points, tips, and lists to simplify your message
  • Be more personal in blog writing
  • Post at regular intervals
  • Host guest bloggers

I'm trying to these sorts of things with this blog.


Build a Profitable Blog In 48 Hours

Build a profitable blog in 48 hours

Have you tried building a blog? Did it take forever? I know my first few sure did. And it took them longer than forever to be profitable.

Ben Adkins gives us a 4-step process for doing just that in this post. This is a highly-detailed post–I suggest you take your time reading it. Once you're done, re-read it and re-read it again and again.

This is seriously good stuff.


Buyer Personas

Buyer personas
Get your business started off on the right foot by creating buyer personas

David Meerman Scott is one of my go-to PR & Marketing guys. His book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, is a classic (and he constantly updates it).

This post talks about creating buyer personas. In short, you need to think about what your customers and clients want. Most businesses start with a product and try to shoehorn it into their customers' hands. That's not the best way to do things.

According to Scott,

[su_quote cite=”David Meerman Scott” url=””]The way most entrepreneurs, salespeople, marketers, and product managers operate is by making stuff up. But a focus on buyer personas helps eliminate this behavior.[/su_quote]

Read the whole thing here. It's really important to get this right. The closer you are to your inception (whether of your website, brand, or product launch), the better.


Speed Roundup

Here are some marketing articles that were really good, too. Listed without editorial comments because this is the Speed Roundup.

That's it for the best marketing stories of January 2016. Look for another Best Marketing Stories Roundup at the beginning of March.

If you have a marketing story you want to share, send it to me on Facebook. Either post the link on my wall or hit me up on Messenger.


Ben Adkins, Cal Newport, David Meerman Scott, Leona Hinton, Marc Harty, marketing roundup, Seth Godin, SumoMe, Thrive Themes

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