2014 has been a great year! A successful racing season. A great new job (well not so new any more). And some inspiring endurance events, near and far. With the end of the year right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to review the Top 10 Posts of 2014. Here they are, in reverse order.
10. Structured Learning in Career Transition
Since my new job as Chief Product Evangelist at Aternity has driven so much of this year’s activities, this is the blog to begin my list. A career transition is not like a triathlon transition. I found the advice in Michael Watkins’ book The First 90 Days to be extremely useful. Definitely worth a read.
9. Career Check-in at the Two Thirds Point – Heartbreak Hill
The clear follow-on to the first blog on the list provides 16 tips for the new exec to cover as he or she accelerates the ramp-up period to catch up with other members of the executive team in the first 90 days. Just like in the Boston Marathon, where leaders are often caught at Heartbreak Hill. This blog provides more guidance from Watkins’ book.
8. Benefits of a Positioning Statement
At Aternity, one of my first contributions was to lead the executive team through a positioning statement exercise for the various markets we serve. We returned to this work over and over in the subsequent months. This blog covers a template for a positioning statement and the benefits for working through the exercise.
7. Creativity & Analytics – the Biathlon CMO
Next up is a discussion of the two characteristics of successful marketing executives – creativity and analytics. Two completely different skills, like the aerobic and sharp-shooting expertise needed by biathletes. Just like in the sport, individuals tend to have natural strength in 1 of the 2 areas. Developing the area requires work.
6. Sometimes Metrics Don’t Matter
I know it seems to fly in the face of the previous topic, but sometimes having all of the B2B sales and marketing metrics at your fingertips doesn’t lead to a successful outcome. This post was inspired by the carnage at this year’s Tour de France, in which so many of the favorites crashed out. Chris Froome. Alberto Contador. Mark Cavendish.
5. Marketing & Strategic Alliances – Like Doubles Luge
As a small company serving enterprise customers who are deploying mobile as a component of their strategy, my company works closely with the leading Enterprise Mobility Management vendors, like Citrix, Good, and MobileIron. A big part of my job has been to articulate the value proposition of our joint solutions to our mutual customers.
In that way, my marketing efforts become an extension of our strategic alliance initiatives. And our strategic partnerships become an important route to market for our products and messaging. Marketing & Strategic Alliances – like doubles luge, except for the speed and the uncomfortable body positions.
4. Beware the Thing of Beauty – Drive up Acceptance
Next on the list is an equation that will help you ensure effective sales enablement tools. This blog covers a key equation, E=QxA, that says that the effectiveness (E) of any tool or program depends on both its quality (Q) and its acceptance (A) by your intended audience. For example, It does no good to produce a ROI calculator that covers every customer scenario, but is too complex for the sales team to actually use.
3. Marketing Tips from Rowing: Cadence & Power
Inspired by reading “The Boys in the Boat,” I realized that cadence and power impact the effectiveness of marketing programs, just as they determine the speed of a boat. Since October is also when the Head of the Charles Regatta occurs, this blog, and its companion contain examples of how to use frequency and power to drive marketing results.
2. Make Content Generation a Team Sport
Building a cross-functional team of social media contributors has been one of the highlights of my first year. As this blog suggests, making it easy for others to contribute compelling blogs, videos, and other social media efforts, is the key to generating compelling content. We now have a team of pre-sales, product management, and customer service team members who are regular contributors to our efforts. And with all of the great content being generated, we’ve now launched a fancy new company blog.
1. Racing Season – Time to Deliver Results
Well, there really is no contest for determining the top blog of 2014. This blog covers my successful 3rd place finish in my age group at the Patriot Half Triathlon, while relating the swim, bike, and run legs to B2B marketing. I registered for the 2015 Patriot Half race on the very day that registration opened. It will be tough to duplicate last year’s results, but I’m sure planning to give it a try!
I hope your year was successful too! And I look forward to another exciting year in 2015. Thanks much for reading and commenting!by