Back from a Break

Back from a Break

About 8 months ago I started a new gig that’s taken up all of my time and attention from a professional standpoint. The company is not a startup but the project does involve launching a set of new products into a space that is new for the company which is why I was brought on board. The organization is also new and from a process and procedures standpoint, so even though the company has been around for while, there is a lot of operational trailblazing going on as well. My time has been taken up with 4 major activities: Building out a team of senior level B2B marketing professionals that crosses channel marketing, solutions marketing, marketing communications, analyst relations, competitive intelligence and services marketing. Working on messaging and positioning Providing an expert point of view to the broader population of marketing folks at the company who haven’t marketed to enterprises and/or CIO’s previously Working on a content marketing strategy and plan I’ve been sitting on a handful of posts wondering if I should change the focus of this blog and in the end I decided not to. I am going to focus on topics I think are relevant to startup marketers, with maybe the occasional big company B2B post thrown in just for laughs. So many of the principles of prepping a marketing and launching a product are the same across big and small companies, I think there is still a lot for me to say (and frankly, I can’t predict what I’ll be working on a year from now). I am also a bit overwhelmed by the amount...

The Rocket Watcher Holiday Comic

Instead of creating a lame list of predictions or a top 10 of 2010 list, I have created a Rocket Watcher holiday comic strip. Yes, I love you all THAT much. Note: You may need to click through to the site to view this if you are viewing this in email or a reader. Have a great holiday! Inspired by the Cranky PM’s World’s Most Generic Product Management Interview series This post was created using bitstrips – a service from a cool Canadian startup I met last summer and probably the most fun hour I’ve spent online in the past week...

See me, hear me (in video and podcasts)

I like doing podcasts because people can’t see me flapping my hands around when I get excited so when the Donovan Group asked me to do their Tweep in Profile podcast I was quick to say yes.  Here’s the description of the session: Donovan Group Inc. (DGI), a multimedia communications company, released the fourth installment of its “Tweep in Profile” audio podcast highlighting members of the Twitter Community.   This month, DGI profiles April Dunford (@aprildunford) Vice-President of Marketing at Solarsoft, which provides manufacturing intelligence and ERP solutions to mid-market manufacturers. “In this segment April offers Social Media tactics, personal experience tie-ins and predictions for 2011”, says Andy Donovan, president, Donovan Group Inc.  “After following her for several months and learning from her posts, I am absolutely thrilled to have April on the program to round out 2010”, adds Donovan. He’s thrilled! I’m thrilled! How thrilling!!  Click here to have a listen to my awe-inspiring Canadian accent and access the past episodes of their Tweep in Profile series. Communitech’s Entrepreneur Week Videos Also, if you just can’t get enough of that hand-flapping goodness, here’s a video of me doing my thing at last month’s Communitech’s Entrepreneur Week.  You can also view video of the other sessions.  If you are a startup looking for some good advice, this is a great set of videos to watch. MarketingProf’s Content Marketing Crash Course Lastly in the “upcoming” category, I will be one of the presenters for the MarketingProfs Content Marketing Crash Course.  My topic is one of my all time favorites, Storytelling for Business.  I’m in amazing company in this course – other presenters include Brian Solis, C. C. Chapman, Jay Baer, Ardath...

Come See Me at ProductCamp Amsterdam or Entrepreneur Week in Waterloo

I’m pretty excited, no wait, I’m MEGA-EXCITED to be keynoting this year’s ProductCamp Amsterdam on Sunday Nov. 14th.  I’m a big fan of ProductCamp – I’ve been to a couple here in Toronto as well as one in New York – and I’ve found that these events really are the ultimate gathering of Product Marketing and Product Management professionals.  I also like the unconference format where the attendees get to set the agenda and the sessions are for the most part, more interactive and 2-way than what you get at your standard you-sit-there-while-I-talk-at-you conferences. Lately I’ve been speaking and writing a lot about the changing nature of marketing.  For this talk I am going to focus on how the landscape for marketing is changing, and how Product Marketing is emerging as more important than it’s ever been.   This is a talk I’ve been dying to give to an audience of product people so I’m really excited that I finally get to do it. If, unlike me, you won’t be taking a 5 hour flight to spend the weekend in Amsterdam, don’t worry, I’ll be posting the slides here in all of their glory for folks to enjoy. If you haven’t registered already, you should do it now because it’s going to be GREAT. But wait, that’s not all!! I’ll also be speaking at Communitech’s annual Entrepreneur Week in Waterloo on November 10th.  Communitech is a not for profit organization that is dedicated to supporting technology startups on the Waterloo area.  The is the 5th year that they have run Entrepreneur Week and every year it gets bigger and more impressive....

Back from a Blogging Break

I’ve been authoring this blog for a couple of years now.  The first 6 months I was just learning and didn’t post regularly but when I started consulting I saw this blog as a way for me to build an online resume and for the past year and a half I’ve been cranking out an average of 2 posts per week. I recently gave up my consulting business to work for a company (more on that in another post) and decided to give myself a break from blogging for a few weeks to see how it felt and decide whether or not I should continue to invest in it now that it isn’t an integral part of my day to day work. Here’s what I’ve learned after a month-long blogging break: Blogging takes up a lot of my time – I never thought I spent that much time blogging until I stopped. About 3 times a week I found myself jotting down notes for potential blog posts but frankly the work involved in getting up to speed in a new job meant I didn’t have the time to craft a post that seemed meaty enough to publish. Blogging helps me clarify things – Like talking to a friend about something you’ve been thinking about, the act of putting together a post, forces me to take things I’ve been working on and lay them together in a more structured way than I do at work.  It’s helped me clarify my own thinking around complicated topics like positioning and messaging. That in turn, makes it easier for me to explain those...

Vote for this SXSW Content Marketing Panel

Last year I attended South by Southwest Interactive and while I did attend a lot of great sessions I wished there had been an advanced session on Content Marketing.  In particular I wanted to see a session focused on using Content in a much more strategic, long-term way.  I’m interested in how companies can use content not just tactically to drive awareness and traffic, but also in a systematic way to drive leads through a sales cycle from awareness, though the different phases of evaluation and selection through to closing sales.   I decided to gather 4 of the smartest Content Marketing folks I could think of together and submitted the panel that I would have liked to have seen last time around.  Amazingly, they all agreed.  Here’s the lineup: Jay Baer – Social Media Strategy consultant and the author of the Convince and Convert blog. Valeria Maltoni – Director of Strategy at Powered Inc. And author of the Conversation Agent blog. David Meerman Scott – Author of several books including the marketing classic The New Rules of Marketing and PR and the author of the Web Ink Now blog. Joe Pulizzi – founder of Junta 42 and The Content Marketing Institute, and author of Get Content, Get Customers. If you’d like to hear what these folks have to say as much as I would, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR THIS SESSION.  You’ll need to register to give it the thumbs up (it’s painless, trust me) and feel free to leave a comment over there that might encourage other folks to vote too.  Thanks so...
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