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Do you remember high school? I know, I try not to think about it, too. But, think back with me for a moment. Do you remember dealing with your locker? Lockers where great, except when they weren’t.

I remember many times being in a hurry to get to my next class and having the combination lock not cooperate. When it didn’t open the first time, my thought was “okay, I probably tried to do it too quickly and messed up a digit or two. I will be more careful and deliberate on my next attempt.”

The second time I tried, however, when it still didn’t open, something in my brain told me I needed to teach the locker a lesson (you have no right to thwart me!)… so I violently banged on it. Funny, that never seemed to persuade the combo lock to cooperate.

What’s my point? I need anger management classes? Well maybe, but that isn’t why I used that illustration. Here's my point…

Marketing your product or service to generate leads and sales can be viewed like a combination lock. If you only have some of the elements right, or if you have all the elements right—but not in the right order, the results can be very frustrating.

However, if the elements are on the mark and combined properly, it works like a charm!

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Valentine’s Day, with its focus on roses, romance and relationships, can be fun for those who are happily coupled. Who doesn’t love a fun excuse to go out to dinner, make a fancy feast at home, or exchange candy treats? (Dark chocolate nonpareils for me, please.) Or even to just dispense with the hoopla and enjoy a Netflix binge with takeout together?

But if you are unhappily single, this Hallmark holiday can sting and may even leave you dwelling on a past relationship and why it may have failed.

While this is a crappy way to spend a day when it seems everyone else has something to celebrate, there is value in exploring why a partnership soured. And not just your romantic ones. In business, taking time to figure out why a client left can offer valuable lessons.

Here are three reasons why clients leave—and what we can all learn from them.

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As a marketer, it can be difficult to keep track of the seemingly daily changes that are made to Google’s search results algorithms. It wasn’t too long ago that everyone would celebrate when a particular piece of content ranked in spot number one.

Now, ranking is getting harder and harder.

In this article, we will cover how to optimize your content to rank for featured snippets—otherwise known as position zero—in Google.

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Marketing and Sales are like oil and water… true or false? *record scratch* Wait… are we really still talking about this? No? Okay, phew! Frankly, whoever said Marketing and Sales do not or cannot mix needs a good ol’ reality check. Especially in the world of small businesses, these two “departments” are often mixing, mingling, or merged in order to conserve funds while working with a limited budget.

Just take a look at SMB Sales executives for example… they’re the walking, talking poster children for Marketing & Sales alignment. Why?

Because these self-identified Sales people get stuck doing marketing all the time! When you think about it, have you ever heard of a small company’s VP of Sales not having any involvement with marketing? (Let alone managing most of it themselves…)

Yet, in this scenario, there is a fine line between aligning Marketing and Sales and being overwhelmed by them. And that’s problematic.

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AI is a hot topic in the manufacturing industry. Sometimes referred to as machine intelligence, artificial intelligence is not only significantly saving time during the manufacturing process, it’s also improving product quality and employee safety. Algorithms are now being used to predict mechanical asset malfunctions and robots that were once executing repetitive tasks are now making cognitive-like decisions based on available data.

So it comes to no surprise that the usage of AI in manufacturing also extends beyond the shop floor to the Marketing department. And this presents industrial sector businesses with a number of growth and service opportunities. Here we elaborate on a few ways manufacturers can use artificial intelligence to bring in more leads and customers—and keep them happy in 2019.

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Creating visual content to support a marketing strategy has proven to be crazy effective across all industries. As compared to the written word, visual content assets—in particular, whiteboard videos and explainer videos—are fun, memorable, and a more engaging way to get the word out on the value your business delivers.

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Marketers are more challenged than ever before to create content that people will actually take the time to read. Email is just one more thing competing for their attention as technology continues to evolve and enhance the way we communicate with prospects and customers.

Of course, the first step in creating a successful email marketing plan is to ensure your emails are optimized for mobile. More than half of emails are opened on a mobile device and if your message isn't rendering properly, more than 70% of people are likely to delete it in under 3 seconds. Today, mobile-friendly email is simply a baseline necessity. However, what's going to increase time spent in the email, clicks, and the potential for conversions is leveraging various types of interactive content.

While traditional emails typically direct recipients to a landing page on which to carry out a specific action, an interactive email cuts out that step and enables them to take that action from directly within the email. Facilitating a streamlined, interactive experience is not only simpler and more engaging for your reader but also a great way to get better results from your email marketing efforts. So, without further ado, here are 7 techniques you can use to create more interactive emails...

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It wasn’t too long ago that content marketing became popular. With more and more people looking to search engines for answers to their questions, companies quickly learned the value of writing content to show up first in results.

But now, it seems like everyone is on board with the content trend. According to MarketingProfs, 2 million blog posts are written every day.

Let that sink in. Two million. New posts. Every day. That’s a lot of competition.

But pumping out new blog articles isn't the only way to gain online traction with your target audience. In fact, investing some time in improving your older blog posts—otherwise known as historic blog optimization—can actually generate better results (and fast!). Read on to get the scoop...

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We all have that one friend whose holiday card arrives the day after Thanksgiving, right? It hangs on your fridge as a daily reminder that you haven’t even ordered cards yet, let alone compiled a list of names and addresses or chosen the right picture. If you're feeling behind the eight ball and you haven't come up with a plan yet, this is the post for you.

Whether it’s from your family or your company, the purpose of sending out a holiday card is the same. You want to let your friends or customers know that you wish them the best during the season of giving. But in order for your card to stand out from the pack (or to save it from immediately being thrown in the trash), there are a few "best practices" you should follow. Below are 5 helpful tips to consider before you get your holiday cards printed and mailed out:

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“Help Sales close deals, and they will become your best friend.”

Nick Panayi, Digital Marketing VP from DXC Technology, has got it right. If Marketing is doing its job correctly, they’re helping your business grow. Not only are they delivering qualified leads and managing your company’s website and branding, they’re accelerating the sales pipeline and getting involved with your selling processes right from the start. They’re doing the very activities that make sales reps happy, and while Sales needs to pull its own weight and effectively leverage the tools Marketing creates for their strategy, Marketing’s role should also be sales-driven.

The two parties working together has never been more important. Take a look at these compelling statistics:

  • Misalignment between sales and marketing technologies and processes costs B2B companies 10% of revenue or more per year.
  • Companies with good sales and marketing alignment generate 208% more revenue.
  • When sales and marketing teams work together harmoniously, companies typically see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher close rates.

Sales and Marketing are like peanut butter and jelly. They are a powerful combination – or at least they should be! If they’re currently tasting more like cat food on burnt toast (that’s the most disgusting thing I could think of at the moment), then it’s time to put some effort into aligning your two teams.

And for the record, I have never tasted cat food.

Given that 75 percent of companies say closing more deals is their top sales priority, Marketing should be meeting with Sales regularly to ensure they’re doing everything they can to help out. After all, growing the business is a win for everybody, right? But meetings and closed-loop data sharing alone are not enough. If you really want your sales reps to be thankful for you come Turkey Day, implementing these 10 sales enablement best practices is sure to do the trick.

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