Pre- #SESSF Lead Gen, ROI & Content Strategy with Marcia Kadanoff

Marcia Kadanoff, Chief Marketing Officer at BisIr, the intelligent marketing OS, is a specialist in creating compelling content and lead-generation campaigns. A frequent contributor to Marketing Profs, Clickz, and Mashable, Marcia is well-known in the industry for her focus on ROI marketing and attribution analysis. Her future plans include continuing to perfect her areas of expertise and a Mexican beach vacation!

At SES San Francisco next week, Marcia will be discussing mobile marketing during her session, Mobile Content Marketing: What Works and What Doesn’t. In preparation, we thought it would be fun to pick Marcia’s brain on lead-gen strategies and tactics. Read on for the details, and enjoy!

AIMCLEAR: Before we begin, tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What did you do to get where you are today? Why this (online marketing) industry?

Marcia Kadanoff: I started my career at Apple Computer, marketing the Macintosh into Business, working our way up to 7% share of the market – believe it or not. (Laughs).  At Apple, I got exposed to direct marketing for the first time.  I fell in love with the discipline, the way you could put together programs quantitatively, predict results, and then see if actual results met your predictions or not.

Eventually my love for direct marketing lead me to co-found the largest direct marketing agency on the West Coast at the time:  Miller/Kadanoff Direct & Interactive.  I sold Miller/Kadanoff in a three-way transaction and eventually it became the basis of what is know DraftFCB, the largest direct marketing agency in the world.

After selling my first agency, I did a brief stint as Chief Strategy Officer to Euro RSCG, working on accounts like Sony and Microsoft, handling their database and email marketing.  From there I worked as a CMO and CEO to a number of mobile / wireless companies that had the “right stuff” but turned out to be going to market about 10 years too soon.

In 2010, I founded another agency – Open Marketing – to do content marketing, inbound marketing, and build intelligent websites.  Business was great, but we found we could not charge our clients enough for all the work we were doing on their behalf.  It takes a ton of heavy lifting to design and implement intelligent websites, that is websites designed from the get-go to support lead generation, inbound marketing, and meet the new demands of mobile and social.   Bislr has the technology and approach to solve this problem, which is why I elected to sell Open Marketing to them in June 2013 … and to come on board with them as their CMO.

AIMCLEAR: Great. You’re a top-notch data-driven marketer.  Tell us, what do you do every day to stay on top of the latest marketing news and developments?

Marcia Kadanoff: Wow!  Great question.  My mother was a librarian and she used to bring home best sellers for me to read.  But the deal was – I had to read them overnight – so they could go back to the library and into the hands of a “real” library patron.  This got me into the habit of speed reading and I have to say that the ability to skim a lot of different sources of news, absorb a lot of it, is a great gift.

I subscribe to a handful of newsletters, most of which aggregate other offerings in smart ways. One of my current favorites, that not a lot of people seem to know about, is SmartBrief.  I never miss an issue of the Smart Brief on Business Marketing sponsored by the BMA.

In addition to these aggregated newsletters, I depend on my Twitter colleagues to curate additional news and content that I should be reading.   A lot of times that great article on Marketing Profs or SearchEngineLand would have escaped my notice were it not to my friends and colleagues on Twitter.

When I’m on the go, I rely on LinkedIn, which serves a similar function. My friends and colleagues share information and that surfaces content and findings that I might not otherwise see.  I love LinkedIn on my Apple iPad Mini.  Cannot say enough good things about the application and how it works.

Finally, I subscribe on behalf of my company to a handful of services that do a good job at staying abreast of trends in technology.  This includes eMarketer, eConsultancy out of the UK, Forrester Research, Gleanster Research, Sirius Decisions, and Altimeter (in no particular order).

AIMCLEAR: Thanks. While clients have a range of expectations and KPIs, lead-gen is likely always a focus. What do you think are the top three factors to consider when initiating a new lead-gen centered project?

Marcia Kadanoff: Understand what you are measuring and why you have picked those particular metrics.  While everyone likes to depend on CPL and conversion rates, most of the time we don’t measure these through in a closed-loop fashion.  As a result, marketing ends up overspending on leads that don’t actually deliver ROI or lifetime value.

Line up the content you plan to use as your offer well in advance.  Great content will make or break your campaign.  And make sure your content is focused on your prospect or customer and what they want to know, not on your product or service.  Companies with great products have a responsibility to educate the market. Too many companies put content out there that is entirely self serving.

You’ve heard the expression “measure twice, cut once”?  What resonates for me is: “optimize twice, release once”.  Once you hit the switch on most campaigns, it’s impossible to take it back. So get in the habit of optimizing each element in your campaign – landing page, email, tweet, LinkedIn “in mail”, thank you page, the email where you deliver content to the prospect – twice. The first time through make sure all the inbound marketing mechanics are in place, including a compelling subject line and a call-to-action that really pops off the page.  The second time through optimize for mobile, because nowadays 50% of people read and respond to email via smart phones and tablets.

AIMCLEAR: You’ll be sharing your expertise on Day 1 of SES San Francisco during your session, “Mobile Content Marketing: What Works and What Doesn’t.” Can you give us a little pre-conference lovin’ and share with us what you’ll be discussing?

Marcia Kadanoff: I’ll be talking about the DO’S and DON’Ts of content marketing where it’s a given that up to 50% of you’re your content will get consumed on a smart phone or tablet.  With short case studies – I call them “caselets” – of what really works.

AIMCLEAR: Last but not least, let’s really get to know what you’re all about! What’s your favorite TV show, alcoholic beverage, and dream vacation?

Marcia Kadanoff: I’m a sucker for any TV show where the protagonist is an anti hero who lives to break rules.  This includes: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Homeland, and The Newsroom.  Among these, I honestly don’t know if I have a favorite.

My favorite drink is Vodka (Grey Goose) and Club Soda ideally with a slash of Campari, if I can spare the calories.  (Sadly, most of the time I cannot).  I don’t know that this drink has a name.  As someone who likes to know the rules to break them, this in itself tickles my fancy.

My dream vacation is to hunker down in New York in a luxury hotel in Tribeca or the Lower East Side, especially in the summer when it can seem like you have lower Manhattan all-to-your-lonesome.  That’s my dream urban vacation.  My dream beach vacation is to Playa Mujeres, just North of Cancun at a resort that is called “Beloved”.  Truly breathtaking.  You cannot go “off grid” there – they have WiFI – but otherwise it’s perfect.

AIMCLEAR: That sounds absolutely lovely. Thanks for your time, Marcia! Until next week – safe travels!

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