John R. Kowalski Integrative Marketing Fusion

Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is the strategic process of creating content that connects to and engages your target audience, ultimately encouraging them to take action. It can include blogs, social media posts, white papers, emails, videos, web content and more.

Marketing Strategy for B2B Marketers – The Basics

If you’re responsible for marketing a business-to-business (B2B) product or service, it’s likely that your marketing strategy is focused on generating leads. A strategic marketing plan will help you focus your energy by setting goals and objectives, identifying the target market, defining the customer experience, and building out an effective lead generation process.

This blog post will cover the basics of developing a strategic marketing plan to help you engage prospects with targeted messages that are delivered at just the right time.

Your Planning Process should include the following:

  • Understand your buyer personas – The first step is to understand who makes up your target market. Defining key characteristics of the people you want to reach, also known as buyer personas, allows you to create marketing messages that resonate with them and helps you identify where they spend time online so you can develop a presence there.
  • Get to know your customers better – The next step is to figure out what pain points they experience and where you can offer solutions. This will help determine how best to engage them with content that speaks to their needs and interests, as well as potential opportunities for cross-sell or upselling related products and services.
  • Define business goals and objectives – A good marketing strategy starts with understanding where your company wants to go. What are your business goals and objectives?
  • Research your target market – Once you know who you’re trying to reach, it’s important to do some research on them. This will help you understand their needs, what motivates them and where they spend time online.
  • Create customer experience maps – Now that you know what matters to your customers, you’ll need to create customer experience maps that show how they interact with your brand at each stage of the buying process.
  • Develop lead generation processes – The final piece is developing a lead generation process that aligns with your buyer personas and customer experience maps. This will help you identify the right content and channels to use to reach your target market.

Once you have a marketing strategy in place, it’s important to track progress and make changes as needed. Use these marketing planning tips to get started on creating an effective plan for your B2B business.

As you develop your strategic marketing plan, always remember to keep it simple. Don’t overthink things and spend too much time on creating a document that is 100 pages long. This could cause lack of engagement with the target market because they don’t have time or patience for such detailed information.

Now you’re thinking “how the heck am I going to get all this done?” It’s not easy but creating a solid foundation will help you stay on strategy as well as keep your marketing communications messages laser focused.

Keep things clear and to the point. This document can then be the foundation that your marketing efforts are built upon.

The Importance of Account Based Marketing (#ABM)

The marketing industry is always evolving. The marketing world has seen the rise and fall of many marketing tactics over the years, but one marketing tactic that can’t be denied is account based marketing (#ABM). Account Based Marketing started with a focus on targeting accounts to gain new business. However, as ABM continues to evolve, it’s become more sophisticated than ever before. As marketers rely less on old-school sales methods like cold calls and start using tools like social media advertising to identify their target audience, they can pinpoint which people will benefit most from their products or services by listening in on conversations about relevant key words. With this knowledge at hand, marketers can craft messages that speak directly to these potential customers.

Thanks to the continued growth of account based marketing, businesses now have a better way to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Rather than targeting a wide audience with a one-size-fits-all message, ABM allows businesses to target specific accounts that are likely to be interested in what they have to offer. This level of personalization has never been easier, and marketing teams can now access tools that help them find the right accounts for their products.

There are 5 steps to keep in mind when initiating an account-based marketing strategy:

  1. Set ABM goals and identify your target accounts.
  2. Identify the right people within those target accounts.
  3. Listen in on conversations about your industry, products, or services to find new potential customers that you did not know existed before. Then create a plan for how you will reach them.
  4. Determine what type of ABM program you are most interested in implementing, whether it is account based lead generation, ABM Retainer or Account Based Sales Development.
  5. Implement your ABM strategy and let the results speak for themselves!

ABM has helped businesses gain new business by focusing on target accounts, and it can do the same for you. By following these simple steps, you can create an ABM strategy that will help your business stand out from the competition. So, what are you waiting for?

With the help of account-based marketing, businesses can focus on quality over quantity, and they’re able to see a real return on their investment. As more and more businesses adopt ABM as their primary marketing tactic, it’s clear that this approach is here to stay. Thanks for reading and get started on your ABM strategy today!

Staying Organized is the Key for Marketers

Details. Deadlines. Multi-disciplined teams. Clients. Suppliers. Multiple projects.

The life of any marketer.

On top of that, technology, social media, marketing tactics – our world is constantly changing. That means that us marketing professionals need to be always on top of our game. It’s not enough to just know the basics; marketing has evolved into a field where you must stay up to date with changes in technology, consumer behaviors, and marketing trends.

So how do you stay organized and on top of everything? I recently had a conversation with a colleague as they wanted to know my “system” of doing things. First off, if it’s in the computer (and phone), I don’t have to remember anything. Let technology work for you.

During our conversation a couple basic things came up

  • Organize your project folders and email folders in a similar way
  • A creative brief will help on any project, even a basic one
  • Prioritization – keep track of deadlines
  • Use a project management tool (like to keep everything in one place

My approach to projects

  • Gather information
  • Organize information into an outline format
  • Do you need other information from others? Reach out to them to get things in motion
  • Go back to your outline and start filling in the blanks with content, messaging, visuals, etc.

As a marketer of 20+ years, always be proactive. Get things started by taking the initiative. Come to your teammates or leadership with solutions and ideas.

The marketing world is constantly changing, and it can be hard to stay on top of everything. The more organized you are, the better chance you have at staying ahead in a fast-paced industry that’s always evolving.

As a recap:

  • Organize your project folders and email folders in a similar way so that when something needs to get done for one marketing initiative, there won’t be any confusion about where it goes or if its been completed yet.
  • Get creative briefs created for all marketing initiatives so you’re clear on what is needed and what needs to be done. This will help save valuable time which means less stress!
  • Hit your deadlines and keep track of all marketing deliverables. Use a project management tool (like to help with this.

I hope these tips are helpful and let me know if you have any questions on how I go about things.

Just a quick outline of some key elements


  • Nail down templates for everything that coordinate with the new website coming
  • Landing pages, letterhead, PowerPoint presentations, forms, etc. – that way you don’t need to think about that


  • Hard deadline vs soft deadline
  • What will you be waiting on from others? Get them going as soon as you can


  • Bullets instead of narrative – quick and to the point (like this outline)


  • Naming & file structure consistency (I use Year/Month/Day – Project Name, for example “211201 – Project Name”
  • (or something digital) as a project management tool
  • Apple Notes or a “quick” summary of projects/dates/status

Projects – Start with a Creative Brief

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why
  • How

Be proactive as opposed to reactive… get things done and show concepts, drafts and bring ideas.

Metrics… tie everything to something you can measure. Did it work and to what degree? Start looking at sales data overlayed with what marketing is doing and look for trends and correlations.

Public Relations Strategies for Success

Public Relations is a very important part of any marketing campaign. It’s the way you get your message out to the public, and it can be used for all sorts of purposes. In this section, we will cover how public relations strategies work and what they can do for you. We will also talk about some of the most common PR strategies that are used in modern day marketing campaigns.

Public relations strategies are used to spread information about products, services, or business in general. These public relations strategies can be very effective if they are carefully planned out and executed correctly. When creating a public relations strategy, you need to consider all the possible outcomes of your actions while considering who your target audience is. You also need to determine who will be responsible for putting the PR campaign into action, how it will be executed and what the overall goal of it is. Dedicating individuals as media contacts and for staff to direct all media requests to those individuals. By streamlining requests and activities it will ensure a consistent message that is part of the overall strategy.

The success of any PR campaign depends on determining exactly what these things are ahead of time. This ensures that everything goes smoothly during the execution phase which greatly increases the chances for success.

There are many different types of public relations strategies that can help you increase interest in your company. One of the most popular is the press release. Press releases are typically used to announce new products or new partnerships with other companies. Press releases are usually written in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and entices them to read it.

Here are some tips for writing a successful press release:

  • Include important information at the top of the release so readers can quickly understand what it’s about.
  • Add quotes from satisfied customers or experts in the field who have positive things to say about your product.
  • Put key facts and numbers in headlines or bullet points but leave out irrelevant or unverified information.
  • Write a release that grabs the reader’s attention and entices them to read it without making false promises.
  • Share your press release to as many online channels as possible to ensure the widest reach possible.

In addition to distributing and editorial pitching on news releases, there are many other aspects of public relations.

  • Media relations
  • Community relations
  • Corporate and social responsibility
  • Public affairs
  • Crisis management
  • Employee relations

The most important thing to remember is that anything you do in public relations should be done with the goal of building awareness, generating interest, and increasing sales. It’s not just about getting press coverage; it’s about paving the way for growth.

Many businesses also use social media as a platform for public relations strategies. When used correctly social media can have benefits such as brand awareness, increased visibility of your products, customer engagement etc… Here are some tips on how to successfully incorporate social media into your public relations strategy

  • Make sure every piece of content is consistent with your brand message, so people know who they’re engaging with and why.
  • Continually optimize and adjust all content based on performance metrics like shares and likes.
  • Monitor conversations about your brand on social media and engage with customers.
  • Strategically integrate social sharing buttons to allow people to easily share content.
  • Take advantage of using influencers in your industry so you can tap into their audience for greater visibility.

Marketing Strategies for the Future

The way marketers get information out is changing rapidly due to technology advancements, especially when it comes to marketing in media channels. These changes are creating new opportunities in markets that weren’t previously possible. According to a recent study by the World Federation of Advertisers, marketers will invest more in online advertising than TV advertising in 2017. This trend reflects how advancements in digital technology are allowing companies take the lead in fast paced marketing channels.

A lot of the new opportunities stem from the rise of programmatic technology. Programmatic advertising has allowed marketers to eliminate many of the middlemen in their companies and purchase ad space in real time at scale. This technology is already being used by prominent brands like Unilever, which spent over half a billion dollars on programmatic advertising in 2015.

Another recent trend that shows no signs of slowing down is the increase in content marketing. According to Content Marketing Institute, 85% of organizations are using some form of content marketing with 86% planning to use more this year. Additionally, consumers are spending an average of 3 hours per day consuming digital media. This means that there is a massive opportunity for companies to provide quality information through various outlets like blogs, social media, and online videos.

Lastly, the continuing growth of mobile technology means that marketers will continue to invest in mobile advertising. Mobile advertising is expected to reach $189 billion by 2020 with programmatic ads reaching $59 billion. This trend has allowed companies like Meta and Alphabet (to grow at an exponential rate due to their adherence of focusing on new product development.

Companies must adapt quickly to the changes occurring in the media landscape or risk becoming obsolete. However, it’s important not be overwhelmed when introduced to these new technologies as they can have a steep learning curve. This means being aware of what your company needs to do to stay competitive in your field. For example, if you’re not selling a product that most people purchase online then you should be focusing on marketing tactics that require less technological understanding.

As more companies are realizing the benefits of incorporating social media into their PR strategies, it’s important to stay on top of new marketing trends. It can be easy for marketers to get lost in all the new developments and forget how they should adapt quickly or risk becoming obsolete.

Questions & Approaches to an Effective Marketing Strategy

While goals indicate what you want to achieve; a strategy is the plan to meet those goals.

This is where we map out several integral elements in one, concise document to act as a checks and balances against your communications activities. Reviewing your activities against this document will quickly identify if you are on strategy with your mix and tactics.

Keep conscious when you’re creating this

  • What will stand you apart from competitors?
  • What will capture attention?
  • What will cut through the market “noise?”
Icons depicting teamwork, brainstorming, and leadership float around the words, "Marketing Strategy."

Here are five distinct marketing strategies you can use to achieve your marketing goals

Awareness marketing

I want people to know who I am and what I do
In order to be noticed, this marketing strategy must be loud and clear
The marketing message is simple and straightforward
Large companies use this marketing strategy because it gets a lot of attention very quickly

Legitimacy marketing

  • This marketing strategy is about building a reputation. Its marketing message is about the value you add to people’s lives
  • This strategy usually involves many marketing tactics over a long period of time
  • Small businesses use this marketing strategy because it takes much longer for it to pay off, but when it does, your success will be felt throughout the market segment

Affinity marketing

  • I want people to see me as part of a community, to become part of a bigger whole
  • The marketing message is about being a member of the club
  • No one company owns it. Several companies may use this marketing strategy at any given time depending on how they approach their marketing activities

Relationship marketing

  • I want to build a strong relationship with my customers, offering them the best of me and my business
  • The marketing message is that we fit with each other
  • This marketing strategy is about deepening communications over time through multiple marketing activities and approaches

Target marketing

  • I want to focus on a specific market segment, a specific target audience
  • The marketing message is about having the same needs, wants and desires
  • This marketing strategy usually involves marketing tactics created for this purpose only
  • It can be very effective when you have a smaller marketing budget which would allow you to focus on a small number of marketing activities instead of trying to cover a lot of marketing ground

Depending on your marketing goals and budget, all the above strategies can be used at the same time. Your strategy should also be aligned to support your brand and what you want to achieve through marketing activities.

Staying Focused and the Creative Flow

This past week has been a whirlwind of work and life. Just some highlights

  • 2022 Marketing strategy final reviews
  • 2022 Marketing programs – begin outlining activities to support the strategy
  • Reviewing marketing automation and nurturing tools
  • New work projects started, and a few wrapped up
  • I received a notice that there’s a drug surge in the town where my two kids are
  • The usual fire training – new EMR protocols and review/prep on forcible entry (love that stuff!)
  • My mother had a routine surgery – all good, but still added stress on my dad and sisters, and on me while being not near them
  • Smoke alarm went off at 4:30 am Wednesday morning. It was a malfunctioning smoke detector but only determined after checking things out (including the attic), borrowing the TIC (thermal imaging camera) and doing a full sweep just to make sure. Have you checked and changed your smoke detector batteries lately? Do it this weekend – don’t wait.
Flow, the Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi book cover.

Sounds like a lot, yes? But you know something? It was a great week! I was focused and in the creative flow. Speaking of Flow, a moment of silence for Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of Flow passed away this week. If you don’t know about it, check it out, it’s a monumental and foundational read.

I’m sure you’ve been there before. You’re in the zone (or flow), your creative juices are flowing and then suddenly, it’s like someone pulled the plug on your laptop. Then you’re scrambling to find inspiration or idea that will get you going again. What if I told you that there was a way to stay focused and work more efficiently? This post is about how to do just that. This works for me, but the key is finding what works best for YOU!

Have you ever been rolling along to have life through you a huge number of curveballs all at once? How do you keep focused and stay in the creative flow while dealing with those curveballs?

I know I’ve been there plenty of times. It can be very hard to focus on your work when you have a million things going on at once. You might feel as if all your ideas are disappearing and it’s time to start from scratch again. In those moments, take a deep breath and focus on what is important for now, and focus on that.

Everyone has a different way of creating. For example, some people focus better with music playing in the background while others prefer quiet surroundings. Some focus best early in the morning while others focus best late at night. You need to find out what works for you.

I like the analogy of creativity as a muscle you need to work out or it won’t work at all. To find focus, find something that helps get your creative juices flowing again and keep going. Don’t sit there and assume nothing is working because chances are if you just give it time, focus will find you.

Here are some tips that focus my focus:

  • Write it down – If something is on your mind, write it down. It doesn’t have to be in a journal or even an idea for a blog post. For me I use OneNote so I can access my notes anytime from anywhere. This way if I feel stuck, I can open my notes and focus on one thing that keeps me focused.
  • Keep your workspace clean – Being organized is important. When you take time to clean up your work area, focus will automatically come. Cleaning helps me focus because it makes everything more simple and therefore easier to focus on whatever it is that needs focus.
  • Find focus – Sometimes it’s hard to focus on what you need focus on instead of worrying about all the things you must do. To find focus, make a list of everything you need to do and then focus on one thing at a time. You can even prioritize your task list depending on their importance.
  • Diversify your focus – While it’s good to focus on one thing at a time, sometimes focusing on too many things at once can zap focus. So, focus on one thing for an hour or two and then focus on another task. Or focus on your work for a while and then take a break with some fun activities.
  • Take your focus outdoors – Sometimes focusing indoors can be challenging. I focus better when I get some fresh air and focus outdoors. Going for a walk or taking a break outside helps me focus because it’s like getting away from everything and allowing myself to focus without distraction.
  • Stay hydrated – Getting plenty of water while working will help focus. Sometimes I focus better when I’ve got a full glass of water because it can be easy to get dehydrated when you focus for long periods at a time without drinking anything.
  • Reward focus – Rewarding yourself is very important in motivating focus. You want to focus on your work so you can have some fun, right? It’s good to focus on work but it’s even better if you let yourself have some fun or enjoy life while focusing.
  • Take a break – Find focus, but also remember to take time for yourself so you can relax and focus on having fun. Life is all about balance and finding focus should help us all become more productive, not less. A focus break can be just what you need to get back on track and focus more efficiently.

Try out different focus methods until you find what works best for you. It might take some time but with practice, focus will come naturally when it’s time to focus.

To summarize, here are some keys to not losing it when life comes at you

  • Be and stay organized
  • Prioritize
  • Time management
  • Self-imposed target dates
  • Real deadlines
  • Time for YOU – For me it’s spending enough quiet time to stay organized, playing the guitar and cooking

Most people find it difficult to stay focused and motivated. It’s so easy for your creative, “in the zone” state of mind to slip away from you when you’re working on a long deadline or project that requires a lot of focus. The good news is there are ways to keep yourself in this productive mindset longer! The above tips work well for me – maybe they’ll help you too?

What strategies do YOU use to stay more focused at work? Leave a comment below with your best practices!