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How to Sell More to the C-Suite With Neuromarketing and Focused Content


executive office c suiteWho doesn't want to sell more to the C-Suite? The question is how.

In a brilliantly insightful article, "How to Reach the C-Suite with Content," Roanne Neuwirth identifies the information executives need and value, and how to shape content to deliver it. This short article is well worth a read.

Neuromarketing takes Roanne's article to the next level, and provides some very targeted ideas on how to present the content more powerfully.

So here, in summary form, are what executives need and value from content, and how to deliver that content to the buy button in the C-Suite.

What Executives Need and Value:
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Provide a clear path to value for time invested
  • Use authentic and respected sources
  • Do not waste time on "salesy" pitches and lightweight stories

To Satisfy Executive Needs and Values, focus content on:
  • Hard facts, including research, white papers, and third party publications
  • Actionable and timely information on issues that matter
  • Summarize, summarize, summarize: address short attention spans
  • Match content and format to channel: make content easily accessible
  • Present a provocative vision for future possibilities
  • Evolve from the technical to the strategic

Neuromarketing to the C-Suite
The power of neuromarketing is understanding how decisions are triggered. According to SalesBrain, there are only 6 stimuli that can trigger decisions. They are:

  • Self-centeredness: Focus entirely on your prospect and liberally use the "you and your" words. Avoid talking about yourself and your company.
  • Contrast: Create maximum contrast among your solutions and competitive alternatives.
  • Tangible Input: Use numbers and easily grasped words like "more money" rather than concepts and esoteric statements.
  • The Beginning and the End: Place the most important content in the beginning (focused on the "you"), repeat it at the end, and repeat it as often as necessary during the course of the communication to regain interest.
  • Visual Stimuli: Use visual stimuli which are processed faster than words and concepts.
  • Emotion: Content is best remembered when it is experienced with strong emotions. Use stories to help create emotion.



Photo Credit: Content Marketing Institute article

How To Redeem Marketing Content From Deadly Content Sins


Some of the best advice on website and content marketing came to me recently from Mark Kilens (@markkilens), Senior Inbound Marketing Consultant at Hubspot. He said, “Create content for your ideal customers, not for search engine algorithms.” And the best content is what creates the greatest value.

content and Google Panda
If your business depends upon the Internet, this advice has profound implications on how you change your existing website and blogging content, and your content creation strategy going forward.


To attract quality visitors and improve visitor experience, create quality content that is original and contains helpful information such as research, in-depth reports, and thoughtful analysis. The business benefit is higher-quality sites that have better rankings.

It Started With Panda

The place to begin is the original announcement by Google about what has come to be known by the name Panda. This is from an article written by Chris Crum on March 26, 2012 that appeared in Google Panda Update Gets Another Refresh, Affecting 1.6% of Queries.

Chris orients us by summarizing Google’s original intent with this post from Google’s Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal:
“Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible,” the post began. “This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.”

“This is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

Key Takeaway:  Panda seeks to serve people as quickly as possible and it accomplishes this by penalizing low-value content and rewarding high-value content.

How Panda Works

In Beating Google’s Panda Update – 5 Deadly Content Sins posted by Cyrus Shepard and appearing on SEOMOZ, Cyrus provides this nutshell version of Panda:

“Panda starts off with human quality raters who look at hundreds of websites. Computers, using machine learning, are then brought in to mimic the human raters. When the algorithm becomes accurate enough at predicting what the humans scored, it’s then unleashed across millions of sites across the Internet.

“The point is: Panda starts off from a human point of view, not a machine’s. We can look at these sites with human eyes and see the obvious.

“Remember, Panda is a site-wide penalty, not a page penalty. So if a certain percentage of your pages fall below Panda’s quality algorithm, then the whole site suffers. Fix enough of these pages and you may recover.”

Key takeaway: Panda is about humans, not computers.

The 5 Deadly Content Sins

Cyrus Shepard writes about what Google wishes to punish, and provides these guidelines in the form of 5 deadly content sins.

In summary, his 5 Deadly Content Sins are:

1.    Heavy Template Footprint- the sin of a low ratio of original content
2.    Empty Content – the sin of nothingness
3.    Overlapping and Redundant Articles – the sin of targeting keywords instead of humans
4.    High Ad Ratio – the sin of listening to Adsense and not Panda (somewhat confusing because they are both from Google)
5.    Affiliate Links and Auto Generated Content – the sin of building pages with minimal human intervention

Pointing to the positive, Shepard adds, “Rand (Fishkin, SEOmoz) had it right when he told us to improve engagement metrics. Make legitimate, on-site fixes that actually improve your visitor’s experience. You’ll find that reducing bounce rate, increasing page views and time-on-site has the side effect of making your visitors, and you, happier.”

Finding Forgiveness For Weak Content: Focus on the Positive

This is from Kristi Hines writing for Search Engine Watch, Google Panda Update: Say Goodbye to Low-Quality Link Building.

Kristi shows us where to focus our Internet energy: “Content, of course.” Low quality sites lack quality content.

Nine in 10 organizations use blogs, whitepapers, webinars, infographics, and other high quality content to leverage for link building and to attract natural, organic links. Not only can you use your content to build links, but you can use it to build leads as well by proving the business knows their stuff when it comes to their industry.”

From Sin To Redemption With Your Content

So what’s in it for you? Matt Moog in writes One Year Later: How Google Panda Changed Our Business:

“So, that is how Google’s Panda update changed our business. It drove us to improve the quality of content, improve the credibility and trust of our experience and invest in Product Intelligence as a distinct point of difference in the market.
"We don’t know how Google is going to respond to these changes but the important thing to note is that every change we made improved the experience for the user.”

Key Takeaway: Improve the user experience.

Content And The Battle Between SEO And Conversion

In a comprehensive article on title tags, Brad Shorr makes this important point concerning the future impact of Google’s search personalization on title tag strategy that has implications for content in general. He says, “In my view we are heading toward an environment where social connectivity, rather than keywords, has greater bearing on search engine visibility.” So, for example, “…bloggers are wise to concentrate on social traffic generation rather than beat their heads against the wall trying to move up from Google page 30 to page 29.”

Key Takeaway: Build content that is highly shareable.

Coming Full Circle
Let’s go back to Mark Kilen’s advice. It translates as follows:  create fewer but higher quality blogs, longer articles that are original and well researched, and focus on what’s in it for the ideal customer, not the score on an algorithm one can only guess at.

Want help with your content? Purge it from deadly sins? Make it highly shareable? Please connect with me here.

Image Credit: Found via

Marketing Strategy 2012: 8 Ways To Beat The Competition


rich marketing strategySomeone once said that the only difference between the rich and everyone else is that the rich have more money.

Can it be said that the only difference between big companies and all others is that the big companies are larger? (See answer* below, if you can't wait.)

Marketing Strategy for 2012 deals with 8 areas of business discomfort that are opportunities in disguise. Do something about them and you can propel your company beyond its competitors and become a bigger player.

Based on conversations with business owners, trending business topics, and the latest thinking and product introductions by industry influencers, here are 8 strategic pain points that have the potential to significantly impact your business:


Digital Technology: Embrace it, because your business will increasingly use it and depend upon it. Here's how the big boys are embracing digital technology.

Mobile Marketing: Mobile marketing is growing because smartphone penetration among the US cellphone population has grown to 44% in December, 2011, and will account for the bulk of new purchases going forward. Jeanne Hopkins at Hubspot, along with industry heavy hitters,  has produced an entire webinar on mobile marketing (including how to use mobile apps) that can set your foundation for the coming year. And don't forget to get your website mobile-optimized.

Software Integration: Do more with less by using integrated software. Integrate blogging, landing pages, email, content, CRM, analytics, and more. Save time, money, and frustration.

Social Media: Less may be more as the options with existing social media expand. Focus on what works rather than doing more work. Amy Porterfield is an expert in this field and highly recommends this approach.

Content: Content is still king, and needs to be in place for your website to attract visitors and for social media conversations to take place. Generating new, relevant content is becoming the new battlefield, and there are some very attractive resources that can help. Start by bookmarking the Content Marketing Institute.

Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is the marketing of attraction. It's important to understand that attractive website don't necessarily attract visitors, and that many shopping cart programs don't attract any.

Blue Ocean Strategy: By Kim and Mauborgne, this book asks and answers the question "How to make competition irrelevant?" This is a timeless question to ask, and a good time to ask it is now.

Marketing To The Reptilian Brain: Part of the neuromarketing conversation, marketing to the reptilian brain means shaping and targeting your messages to the part of the consumer's brain that makes decisions. Master this and you'll improve your website, selling presentations and marketing materials. (Watch this take off in 2012.)

*Answer to the question: big companies are different from small companies because their ideas are bigger.

Contact me and let's discuss what big ideas might work for your company in 2012. And ask for any of the resources mentioned, above.

How To Use Surveys To Drive Remarkable Content



How Pagemodo Used A Survey To Brilliantly Promote Its Product

My eye was caught by this headline in a Google Alert: "Survey of Small Business Owners Shows Facebook is Driving New Business..."

(See article here.)

I advise small businesses with marketing solutions and am interested in how small business owners use Facebook. Here, in a very short search result headline, were many of my primary keywords. My eyes widened with anticipation and I clicked to get the entire article.

Here's the brilliant part: I was made aware of Pagemodo, which is the real hero of the article.

If you don't know about Pagemodo, and I did not, here's what it is according to the author: Pagemodo is a popular, do-it-yourself solution for making Facebook pages for business. It got my attention.


This article is a text book case study of using remarkable content to drive awareness, and can serve as a valuable learning lesson for anyone promoting their product or service.

Here are 8 key lessons to crafting remarkable content:

  1. The article appeared in the form of a PR news release which gave it authority and helped it get found by Google. (Google reported it from the San Francisco Chronicle.)
  2. Pagemoto attached itself to Facebook, a much bigger name.
  3. The headline was packed with high-traffic keywords, making it attractive to machine search.
  4. The headline was also well written, making it attractive to humans.
  5. Though written to enhance Pagemoto, the headline was not blatantly self-serving, and, in fact, presented a very compelling promise of useful business advice.
  6. The article provided highly useful information (the survey).
  7. The information included statistics to make it relevant and authoritative.
  8. The article used best practices to maximize getting found, including: keywords in the descriptive sentence following the headline, keywords in the first full paragraph of the article, a quotation that was highlighted, additional linked content, a concise "About" statement, social sharing buttons, and its website.

This is an excellent example of creating remarkable content and getting it found online. Print out this release and follow it scrupulously the next time you plan to promote your business.


Create Your Social Media Winning Lineup

Baseball Team

Who are your social media stars?
Here’s the challenge: put together the best lineup of social media stars and win the social media pennant-figuratively, that is. Use the baseball lineup idea and list your batting order from lead off hitter to the number 9 position.

Here’s my winning team. By the way, I’ll use the American League system with a designated hitter. And my team is gender-neutral; you’ll see what I mean by the players’ names.

So, have some fun, add a little commentary or sidebar notes, and turn in YOUR lineup (or make changes to mine), in the comment box, below.


Hitting 1st- leadoff
Bobby Blogs: High on-base percentage with Google and other search engines

Hitting 2nd- Moves the leadoff hitter into scoring position
Sammy SEO: Optimizes the leadoff hitter

Hitting 3rd- Power hitter
Connie Content: High slugging average

Hitting 4th- Clean-Up
Izzy Inbound Marketing: It’s how runs are scored

Hitting 5th- Power hitter, but can also strike out if not prepared
Faith Facebook: Great reach

Hitting 6th- Designated hitter
Carl Conversion: Keeps base runners moving ahead

Hitting 7th- Strong at bat/makes the pitcher work
Percy Persona: Focused on hitting the ball

Hitting 8th- Sacrificial
Alan Analysis: Often forgotten, but a critical player who makes all the others play better

Hitting 9th- Starts a new rally
Sally Sales Cycle: Introduces new scoring opportunities

WHAT DOES YOUR PENNANT-WINNING TEAM LOOK LIKE? Add your team members in the comment box, below.

Prefer some conventional social media conversation? Look into How To Manage Facebook: Two New Resources You Can Use Today

Photo Credit: Boston Public Library

How To Use Popular TV Shows To Drive Marketing Content


Dr. House Business ConsultantPopular TV shows are powerful and fertile fields for marketing content. For example, "What Would Happen If Dr. Gregory House Treated Your Ailing Business?" or "Is A Celebrity Chef Developing Your Marketing Strategy?"

What makes TV shows (and movies, books, etc.) an effective starting point for content development is that they offer an immediate awareness of a theme, personality, or situation. When taken out of their regular context they pique interest and tease the reader to read on.

Dr. House-Business Consultant
So, what would happen if House was a business consultant and not a doctor? He would...

  • Insult the CEO
  • Cause more pain than necessary
  • Would overlook the obvious solution until the 11th hour
  • Expose the company to lawsuits
  • Fire half of the staff
  • Take drugs at work

But, the company would survive-most of the time.

Not exactly an ideal consulting gig.

What about celebrity chefs messing with business strategy?

I took a crack at this with "What Would Marketing Strategy Taste Like If Prepared By The CEO?" This post actually has some substance; using the meal prep metaphor, it identifies the reasons why some marketing strategies have little customer appeal.

What's The Point?

With tons of solid, serious content being written, sometimes it's fun to look at things from a different angle to make a point, or just to laugh.

What's Next?

HOW DO YOU PRESENT CONTENT IN NEW AND ENTICING WAYS? Please share your ideas in the comment box, below.

4 Questions That Every Webpage Should Answer


4Qimage For total optimization, every web page must address these four questions. Place yourself into the role of a potential customer and ask:

1.  Do you feel my pain? Does the viewer sense that the webpage identifies with his problem or need?

2.  Do you have a solution for my pain? Does the viewer believe that you offer a credible solution to her problem or need?

3.  Why should I buy your solution and not one from your competitors? Does your webpage establish a unique and compelling value/selling proposition?

4.  What can you offer me in return for my continued interest? What value can you exchange for contact information and permission to communicate?
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