Last fall, as I was perusing the lineup for speakers for #INBOUND16 and assembling my schedule, there was one session that immediately caught my attention:

"Could a Robot Create Your Content?"

Within seconds of mentally processing the title, I knew I was registering for it. I also muttered in a rage to myself that if the presentation was anything other the phrase "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" projected onto a screen for 45 minutes straight, I was going to completely freak out.

Because I'm a rational adult and a professional who never overreacts about anything, ever.

Of course, there was much more to the presentation than that. (In fact, it wasn't even close to my anti-robot vision.) And, as you might have guessed, the answer to that loaded question has many layers to it. 

That's why this week, after forcing Shelby to watch the recording of the session I attended (linked above), we're talking about robots. Are they nefarious, dark overlords who will ruin my life, as well as content and marketing forever? Or, are they like automation, where there may be a time and a place? 

One thing we know for sure is that we're in a new era of rapidly-evolving technology; that means it's time to start tackling these questions before the 'bots take over. So, grab your tin foil hat and listen in on our discussion... 

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Over the last decade, traditional marketing efforts have transitioned out, and digital and online marketing has moved in as the "big dog" in marketing town. Businesses used to attend trade shows when they needed to launch a new product, make big company announcements, build brand awareness and connect with potential customers.

Today, a lot of that work will happen online through inbound marketing efforts before the event even happens.

Unfortunately, a result of this shift has been that some companies have decided to pack up their booths and stop attending trade shows all together. They believe attending these events are no longer relevant, and that their marketing budget is better spent on activities with a higher, traceable ROI.

Yet, trade shows haven't completely disappeared, which means people must still be attending them to some capacity right? Every industry is different but the continued existence of trade shows begs the question:

Should you still be attending trade shows?

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Let me hit you with some quick facts regarding the longevity of promotional products and the impact that they make on a consumer:

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A professional colleague of mine recently turned me on to an article called Change or Die, which talks about the effectiveness of different strategies for getting people to change their behavior. The authors focused on behavior change as it relates to health care - a great place to start, given that changes to behavior can increase longevity and, put simply, avoid death.

But the concepts they discussed and the conclusions they reached have powerful lessons for the worlds of marketing and sales.

In this week's video (just over seven minutes long, but I've added chapters so you can go right to the parts that you're most interested in), I'm picking apart what really makes people tick and how understanding this can dramatically improve the results you get from your marketing and sales efforts.

There is a lot of data in here about health care marketing and antismoking campaigns. But trust me, it is very relevant to you if you're a marketing or sales professional. (And if you want to skip directly to the stuff about marketing, click on chapter four, and it will take you right to the good stuff.)

If you're a cyber security company, you should definitely check out chapter five, where I talk specifically about how to apply these lessons to selling cyber products and services. Although, while this is about cyber, the concepts apply to any company.

Check it out...

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out? Simple, make it mind blowing.

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

Our work culture thrives on people telling others – coworkers, bosses, friends, spouses – how busy they are.

Really though, we love to say it. Don't tell me you never feel just a little bit of pride when you tell your friends that "No, I can't go out on Wednesday night. I'M BUSY."

But busy-ness becomes a dangerous trap. It's so easy to just say "I'm too busy" and to move along from one task to the next, checking things off your list without really putting your full brainpower into any particular item.

So when we feel like everything is on fire, and out inboxes pile up with endless newsletters and emails, how do we – as marketers, content creators, and designers – keep our creativity flowing and continue to think outside the box?

In this week's episode, Liz and I dive into the tools and techniques that we both use day-to-day to get ourselves out of the "check-the-box" mentality. We share how we push ourselves to keep thinking creatively, in order to fuel the passions that we both have for what we do, and to continue to produce higher-quality work.

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Trade shows are a lot of work. It’s not enough to have an engaging booth and giveaway strategy; you need to have a strong action plan that extends from before you arrive at the event to when you return home with pockets full of business cards.

Whew. As an inherently lazy person, just reading that last paragraph made me tired, and I’m sure I’m not alone. But before you crawl to your couch to try to recuperate from the exhaustion of thinking about planning your next trade show with 11 seasons of Forensic Files on Netflix, we need to talk about content.

More specifically, we need to talk about how if you don’t have a clear trade show content strategy for your next event, you’re going to be putting in a lot of literal and mental elbow grease with little to show for it.

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When it comes to marketing, ROI is often what matters most, when you're reporting results of your strategies up the chain of command. Unfortunately, the more you need to demonstrate ROI in certain situations, the more elusive it can seem. 

And justifying the expense of attending a trade show is certainly not exempt from that. 

Think about it: How many times have you attended a trade show and after the fact thought, "Wow, I really got a lot out of that," only to later be asked by your boss, "So, what deals did you close? What is the actual dollar value we got out of that event?"

"You're so wise, Kim - that happens to me all the time." - You (Probably)
 

No one likes having that conversation, especially if you don't have results to share. The trick here is to understand that marketers are often chasing long-term goals like increasing brand awareness - which are not always easy to measure. But you may come back having to show short-term sales-oriented results.

The good news it there are ways to bring those two things together: finite trade show results that don't undermine long-term marketing strategies. But it does require effort before, during and after the trade show.

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If you've spent any time reading Quintain's blogs, you know that we are a HubSpot partner agency (we joined the program in 2012). Often, the companies that reach out to us for marketing help are looking specifically for a HubSpot partner agency that can help them get the most from their HubSpot subscription. Many of them struggle with how to determine which HubSpot agency is right for them, and how to evaluate the various agencies that they come in contact with. 

In this week's video, I'm picking apart this issue and going into detail about what the HubSpot partner program is, how a partner's tier status is determined, things to consider when choosing the right HubSpot partner, and whether you really need a HubSpot partner at all. 

There's some really good stuff in here, but the video is 10 minutes long.

Now, I realize you may not want to watch all of it, so I've added chapters in and you can click the chapter title to jump right to the part of the video that you are most interested in. 

Check it out...

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