In my opinion, technology has become the single biggest factor influencing the evolution of marketing. Yes, you could argue that customer behavior is a major influencer, but I believe that customer behavior is changing in large part because of technology, and not the other way around.

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We are no stranger to talking about blogging on the Creator's Block podcast. (We've talked about why people hate it so much, as well as three quick strategies for writing killer blog introductions.) Why do we talk about it so much? Because while we can all agree that blogging is an essential part of any successful inbound marketing strategy, it's also the marketing activity people tend to complain about the most. 

Specifically, there are two excuses that crop up in conversations both internally at Quintain and with our own clients time and time again. First, "I don't know what to write about." Second, "But I don't have any time to write a blog - I am so busy!"

So, on today's episode of Creator's Block, Shelby and I aren't just complaining and commiserating - we're providing you with tested strategies and tips for picking great topics and finding the time to blog. (Spoiler alert: You have more to say than you think, and guess what? We're all busy.) Enjoy!

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I am always asked, "Stacy, should I focus on inbound or outbound marketing? Which works better? Which fits my situation?"

And I always wonder, why do we always force ourselves to pick one or the other?

When someone asks me if I want chocolate ice cream or cookie dough ice cream, I say, "Give me some Ben and Jerry's Half-Baked! Let me have the best of both!" It tastes so much better than either flavor alone, right? That's because, just like with any good recipe, the ingredients work together to create a much tastier dish.

Well, the same is true of inbound and outbound marketing. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. You can have both, and using them together can provide even better results than each of them individually.

So, let's talk about how you can integrate inbound marketing into your trade show strategy, a very common component of outbound.

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I'm an avid fan of the Think With Google blog, and this week, there was a post that caught my eye and I thought was worth sharing with you.

The article, "Mindset Matters: How Leading Marketers Are Driving Growth," shares the results of research undertaken by Google and Econsultancy into what top marketers are doing to achieve outstanding results at their companies.

What they found was that the marketers who outperform the competition share three common attributes. 

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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!

The topic of cheap logo design, or low-cost design work in general, is one that quickly causes riots to break out in the design community. Keyboards sailing through the air, potted succulents shattered on the floor. Designer anarchy.

Or, at the very least, passive-aggressive comment chains on social media.

But what are the reasons business owners turn to cheaper design options in the first place? More importantly, what do you stand to lose by going with a cheap design, and what might you gain?

I will always be an advocate for good, labor-intensive creative work, but the prevalence of cheap, quick design work can't be denied.

In this episode of the Creator's Block podcast, Liz and I walk the line between these two extremes and dive into the positives and negatives of "low-rent" logo design, and what they mean for the people who write the checks.

We also talk about what business owners truly miss out on by not being involved enough in the logo design process, or by overlooking what is essentially the cornerstone of their entire visual brand.

In the end we came to a similar, simple conclusion: You get what you pay for.

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When it comes to inbound marketing, most people forget inbound sales, the other side of the inbound coin. 

Together, inbound marketing and inbound sales are the secret for converting more leads and closing more deals. HubSpot's sales tools are designed to support the opposite approach to the traditional strategies of cold calls. They are built as a personalized platform that will help you understand your customers better and provide your sales team with the tools they need to build, automate and accelerate their sales process.

So today, I want to take a look at these tools and show you what I see as each of their biggest advantages. 

Let’s dive in.

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If you are like most of the business people I work with, you'd like to get more good, qualified leads from your website. While many businesses initially grow as the result of referrals and word of mouth, at some point, that will only get you so far.

To succeed in today's digital world, you've got to build a digital funnel that attracts qualified prospects to your site and converts them into leads.

While many companies that I work with have been successful at using strategies such as inbound marketing to grow their website traffic, the vast majority seem to struggle with lead conversion. That's where conversion rate optimization - or CRO - can help.

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