I’m starting a new feature on Make My Day today called Marketing Mondays. As you know, most of my posts are about books, fashion, interior design, and cooking, but I do spend the greater part of my waking hours doing marketing for a software startup outside DC, and I thought I would try to document some of my marketing lessons “from the field” and incorporate them into the blog. So welcome to my first Marketing Monday!

This week I wanted to share my first-ever conference experience, including all the great best practices I learned while I was there. It was local, so it wasn’t quite the same as flying somewhere exotic, and staying alone in a fancy hotel room, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless! A few weeks ago, I spent the latter half of the week at National Harbor attending CapCon, a software marketing conference hosted by Capterra. Overall, the presenters were great and I got a lot out of it—definitely a long list of ideas that I’ve started cracking away at since I returned to the office (it’ll take me a while to get through them all!)…I’d highly recommend it to all software marketers who want to learn the latest marketing best practices, what to test, how to test, and how to better work with sales (they’re such a pesky bunch, no? 🙂 ). Overall, my three big takeaways were the following:

  • The critical metric of marketing effectiveness is the number of sales-ready leads produced per time period. There needs to be a common definition between marketing and sales on what a qualified (sales-ready) lead is to hold each area accountable.
  • Define the message map for each buying persona/market. Create content to answer their questions throughout the research/buying process and REPURPOSE everything (blog posts into e-books into white papers, articles, videos, etc.)
  • There are lots of easy tests we can be running to optimize our landing pages (images, headlines, length of form, videos, etc.)

We went over the following topics…my favorite presenters were Anne Holland, Ardath Albee, and Paul Gillin):

  • Top Ten Website Mistakes (presented by Besa Pinchotti, Marketing Director at Capterra)
  • Your Website Is Never Finished—What to Test and How (presented by Anne Holland, founder of MarketingSherpa)
  • Nurture Marketing – How to Design and Build a Nurture Flow (presented by Cari Baldwin, co-founder of BlueBird Strategies)
  • Capturing and Keeping Buyers with Creative Content (presented by Ardath Albee, author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale)
  • Testing to Improve Your Conversion Rate (breakout session with Anne Holland)
  • Building a Nurture Track for Your Business (breakout session with Cari Baldwin)
  • Integrating Social Media with Your Content Strategy (breakout session with Ardath Albee)
  • Staying Ahead of the Competition with Link Building and SEO (presented by Wil Reynolds, Seer Interactive)
  • What’s Working Now in Email Marketing (presented by Jeanne Jennings, teaches MarketingSherpa’s email workshop)
  • Software Sales Leads By Phone: What’s Working, What’s Flopping and Where the Money Is (presented by Michael Brown, sales consultant)
  • Successfully Marketing to Software Buyers With Social Media (presented by Paul Gillin, founding editor-in-chief of TechTarget)

Rather than bore you all to tears, I thought I’d post all my notes (8 pages) on Scribd so anyone who’s interested can benefit from EVERYTHING I found interesting, useful, powerful…basically anything worth noting during the entire conference. I break down each presentation, share the case studies we covered, my biggest lessons, tips and tricks for improving results, and tools I heard about to better manage all the moving pieces and figure out what’s going on. You can read them online or download them to your computer.

Read my notes from CapCon 2010



One Response to “Marketing Monday: A Recap of CapCon 2010”

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