Posted July 14, 2011 6:26 am by with 16 comments

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OK, we are getting close to football season. I know there is a threat of losing some precious NFL season as the millionaires v billionaires lameness carries on but let’s put that aside for now. Let’s imagine everything is right with the world.

If real football is around the corner then so is fantasy football. It’s the place where every NFL fan who ever said “I can do a better job putting together a team than that general manager!” gets to try to do just that on some level. Of course it’s limited but it’s fantasy so we just play along.

As the general manager of your own team you are faced with the dreaded salary cap that prevents you from grabbing every top player in the draft. You have to deal with competition. You have to learn how to talk some serious trash and to negotiate as if this stuff really matters. Of course, in some leagues the buy in and payout make it more real than you can imagine but we’ll stop there :-).

So here we go with the first Marketing Pilgrim fantasy inbound marketing, uhhh, let’s call it a draft.

The following list covers many important areas of inbound marketing. It is not being promoted as a beginning and end all list. What it will be though, is a starting point for conversation amongst our dedicated Internet marketing readers. Your job is to pick the most potent lineup for inbound marketing success while dealing with the thing that is the marketers’ equivalent to a salary cap: a budget.

OK, now imagine your budget only allows for you to do any combination of the elements below for $100k total annually. Now, I realize that many smaller guys are thinking “Geesh, if I only had that kind of budget I would be rockin’ it!”. Remember this is fantasy inbound marketing so just play along and fantasize what it would be like to have real money to spend. Here are your ‘players’ and their associated cost against your total budget number.

  1. Facebook – $40k
  2. SEO – $30k
  3. Twitter – $ 30k
  4. Content Marketing – $25k
  5. Community Building – $25k
  6. Customer Service – $20k
  7. LinkedIn – $20k
  8. Landing Pages – $15k
  9. Blogging – $15k
  10. Local (Google Places, Yelp etc) – $15k
  11. Google+ – $15k
  12. Mobile marketing – $ 15k
  13. Offline Marketing – $10k
  14. Social Media Monitoring – $10k
  15. Employee training – $5k

Now here’s where you come in. You get to play Marketing Director and decide just how you will divvy up this limited fantasy inbound marketing pie. Remember your $100k salary cap (budget). Imagine your company as being the framework for your choices.

In the comments, tell us what your lineup would look like and why. I’ll get it started with my team, The Inbounders.

  1. Community Building – $25k
  2. Blogging – $15k
  3. Mobile Marketing – $15k
  4. Local – $15k
  5. Social Media Monitoring – $10k
  6. Offline Marketing – $10k
  7. Employee training – $5k

Total – $95k

Why did I go the route that I did? It’s because I don’t want to put too many eggs in one huge basket (i.e. spending significant portions of resources on Facebook and Twitter where everyone is likely to be). I am also looking for bargains. I look for things that don’t cost much but could have huge benefits. Take social media monitoring for instance. Relative to other activities it’s low cost but it still touches all the other areas and gives insights into how I may even want to restructure the team later on in the season.

I like to get into areas that can create very real conversations because they are more targeted for niche audiences. When you dive into the deep end with all the sharks fighting for the same piece of the pie it can get ugly real fast.

So you get the drift. You’re probably wondering why I would even put the effort into something like this post. It’s pretty simple. All of the talk and chatter from experts sounds very much the same and very preachy. There is little room for true innovation in the online marketing realm when you are limited by the opinions of those who claim some kind of expertise.

The real world doesn’t work in a “10 Most Important Factors for (Fill In The Blank) Success” manner. There are restrictions and harsh realities of what can and cannot be done and it is very hard to sit back and wonder what it would be like if I could only actually do everything that the experts say.

Of course, this system is far from perfect and you can feel free to pick it apart or add to it in the comments. I just thought it might be a good idea to actually think about something and try to apply it rather than spending another day in the pew being preached to.

Game on!

  • Love this, Frank! I am not a Fantasy Football person, so this has been very educational and very interesting way to look at marketing. Here is my breakdown…

    Content Marketing 25%
    Community Building 25%
    Customer Service 20%
    Blogging 15%
    Social Media Monitoring 10%

    Total 95%

    These are ideals and remind me that I have a ways to go! lol… but always moving forward.

  • Bilal

    Great insight Frank! Enjoyed it

    I came across a blog which talks about the evolving Social Media Landscape and the Never Stop Marketing era as the author refers to it. In the latest installment they talk about the using Net Promoter Score to assess a business

  • However you break up your marketing budget, I agree that you can’t throw all your eggs in one basket. If the majority of your traffic is coming from one source, what happens if that source goes down? If Facebook or Google disappeared tomorrow, would your site vanish with it? You have got to go with a diverse strategy!

    • Bilal

      Diversify but need to look at the ROI that your options generate.

      One possible way as i mentioned earlier is looking at NPS.

      Nick if you havent viewed this site i recomend it. I found it very helpful as i getting into Social Media & Marketing

  • Mike Shollenberger

    Awesome concept Frank! Here’s my team, “Incoming!” >>

    Community Building – $25k
    Landing Pages – $15k
    Blogging – $15k
    Local (Google Places, Yelp etc) – $15k
    Google+ – $15k
    Mobile marketing – $ 15k

    Total $100k

    – @webjock

  • Great idea, here’s the “team” I’d take into battle…

    I believe Twitter is the most active social media site therefore can yield the best results, content marketing is relevant to my business and target, Customer Service is key to any business, Local (Google places, Yelp etc) will help develop business locally, and Employee training to ensure proper employee techniques are being followed

    Twitter – $ 30k
    Content Marketing – $25k
    Customer Service – $20k
    Local (Google Places, Yelp etc) – $15k
    Employee training – $5k

    Total: 95K

  • Wow! – This is very cool that people are giving their ‘picks’ and rationale. It’s an interesting thought to truly look at what we would love (a veritable inbound marketing all star team) and what we can afford ( a star or two and some strong role players).

    Thanks for the participation!

  • Our team name would be the Orbital Alliance Nodes. They would have helmets with a big giant O on the side. Nice teal blue with a solid orange O.

    For the draft…
    Content Marketing – $25k
    LinkedIn – $20k
    Email Marketing – $15k
    Landing Pages – $15k
    Blogging – $15k
    Employee training – $5k

    So I tweaked it some… added email marketing for $15k… figured it had to be similar to blogging and landing pages. Not sure also if there is place for Video, or if that falls under Content Marketing, but hoping that is the case, so went ahead and added content marketing. Most of our business has come from referrals, so figure for this season, continue to push those efforts and work forward with looking to build business relationships through LinkedIn.

    BTW, for all those teams that didn’t draft landing pages, what good is marketing yourself if you don’t have an optimized landing page? Might was well throw some of those salaries away….

    With the extra $5k, would take that money and invest in software and applications that come out in the next few months to be more efficient.

    Like all fantasy drafts, there are those that aren’t even on the draft board that end up being studs…. we’ll be looking for a social niche community that can help us gain exposure to the right industries.

  • Has anyone considered Referral Marketing?

    If you can connect with the client, bring them in for a personal
    consultation so you can meet with them, then you stand a much
    better chance of landing them as a client. Computers can do
    much, but they can not touch and feel a client like a human to
    human connection can.

    …and now you are setting yourself up for repeat business as
    well as referrals via, hopefully yet another very satisfied New
    Client of yours.

  • 1. SEO (30)
    2. Blog (15)
    3. Local (15)
    4. Landing (15)
    5. Social Monitoring (10)
    6. Offline (10)
    7. Employee Training (5)

    Total – All $100k

    Community Building was an interesting one, as I’d prefer to leverage my blog to build that community. Mobile has a huge buzz that will only grow – however, the landscape continues to change in terms of devices… so considering the budget I had to consider mobile a waste of money at the moment. Obviously, my biggest hurdle will be attracting trending traffic, as offline marketing appears to be the only real promotion tool in my arsenal and it’s downfall is it’s lag.

    Can I have my employees covered in sandwich boards?

  • Great idea, Frank – thanks for posting! But one question? What happened to Marketing Automation in this mix? You’ve covered the Inbound side well, but from my admittedly biased perspective, Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation go together like a horse and carriage (apologies to the song). In fact, we call the combined powerful result an Inbound Marketing Automation system, or IMA.
    So here’s my breakdown:
    1. IMA design, installation and operations for 1 year – $30k
    2. Blogging – $15k
    3. Mobile Marketing – $15k
    4. Social Media Monitoring – $10k
    5. Employee training – $5k
    6. Content Creation (the fuel that drives the IMA) – 25k
    for a total of 100k.

  • The prices you chose are interesting. 🙂

    If I had to pick from that list, here is my team:

    Content Marketing – $25k
    Landing Pages – $15k
    Blogging – $15k
    Employee training – $5k
    SEO – $30k
    Social Media Monitoring – $10k

    • Mike – Glad you brought up the pricing. I was taking a stab at it. How would you change it and why?

  • That Marketing Guy

    Like the Idea you have above, lots of fun. But in the end of the day it will come down to the company you are running or products you are selling. I guess that’s what you interested in finding out with the different replies.

    Think this is one im going to have to come back to. It would be good if people could also post what industry they are operating in.

    Good Topic.

    • SEO – $30k
      Customer Service – $20k
      Landing Pages – $15k
      Google+ – $15k
      Social Media Monitoring – $10k
      Employee training – $5k

      Total 95K.

      Here are my reasons why:

      SEO is still the biggest driver of traffic in our industry, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      Landing pages are really important overall, so I can’t skimp on those 🙂

      At the cost of Facebook and Twitter, I think it’d be preferable to do what you can to create evangelists to handle your social media for you. Top-notch customer service is the best way to get people talking about your company/website, so I’m investing in that. To capitalize on it, I’m investing in Social Media monitoring.

      The employee training is to have all employees familiar with how positive experiences can benefit us from a marketing perspective, and to get them familiar with our social media monitoring.

      Finally, I don’t know what Google+ is going to mean for businesses yet, but I always like to take a bit of a star/bust risk with my fantasy team and G+ is it. Who knows – if it blows up, maybe I could trade it and pick up Community Building and Mobile Marketing 🙂

  • The SEO field has grown wide, bringing along many myths that make it difficult for you to actually grasp the dynamics behind the search engines. If you want to utilize their power, you will need an in-depth understanding of the different components of SEO and how they all come together. Some of these fantasies will be proven wrong in this article and you need to understand them before you even get into SEO.