Ask the Tough Questions About 2020

The beginning of a year is always a good opportunity to start fresh. The same should be applied to your marketing approach. It is still early enough in the year to examine how you are going to make marketing work for you.

Here are a few items to look at and questions to ask at the beginning of the year:

  • Do you have a marketing plan, budget, and goals? If so, do they align with the organization’s objectives and goals for the year?
  • Do you have a good handle on the ROI (Return on Investment) of past marketing activities?
  • With regard to past marketing activities with low ROI: Have you considered whether it was the type of activity that failed you, or perhaps it was the planning or execution?
  • Are marketing resources split properly between branding-type activities versus ‘hard-core’ lead generation efforts?
  • Can your marketing materials (from business cards to website blog, and everything in between) use some fresh ideas, new content, new images, new design, etc.?
  • Are your target segments still relevant and you still know them well, or is it time you conduct a review of target market choices, buyer journeys, and personas?
  • Do your past and present customers feel appreciated and nurtured?
  • Have you planned for enough touchpoints with customers and prospects for the coming year?
  • Are you staying on top of trends in your industry and know what the competition is doing?
  • Have you incorporated into your marketing plan for this year at least one marketing activity you have never done or tried? If not, you should!

The questions above are not intended to be a full marketing audit. They are questions that we should ask ourselves every now and then – And the beginning of the year is a good time for you to do so. These questions will, hopefully, spark ideas and lead to additional questions that will help you make your marketing in 2020 better and more effective.

At Fractional CMO & Marketing, we help clients improve their marketing and selling strategies every day. If you’d like us to look at your plan for the year and provide our feedback without any obligation on your part, just call (or email) and let us know.

Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer

The Puppy Bowl, Animal Planet’s Version of the Big Game

By Polly Stroup, Editor and Copywriter


The Super Bowl is hands-down, the biggest television event of the year. It’s estimated that 110 million people will be tuned in to the TV on Super Bowl Sunday – friends and family enjoying the day like a full-fledged holiday!

For years, the question for every other channel that is NOT showing the Super Bowl is what do they do while it’s on? How do they keep viewers tuning in to their channel? Then in 2005, the marketing wizards at Animal Planet had a stroke of genius. Their idea was to broadcast their own ‘on brand’ version of the Super Bowl. The Puppy Bowl was born!

The first Puppy Bowl involved adorable shelter puppies that needed homes, doing their puppy-thing in a tiny football stadium – playing with toys and generally “puppying” around. It was an instant success, with over 5 million viewers.

These days, the two-hour bowl features a state-of-the-art (still tiny) stadium, a full-fledged marketing campaign, big brand sponsors, Super Bowl-worthy commercials (geared for the pet set), puppy/competitor bios, and plenty of positive press for Animal Planet.

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The Increasing Importance of Video Marketing in 2020 

By Ally Richmond, Staff Writer

In a world where digital marketing is at an all-time high, companies all over the world are searching for ways to stand out. Creating unique content in the form of blog posts and social media graphics is vital; however, video marketing is becoming the leading form of digital marketing, especially for Millennials and Gen Z. This trend is due to a variety of factors, including Google’s new E-A-T algorithm as well as internet user’s increasing positive response to video content over written content.

Internet users today, mainly Millennials and Gen Z, are becoming more and more likely to use ad blockers to reduce traditional pop-up ads. Blocking these ads means conventional forms of digital marketing are not as effective as they once were. Google has picked up on this trend, and in August of 2018, they updated their old algorithm to an E-A-T algorithm. This E-A-T algorithm prioritizes results that express more expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. The algorithm encourages creators to post unique content, such as videos, as opposed to generic pop-up ads.

Rami Kalla, owner and founder of Point in Time Studios*, an award-winning full-service video production company based in the Phoenix Metro area, has seen this algorithm favor video content over other forms of digital content. “Google treats videos as being high-quality content because of their popularity with consumers, making the need for video in your digital marketing strategy more crucial,” says Kalla. Since the algorithm switch, websites are 53 times more likely to appear first on Google if they have a video embedded on their site.

Video marketing is growing in popularity as people become more engaged in video content than written content. According to Forbes, over 250 million hours of video are watched every day on YouTube. Kalla backs this up as well, saying, “Videos on social media are very popular and are shared far more than written content, helping you engage with a wider audience. Videos can also help with your brand’s reputation through video testimonials, which consumers enjoy, and feel are more genuine.” The genuine nature of these videos serves the Google algorithm well. Google claims that smartphone users are twice as likely than TV viewers and 1.4 times more likely as desktop viewers to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices. Kalla also shares, “Video is a tremendous tool in the consumer buying experience, with around 90% of consumers saying videos influence their buying decisions.” Videos draw people exponentially more than other digital content because it is more genuine and personal, and it is easier for the viewer to consume.

For people to engage with your content, you have to have quality videos. Kalla shares, “You want your viewer to be able to consume your video content easily. Your video image quality should be high, so the viewer can clearly see everything in the video. The viewer should also be entertained and engaged throughout your video. Also, your video needs to have a clear message or story.” Experts also say it is important for videos to contain good closed captions. According to Forbes, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Kalla agrees, saying, “It is important to remember to put captions in the video to give Google something interpret.” Not only should your video have quality closed captions, but they should also be located in a prime spot such as the Home, About, and Bio pages of your website. “Videos on About and Bio pages became more of a necessity to help prove that a company is an expert,” says Kalla. Moreover, Forbes reports that users spend 88% more time on websites with videos.

So, what types of videos should you create? Popular kinds of videos include Behind the Scenes (BTS), FAQs, client tutorials, product reviews, and more. According to Kalla, “Videos are also incredibly versatile. No matter what your business or brand, you can use video. There are so many videos to choose from demo videos, brand story videos, and testimonial videos to 360-degree and virtual reality videos. There is no end to video marketing possibilities.” No matter what type of video you create, it is imperative that your video content gets posted on your website and shared on social media for it to reach your desired audience.

With video marketing on the rise, it is becoming imperative that companies consider the positive effects video marketing can have on their website traffic as well as how they may be able to reach their audience more effectively.


* Point in Time Studios ( is an award-winning video production company in Phoenix, Arizona, and they are trusted friends of Fractional CMO & Marketing. They help companies effectively communicate their messages in a visually engaging way. They strive to make a lasting impression on consumers through video.

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