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Kat French

The Opportunity Cost of Opportunity

by · June 7, 2013

It would be great if we lived in a world where we had limitless resources, and were free to test out every great idea to come our way. Unfortunately, in our finite world of business (and life), every choice invokes an opportunity cost. When you choose to do X, there’s a Y that doesn’t get to happen.

Still, we try to fool ourselves with a mental sort of “creative accounting.” Instead of budgeting dollars, we’re budgeting minutes and hours of our time as if we were accountants for the mafia. We try to convince ourselves that we can “find” or “make” time for all the things we want to do.


Salvaging Your Sanity as a Community Manager

by · May 23, 2013

I was once fortunate enough to sit in a training session with Jake McKee, “The Community Guy.” We were talking about building brand communities, and he said something that stuck with me. I believe he was quoting Guy Kawasaki.

“If you last three years as a community manager, you’re good. If you last four years, you’re really good. And if you last five years, you’re crazy.”

I must be crazy, because I counted it up. I’ve been doing community or social media management of some sort, (albeit for a lot of different companies) for over five years.


When Less is More in Your Content Strategy

by · May 10, 2013

Recently, a friend and fellow marketer asked what aspect of their favorite podcasts did people enjoy the most. I admit, I didn’t give my most honest answer.

My favorite thing about my favorite podcast is that it’s only 15 minutes long. I’ve been listening to the very excellent Writing Excuses podcast for over a year now. While the writing and publishing advice is solid, I love their tagline.

“Fifteen minutes long, because you’re busy, and we’re not that smart.”

Most marketing and business podcasts run at about 45 minutes to an hour. If you asked most business professionals if they could spare an hour a week to listen to a presentation, they’d wince.


E-Commerce Content Strategy and Amazon’s Goodreads Purchase

by · April 5, 2013

As a lifelong book lover (and recent self-published author), I was taken aback by Amazon’s recent announcement that they are buying social reading website Goodreads. Although not for the ridiculous One Billion Dollars that Bloomberg posited (cue pinky-to-mouth Dr. Evil pose.)

I love Goodreads. I love Amazon. I’m just not sure that as a consumer and producer of books, I love the two being in a state of peanut-butter-and-chocolate, Reese’s Cup togetherness.

However, as a professional who provides content strategy at an ecommerce company, I have to set aside my personal quibbles and look at this move from a business perspective. From that point-of-view, there are some interesting implications.


What Tomb Raider Can Teach You About Content Strategy

by · March 22, 2013

This weekend, my family rented the latest game in the venerable Tomb Raider franchise. My husband and I can still remember playing the original Tomb Raider back in 1996, when we were a military family living in Japan.

The cost of living in Japan on an enlisted salary meant gaming was always a social event. The squadron’s gamers pooled our resources, and rotated who bought each new must-have game as they came out. But most nights, a dozen or so Airmen and their spouses would be crowded around a television in our friends’ tower apartment, watching Lara Croft’s pixelated derriere leap from one outlandish cliffhanger or puzzle to the next.


Is Content Discoverability the Holy Grail of Marketing?

by · March 8, 2013

It seems like lately everyone is talking about content discovery. Whether it’s Facebook’s Dan Rose asserting “Content discovery always has been and always will be social” or Rachel Foster from Content Marketing Institute providing a rundown of content discovery tools and tactics, it certainly seems to be a hot topic among marketers in 2013.

But what is content discovery, and where does it fit in your content strategy? Let’s take a look at the different ideas that are being bundled into the “content discovery” buzzword.


The Comeback Kids

by · January 25, 2013

Last week, I found myself working on a strategy for MySpace. Yes, MySpace. The newest iteration of the old school social site ended its invitation-only private beta, coinciding with new co-owner Justin Timberlake launching his first single in over five years. The completely reimagined UX has gotten coverage by everyone from Mashable to Forbes.

Just the week prior, I was checking out rave reviews for the new iPhone app for Flickr, launched as part of Yahoo’s latest attempt to return to digital relevance.  It was a well-timed launch, coming just before the current front-runner in photo sharing platforms, Instagram, took a major misstep with their latest terms and conditions.


Everything isn’t a nail.

by · January 11, 2013

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” – Abraham Maslow

In the last year, I’ve moved from a multidisciplinary web agency to a small consultancy to a huge eCommerce retailer. In each of these business environments, I’ve noticed how discipline bias can show up in different ways to reduce the effectiveness of any business’ marketing efforts.


Saying Yes to the Unexpected

by · December 14, 2012

By the time this goes to press, the latest career news for Jason Falls and me will be public.  Our move to CafePress is exciting. It means that we’ll be able to explore, in depth, the intersection of social technology and retail marketing in a large-scale ecommerce application.

This is exciting for so many reasons. Several years ago, I described SEO as “copywriting with a scoreboard.” Talented marketers shouldn’t ever be afraid of having their work measured against an objective standard, and there’s no more hard proof of ROI than having your work tied directly to online sales. A recent article from The Next Web says that the largest online retailers have been slower than the rest of the web to adopt social technologies, like social login. CafePress is making a big commitment to that adoption, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.


About Kat French

Kat French

Kat French is the Digital Operations Manager at CafePress. An exceptional writer both on the web and in other genres, Kat combines creativity with an agile, get-it-done attitude across a broad range of experience in community management, SEO/PPC, social media strategy and program management. She has worked with national brands like Maker's Mark, Daytona Beach Tourism, Optima Batteries and more.

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