Category archives for

– Digital Marketing –

Listen To This: Stories We’re Telling Ourselves, inspired by The Beancast

by · February 13, 2015

I am an avid listener of The Beancast, so I’m excited that this week’s “Listen To This” post is inspired by Bob Knorpp and his guests (Winston Binch, Scott Monty, and George Parker). Per usual, the entire episode is worth a listen, especially for the digital marketing and advertising crowd. This year’s analysis on the analysis surrounding the Super Bowl is funny, honest, and on-point. Definitely check it out.

For this post, the ah-hah moment came about 37 minutes in, when talk of the industry echo chamber briefly surfaced. It was a moment that spotlighted storytelling. What kind of storytelling? The bad kind. The self-deceiving kind. The kind that oftentimes doesn’t seem like storytelling at all.

But first, a bit of context.

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Don’t know your KPI? Prepare to fail

by · February 9, 2015

It’s true, I can get pretty preachy about stuff from time to time and sometimes, I admit, some of my ideas are lofty and esoteric and occasionally unrealistic in practice. I can be very pie in the sky about a lot of stuff. Whatever the case, I know I get pretty soapbox-y about measurement. I happen to feel that measurement may be the most important issue of our time as marketers. The world is so omni-channel and ambient that it is overwhelming to start implementing measurement strategies, practices, and tactics. I get it. It’s like trying to build a car while you are in a NASCAR race. It doesn’t feel feasible. But, despite this, it is going to be mission critical that you get measuring right now.

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Agencies, Partners: It’s Time To Let It All Hang Out

by · February 5, 2015

How transparent should agency and client partners be with one another? Transparent enough that when an organization asks you to co-present with your client at a committee meeting on how you two work together to create a successful partnership, you can confidently accept. And transparency with others starts with being fiercely honest with yourself.

Now, let me explain.

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You heard the very expensive crickets. Now, hear this.

by · February 3, 2015

Much has been made of real-time or agile marketing. In fact, I wrote a little post about it myself some time ago. But recently, agile has come up time and again and it is something that we are actively adopting and training on here at SME. So what is agile, you ask? Well, agile is inspired by the agile software development principles of evolving requirements and solutions through collaboration. It is about flexibility and responding to changing audience needs and requirements. Think learn -> ship -> learn -> ship and so on. In an agile environment, you move quickly and respond to results based on data and direct feedback. These same principles are being adopted in the discipline of marketing as well. What may have been called real-time marketing a year ago is agile marketing today. It is flexible and always learning. It is about being nimble in your approach and constantly optimizing based on results.

My friend and colleague, Danielle, recently shared this article: “How to Craft an Agile Marketing Campaign”. It’s a solid how-to piece that you should read. But when I think about these principles for a large-scale enterprise, agile has a few hurdles to cross before it is widely adopted. Which is a huge risk for large-scale enterprises. The risk is this: Your scrappy competitors will beat you to agile and will know more about what works faster, giving them a competitive advantage.

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Report Shows Social Channel Effectiveness … Maybe

by · January 26, 2015

The latest report on marketing leadership is out from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Their survey of 5,000 marketers asks questions like what specific channels are you using for digital marketing, do you plan to increase your spend here, and so on. Reports like this don’t mean much to an individual company other than showing overall trends. But they’re still useful.

The study focuses on the digital space, so there’s no real comparison to off-line tactics or execution, but with that in mind, here’s my quick read of the report which surfaced a few interesting nuggets:

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Four Traits Every Brand Needs From Agency Partners

by · January 22, 2015

Many of us spend our career on one side of the table: Brand side or agency side. Expectations are set based on the experiences we have with those on the opposite end. I have spent time on both sides, but most of my experience comes from the agency side. From my time as an agency partner, I’ve come to learn that some brands have very low standards for their agency partners, which leave them with a less than “WOW” experience. A recent conversation with one my clients inspired me to share these four not-so-obvious traits every brand side marketer should expect from their agency partners.

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On Entrepreneurship, Success, Failure and Personal Branding

by · December 1, 2014

My hope when starting Social Media Explorer in 2007 (as a blog … it later became a business) was to build a brand that could survive without me.  Success came in 2012 as I stepped away and Nichole Kelly and team took over the agency side of the business so I could focus on events. Then in late 2012, I completely stepped away for a new challenge at CafePress.

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How To Separate Strategies from Tactics

by · November 24, 2014

I’ll be the first to admit, the first 6-7 years or so of my “marketing” career, I was a tactic-driven guy. While I had a notion of what strategies were, it was more of a, “just make sure you tie it all together somehow,” checks and balances, rather than actually thinking strategically. When I took the job of Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at Birmingham-Southern College, however, I had the idea that we should start with something bigger than a bunch of ideas.

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Switcher Studio Democratizes Video Production

by · September 29, 2014

It’s hard for me to be really interested in a new app or startup these days. So many ideas, so few honest assessments. At a recent meeting to discuss the startup scene in Louisville, Tony Schy of Velocity Indiana — an accelerator just across the river in Southern Indiana — said our market has the problem of being afraid to call each other’s babies ugly.

It’s not just a Louisville problem. It’s a startup problem.

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