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Is Curated Content Eroding Your Brand?

by · February 11, 2015

If you are fortunate enough to have the budget, resources and intellectual capital to create 100% proprietary content, yay for you! For the rest of us, in order to create a relevant, targeted, and informational mix of content for our intended clients/customers, we need to incorporate 3rd party content. And not all 3rd party content is created equal. Sure, it’s easy to be lazy with content curation, but if you don’t vet properly the price can be steep.


The Most Important Rule of Branding

by · February 21, 2014

What can zombies teach us about defending our brand? A lot, actually.

Maybe you think a having a strong understanding of your brand is enough – but it’s not. There’s a huge difference between what you want your brand to be and what it actually is. And you don’t get to decide that – your customers do.

But even understanding that difference isn’t enough. No, you have to figure out what your brand, and only your brand, delivers to the marketplace. Because without that secure base? Your brand is… the walking dead.


Community Is About Your Behavior, Not Your Brand

by · April 9, 2013

Think for a moment about the communities you’re a part of. Typically, our minds begin with geographic qualifiers and branch out. I’m a member of my local community, which can be described in the context of my city or my neighborhood. Distilling down to the neighborhood association sickens me — mine is run by rabid former hall monitors — but it certainly applies.


Content Marketing: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

by · February 5, 2013

She danced in an airport.  She was sporting red pants, a gray shirt, and ear buds pumping a jam.  She danced like no one was watching. Of course it was the baggage claim area at LAX, so there were plenty of people to watch.  Many simply ignored her, while a few were aghast, and cast glances that said as much. However, she wasn’t dancing for a couple hundred passengers awaiting luggage… she was dancing for 4.6 million YouTube watchers.  The message?  This girl has some serious confidence. The video is clearly a promotion for the lady-friendly site HelloGiggles.  It also clearly struck a nerve and went viral.  More importantly, it tells us something about creating good content:  write content like nobody’s reading and create content like nobody’s watching.


The Curious and The Needy: Does Your Website Deliver?

by · August 29, 2012

Inbound marketing. Content marketing. Social Media Marketing. Internet Marketing. In a time when the whole of the marketing and communications landscape has changed faster than many companies can adapt (and most certainly before they can master), is there small wonder some brands have found themselves having zealotously favored one strategic direction and roster of tactics over another, maybe only to later command the troops to, “Quick, now go thataway?”

Publish twice daily on your assigned topic! Tweet four times an hour with these two hashtags! Know the best time of day to update the Facebook page wall! Oh my.


Understanding Digital Branding

by · March 26, 2012

There’s an overabundance of chatter on marketing blogs and websites these days about branding. Brand this, branding that … most of the people spouting it off are referring to marketing but don’t realize it. They use the word “brand” because they had a meeting once with an account planner at an advertising agency who said something about “branding” and it seemed smart. So they added it to their tradespeak.


5 Ways To Improve Customer Intimacy

by · March 16, 2012

A recent Forbes article discusses customer intimacy in the capacity that a company should possess detailed knowledge of, and even be capable of anticipating, customer preference – then apply that knowledge to affect action outcomes and decision-making.

OK, I support this idea. It’s a foundational tenant of CRM. But I think real customer intimacy is created from a more closely balanced relationship between customer and brand. Not one where the data-mining company pushes consumers’ figurative buttons to sell product. But one where the consumer is predisposed to consider a brand because of favorable prior experience and the sense that their choice matters. That there is a concerned someone inside the brand who wants them to walk away happy.


Death to Bot Talk: Tips On Voice In Writing For The Web

by · January 26, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Suzanne Norman, director of brand at Emma, an email marketing and communications company.

The bot problem

Let’s face it: most companies write marketing copy for the web and email that reads like it was written by a robot.

And nobody likes bots. (See: spambots, twitbots, fembots, that 80s movie with Emilio Estevez where all the semi-trucks come to life.)

photo by davedehetre

I spot this kind of writing all the time in email marketing campaigns — that’s the realm I work in — but it’s just as rampant in every other digital medium.


10 Better Ideas Than Looking at a Top 10 List for Advice

by · January 10, 2012

Top 10 lists are like new year’s resolutions. They seem great at first, but they quickly make you feel bored, hopeless, and like you’ve wasted your time.

And that’s usually because they are filled with things you know you should do but can’t commit to doing. They’re too aspirational. Too shoot-for-the-moon-y.

Which is why I’ve kept this one bare-bones, tactical, and hopefully useful for you beyond the 4 days it typically takes us to crash and burn through our empty new year promises.