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CMO

Paralysis of Choice

by · July 15, 2014

It’s overwhelming isn’t it? All of the choices, developments, options, approaches, strategies, opportunities, challenges. Marketing today is really a lot to process. There are new tools, channels, strategies, platforms (and so on!) being released every week. It gets so overwhelming and almost scary, that it reminds me of standing in front of the cereal aisle in the grocery store. The number of choices available to me is almost paralyzing. When we are faced with more choices than we can process, it is so easy to seize up into a mental paralysis.

In moments of mental paralysis, it is so easy to do nothing. Because it just seems too big. But, let me be the one to remind you:

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LinkedIn reminders for marketers

by · July 8, 2014

Of late, I have been bombarded with a number of unsolicited sales messages from people I do not know on LinkedIn. And I am not even talking about the hundreds of generic “Connect with me on LinkedIn” connection requests from people I do not know that I get in a given month. This is straight up sales pitches via LinkedIn’s platform. I am talking “Buy now” stuff and “Hire our firm to do xyz”. And it is annoying to say the least. It makes me use LinkedIn less. I am growing tired of getting mail that I don’t want in exchange for being visible to people I used to work with. It is a dangerous place for LinkedIn. It is possible that this is happening because people see an opportunity to use the LinkedIn platform to go deeper within their marketing efforts and launch direct marketing via the channel. Sounds awesome in theory, but like the email channel, people do not like unexpected solicitation in their inboxes. No one signed up for your sales pitch and just because we share a group does not give blanket permission to directly solicit people. LinkedIn is supposed to be about relationships and networking. And too many of us are skipping that part and trying to go directly to the sale. We should not skip that step…it’s the whole idea of LinkedIn! With that, here are a few reminders for marketers to be better marketers on LinkedIn. There are five things you can do that will increase your chances of getting my attention and not getting marked as spam and ending up in LinkedIn Jail

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Four innovation traps to avoid

by · July 3, 2014

We work with a number of very large organizations that strive to innovate in their category. Innovation is an awesome buzzword. One that gets shareholders excited. There are in fact whole departments at some companies dedicated to innovation. In addition to large organizations, I’ve also been involved with start ups of late who have laid out their sole purpose to change the way things are done in various industries…you, know disruptors. And these two entities, large companies and small startups do things so completely differently, but the ones that really come through and innovate and disrupt, they have either avoided these traps, or were nimble enough to escape the trap quickly and adjust.

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Eight tips to kick summer’s butt

by · June 18, 2014

It’s summer and in our house that generally means crazy town. My husband and I both telecommute, which is awesome and also a challenge. We both have flexible work environments so we split time during the workday and take turns as parents with our son.

To many people this sounds completely awesome and ideal. And in so many ways it is. What falls apart? Things like extra blog posts, webinars, working out, grocery store visits, you know… life. (I promise I’m getting to the point) And then it struck me, this should be the time of year when we appreciate the glory of summer and instead of freaking out about not getting to every little thing, we get a 10-12 week period of time to change gears. So, let’s embrace it with the following tips that we can apply to work and home:

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Competitor Content Audits: Why & How to Vet Other Players in Your Industry

by · June 5, 2014

As a marketer in today’s world, it’s our responsibility to generate a lot of content. Not only do we have to generate a significant amount of content, we have to provide information that our consumers find enough value in that they are willing to give us something in exchange for it — their time, their personal information, their money, and hopefully their business. So, you see, we can’t simply churn out a bunch of random, useless information and cross our fingers that it resonates with our target audience. It takes time and research; it takes a Content Strategy.

The first step in developing your Content Strategy is an Internal Audit. The second step, which is an essential step that should never be bypassed, is a Competitor Content Audit. A Competitor Content Audit is an in-depth look into the content efforts of your competitors to see what information is out there for your industry; what is working, what is not working; and where there is “open space” and opportunity for you to add value for your consumers.

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Finding your content mojo

by · June 3, 2014

As brand marketers we are tasked constantly with maintaining a social channel. And in doing so, we need to generate a TON of content. It is a huge challenge and one that has created some serious social paralysis in many marketing departments. Not only are we tasked with generating a lot of content, but our audience is looking for it to be (gasp!) useful and (dear lord!) valuable to them. Plus, we aren’t really supposed to be talking non-stop about the brand, so what are we to do. Simple – find a few key social themes.

Social themes are basically buckets in which your content shares some commonalities. For example, when I am curating content for our Facebook and Twitter channels, I focus on customer experience, innovation, content and channel strategy. These are the themes that drive my passion as well as the passions of our readers. We know our readers care deeply about these topics and there is a lot of amazing content that is developed to support these themes. Themes are incredibly important when you are curating content as they help focus your efforts and ultimately save you time and effort.

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Pivot like a champ

by · May 14, 2014

Our world is in constant flux. I think we like it that way. It makes us feel alive and allows us to stretch and also to complain. We like complaining, but that is for another day.

The level of upheaval in social media and digital marketing is something that we are becoming accustomed to. It is a good thing. Makes us nimble. Except when it doesn’t. Sometimes constant flux makes us panic and panic makes us pause and flap our arms a little.

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Social Grows Up

by · May 1, 2014

Social is older than we think. Listservs were the first foray in social and those were alive in the late 70s. But, mainstream social is becoming a teenager. Teenagers can be a wildly frustrating bunch. They change, have attitude and have a unique and burning desire to push buttons and challenge convention. I can see how this is manifesting itself today.

There has been quite a kerfuffle over how Facebook has changed their algorithm to hinder a brand’s reach. People have said that they are biting the hand that feeds them (total teenager move!). Over at Twitter, they are working hard to monetize their platform with more ads in feed. And LinkedIn is becoming a classifieds section and everyone’s content (people included!) is getting lost. Yes, indeed, social is growing up and becoming a fine teenager. And it’s time for us to let go a bit so that we can grow up too. Here are a few points to ponder as we do this.

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Scenes from the On-Demand Generation

by · April 17, 2014

The next generation of customers will be very different from today’s boomer or X-er. You may remember a piece I wrote about this new group – The On-Demand Generation. The oldest among them are on the cusp of tweendom and even more so than the Millennial generation, this group has no capacity to understand waiting and they want to be really involved in content creation. This reality was brought home for me at the end of Spring Break this year. On our last day, here was the exchange:

Son: “I cannot wait to be home again”

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