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Listening to Understand

by · March 20, 2014

Listening. I talk about listening a lot. Which is a really, really funny thing if I think about it. Maybe I talk about listening too much and in fact, should be listening more. Listening is not only under-rated. It is also not being done thoughtfully.

When I talk to most of the clients about listening (snicker) I find out that they are making the mistake that everyone makes.

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Content Marketing Alone Will Fail

by · November 25, 2013

A friend asked me what was the difference in content marketing and social media marketing. He seemed to think the trend is now that companies are following the flow toward content marketing and the social media part has sort of passed it’s prime.

The problem is they’re different. While one begets the other, it doesn’t necessarily work the other way. This could pose a dangerous problem for brands that don’t see the natural flow and relationship between the two.

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The Highs and Lows of Timely Posts

by · October 16, 2013

A recent post by Scott Stratten got me thinking: Where is the line between shameless plug and mindful, timely brand participation?

Like most things, there is a time and a place for brands to piggyback a current event or holiday as a chance to connect and engage with consumers. These opportunities range from acknowledging a symbolic day of national importance (think Fourth of July) to bringing attention to a playful, off the radar holiday like National Hot Dog day. Holidays can boost engagement, but knowing the “when and how” of execution is important before pushing that share button.

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Five tips to creating a better candidate experience

by · October 10, 2013

It seems a week doesn’t go by without me reading another blog post or opinion piece about all the crap that candidates do wrong when trying to get a job. My favorite was a laundry list of reasons that you didn’t get the job. If recruiting is trying to be more like marketing, then recruiting, you are going to have to try a little harder. You see, I know you think these tips are helpful pieces of content, but what ends up happening is you look like the mean kids in school trying to tell the other kids how to be in the cool club. In short, you look like bullies.

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Planning For Spontaneity

by · October 1, 2013

All great content, whether premeditated or spontaneous, is a product of purposeful intent. Let me explain what I mean by that. By now, there probably isn’t a soul on social media that isn’t aware of Oreo’s spontaneous Super Bowl tweet. This little picture, sent at the perfect time, not only earned millions of impressions, it also set Oreo apart in the hallowed cannons of social media for months (maybe years) to come.

To the brands that look at this piece of content and dismiss it with, “Well yeah, right place right time. I guess they just got lucky.” I call bullshit. Oreo didn’t get lucky, that tweet was a product of purposeful, planned intent. No, they didn’t know three months beforehand that a blackout was going to plague the Super Bowl, but they had the foresight to know that something was going to happen during the biggest game of the year. So they put together a team of strategists, artists and copywriters to capitalize on that unknown something. Guaranteed if there wasn’t a blackout, Oreo still would have posted something great in the 3rd of 4th quarter of the game that would have had us all talking.

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Listening to Candidates

by · September 26, 2013

My dad always liked to point out to me that I have two ears and one mouth for a reason. He liked to tell me this because I talk a lot. And loud. Now, we have social platforms that let everyone talk, a lot. And loud. And where there are people, there are brands and employers who are excited to talk a lot and loudly to anyone who will listen. Social media provides employers with an additional channel to communicate with people interested in working for them. More and more employers are getting involved in social recruiting to get their message out to the audience.

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eos: A Smooth Case Study

by · August 28, 2013

Hats off to you, eos. With over one million fans on Facebook and more than 68,000 Twitter followers, the Evolution of Smooth (eos) brand has secured itself as a trend-setting, leading line of “stylish and effective daily-use beauty products” with an impressive presence on social media. The eos smooth sphere is currently the most coveted lip balm for fashionistas of all ages, redefining what it means to “moisturize in style”, as well as one of the most cleverly featured.

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Murder, Execution and Other Strategic Plans for Ambitious CMO’s

by · February 6, 2013

Chief Marketing Officers can’t rub out CEOs. It’s not fair because the CEO can surely deep-six the CMO. And if you’re a marketing exec intending to remain employed, you probably shouldn’t go on the record saying you don’t trust the CEO. However, CEOs can mistrust CMOs all they like. And they do.

In fact, according to a recent report by Fournaise Marketing Group, 70% of the 1,200 CEOs interviewed in their study don’t trust marketers’ abilities to deliver growth. A majority state marketing professionals are unable to prove ROI on campaigns. Ouch.

A little more fuel for the fire.

The report also says:

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Enjoying Pleasure Island?

by · January 2, 2013

After the recent kerfuffle over Instagram’s terms of service, the powers that be went back to the drawing board and, in the meantime, reinstituted their previous terms about advertising that had not raised as many eyebrows.

Much like Pleasure Island in “Pinocchio,” Instagram is packed with fun features, all for free, and few who enjoy playtime give much thought to what’s in it for the purveyors of pleasure.

In the (unlikely) event that you aren’t familiar with the changes Instagram made, the salient points are covered here. The one that sparked the most concern was the provision allowing Instagram to use user content in advertising without compensating (or even notifying) the user. Instagram has since clarified that it does not claim ownership in user content. Currently, the terms read:

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