We invite you to get to know you.

Marketing, Uncategorized Comments Off on We invite you to get to know you.

Organizations, companies or brands that deeply know themselves – those that have taken steps to precisely define who they are and what’s important, and have established a culture based in this identity – have an advantage: and inner compass, inner strength. They are able to see challenges and opportunities in perspective, relative to the “why are we here” question, which they ask and answer often, instinctively. True north is known. We can all think of examples – companies and brands that seem to have operated from a strong sense of purpose for a long time. When they make a move, they know why. They believe – not only the decision makers – everyone. Momentum kicks in. Customers get it. The supply chain conforms. Competitors scramble. The marketplace takes notice or even celebrates their initiatives. They lead. And, somehow, they make it look easy.

It’s a simple, even obvious, fact that conviction behind purpose equals strength. So why don’t all companies try to grasp, shape and leverage their innate culture throughout their organization and beyond? There are three reasons:

  • No apparent purpose exists – underlying or beyond profitmaking, growth, acquisition or IPO
  • Questions of purpose and culture have not been posed, discussed or meaningfully answered
  • Conviction and meaning behind a stated purpose have not been cultivated

There is reason and a need for companies – especially newer yet tested, merger-created and highly growth-focused organizations – to define and foster culture as an intangible asset, a differentiating component of the company or brand’s value and potential.

This helps organizations:

  • Plan, operate and communicate with conviction about today and the future
  • Provide context and rationale for initiative and change
  • Provide a basis for attracting, satisfying and retaining customers (Marketing, Service, CRM)
  • Provide deep rationale for loyalty, and attract/retain like-minded, qualified employees (HR)
  • Enable more accurate pursuit of the company’s vision and mission
  • Deliver business results for owners and shareholders

The impact of company culture is significant, far-reaching, quantifiable and well worth discovering, describing and expressing.

Recognizing Video as a Medium, and a Technology

Marketing Comments Off on Recognizing Video as a Medium, and a Technology

As with words on a page, the communication potential with video is limitless, and so are the choices. Just as writing requires more than merely typing words, producing a video is more than just shooting scenes. Thoughtful planning around the goal of a video is needed. The message, look, style and tone should be known upfront, the necessary content and effects identified. The completed piece should flow like a well-composed essay, with a point or point-of-view easily grasped or felt – even if no words are used. Whether it runs one minute or one hour, when you view a video like this, you’ll know it. The people who produced it are why – not the technology itself, the curved flat-screen or luck.

 

Is “content marketing” redundant?

Marketing, Strategy Comments Off on Is “content marketing” redundant?

Content marketing is hot. But remember when marketing wasn’t all about the content? We don’t either. The familiar red and white Betty Crocker Recipe book in so many American kitchens is an iconic reminder that what we call “content marketing” today is marketing, and always has been. It’s about taking a brand’s value to a specific audience segment, with unique focus and appeal because of the particular connection the audience has to the product or brand, and vice versa. To now categorize that function as a sub-specialty of marketing seems counterproductive. It’s easy to get tangled up in the expanding marketing lexicon to the point of confusion about what is important.

A television spot designed to sell a particular can of beans off the grocery store shelf, for example, is retail brand advertising. The content of that commercial is critical, every second – even if it’s imaginary or conceptual. The content (tone, attitude, visual approach) will likely share a thread of consistency (be integrated with) other marketing content such as the point-of-sale display in-store or coupons circulating for cents-off on the 16 oz. bean can. Explaining to campers why beans are a convenient and nourishing food when camping – that’s classic content marketing. Publishing tips (today, a white paper) on how to prepare beans over a campfire, that’s content marketing. Get it covered on a national talk show and you have national network publicity – which has always been great content marketing, especially if they taste a spoonful and appear pleased. Stage a contest for bean lovers and that’s content marketing with an event/experiential angle – and is nothing new. Posting on social media, “nothing better than #bakedbeans around the #campfire, especially this recipe…!” is content marketing via social media. Delivering valuable content via social media adds value to the medium as much as it does to the authoring source of the information. No wonder it seems that social media has given birth to content marketing – it plays a major role and is a direct beneficiary. Although what we now call content marketing existed well before social media, the new media are indeed opening significant new routes and methods for appealing to the interests of customers. The opportunity to foster communities of like-minded people who share connection to a given subject, product or pastime offers marketing opportunity, perhaps more than ever before. Yes, it’s a great time for content marketing… and for marketing.

In content marketing (i.e., marketing), substance, quality and timeliness are keys. As the opportunity expands so do the perceived importance and value of virtually free content marketing, and the bandwagon is rapidly filling up with specialists. But what matters is what has always mattered – that the content (your marketing) offer appreciable value in its essential worth or in the manner in which it is delivered or executed that brings advice, enlightenment, joy, reassurance or some other benefit to the recipient. The semantics and hyper-specialization (fragmentation) of our industry should not cloud the truth. Content is marketing. Marketing is content. “Content marketing” is redundant. Better content is better marketing.

This link from marketingprofs.com offers more perspective on this topic and great examples:
http://www.marketingprofs.com/pics/2011/5513/a-brief-history-of-content-marketing-slide-show

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