Brilliant Marketing Won’t Fix Lousy Reality

This fantastic cartoon by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne nicely demonstrates the irony of social marketing. We all assume that our work is worth sharing, and few of us believe that our own reality might be broken. Not the guys in blue above, not me and not you. Continue reading “Brilliant Marketing Won’t Fix Lousy Reality”

How Relentless Pursuit of Content Marketing ROI Guarantees Mediocre Content

moneyMeasuring the ROI of content marketing can be tricky. While companies white-knuckle the roller coaster ride from outbound to inbound marketing, many rightly ask for data to back up the hype. “Where are the best practices?” they ask. “Where is the research…the numbers that prove all this actually works?”

Meanwhile, new media pundits struggle to answer these questions. The tools are still so new that established best practices (the past) give way to seat-of-your-pants innovation (the future).

Exciting? Yes, but difficult to measure and prove in a spreadsheet.

While some aspects of content marketing (numbers of shares, RSS subscribers and comments) are easy to measure, others seem next to impossible. How does one prove that your brilliant white paper influenced a buyer to move forward with the deal a little more quickly? How do we draw a straight line from A to Z? Continue reading “How Relentless Pursuit of Content Marketing ROI Guarantees Mediocre Content”

Is Your Content a Bridge or a Wall?

I wish I could say that my love for content marketing originated from some positive, inspiring experience.

I can’t. The truth is, it was born out of fear.

Fear of calling on strangers. Fear of rejection, of coming off as too pushy, of doing things I was uncomfortable with. Fear of losing face.

Marketing allowed me (or so I thought) to avoid all the messiness involved in actually selling something. If I could get good enough at copywriting and creating content offers, then I’d only have to talk to people who contacted me first…new customers served up on a silver platter.

No rejection. No pushing against my comfort zone. No pain. Continue reading “Is Your Content a Bridge or a Wall?”

Why Great Content Without Persistence is Worthless

persistence1Ray Kroc built the McDonald’s empire from a single prototype in San Bernardino into a business behemoth that serves around 64 million customers every single day. While I’m not a fan of the food, I am a fan of the man behind it. Here’s one reason why…

There’s a plaque inside a sealed glass case at Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres, which he bought in 1974). On it is a quote from Mr. Kroc that not only applies to success in life, but to content marketing as well. Continue reading “Why Great Content Without Persistence is Worthless”

Engaging Content is More Poetry than Personas

poetry“Excrement! That’s what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard! We’re not laying pipe! We’re talking about poetry. How can you describe poetry like American Bandstand? “I like Byron, I give him a 42 but I can’t dance to it!”

This was English professor John Keating’s (Dead Poets Society) response to J. Evans Pritchard, according to whom the quality of a poem can be accurately measured by first becoming “fluent with rhyme and meter” and then determining a poem’s greatness by answering two questions: “One. How artfully has the objective of the poem been rendered? Two. How important is that objective?” Continue reading “Engaging Content is More Poetry than Personas”

Death by Dabbling

A marketing plan, like any other strategy in life, delivers 99% of the rewards only after all the real work is put in. Unfortunately, the often overwhelming emotional need to bring in clients now, to make a sale now, to make it all happen now, keeps too many people searching for instant relief.

The easy way. The magic bullet. The shortcut.

So most people dabble.

They start messing around with social media, only to quit when they haven’t built a massive blog, Twitter and Facebook following in two weeks. Continue reading “Death by Dabbling”

Media Mogul

Go back 20 years or so.

You read an article about how one day you’ll be able to produce your own TV show, magazine column and radio talk show. You can do it cheaply and with no network suits restricting what you can or can’t talk about. In fact, you’ll own the network. You can build an audience your way, over time, and establish an almost insurmountable competitive advantage in your market.

No guarantees of course, but a shot. And all it will take is some effort, creativity and a couple of pieces of equipment.

What type of show would you create? What would you write about every week? What topics could you discuss? What value would you bring to your audience?

Go do that.