Sword and the Script

Engineering the Enterprise for Content Marketing



Engineering the Enterprise for Content Marketing

Recently a puzzle like the one nearby made rounds on the web.   Fifth grade students allegedly can solve this problem in 20 seconds or less.

If you tried and failed, you are not alone and we are together in this one.  Though I tried to recall forgotten algebra lessons from the foggiest reaches of my mind the effort was for naught.  And algebra, if I could have recalled it, wouldn’t have helped me anyway.

The solution is far easier and I’ve posted the answer at the bottom of this post. Read More…

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Scale Content Marketing: Employees are the Secret



by Frank Strong

Scale Content Marketing Employees are the Secret

“The biggest challenge is that we are moving from an industry that could create one amazing commercial to reach consumers to an ecosystem with a diversified channel structure,” according to Mike Scafidi, marketing operations with PepsiCo.

His commentary was presented in a white paper titled The Future of Content co-produced by The Content Counsel and an AdAge team that writes sponsored content for brands.  The paper is based on a combination of a survey of approximately 500 marketers and interviews from a number of people, like Mr. Sacfidi, from large consumer brands.

The top challenges and goals identified in the survey – producing quality content consumers find engaging – are consistent with other content marketing studies.  Yet the paper also surfaces the underlying driver of the shift to content marketing. Read More…

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Infographic: The Perennial Customer Revolution



by Frank Strong

Infographic The Perennial Customer Revolution - headerBellbottoms are coming back in style. It seems every few years I hear this but the retro-trend never actually seems to  materialize.  It makes for good chit chat, but beyond that such chatter, is more or less idle.

It also seems to me the same is true of customer service.  Every few years there’s a new book that forewarns of a customer revolution.  Mass media, the web, social media were all destined to change customer service. And yet it hasn’t.

Good customer service isn’t the rule, it’s an exception.

Litmus test?  Quick name five businesses you can think of with exceptional customer service.

I can get to three: Amazon, AT&T and Zappos.  And I purchased shoes online…once…from Amazon. Read More…

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How Airlines Like Delta Hold Parents Hostage



by Frank Strong

How-Airlines-Like-Delta-Hold-Parents-Hostage-blurred

One of the first questions I remember Delta’s website asking me when booking travel was my daughter’s age.  She’s 4.

One fact of that experience I won’t soon forget was that despite having her age, Delta assigned my daughter a seat on our flight 11 rows away.

For a mere eighty-eight additional dollars, the airline was kind enough to reassign us in a row together.  And by additional dollars, I mean on top of the $1200+ I had already spent for the trip and not counting the additional $25 baggage fee (each way) for which carriers have become notorious. Read More…

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Visibility is a Commodity; Trust is the Ultimate Conversion



by Frank Strong

Visibility is a Commodity Trust is the Ultimate Conversion

It was the third comment this week.  The comment was vaguely related so as to give the appearance of relevance. It was also exuberant in its enthusiasm so as to pass as complimentary.  And it dropped a hyperlink.

For many that manage blogs, news sites and other online media, comments used to be welcomed as a sign of interest, engagement and resonance.  Today comments have become a part of a two-ways scourge, sometimes vitriolic and the rest simply spam.

Both varieties are useless, but the difference is remarkable.  The former is driven by passion, however misguided, and the latter is likely a service for which an unsuspecting buyer is paying. Read More…

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We Should Measure Content Marketing by Relationships



by Frank Strong

3 Ideal Content Marketing Metrics

As a metric for content marketing, pageviews are flawed according to a white paper – Why Content Marketers Are Using All the Wrong Metrics – published by Contently.  The company provides the combination of a talent marketplace and content marketing software to manage projects and campaigns.

The white paper calls the pageview a “superficial impression of how people behave on the web.” It also labels the click “its evil queen.”

For 20 years, the media and marketing world has been beholden to the pageview, a deeply flawed metric that only captures the most superficial impression of how people behave on the web.

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McKinsey: 5 Factors Driving a New Golden Age of Marketing



by Frank Strong

New Golden Age of Marketing

McKinsey & Company gave marketing organizations a nudge in February when it published an article on its site titled:  The dawn of marketing’s new golden age.

In context, the management consulting firm says advances in technology are propelling marketing into a new era that is reminiscent of Madison Avenue’s glory days. Mad Men may come to mind for culture, but what McKinsey says heralded that golden age was “a happy marriage of advertising and technology.”

Globally, marketing investments total something approaching $1 trillion which is an astronomical amount of money.  As a benchmark, in 1960 US advertising spending totaled $12 billion according to AdAge.  In more recent years, marketing has spent some $2 billion on word-of-mouth, $10 billion on PR, $60 billion in TV ads and about $160 billion on direct marketing according to industry studies (while we are counting, we waste 2 billion hours in meetings each year). Read More…

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Study: Marketing Budgets Take Aim at Digital, Social and Mobile



by Frank Strong

Study  Marketing Budgets Take Aim at Digital Social and Mobile

Marketers are more optimistic about the economy, expect marketing budgets to increase and will spend more on digital, social media and marketing analytics.

That’s according to a new survey of 288 senior marketing executives – the CMO Survey – conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.  The survey was conducted in conjunction with the American Marketing Association and McKinsey & Co; Duke has run this survey twice a year since 2008.

Economy Smiles at Marketing

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B2B Customers Want Thought Leadership



by Frank Strong

B2B Customers Want Content and Thought Leadership - head

Thought leadership is usually associated with top-of-the-funnel as far as marketing outcomes are concerned, but there’s evidence to suggest it meets the needs of existing customers.

According to an eMarketer report – Don’t Forget About B2B Tech Buyers Post-Purchase –  some 80% of B2B survey respondents are looking for thought leadership content after a purchase. Indeed, 41% said this was “very important” while just 2% couldn’t care less. Read More…

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5 Takeaways from the Salesforce State of Marketing



5 Takeaways from the Salesforce State of Marketing

Marketers disagree on needs and metrics – but appear to be doubling down on social media advertising and mobile marketing. That’s according to the new 2015 State of Marketing Report which Salesforce recently published.

The company that coined the term “marketing cloud” conducted the survey online in October and November 2015 and earned responses from 5,053 marketers around the globe. The report published in January 2015 is the second annual report – which provides benchmarks for understanding shifts in perception. Read More…

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