Sword and the Script

Kevin Spacey: Conflict as a Marketing Counter Narrative



Conflict as the Counter-narrative of MarketingThe story is everything, but conflict is everything to the story.

So says Kevin Spacey who was the key note speaker of the Content Marketing Institute’s annual conference and CMI released this highlight video in an email today. The video is embedded below and well worth the five minutes it takes to watch it.

Though he can clearly pronounce the term “GIF” correctly, I’m not sure he knows much of anything about content marketing.  He does appear to have a grasp of storytelling and insofar as that’s a foundation of content marketing, then his ideas are interesting. Read More…

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Study: Effective Content Marketing Has One Element



Study Effective Content Marketing Has One Element

Walk with me for a moment – to about 30 years ago.  The setting is the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains and Mike Seaver’s teacher had found – after the conclusion of an exam – that Mike had written out answers to the test on the bottom of his sneaker.

In pleading his case to his parents, Mike claimed while he admittedly planned to cheat on the test, he didn’t have to actually cheat.  In other words, during the process of writing out the answers on his sneaker, he had internalized the answers and could recall them from memory.  He rattled off a bunch of answers to prove his point.

It was the 5th annual B2B Content Marketing Survey which conjured up that memory – from perhaps a more frightening part of my mind.  The study, which is co-produced by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, surveyed 1,820 marketers and had one overarching conclusion: Read More…

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Good Customer Service is Good Marketing



Good Customer Service is Good Marketing

When customers have great experiences with businesses something magical happens:  They tell other people.  In this way customers are a little bit like money in that it usually takes some to make some more.

For a couple years now, and perhaps longer, my sister and brother-in-law have purchased a subscription to the Cellars Wine Club as a Christmas gift for me.  Each month the company ships out two bottles of wine – with an accompanying one page summary of each wine describing the origins and making of the wine being shipped.  Read More…

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Frequency Hop: The Social Conversation Fragments



Frequency Hop The Social Conversation Fragments

A secure radio transmission broadcasts a signal in tiny fragments on more than 100 different frequencies per second.  To understand the message, a receiving radio must be scanning those channels in exactly the precise sequence as the transmitting radio.

The concept is called “frequency hop” and it is another layer of security in the radios the Army fields to ground troops.  Of course the messages are also encoded and without the key, the communications are unintelligible. The keys are changed frequently.

An advantage of frequency hopping is that it’s virtually impossible to jam a signal since it broadcasts in a choreographed sequence. Outside of a physical security lapse, I’ve never heard of a secure frequency being comprised.   Read More…

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Off Script #9: Steveology on PR, Content and Net Neutrality



steveology

A few years ago, I met him out on the social media trail. How it happened, I can’t quite recall, but over time, we just sort of took to each other.

Of all the things that Steve Farnsworth is – a man who counts IBM as a client, a regular on social media power lists, and ubiquity on the web – one that stands out for me is his approach-ability. He’s brilliant — and a genuinely good guy.

One of the most amazing things about the web – indeed one we take for granted today – is the opportunity to meet people we might not ordinarily meet.  Steve and I are on opposite coasts, and what’s amazing is how a few hundred social media exchanges over the course of several years can lead to…a real friendship.   Read More…

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Quotable: The Difference between Selling and Marketing



by Frank Strong

difference selling marketing

Click to enlarge image.

When I left my previous gig, which was focused on the PR and marketing industry, one of my concerns was losing a step.  That’s partly proven true, since my day-to-day now, while still marketing, is focused on an entirely different industry.

However, it’s also proven wrong because moving onto a different vertical market has also helped me look at marketing problems in new ways.  Last week, I found myself at an IT conference for the legal industry and one of the sessions focused on how to sell, or rather “market” IT project internally began with a quote I had never heard before and found it quite compelling. Read More…

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Infographic:  Nurturing the Gap between Marketing and Sales



by Frank Strong

Infographic- A Data Link between Marketing and Sales-header
Sometimes the things I learn in the Army are applicable in business.  A few years back I was fortunate to have been with a First Sergeant, the senior enlisted advisor for a company grade commander, who was king of the follow up.

I hate following up. I cannot comprehend why sometimes people say they’ll do something and then do not. Often I do perhaps the worst – especially from a leadership perspective – possible thing:  I go make things happen myself. Read More…

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Small Business Negative Reviews are a Gift; Here’s What to Do



by Frank Strong

Small Business Negative Reviews are a Gift

She was unhappy with a small businesses service, so she left a negative review.  She gave the business two stars in Google.

The business owner was outraged by the review. “You will be hearing from our attorney,” he allegedly wrote in response.

And there, in just a few paragraphs, one negative review went from zero to sixty in a game of chicken that isn’t likely to benefit the business.  It’s generally not a good idea fight with customers, let alone angry ones, and it’s downright dismal to do it in public.

Sure, such a public debate might draw attention, but it’s certainly not desirable attention. Even if a case winds up in court and the small business wins, it still loses.  It’s called the Streisand Effect, which The Economist sums up as follows: Read More…

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The Buyers Journey and Why Content Marketing is a Thing



by Frank Strong

The Buyer’s Journey is why Content Marketing is a Thing

In January 2013, I was licensed to skydive.  For a variety of very good reasons, it had taken me roughly 10 months to complete the accelerated freefall (AFF) course at Skydive Orange.

As newly licensed skydiver, I needed to think about buying my own gear.  While rental equipment is available, every jump will cost roughly double, there’s always a chance the dropzone (DZ) will need that gear for other AFF students and by design, it’s intended to meet a variety of sizes; it’s not fitted well.

I wasn’t about to rush into buying gear either. It’s expensive and if a skydiver makes a mistake ordering gear, the chances are good it’s going to be an expensive mistake. Read More…

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Infographic: Sales Struggle with Marketing Content Deluge



by Frank Strong

Sales Struggle with Marketing Content Deluge-header

These particular posts didn’t have many social shares and yet the analytics demonstrated someone had been looking at them.  The traffic was noticeable.

Generally I’ve found – both on personal professional sites – that for every social share, there are three visitors. So why were there so many page views on these particular posts?

With just a little more thought, the catalyst became obvious.  The sales team had found these posts and were emailing them to customers and prospects as a touch point. Read More…

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