Sword and the Script

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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The Marketing Value of Twitter Centers on Earned Media



The Marketing Value of Twitter Centers on Earned Media

Twitter made a number of advertising product (or inventory) announcements recently including a plan to sell ads on other websites. In a CMO round up, Wall Street Journal advertising reporter Steven Perlberg summed it up like this:

…Twitter has made the case that there is a large audience of people who see its content around the Web, but who aren’t actually registered to use the social media service. This is one of the arguments the company has played up to soothe the once-besotted investors worried about its growth prospects. But now, Twitter is readying plans to bring in dollars from those viewers: it wants to sell ads on the streams of tweets within other publishers’ apps and websites…

Certainly Twitter has a good case – there is undoubtedly a sizable audience that lurks on Twitter – and measuring the outcome of such visibility is challenging.  However the pursuit to “soothe the once-besotted investors” by showcasing what amounts to reach drowns out one of the things that makes Twitter so different from any other social ad option (especially Facebook):  It combines earned and paid. Read More…

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6 Pragmatic Content Marketing Predictions for 2015



5 Pragmatic Content Marketing Predictions-top

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is out with its annual list of content marketing predictions. The organization published its list in a blog post yesterday titled 60 Content Marketing Predictions for 2015.

It’s hard to believe CMI has been publishing predictions on “content marketing” for seven years because it doesn’t feel that long, perhaps serves to underscore the important role of data.  While my own writing on these very pages often laments how far we have to go – one thing that struck me in reading through this year’s predictions was the realization of just how far we’ve come.

It is perhaps, the beauty of paradox: it is nearly impossible to look forward without in some way, shape, or form, reflecting on the past. Read More…

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Persistent Sales Calls and Walking Into Spider Webs



Persistent Sales Calls Walking Into Spider Webs

It must have been the 5th time they called to sell me an extended warranty.  It was certainly the 5th time I’d said “no.”  Rest assured on the last three attempts I asked them pointedly to remove me from their list and stop.

Still the calls persist…

And persist they should, according to any number of sales statistics in circulation today.  For example, a meme appearing in my stream on LinkedIn stated to the effect, that 80% of sales close on the fifth interaction, yet most sales people rarely go beyond one or two touches. Read More…

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Symphony of Gates and a Healthy Debate Over Gated Content



Should We Gate Our Content

It’s a question as old as the web – should you gate your content?

It appears that most marketers do and reported gating “80% of their major content marketing assets” according to a survey vetted by MarketingProfs.  The same study points out there’s some content – infographics for example – is rarely gated.

There are credible – and often very passionate – arguments on both sides of the debate but the answer that’s right for an organization probably varies. It depends on the goals across the content marketing spectrum – is the content intended to attract, convert or retain customers? Read More…

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Marketing as a Bona Fide Profit Center



Marketing as a Profit Center-header

The party room rivals any I’ve seen in the local area.  It comes with four slides, a handful of forts, some bridges, a climbing wall, several swings – and enough space for a whole bunch of kids and one heck of a birthday party.

It’ll cost parents about $200 on to reserve the room for a birthday party on a weekend, though it’s less expensive on a weekday.  I can personally attest to the fact the pricing is very competitive with other options for hosting parties in the local area.  Most importantly, Rainbow Play Systems of North Carolina is more than accommodating, based on my conversations with parents and customers.  Read More…

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