Sword and the Script

How Airlines Like Delta Hold Parents Hostage



by Frank Strong

How Airlines Like Delta Hold Parents Hostage

One of the first questions I remember Delta’s website asked 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 already spent for the trip and 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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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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