Sword and the Script

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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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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