Sword and the Script

5 Slighlty Contrarian Views on a CMO Council Content Survey



by Frank Strong

5 Contrarian Views on a CMO Council Content Survey

In July 2015, the CMO Council released a report based on a content survey conducted with syndication platform Netline.  The organization published a well-written press release that drew me in and pointed to one overarching conclusion:

Most view their content marketing process as ad hoc, decentralized and driven by internal stakeholder interests.

In reviewing the actual report – Lead Flow That Helps You Grow Report – I came to different conclusions on some of the findings: Read More…

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B2B Solved the Biggest Content Marketing Challenge Yesterday



by Frank Strong

A Solution to the Biggest Content Marketing Challenge You Already Have-head

Sometimes the answers are hidden in plain sight.

Content marketing surveys consistently demonstrate the biggest barrier facing marketer is feeding the content monster.

For example, 54% percent of 1,800 respondents said, “creating engaging content” was the top content marketing challenge in the 2015 B2B Content Marketing survey by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.

Those in the content trenches, know exactly what this feels like:  We are never done.  Even as one piece goes to publication, our heads are already down on the next two or three. Read More…

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The Shocking Beef about Feeding the Content Monster



by Frank Strong

The Beef about Feeding the Content Monster

The burger business tells us a thing or two about content marketing.

We can take a spin down the main drag in most cities and towns and find a burger joint. In most cases, we’ll find two or three and often more.

There was a McDonald’s that was a hot spot at the end of the strip when I was a teenager in high school. To my astonishment, there was a Burger King surrounded by blast walls when I deployed to Iraq.  I’ve found classic burger joints along travels – for both business and pleasure – in London, Paris, Cairo and Jerusalem.   Read More…

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Market Priming: Setting Conditions for a Product Launch



by Frank Strong

Setting Conditions for a Product Launch

Two or three days into the operation, thousands of troops were just about poised to launch an especially dangerous assault across a choke-point. Getting across, and gaining a foothold would be decisive to the operation.

The ability to both maintain the momentum, keeping the enemy on its heels, while also securing critical supply routes for essentials like fuel, ammo and water were equally important.

There was a list of things – conditions to be set – prior to giving the attack a greenlight.  In the beginning, the list was short and that would change. Read More…

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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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