The Marketing Companion

No list of hot technology trends is complete without a mention of the Internet of Things (IoT). But as we go into a new year, how does this become real to us as marketers? How is IoT going to show up in our daily worklife?

Tom Webster and I thought this would be a fascinating topic for an episode of our podcast but frankly the subject is over our heads! Not that this has stopped us before ... but we decided to try something new and actually get some expert advice on this important topic.

On this new episode, Tom and I interview Dr. Ari Lightman, professor of digital media and marketing at Carnegie Mellon University. I first met Ari through work we have done together for Dell Technologies, and through our meetings over the years at Dell-EMC World we've become friends. Ari is living with the realities of the Internet of Things every day and he provides extraordinary insights in this episode of The Marketing Companion.

We cover amazing topics such as IoT and ...

  • personalization
  • communications with different market segments
  • market research
  • defining the stories most important to our customers
  • the coming service level that will enable new marketing applications
  • the tangled implications for privacy
  • the impact on marketing employment levels.

Ari also tells us why he teaches his students that the Internet of Things is the Internet of Threats and how new vulnerabilities occur through everyday maintenance of these nodes -- at work and at home. You won't want to miss this extraordinary episode ...

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: The_Internet_of_Things_and_the_future_of_marketing.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:02am EST

In the next episode of The Marketing Companion Tom Webster and I explore three rich and timely topics:

  • The "Gig economy" -- The ability to match buyers and sellers in order to monetize incremental time has revolutionized the economy. As much as 2 percent of the U.S. economy may be gig-based. But there is a seedy underbelly to this trend.
  • Conversational marketing -- This is beyond the social media mantra of "conversation." New technology like bots enable one-on-one conversations to develop enhanced personal profiling about ... you. This could revolutionize customer service and targeted marketing. Will bots know you better than your best friend?
  • Fake news and filter bubbles -- Our homogeneous newsfeeds are contributing to the fake news epidemic.

In this episode, I also put Tom to the test -- can he identify the world's funniest joke? Click here to discover if he passed the test ... Resources mentioned in this episode: Pew study on the gig economy. If you can’t access the episode above, click on this link to listen to Episode 92

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: Conversational_marketing_and_the_gig_economy.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:24pm EST

America has been through a tumultuous election cycle, perhaps the strangest and most divisive time in the country's political history. What does it all mean? Sure, a lot has been written about this, but it's rare to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse from a person who was in the very heart of the process. This week in our new Marketing Companion episode, Tom Webster provides extraordinary insight into what happened on election night and what it means to those of us in marketing.

  • What happened to the polls, and what does it mean for the accuracy of market research?
  • The downside of probability calculators and how they might have impacted the election.
  • The role of "social desirability bias" and how it shows up on social media
  • Was the election won on Twitter?
  • How big data and analytics delivered the election win
  • The importance of the focused message and a movement
  • The impact of fake news

If you listen to one podcast, it would probably be This American Life with Ira Glass. But if you listen to TWO podcasts, you should listen to The Marketing Companion. Right? Check it out: Resources mentioned in this episode: Larry Rosin's post The Hidden Group that Won the Election for Trump If you can’t access the episode above, click on this link to listen to Episode 91

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: Understanding_the_US_election_and_its_implications.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:09pm EST

I want to share a statistic that kind of blew my mind. In 2011, about 20 percent of non-game Internet revenue came from content subscriptions (to stuff like Hulu, Spotify, Amazon Prime, and Netflix). The bulk of the revenue has historically derived from advertising. Today, that number has completely flopped with subscription-based revenue at 80 percent -- in just five years! And content-based subscriptions will account for more than half of all internet consumer media growth in the next five years. These projections came from Activate CEO Michael Wolf's presentation this month at a recent Wall Street Journal Conference. What makes this trend even more remarkable is that "cord-cutting" (getting all your media from the internet instead of traditional TV and cable) is only growing at just 1 percent per year. Growth in cord-cutting has been blunted because just 12 percent of the U.S. has access to the minimum speeds needed for multiple pay TV video streams. In our new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I dissect this trend and its implications for marketing.

The new media economy and advertising

I commented that the amount of video content being consumed is exploding, driven by two trends:

  • Viewing is now asynchronous, meaning you can view it any time you want and even consume in a binge
  • Fueled by subscription revenues,  channels like HBO and Netflix can take greater risks on quality long-form storytelling

An entirely new media economy is being driven by this content-driven trend, and the news is not good at all for advertisers. The millions of hours consumers now spend with subscription content is "unaddressable" by advertisers. Essentially, the places to even spend advertising budgets is drying up. This trend also explains some of the content/carrier alliances and mergers. Could this open up new marketing opportunities? The development of this new media economy is simply a fascinating idea and you'll not want to miss this recorded conversation.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: The_content_dominance_strategy1.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:53pm EST

There has been nothing short of an intense debate about the marketing skills needed for career success today.

  • Gurus like Gary Vaynerchuk have decried college educations, claiming they are a waste of time and money.
  • In an excellent and thought-provoking post, the brilliant Christopher Penn scolds the profession for falling behind, and warns that we need to keep up with topics such as cloud computing, mobile development, and integration software to be relevant.
  • Unilever CMO Keith Weed claims there is a "lost generation" of marketers in their 30s and 40s who are unprepared to lead digital brands and are faking their way through.
  • Still other marketing leaders such as Allison Dew, a senior VP at Dell, references a new workforce study when she says the 400 people on her marketing team better be steeped in marketing fundamentals and possess an ability to solve problems, not be masters Snapchat.

It has been more than two years since Tom Webster and I discussed this topic on our podcast and with the rate of change in the industry, we thought it was time to bring some attention to the issue. In the latest episode of The Marketing Companion we dissect the state of the marketing nation and explore the marekting skills needed to prevail in our field today. Ready for this? Here we go! Disclosure: Dell Technologies is mentioned in this post and podcast. Dell compensated me to attend its Dell World event in 2016 but exerts no editorial control over content I post.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: The_marketing_skills_you_need_to_succeed_today.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 1:49pm EST

We talk a lot about influence, but what is the true goal of influencing? Persuading. While I was far afield in South America for the past few weeks, Tom's wife Tamsen sat in for me in this episode of The Marketing Companion. Tom and Tamsen talk about the relationship between influence and persuasion, and what it really takes to not only make an impact, but to change behavior. Persuasion has a number of elements, and you can't truly persuade without understanding your audience -- not just the story you want to tell them, but the information they want and need to hear or read to achieve their own goals.  Ultimately, any successful marketing initiative takes time, and has to incorporate a "mosaic" approach to branding -- some persuasion happens in the moment, some over time. Tom and Tamsen dissect persuasion from both a speaking and writing standpoint, and offer advice for marketers that is more than 2,000 years old, but still holds true. The key to changing behavior is balancing the appeal to reason, the appeal to emotion, and the appeal from credibility. Most content marketing misses including all three, which creates a gap between what the marketer wants to communicate and what they actually do communicate. Along the way, Tom and Tamsen also discuss a number of marketing concepts, including:

  • The role of word-of-mouth and reviews
  • The difference between how we buy and how we DECIDE to buy
  • The problem with the "marketing funnel" and why customer journey models oversimplify consumer behavior
  • Why marketing is just pattern recognition
  • The fourth component to persuasion that technology has enabled
  • The problem with modern sales emails
Also, Tom and Tamsen wax poetically about the Ronco Bass-o-matic, and they present the first edition of the Cirque du Companion, an audio feast for the senses, including the talents of:

Ready for more? Here we goooooooooo ...

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

 
BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!
 
Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.
Direct download: The_Elements_of_Persuasion.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:05pm EST

In our latest edition of The Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I explore a couple of fascinating topics. The first is that marketers seems undeterred by the fact that most corporate content is not working, at least in a measurable way. Various research reveals that content marketing is not seen as effective by a majority of marketers, yet content creation budgets continue to rise dramatically. In our podcast, Tom Webster described content marketing as "an uphill slog" with the value of content "rapidly approaching zero" due to the flood of helpful and quality content that's available. But Tom points out that "Marketers have to do something, and this is that something." Is FOMO -- the fear of missing out -- driving a high level of content creation when the metrics don't seem to pan out? We explore the psychology and economics of this enigma, pointing out:

  • Many marketers have a short-term focus and do things day-to-day hoping that the accumulation of activity means something.
  • Google's impact on declining content value
  • The fact that content marketing takes time. Marketers may be exhibiting patience.
  • Google Analytics does not measure everything that is meaningful. We don't know the slight adjustments in the views of our readers/listeners/viewers with each piece of content.
  • Over time, marketers will spend money on the media that can be measured. There will be a flight to better-quality channels if content marketing cannot be better measured.

The other topic we discuss is courage in marketing, inspired by a talk by Jim Stengel, former CMO of Procter & Gamble. Mark and Tom look at two different examples of courage in marketing:

The new episode of The Marketing Companion is filled with big ideas and I know you'll enjoy it. Resources mentioned in this episode We referenced the creative commercials featuring the character Flo from Progressive. Doug Kessler of Velocity Marketing The post How Google ruined content marketing by Chad Pollitt

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: Courageous_marketing.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

It's not often that you see a blog post that makes you think, discuss, and maybe even a little sick to your stomach but that's what Steve Rayson of BuzzSumo achieved with his controversial post "The Future is More Content." Steve has put out some thorough, well-developed thought leadership pieces over the years and this post is among his finest because he brings up an ugly topic we choose to ignore -- that swarming the web with content -- maybe even crappy content -- is a legitimate strategy. It's a topic I've covered in The Content Code book and in a recent podcast episode -- when you get it down to it, the best content marketing strategy is to create "Content Shock" for your competition by finding an unsaturated topical niche and then thoroughly dominating it to the point that you attract most of the Google juice. If you don't believe me, try competing with Hubspot in the content space. In a follow-up post, Chad Pollitt of Relevance goes a step further to explain that Google actually encourages quantity over quality. Perhaps their algorithm is hurting their own customers! Steve Rayson's article points to several examples where the "quantity" strategy is occurring. He points to the Washington Post strategy of increasing their publishing rate to attract more views. He furthers his argument by noting that cost of content is coming down which will rapidly enable a "quantity" strategy. We'll soon have computer algorithms creating loads of crappy content for us at very low cost. In fact, it is already happening. Steve mentioned to me that companies like Automated Insights are offering to produce 1,000 blog posts for $250. Are the posts any good? Maybe they don't have to be. Steve argues that the future of content marketing is quantity, not quality. Of course this goes against the conventional wisdom of almost every content marketing guru around these parts, but here's the truth -- Steve has only revealed the dirty little content marketing secret everybody knows but doesn't want to acknowledge: quantity can beat quality. At least in some cases ...

Quality still matters, mostly

When you have a business model that depends on "eyeballs on ads" then driving page views at any cost may make sense. But if you are a business (like mine) that is trying to attract loyal customers who stick around and actually do something, then the quality  model is probably the way to go. Let's use Steve Rayson's posts as an example. I never miss his articles because he always delivers in-depth, data-driven content. And he usually writes long posts -- but not too often -- so I can keep up with them. If Steve started posting 250 posts a week, the first reader he would lose is me, and that would be a shame because through his content, I have become friends and a collaborator with Steve ... which is how content marketing is supposed to work when you are trying to establish thought leadership. When I get people unsubscribing from my blog (it DOES happen!), the reason most often provided is "too many updates," and I only publish 3-4 times a week. Even if I pushed that to 6-7 posts a week, I know I would lose a LOT of readers ... even though I might get a lot more "views" because the sheer volume is going up.

Viewers versus readers

There is one other very important dynamic here. When people do click through to a corporate site, the average time on a piece of content is 15 seconds. So do you really want views ... or readers? Nevertheless, Steve is mostly correct in his analysis and I think the only ones who protest the truth of what he is writing either skimmed the post or are in denial. In fact, in the near future most content marketing may be turned over to the machines. I have this image in my head of those swarming bots in the The Matrix Trilogy hunting down unsaturated long-tail niches and then overwhelming the little opening with thousands of pieces of content. Of course this will happen. Rather depressing to think about, isn't it? I suppose at the end of the day the only "Neo" hero we have in the content marketing world is either to be the content curator or to be the brand trusted above all others. If we can create content that is un-missable, unmistakable, and un-copy-able we might have a chance ... but let's explore this idea a little more, shall we? Tom Webster and I dive over the crappy content waterfall in our latest Marketing Companion episode. We punch holes in the quantity versus quality debate as well as revive our plans for CompanionStorm, a listener conference featuring Kanye West (kind of). You'll have to hear it to believe it!

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.
Direct download: Content_quantity_wins_out_over_quality.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:25am EST

I received a pretty big shock recently, a discovery that made me re-think who I am and what I know. For many years I have enjoyed digging into my family history. For many of us in the U.S. -- nearly all of us immigrants -- our family tree has tangled roots and uncovering where we come from can be an obsession. Most of the Irish side of my family came over during the potato famine of the mid-1800s. Some of my German ancestors where actually craftsmen in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. But one Dutch side of the family seems to have the longest history with America and in some way, the most sad. I recently discovered that one ancestor from this line of the family was a slave-owner in Virginia.

The mind game

This possible scenario for many Americans who have a long heritage in the country, but to actually have this ugly fact staring you in the face is unsettling, at least to me. To think that something in my distant blood had something to do with slavery just makes me shiver. And the mind game I pay is ... if I lived in that era, would I have been any better, or would I have just gone along? Psychologically, the justification for slavery was upheld by the leaders of the community, businesses and even the church, in some cases. In a rural Virginia village of the early 1800s, there was really no place to go for a dissenting point of view. There was no Internet, no Google, no television, no radio ... I probably wouldn't even have had access to a major newspaper. If I was cut off from the outside world, would I have any opinion beyond what I absorbed and repeated from the leaders in my isolated community? I'll never know if I would have had some sense of justice or if I would have fallen in line with the family business. I only have hope, and maybe sympathy, for the struggle of my made-up 1800s self. But what about today? That sort of information isolation is a thing of the past. With access to unlimited information, knowledge, opinions and insight ... is it any easier to be a a critical thinker and make an informed decision? The answer might surprise you.

Social media and critical thinking

Here is a grand irony. In this modern day, we have the accumulated knowledge of the human race in the palm of our hand, and we use this device primarily to rant about politics or share cat pictures. Although we have the infinite opportunity to learn and consider opposing views, the level of critical thinking may be no better today than the people who had access to no information in the 1800s. We're too busy to think, too busy to dig for truth.

  • A recent study showed that in general, people use social media to connect to like-minded people in their local communities instead of learning about other views and cultures.
  • Patricia Greenfield, a developmental psychologist, found that any screen-based technology we use, including video games, will certainly enhance our visual-spatial skills, but only at the expense of developing other mental abilities, including critical thinking, knowledge acquisition, and imagination. She said the rapid-fire reward of video games and text messaging could be a cause of the three-fold rise in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) over the past 10 years.
  • Researchers at Stanford gave a series of cognitive tests to a group of heavy social media multi-taskers and another group of light users. The heavy multi-taskers were found to be more easily distracted, less able to control their working memory, and less able to concentrate on a task when compared to the light multi-taskers. 

What does this mean to marketing?

So this very weird thing is happening. We have more information at our fingertips than at any other time in history and the technology may be depressing our ability to think, process, and think critically. Technology does not give without taking. Tom Webster and I have been discussing some of our observations in this area. It appears to us that people simply believe -- and repeat -- almost anything they hear from business gurus without thinking. We're seeing this lack of critical thinking so often that we decided to address it on our podcast. Also, in this episode we take a stab at upgrading our Millennial reach by introducing a Would You Rather segment. You'll learn why Tom would prefer to crap his pants in Starbucks and Mark can rock a thong. You are probably gripped with anticipation for this Marketing Companion episode and thankfully relief is in sight. In fact, it's right here.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.
Direct download: The_enigma_of_critical_thinking_and_marketing_today.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:34pm EST

I used to be a big shot.

  • In my corporate marketing days, I was among the top 1 percent on the company organizational chart.
  • I was awarded seven patents and I earned two masters degrees.
  • I closed the biggest deal in the company's history, worth more than $5 billion in sales.
  • I earned a big salary and managed a highly-visible team of global all-stars.
  • I had received two Chairman’s Awards for outstanding achievement, a stock award that was the highest recognition in my company. As far as I know, I was the only employee who had earned this twice.
  • In my position as Global Director of eBusiness, I was the company’s go-to guy for anything Internet.

My corporate life was a frenzy of activity. I was getting hundreds of emails a day, conference calls at all times of day and night, and lots of new opportunities and recognition. But I had also been dabbling in some entrepreneurial side businesses and, once I my kid’s college tuition was paid for, I decided it was time to re-invent myself and venture out on my own as a business owner, consultant, and college educator. I will never forget the eerie thing that happened the morning of my first day out on my own. The frenzy was over. No emails. No calls. No meetings in Paris. No communication of any kind. I was experiencing the Veil Of Silence!

A new equity of online influence

In my company, I was well-known and respected. But now that I was starting over, nobody knew me. Nobody knew -- or cared -- that I was a big deal just 24 hours ago. On my first day as an entrepreneur, I was the go-to guy for nothing. True story. When I started my new consulting business, my first two customers were a college kid trying to start a local catering business and a real estate agent. My first professional speaking gig was before the Lions Club in Farragut, Tennessee. The fried chicken served at lunch was delicious by the way. I had gone from being a person who was wined and dined atop skyscrapers in Shanghai to a fumbling entrepreneur building an entirely new reputation, and an entirely new brand, from scratch. Talk about a humbling experience. But in less than five years, I built a brand reputation that opened up consulting assignments with some of the biggest companies in the world, including Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, and The U.K. government. I wrote best-selling (really) business books. I was in a position to give speeches at convention halls filled with thousands of people. I’ve lectured at some of the world’s top universities and was even a guest speaker at a European “think tank” that had attracted famous authors and diplomats like Nelson Mandela.

The new path to power

My path to re-invention was filled with mistakes and bad habits that I carried over from the old corporate world. And this is what I had to learn the hard way: There is an entirely new paradigm of power in the online world … or what I call the new “equity of influence.” Here’s what I mean. In the carbon-based world of a traditional corporate office job, these are some of the things that help create power and influence:

  • Job title
  • Salary
  • Achievements
  • Number of direct reports
  • Control of scarce resources
  • Where you went to college
  • Executive relationships/sponsorship
  • Awards and certificates
  • Size of office

… there have even been studies that show how tall you are, how good-looking you are, and how you dress contribute to personal power in the “real world!” But on the Internet, none of this matters. Nobody cares what your title is. Have you ever tried to tell somebody on the Internet what to do? Nobody can really tell how tall you are, how rich you are, or what family you married into. It just doesn’t matter any more. In fact, there is only one thing that counts today, only one source of power and influence when it comes to the online world. And it is this. To be known.

The imperative of being known

I was recently invited to be a speaker at the next Social Media Marketing World. I've collaborated with Phil Mershon from SME for five years now and I count him as a friend. Yet, in our conversation he admitted that he had no idea where I had worked for most of my life, what I did, or what I had achieved before I was a blogger. When you get down to it, the only reason I am a speaker at this event, or any event, is because I am known. And, if I ever faded away for awhile, I probably would not be invited again. So where am I going with this? Being known has everything to do with your success, too. Where do you want to go with your career and your life? What’s next? Do you want to ...

  • Write a book
  • Establish a speaking career
  • Become a consultant
  • Be named to a prestigious board
  • Stay relevant in your field for many years
  • Build a helpful personal network
  • Be recognized by your industry peers
  • Obtain a teaching position at a university some day
  • Be seen as a leader in my industry
  • Put yourself in a position for a promotion outside your current company

I often have people ask me how they get to this next level in their career and in the process of helping these people, I kept finding myself providing the same advice over and over: “Well, to achieve that, you have to be ... known.” One of the favorite quotes that I used in my book The Content Code was from the international pop star Taylor Swift: “Today, artists get record deals because they have fans – not the other way around.” You may not think of yourself as the type of person who needs to attract “fans,” but I think the general idea here is relevant to nearly any career path today. Nobody is going to hold your hand and help you up that ladder any more. You need to be accountable for your own success, recognition, and brand. Your dream “record deal” might be a promotion, a contract to write a book, or an invitation to speak at an industry event. It is very unlikely that will happen unless you’re known, unless you have built up your very best Digital Self. This is a fascinating topic and the primary discussion point of our new Marketing Companion podcast episode. Tom Webster and I start with a humorous bit about the Marketing Olympics and proceed to a spellbinding account of what it takes to be known today. You won't want to miss this.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: The_importance_of_being_known.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:16am EST

If you read between the lines, Facebook just told us it’s going to become a lot more expensive to be in marketing soon. In their recent blockbuster earnings announcement, CFO Dave Wehner said something interesting: Facebook’s ad load, or the total number of ads the company can show to each user, will be a "relative non-factor for predicting Facebook’s future revenue growth starting this time next year."

Translation: Facebook is about to max out on the number of ads it can show users inside its platform, which means it will need to find other ways to grow the company’s ad business in the future. Simply increasing the number of ads it shows people will not be an option.

The optimal ad load is really a mix of art and science,” Wehner said. “We also want to be thoughtful about making sure each person’s overall feed experience has the right balance of organic and ad content.”

This was surprising to analysts, as evidenced by the fact that many of them then asked Facebook’s executives to elaborate on what this means.

So what does it mean?

Monetization options

It means that Facebook will need to do three possible things: 1) add more users, 2) create better-performing ads that it can sell for more money, or 3) find creative new ways to monetize our personal information.

Facebook’s user base is already growing — it added 60 million new users last quarter alone — but the “create better ads” part seems more difficult.

Facebook will either need to do a better job proving its ads lead to sales, which it’s already trying to do, or offer more premium ads, like the commercials you might see on TV.

A few years ago, I wrote a post called Content Shock: Why Content Marketing is not Sustainable which predicted this eventuality. As companies compete for limited attention span, the cost of marketing will have to go up as the channels “fill up" with content. In essence, this is what social media platforms WANT to do. The more Content Shock they can create, the higher the prices they can charge for ads. Let’s look at what’s happening over at Snapchat, the newest marketing darling. To monetize its popular platform, Snapchat recently began inserting ads between customer stories. Customers are pushing back. They piled on to Snapchat to get away from ads! But here they come. How many ads can Snapchat display? There is a limited ad inventory, and as that gets sucked up by eager marketers the price will go up and up. Eventually some companies aren’t going to be able to hang in that environment for long. It will be just too expensive. For some companies, it already is. As content popularity increases, it costs more to promote and compete. It's a great discussion topic for our new podcast episode and in this edition of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I break this down for you. We also get into some other interesting topics:

  • Why Silicon Valley firms need to move to Dayton, Ohio. Seriously.
  • Twitter's new branding effort -- Is it finally getting on track?
  • Is there anything unique about Twitter's content offering? Tom and I disagree on this one.
  • Plus, Tom introduces some ... unusual ... new applications from the Marketing Companion Labs. Absolutely hilarious!

Ready for this? Let's go. Resources mentioned in this podcast The book Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons Who is Nipsey Russell any way? New certificate program -- Rutgers University Online Content Marketing Course

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour! Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool

Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: Why_Content_Shock_is_coming_to_an_ad_near_you.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:06pm EST

Should children be exposed to graphic violence on Facebook without your knowledge and consent? Is it a widely-available broadcast channel like TV that should be regulated, or is it something different? The social web has created amazing opportunities to learn, discover, connect, and have fun. But with the advent of innovations like live streaming video, horrifying images of terror and violence are becoming a more common staple of our news feed. Facebook's "terror policy" is pretty weak. In fact, it has proclaimed boldly that any live stream -- no matter how controversial or ghastly -- is welcome on its live video platform unless the violent act is celebrated. So, for example, if a hostage is live-streaming a beheading, that's deemed appropriate content for a Facebook live stream. If a hostage live-streams a beheading and says, "The infidel got what he deserved," it would be deleted by Facebook because it glorifies or celebrates violence. The violent act itself is OK ... it's the intent of the person filming that determines whether it is appropriate for public consumption or not. Kind of a weird line, but that's the Facebook guideline right now. As of this moment, there is no way parents can absolutely guarantee that their children will not be exposed to horrific images on Facebook, not through Facebook or any third party app. Even if Facebook tweaks its algorithm to be age-sensitive, these videos could be seen through a share, by viewing another timeline, or by searching for the content. Shouldn't we have a right to NOT see horror?

Should Facebook be regulated?

In the United States, there are regulations in place to keep obscene, profane, and violent content away from children on radio and television. Cable channels and subscription radio are not covered under these regulations because they're considered "subscriptions." Since there is so much free "cable" video streaming around on apps these days, you might debate whether some of the regulations are dated or not, but clearly the government has a regulatory intent to protect citizens from content that is obscene or violent. There is no reliable filter in place to moderate violent content on Facebook -- wouldn't the government intent extend to this channel too? Facebook might argue that a person has to opt-in to its service, like subscription television channels (although it's free). So it is more like a cable channel than a network broadcaster. But isn't opting into Facebook similar to opting in to owning a radio or television? There are no ongoing subscription fees or commitments. The government recently ruled that the Internet is a "utility" like water or electricity. It is essential to modern life, not an optional subscription service. Should Facebook be regulated? It's a delicate issue, but make no mistake, this IS an issue. Or, is it?

Where is the debate?

What shocks me is that as I researched this topic, there is no discernible national debate on whether Facebook should be regulated like other broadcasting services. I found a few blog posts in 2010 on Facebook and regulation. A number of articles were written recently when it leaked that Facebook had a liberal bias and a very loose process to manage its trending news feed. But Zuckerberg addressed this bias issue through a meeting with conservative leaders and the topic has gone away. However, violence in our news streams is just beginning. Live streaming is a relatively new innovation. And there is no fool-proof safeguard to keep horrific content away from the eyes of children. Shouldn't this be a topic of national discussion? Can't we expect some option that gives parents the right to keep horrific content away from their children? This is important. Let the debate begin here, on The Marketing Companion podcast. In our latest episode, Tom Webster and I tackle this head-on. We also offer a different slant on the Pokemon craze and disclose new research that signals real trouble for the television industry. And, we reveal the 2016 edition of The World's Worst Apps that help you with everything from poop to passion. Ready for this?

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com,

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: Should_Facebook_be_regulated_.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:49pm EST

Is the psychology of content consumption changing? That's the central idea behind an amazing new discussion featured on The Marketing Companion podcast. Have you tried our free Internet radio program yet?  You'll have to hear this podcast to believe it -- the first order of business is the introduction of the world's first audio emojis! But then we get serious. Tom Webster and I get into some discussions that are guaranteed to get you thinking about the nature of content and content consumption today. This 30-minute episode includes ... Why Snapchat may be the most important communication channel on earth right now and how the "cognitive costs" of this platform will keep it relevant even when grandma joins in. The dramatic behavioral shift in consumer content streaming behavior. It appears that a massive psychological change is underway and there is more widespread trust in the cloud. There are some trends here that will amaze you. Facebook's random acts of strategy. The company is introducing new concepts and then stopping them, experimenting with newsfeeds in weird ways, and promoting new functionality in a seemingly random way. Does the company really have any strategic plan, or are they demonstrating an enlightened model for innovation in the digital age? Does Facebook need to be regulated by the Federal Communications Commission like other broadcasting channels in the U.S.?  Is the rapid development of technology exceeding a government's ability to understand it and discern possible threats and opportunities? ... Pretty cool stuff, right? Now it's your turn to step right up and experience the fun and excitement of The Marketing Companion, the world's most entertaining business podcast.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free audience Discovery tool. Affinio is an advanced marketing intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today's consumers. Affinio believes that if we can understand individuals at a deeper and richer level, then we can fundamentally change the way people relate to one another. By understanding the interests and cultural DNA of key audience segments, marketers are empowered to take an audience-first approach to making meaningful connections with ideal consumers. Find out how at Affinio.com.

Direct download: The_new_psychology_of_content_consumption.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:35pm EST

Each year, Mary Meeker compiles a wide-ranging report on the top Internet trends on behalf of venture capitalist firm KPCB. The report goes on for 213 pages. And do you have time for that? No! That's why Tom Webster and I distilled the report into the profound marketing trends that will have the biggest impact on you. Some of the ideas we cover in our new podcast are:

  • Why "viral" is more is more viral that ever and how Facebook Live will become the ultimate in reality TV and a revolution in journalism.
  • Why self-driving cars will dramatically change our behaviors and unleash new personal productivity.
  • The economic battle for your business may get down to music, movies, books, and switching costs. Will Facebook need to get into the music business?
  • The game-changing technology of voice recognition accuracy.
  • The malignant complexity of data and the vulnerability of a "single-source" supply channel.

Pretty interesting stuff? If that wasn't enough, it's the third anniversary of The Marketing Companion and Tom and I have a traditional gift change to remember. Let's get to it! Resources mentioned in the podcast: Jeff Jarvis Blog post on self-driving cars and the future of content

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free Discovery tool.  Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.

Direct download: Marketing_mega-trends.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:43am EST

We are rapidly moving toward an ad-free world, which is kind of scary because the Internet really, really, really depends on ads. Ad blocking increased by 94 percent between 2015 and 2016. About one-third of all smartphone owners block the ads that make all that great free content possible. I probably consume more content than ever. But I do it though Netflix, through Sirius radio, through Spotify. I don't personally use an ad blocker ... but I don't see ads, either. Fortunately, there is a new social media super-power that presents an extremely attractive new advertising venue: Podcasting. You heard me correctly. Podcasting is the little advertising engine that could. You can't block an ad on a podcast, and when the ad is delivered by a trusted podcast host, the format is arguably the most effective way to connect to some audiences right now. In fact, ComScore reports that people prefer ads in podcasts over any other digital medium! Now is the time to get in on the ground floor of sponsored podcasts. Fueled by smartphone ownership and the advantage of being the "multi-task" medium, podcasting is experiencing its greatest growth spurt ever, as evidenced by this new report from Edison Research: podcasts and advertising Most of the growth is occurring with consumers under the age of 55: podcasts and advertising And podcast consumers are voracious, spending more than four hours per week consuming an average of five different programs: podcasts and advertising podcasts and advertising Podcast consumers are desirable ad targets for many brands because they are significantly more affluent and educated than the average American: podcasts and advertising podcasts and advertising Finally, podcast consumers are much more likely to follow your brand: podcasts and advertising In a sign that the advertising power of podcasts is starting to be recognized, Scripps, a traditional media company, is making major investments in the space: It bought podcast advertising company Midroll Media for $50 million in cash in 2015, and Scripps just acquired Stitcher, a podcast-streaming app, for $4.5 million. As a marketer, the research had an impact on me and I enjoyed hearing more about this opportunity and the future of podcasting when I discussed it with Tom Webster on our latest episode of The Marketing Companion. If you love podcasting, marketing, advertising, social media, or just the sound of Tom's voice, you won't want to miss this show. Plus, you'll learn about Tommodium, a new pharmaceutical product from the Marketing Companion Labs. It's the solution to Social Media Constipation and ... well, you'll have to hear to believe it. Here we go.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free Discovery tool.  Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.

Direct download: The_greatest_social_media_opportunity__You_might_be_surprised.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EST

In our new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I explore a theme of marketing challenges to rise above the increasing noise levels to connect to our customers. It's a difficult proposition and getting harder all the time. Some of the topics in this jam-packed 30 minutes of marvelous audio content include:

  • Rising losses from ad-blocking are pushing marketing dollars into new places.
  • An unlikely source of content innovation -- printed magazines and books.
  • Innovations to merge games with serious editorial content to drive page views and engagement.
  • Surprising insights on what almost every marketer is missing when it comes to creating effective video content.

And if this wasn't juicy enough, Tom and I introduce a star-studded new motion picture: "Chatbots: Revolution" starring Sean Connery, Marge Simpson, and Slurry the lovable Marketing Companion Chatbot. You are not going to miss this are you? Let's find our marketing signal. References for this podcast Ad blocking to cost $12 billion Kickstarter project for print-only tennis magazine Most people watch with the sound off Washington Post new story form and games  

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out! Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative. "

Direct download: Cutting_through_the_marketing_noise.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:02am EST

In the latest episode of The Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I reveal our wishlist of what we would like to see "more of" and "less of" on the web. Among the topics we explore: Brand skepticism and brand bullying -- It seems like any time a company authentically tries to be "human" on the web it attracts an attack. If we want brands to show up in a more human way, shouldn't we reward them? Evangelism -- This word is a red flag for me. When anybody describes themselves as an evangelist for ... (fill in the latest social technology) ... I immediately wonder about the credibility of the person. "Evangelism" suggests you have a specific agenda and your goal is to "convert" instead of "lead."  The web need more business leaders and fewer evangelists. Long-term thinking -- Why Uber needs to be more like Nike. A brand develops from a collection of small interactions over time. Do brands still have the patience to be great? Whining -- Let's stop whining and start taking care of each other. Want to make the world a better place? Think about how you're showing up in your little corner of the world. ... and there's much more. Also, I have been experiencing chatbot envy. Apparently this is the way to go now, according to Facebook. So Tom and I decided we needed to get ahead of this curve by introducing Slurry™, the new Marketing Companion chatbot. It's not quite ready for primetime, but it is rather entertaining! Ready for some fun? Here we go. Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out! Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.

Direct download: A_modern_marketing_wish_list.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:04pm EST

Over the past few months I've seen a few trends coming together but I'm not sure I grasped the significance of what's happening until I heard a recent comment from my 16-year-old nephew. Here is what I have seen occurring:

  • WhatsApp has rapidly become the biggest messaging service in the world with more than a billion users.
  • Snapchat is a juggernaut with the 18-24 age group, now earning more daily check-ins than Facebook. The company founder insists it is “not a social network.”
  • Facebook is the social network for most of the world, yet their major investment is in the development of private Facebook Messenger, including bots that would help companies scale “human” interaction through the service. More than 900 million people use Messenger now.Instagram (owned by Facebook) started private DM in 2014 that focuses on the sharing of content with up to 15 people in a threaded approach. The artificial intelligence-powered messaging space that allows third parties to build and deploy chatbots is predicted to facilitate 40 percent of mobile interactions by 2020 as “smart agents” proliferate, according to Gartner.
  • After falling behind Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, Apple has become laser-focused on improving Messages.
  • Other private messaging services like Viber and Kik have established footholds with certain demographic groups and have attracted millions of users.

And here is the quote from my young nephew: "Oh Facebook is dead. My friend posted on Facebook and we made fun of him. We only use Snapchat now because who wants to put everything in public all the time? This just connects me with my real friends." Of course you can't pin a trend to the comment of one person but he helped articulate the idea I had been pondering: A seismic shift in how people connect to each other. People are more interested in actually communicating, instead of broadcasting. We don’t want personal and private lives merging any more and we want control over our different social circles within these messaging apps. Social media won't go away (Facebook isn't dead!), but it may become less important to certain groups as this trend toward more intimate conversation rises. It seems like we're going full circle. The first communication apps (ICQ and AOL Chat for example) were all private. What Facebook, Snapchat, and WhatsApp have realized for some time finally hit me, too. The world is transitioning from public social media to private media. For the foreseeable future, these intimate channels will present vast new opportunities, and perhaps perils, for marketers.

The rise of private media

The platforms have been responding to the rising trend of private media:

  • Instagram started private DM in 2014 that focuses on the sharing of content with up to 15 people in a threaded approach.
  • Twitter has experimented with Snapchat-stylized doodles and photo editing and in 2015 expanded the character limit via direct messaging.
  • Facebook Messenger will now support scannable codes, user names and links. This update allows the creation of a unique Messenger URL that will allow for greater discovery of users and businesses within the private sphere.
  • Facebook is already positioning pages and ad units with a “message the brand” option and analysts believe Facebook is positioning Messenger as its primary commerce hub of the future.
  • Business Insider reported that for the first time, combined usage of the top four messaging apps exceeded the combined usage of the top four social media apps. Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth:

Screenshot 2016-04-30 17.12.10

Implications for marketing

I am beginning to think through some of the implications for this trend and I would be delighted to hear about your ideas in the comment section. "Open rate" -- The typical open rate for email is about 20 percent. Without the boost of ad support on Facebook, your organic reach for your content probably averages less than 1 percent (this varies widely by business). The open rate for a private message? 98 percent. Smartphone users are more likely to have push notifications turned on for a messaging app than for email, a branded app, or even Facebook. Protection against another wave of content shock -- I recently wrote that content shock isn't a trend, it's a wave. Every "quiet" channel becomes more difficult and expensive to maneuver in as the amount of noise rises. How do you keep the open rate at 98 percent as the popularity (and potential spam level) rises? What will be the rules of engagement? Conversational moments -- Today a brand goal on social media is mass relevance. We want that kitty picture to get as many likes, clicks, and shares as we can muster. But in this new world, the goal is engagement through private, meaningful, conversational moments. How do you scale? Through ... Bots -- Facebook is working on smart bots that can hold human-like conversations. This seems like the foundational technology that would make this work on a large scale. How do we insert ads and brand messages in conversations in a way that isn't disappointing ... or creepy? From content-orientation to person-orientation -- In our current "mass relevance" model, content is at the center of the experience. In the future, content will still be important, but an individual will be the focus of the experience. We will be using Big Data in sophisticated ways to craft personalized, timely, location-based content and offers. Brand communications will be more immediate, expressive, and intimate.

Permission-based -- The challenge of Snapchat is to get people to find you and follow you. Presumably brands will have to get people to find and follow them in these channels.

The purpose of Facebook -- It will be fascinating to see how Facebook morphs and shifts in this environment. This is the platform most brands have been married to, and this is where most of the marketing investment is still occurring. There is a comfort there. How does that relationship change moving forward?

Data capture -- Several years ago I suggested that Google should give away new smartphones every year in exchange for the ability to analyze the gold mine of data in text messaging. It appears that this trove of data could be migrating from texts and email to company-controlled messaging apps. What will happen to the lines of privacy? Will there be a new value exchange for this data?

And by the way ... Where IS Google in this whole development? As of yet, they don't seem to have a relevant entry.

This is a fascinating new development and there are many, many future conversations we will have together on this topic. Let's get the ball rolling with this new podcast episode. In the latest edition of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I open up a discussion on private media and we also dissect new research on brand authenticity. And oh yes, we launch our latest product from the Marketing Companion Labs, Snapchat Silver, for those of you over 40 trying to figure out Snapchat. You won't want to miss this episode!

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out! Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.


So much going on today! So many changes to consider. Facebook and Snapchat and content wars. OH MY! In this new episode of The Marketing Companion Tom Webster and I consider some EPIZOODIC new ideas that will be affecting your marketing programs now and in the future. Listen in for some TREMENDIFIED new insights on:

  • Snapchat rejected Facebook's takeover bid last year. Mark Zuckerberg is taking revenge like a jilted lover. Watch out for this ZUCKERFICATION of Facebook Messenger. Facebook and Snapchat ... AT WAR?
  • The surprising new study that shows how people consume content in their cars. GOLLY GOSH this is unbelievable!
  • Audible is seeking WORLD DOMINATION on everything audio. The Netflix of audio? WOWZERS.
  • The epic battle for the content eco-system is heating up! Apple? Google? Amazon? TAKE COVER!
  • Twitter's new partnership with the National Football League. A multimedia SHOCKER! Is this the salvation of Twitter or is this FOURTH AND LONG for the company?

Also, don't miss this FREE eBook co-authored by Mark Schaefer and our sponsor Affinio called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Did I just say this is FREE? Why, yes I did. Well, you're probably ready to jump out of your seat by now. Please. Stay Calm. Your podcast awaits.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo's powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out! Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative

Direct download: Facebook_chases_down_Snapchat.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:40pm EST

First, let's establish something. Despite all the Wall Street belly-aching about Twitter, The Bird is a powerful force in our world. It is a place for innovation, conversation and collaboration. It is where news breaks and politicians rant. It is the place for real-time commentary on live events. But if Twitter has no paying customers, it will not be a platform forever. So there is the rub. Twitter has an enormous and passionate audience. It has a goldmine of real-time data. It is a primary method for getting news to spread. It is changing the world through Twitter chats. ... and yet nobody is paying for any of this. Twitter will never have the mainstream panache of Facebook or the dead-simple interface of Instagram. It needs to find a way to focus on being profitable with LOW user growth ... and you know, there are LOTS of companies that do that. But what Twitter lacks in growth it makes up for in high-octane relevance. When Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa cross swords over marriage and marijuana, they do so on Twitter. When Oprah single-handedly lifts a brand's stock price 23 percent, she does so on Twitter. And when a politician gaffes so hard it sparks a mocking hashtag, he or she (but probably he) does so on Twitter. Twitter has become part of the fabric of our lives. So as the stock for our beloved little channel continues to tumble, Tom Webster and I decided to take this on. How do you save Twitter? We cover a lot of ground in this 30 minute episode of The Marketing Companion and you're going to enjoy the debate! Here we go! How to save Twitter ...

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial and use the coupon MARKETING-COMPANION to get 20% off BuzzSumo for the first six months. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level.

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.

Direct download: 73_Why_Twitter_matters.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 8:58am EST

For the first time since Facebook unseated MySpace in the hearts and minds of teens, ladies and gentlemen, we have a new social media champion -- Snapchat, at least if you're a young American (cue David Bowie). While Facebook continues to dominate overall social media usage, in a new report from Edison Research, Snapchat has eclipsed Facebook with social media users aged 12-24. In fact, 72 percent of them now use Snapchat and 26 percent cited this as the channel they use most often, up from 15 percent just a year ago, a mind-blowing statistic. At the same time, Facebook dropped from 43 percent to 32 percent as the most-used network for that age group. This new report prompted a fascinating discussion with Tom Webster on our Marketing Companion podcast. We also discuss:

  • Why this trend is another way consumers are becoming "less available" to advertisers.
  • Why influencer marketing is growing in importance and how it is transforming in this ad-free era.
  • Is Snapchat social media as it was meant to be? It's unencumbered by Likes, status and brands (for now).
  • New data on podcasting and why Tom Webster now believes this should be considered a "mainstream" channel.
  • Why the "short attention span" view is a myth.
  • The enigma of radio -- receivers are disappearing but reach is holding steady.
  • Content in the future -- might be unrecognizable from where we are today.

Are you ready to hear more? Of course you are. Let's get to it. Resources cited in this episode:

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial and use the coupon MARKETING-COMPANION to get 20% off BuzzSumo for the first six months. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level.

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Our podcast is also brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. Take a look at building an engaged and relevant audience through innovative new games, contests, analytics, polling platforms, and other innovations.

Direct download: tmc.71.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:08pm EST

There is a steady drumbeat of bad news about content marketing ...

  • The output of content per brand increased by 78 percent in one year, but content engagement decreased by 60 percent at the same time.
  • On social networks, brand-generated content is seeing the lowest engagement rates now than any other time. BuzzSumo reported that even the best content creators are seeing dramatic declines in social referrals.
  • 50 percent of professionally-marketed blog posts receive fewer than eight social shares.
  • Content Marketing Institute, the relentless cheerleader for all things content, reported in their new research that satisfaction with the measurable results of content marketing slipped from 38 percent to 30 percent in just a year.

TrackMaven report concluded that a majority of professional marketing content fails to have an impact and calls this “the darkest picture to date of content marketing.” BuzzSumo's analytics genius Steve Rayson recently wrote:

Whilst in earlier years it was possible that if you produced good content it would get found and shared, almost by virtue of its quality, this is no longer the case. There is now so much content that even producing great content is not enough.

But despite the gloom, here is a fundamental truth: Content Marketing works. Which of course is part of the problem. In fact, the more it works, the more people invest in content. The more content, the more competition. The more competition, the more it costs to compete just to maintain the gains ... and this is exactly what we're seeing in the marketplace right now. The trick is adjusting to these new realities. How do we overcome that level of information density? How do we assign value to our work? And how do we produce content that rises above the noise? That is the topic of our new podcast episode and one that will surely make you think and perhaps it will even cheer you up in the midst of all this gloomy news. There is a path forward, but we need to adjust to these new realities instead of denying them. Here's how:

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world's best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial and use the coupon MARKETING-COMPANION to get 20% off BuzzSumo for the first six months. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level.

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Our podcast is also brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. Take a look at building an engaged and relevant audience through innovative new games, contests, analytics, polling platforms, and other innovations.

Direct download: tmc.70.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:13pm EST

How much time do you spend each week learning something new? It's a problem for me, which is why I love podcasts so much. I can usually find a way to fit in a 30 minute podcast and feel energized and refreshed. I am even getting a lot of new blog posts ideas from podcast discussions that inspire me. If you haven't discovered podcasts as a way to get energized and inspired, the latest edition of The Marketing Companion would be a great place to start. In this latest edition you'll hear about two new apps to help you create content, a list of the worst apps in the world (including the Death Simulator), and some radical new insights into customer service best practices.

Two cool new apps for the content creator

Tom Webster and I start the show covering two new content-creation apps we love. The first one is Anchor, an app that Tom uses to record and share soundbites on the go. These soundbites are called “waves" and could have an interesting impact on content creation. Lots of possibilities here. I talk about how I am using Blab and why I love it. I'm still in the experimental stage but see huge potential in this as a flexible and easy way to create quality content. I am even combining Blab and Slideshare.

Radical insights into customer service

The heart of the show is a discussion of the surprising data behind Jay Baer's new book Hug Your Haters. Tom Webster led an Edison Research team to discover the truth of customer service on the web today. Here are some the fascinating tidbits that came out of the show:

  • Why Jay's new book is not the one he started out to write.
  • What industries are number one for complaints?
  • What company gets the single-most number of complaints?
  • The vast implications of customer expectations for response speed.
  • What do you do about that 2 percent of "haters" who just love to hate? They won't go away no matter what you do. How do you know when it is time to walk away?
  • The Hatrix -- a strategy for dealing with haters
  • Onstage haters versus offstage haters and the amazing data that points to radical new social media service strategies
  • Why the emphasis on Twitter complaints may be overstated.

I'm sure you'll love this show. Especially the part about poop. Here we go ... Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Our podcast is also brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. Take a look at building an engaged and relevant audience through innovative new games, contests, analytics, polling platforms, and other innovations.

Direct download: tmc.69.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:07pm EST

On the latest edition of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I get personal. Between us, we have more than 50 years of marketing experience and we've learned many important lessons along the way. In this new episode, we look back and discuss the advice we have received from mentors along the way that changed the course of our careers. We also take Bollywood by storm. More or less. I think you will really enjoy this one ... Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

 

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events - is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Our podcast is also brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. Take a look at building an engaged and relevant audience through innovative new games, contests, analytics, polling platforms, and other innovations.

Direct download: TMC.68.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 1:26pm EST

What does it mean to be "digital?" Is your business digital? How do you know it is? Is it enough? Research shows only 18 percent of all businesses are really optimizing digital in a way that creates competitive advantage and those that do leave their competitors far behind. Which side do you fall on? In this new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I go deep on this topic and discuss what it really means to be a digital business, the importance of adopting a digital mindset and the impact on all of us as marketers. We also look at a case study of a company "going digital" that resulted in a $9 billion loss and the lay-off of nearly 18,000 employees. Are the stakes high? Yes, they are. Do you need to listen to this podcast? Yes, you do. Well ... here it is for your listening pleasure! Resources mentioned in this podcast The Inside Story of what Really Went Wrong at Target Canada, Canadian Business What Digital Really Means, McKinsey Global Institute The Most Digital Companies are Leaving the Rest Behind, Harvard Business Review Illustration courtesy of Flickr CC and Vancouver Film School

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

gShift’s Web Presence Analytics platform provides agencies and brands with search, social and mobile content marketing data in one place. Monitor and report on an entire web presence. Create smarter, faster content through gShift’s proprietary data. Report on the engagement and performance of your content marketing investment.

Our podcast is also brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. Take a look at building an engaged and relevant audience through innovative new games, contests, analytics, polling platforms, and other innovations.

Direct download: TMC.67.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 9:14pm EST

Tom Webster and I have been doing a podcast together for nearly three years. And this is what Tom had to say about our latest episode: "This was our best podcast ever." What made it so? Is the Internet changing for the better or for the worse, and should businesses care? We were inspired by a passage in a recent London Guardian post by Hossein Derakhshan.

 

I miss when people took time to be exposed to opinions other than their own, and bothered to read more than a paragraph or 140 characters. I miss the days when I could write something on my own blog, publish on my own domain, without taking an equal time to promote it on numerous social networks; when nobody cared about likes and reshares, and best time to post. That’s the web I remember ... That’s the web we have to save.

How has the Internet changed in ways that help us or hurt us? Are our values and the promise of the web being slowly "boiled away?" Is the "inward gaze" of social media becoming a dead-end for content? As "newness and popularity" replace authority on the web does its significance decline? One of our deepest and most interesting discussions. I think you will enjoy audio discussion. Is this the Internet we need to save? Resources mentioned in this podcast Iran's blogfather Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are killing the web. How Facebook and Instagram are killing the Internet Mark Bernstein The book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition target="_blank"

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

 gShift’s Web Presence Analytics platform provides agencies and brands with search, social and mobile content marketing data in one place. Monitor and report on an entire web presence. Create smarter, faster content through gShift’s proprietary data. Report on the engagement and performance of your content marketing investment.

Our podcast is also brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. Take a look at building an engaged and relevant audience through innovative new games, contests, analytics, polling platforms, and other innovations.

Direct download: TMC.66.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:35pm EST

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