The Marketing Companion (social media marketing)

Marketers have too little time and too much data. Why isn't AI making a positive impact on data analysis yet? How will new opportunities with smart speakers integrate with AI and what does the artificial intelligence revolution mean for business education? Nipsey makes a surprise appearance to show off new human-like qualities.

Direct download: MarkNov9Final.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 10:40am EST

Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster explain how a strong economy impacts professional behavior, why streaming television is heading for a fall-out and how Facebook's first entry into hardware tips the creepy scale

Direct download: Mark10-28.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:00pm EST

Host Mark Schaefer reflects on lesson learned in his ten years as an entrepreneur, and Tom Webster dissects why there are no new social media channels emerging.

Direct download: MarkOct15.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:12pm EST

Mark and Tom explain why you should be excited by the promise of Medium, nervous about the WSJ coverage of internal Google politics, and applauding an insurance company for doing something crazy cool.

Direct download: MarkOct1.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:11am EST

Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster tackle three huge topics: New regulations trying to get internet companies to conform globally to one country's standards, political stands in the marketing mix, and Apple's third act. Also, there is a surprise performance from Nipsey the smart speaker.

Direct download: Mark-Sep16.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:31pm EST

In this episode Mark and Tom talk about some of their favorite marketing stories and lessons on the marketing genius of KISS, why intrapreneurship won't work, and how singer Tom Jones is a master networker.

Direct download: Mark-Sep3.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:52am EST

In this episode, Mark and Tom review new research that points to vast opportunities in the podcast world. This show goes deep into podcasting reality and unearths data-driven insights all podcasters need to consider to develop and grow their shows.

Direct download: MarkAug20.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:05pm EST

Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster discuss the growing challenge of establishing emotional connection in a world of declining loyalty and point to an amazing success at Spotify, the rise of anger on Facebook, and a revolution at LinkedIn. They also vanquish Mercury Retrograde.

Direct download: Mark136.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:52am EST

The retail industry has been in a state of upheaval for decades. Is a store that sells no goods the future? Tom Webster and Mark Schaefer think so, and they discuss it in this new episode of The Marketing Companion. Listen in as they also debate what will happen when digital ad prices keep rising, a threat to marketing nobody's really discussing, and their effort to make The Marketing Companion the world's most hipster podcast.

Direct download: MarkEp135.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:56pm EST

Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster dissect several big new ideas, including the role of customer engagement in digital transformation, Facebook's big new opportunity for community leaders, and a content marketing fail from GE (or, is it?). Plus, Tom riffs on cows.

Direct download: Mark134.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:33am EST

Against all odds, Mark and Tom have completed five years of podcasting together. In this episode, the hosts reflect on how they got started, how the program has changed and what's next for The Marketing Companion faithful.

Direct download: 5thAnniversaryF.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:32pm EST

In this episode, hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster review some of their favorite recent marketing books, including new releases from Bernadette Jiwa and Neen James.

Direct download: FavouriteBooks.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:21pm EST

Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster examine several current marketing issues, including a stroke of brilliance from Amazon, Google culture, and the unexpected dominance of Facebook in the surging private messaging space.

Direct download: MarkMay14.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:38pm EST

In this episode, hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster talk about a new Schaefer book in the works, AI, hacking, and how companies are being forced to take a social, and even political, stand in the world today. This trend is undeniable, but flies in the face of classical economics. how does a marketer sort it out?

Direct download: MarkApril.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:23pm EST

There are a number of ethical issues emerging as technology allows us to connect to consumers in new ways. Just because we can, should we? In this episode, hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster look at "addiction" as a goal, the cultural implications of AI, and new research on the time it takes to become a friend. And oh yes, to celebrate a milestone, they introduce the world's first audio infographic!

Direct download: The_New_Ethics_of_Marketing.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:35am EST

Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster reflect on the hot topics they covered five years ago and discuss the relevancy of influence marketing (and Klout), Google Glass, Twitter strategy and more. And they bring out a retro look at Google Pants!

Direct download: 5years.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:56pm EST

Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster discuss revealing new research that may indicate a tipping point for social media, video, podcasts and smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home.

Direct download: MarketingCampMarch19.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:23am EST

Social media marketing has been the hottest marketing concept for the last 10 years. Is it losing steam, or just taking off? In this episode, hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster look at the data and reveal new perspectives on where social media fits in the marketing mix. The fellas also reveal a new premium service to sell fake followers so you can become an influencer in record time!

Direct download: MCMarch5.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:25pm EST

How important is it to create customer experiences that lead to awareness and loyalty? In this episode, Mark and Tom explore dramatic trends impacting any strategy involving customer experience. They also dive into stupid agency tricks and a wishlist for our favorite tech leaders. And Tom issues an apology for mis-casting Mark!

Direct download: MARKETING_EXPERIENCE.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:36pm EST

What is "Tech-lash?" Mark and Tom cover a variety of subjects in this fast-paced show. They cover the Facebook changes, an explosive report on influence marketing, the fastest-growing tech gadget (surprise!) and new rumbles about a backlash against the largest tech companies.

Direct download: MARKFeb.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:38pm EST

Have you ever wanted to learn what Mark and Tom actually do for a living? In this unusual episode Mark and Tom open the curtains and talk about their careers -- How they got to where they are today and how they intend to remain relevant for the next level. A fascinating discussion about relevance in the fast-changing digital age!

Direct download: MarkEpisode.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:20am EST

Special guest Mitch Joel, president of Mirum, discusses the challenges of the modern marketing agency. What are the implications of higher levels of competition, the trend toward bringing work in-house, the impact of AI and other new technologies, and the emerging eCommerce on-ramps? You won't want to miss this fascinating discussion!

Direct download: MarkJan.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 8:11pm EST

New research from Ford shows that consumers are polarized, energized and a bit weirded out by what marketing is up to these days. Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster take a look at this new report and discuss the implications for business leaders. And they have a casting call for "Marketing Companion: The Movie." Who will play Mark?

Direct download: Cocooning_consumers_and_more_amazing_mega-trends.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 8:29am EST

How could writing a book help you establish thought leadership, open new opportunities, and grow your business? Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster explore these issues and open the Marketing Companion Holiday Catalogue for exciting gift "ideas."

Direct download: MarkChristmas.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 1:16pm EST

Five years ago I predicted that Facebook would become the most evil company on earth. The claim was tongue-in-cheek, but the logic was solid:

  1. The "raw material" that Facebook uses to build its wealth is our personal information.
  2. As a public company, Facebook has a mandate to grow its profits every quarter, without exception, without end.
  3. At some point, to meet that relentless financial goal, Facebook will have to take greater and greater risks in both collecting our personal information and monetizing it.
  4. ... and that sets up the potential for evil.

We caught a glimpse of how Facebook might do this when the doors were blown open on a controversial experiment the company conducted to manipulate emotions through the news feed. What is really going on at Facebook? Will my prediction eventually become true? Is Facebook evil?

Facebook evil, the inside story

A number of high-profile executives have recently weighed-in on the "Facebook evil" factor:

  • In his final days as president, Barack Obama himself warned that Facebook and Twitter were becoming a threat to democracy. “We become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there.”
  • Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya recently echoed this sentiment. “Do I feel guilty? Absolutely I feel guilt,” he told CNN. “Nobody ever thought that you could have such a massive manipulation of the system. You can see the reaction of the people who run these (social media) companies. They never thought it was possible.”
  • Sean Parker, who briefly served as Facebook's president, said the social networking site exploits human psychological vulnerabilities through a validation feedback loop that gets people to constantly post to get even more likes and comments. “It's exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” he said. “The inventors, creators understood this consciously. And we did it anyway."

The psychology behind Facebook became the center of a public debate when a story about a company called Dopamine showed how it is using psychology and neuroscience to manipulate users into a state of social media addiction. And, it's working.

Is social media addiction OK?

What is the ethical boundary? Don't all business people want customers to be "addicted" to their products? If you're a public company like Facebook, don't you in fact have a mandate to make customers addicted to your business? “God only knows what Facebook is doing to our children’s brains,” Sean Parker said at a recent event. But it doesn't take God to figure it out. Some university researchers are already putting the puzzle together. A study shows that the number of teens experiencing severe anxiety (with social media a leading cause) is exploding. When does business and public health collide and crash? I have to wonder ... when will the world wake-up and understand the full truth of Facebook? And what will it mean to marketing when that happens?

Let's explore some more ...

Tom Webster and I thought this would be an excellent debate for our latest episode of The Marketing Companion. What are the ethics of social media addiction? In this episode, Tom and I also cover the current state of Twitter. Their third quarter earnings announcement beat Wall Street expectations and user growth had a surge. How does Twitter fit today in the marketing mix? A third topic on our program is a news event that shook social media and I'm not sure most people caught its significance ... A Chinese company bought part of Snapchat's parent company. We discuss why this is a watershed moment in the history of social media marketing. And finally, Tom brings out a favorite piece of spam to demonstrate once again that it's not annoying ... it's an art form! Let's 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 and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

88% of Consumers check online before making a purchasing decision. Brand24 gives you instant updates about what your customers are saying about you. Now you can give them timely responses and give your customers peace of mind. With Media monitoring you can search the web for key topics, trends, or discussions. Brand24 enables you to reach customers, so you can react and engage quickly to real-time comments made about your brand. Imagine having all your channels in one place – that’s Brand24. Plus, with Apple and Android apps, you can track customers, trends, and insights on the go. At Brand24.com/companion you’ll receive THREE MONTHS FREE, just for our podcast fans!

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typeform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Try this extraordinary application today and go to Typeform.com/companion for a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

SoloSegment’s Site Search Inspector illuminates a huge blind spot for marketing teams and helps them unlock the revenue trapped there. If you’re like 85% of companies, you have no idea what’s going on in your site’s search engine. You either don’t have measurements or you ignore what you have. Up to 30% of your visitors search and they could be your best customers. Site Search Inspector targets the site search customer experience with a set of proprietary measures designed to improve success. They’re so convinced you’re going to improve your success rates, they’ve tripled the free trial period to 45-days and they’re offering 10% off an annual subscription. You can find this special offer on solosegment.com/companion

Direct download: FacebookEPISODE.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:51am EST

On the new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I open up a discussion on three touchy issues in the digital realm. YouTube's deplorable algorithm: The New York Times reported that evil people have been slipping violent cartoon knock-offs into the YouTube Kids channel.

In this case, relying on an algorithm to vet children's programming is unacceptable. This is a problem that is not difficult to solve but it appears to us like greed and laziness is driving the wrong behaviors. We make a case that YouTube should be held to the same standard as traditional television networks. Is regulation in the cards? We say yes. Social sharing in decline -- Steve Rayson of Buzz Sumo published research that shows an apparent correlation between the amount of content that is published on a subject and the amount the content is shared. In other words, as a topic grows saturated with content, people become weary of the content and engage less. We discuss how Content Shock isn't a trend, it's a wave.

One touchy implication for marketers: A very common strategy of "piling on" to popular content topics doesn't work. Outing people on social media -- We discuss the recent sexual harassment episodes involving Weinstein, Spacey and Scoble and how social media has become the engine for "outing." What are the implications for business, for marketing, for working with influencers? And what is the psychology behind accepting or rejecting these claims? Are we in a world where accusations become facts? We also introduce Nipsey: The new Marketing Companion smart speaker system. Let's just say it still has some development work ahead! This is a very provocative and interesting show. You won't want to miss 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.

88% of Consumers check online before making a purchasing decision. Brand24 gives you instant updates about what your customers are saying about you. Now you can give them timely responses and give your customers peace of mind. With Media monitoring you can search the web for key topics, trends, or discussions. Brand24 enables you to reach customers, so you can react and engage quickly to real-time comments made about your brand. Imagine having all your channels in one place – that’s Brand24. Plus, with Apple and Android apps, you can track customers, trends, and insights on the go. At Brand24.com/companion you’ll receive THREE MONTHS FREE, just for our podcast fans!

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typeform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Try this extraordinary application today and go to Typeform.com/companion for a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

SoloSegment’s Site Search Inspector illuminates a huge blind spot for marketing teams and helps them unlock the revenue trapped there. If you’re like 85% of companies, you have no idea what’s going on in your site’s search engine. You either don’t have measurements or you ignore what you have. Up to 30% of your visitors search and they could be your best customers. Site Search Inspector targets the site search customer experience with a set of proprietary measures designed to improve success. They’re so convinced you’re going to improve your success rates, they’ve tripled the free trial period to 45-days and they’re offering 10% off an annual subscription. You can find this special offer on solosegment.com/companion

Direct download: NIPSY.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:51pm EST

One of my great marketing heroes is Tom Fishburne. Not only is he a brilliant innovator and marketer, he is THE WORLD-FAMOUS MARKETOONIST: humor in marketing On the new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I had the great fun and pleasure of interviewing Tom about humor in marketing including ...

  • The "slow revelation" that made him realize humor could be a key part of his marketing future
  • The connection between "story" and humor in corporate communications
  • The process companies go through to add humor to their marketing communications
  • Why the best humor starts with pain points
  • What happens when you get it wrong
  • How you consider humor, cultural references, and the international audience
  • Tom discusses his new book Your Ad Ignored Here: Cartoons from 15 Years of Marketing, Business, and Doodling in Meetings

And Webster and I challenge each other to a joke-off. I won. You won't want to miss this interesting (and funny!) episode about humor in marketing ... 

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.

88% of Consumers check online before making a purchasing decision. Brand24 gives you instant updates about what your customers are saying about you. Now you can give them timely responses and give your customers peace of mind. With Media monitoring you can search the web for key topics, trends, or discussions. Brand24 enables you to reach customers, so you can react and engage quickly to real-time comments made about your brand. Imagine having all your channels in one place – that’s Brand24. Plus, with Apple and Android apps, you can track customers, trends, and insights on the go. At Brand24.com/companion you’ll receive THREE MONTHS FREE, just for our podcast fans!

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typeform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Try this extraordinary application today and go to Typeform.com/companion for a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans! 

SoloSegment’s Site Search Inspector illuminates a huge blind spot for marketing teams and helps them unlock the revenue trapped there. If you’re like 85% of companies, you have no idea what’s going on in your site’s search engine. You either don’t have measurements or you ignore what you have. Up to 30% of your visitors search and they could be your best customers. Site Search Inspector targets the site search customer experience with a set of proprietary measures designed to improve success. They’re so convinced you’re going to improve your success rates, they’ve tripled the free trial period to 45-days and they’re offering 10% off an annual subscription. You can find this special offer on solosegment.com/companion

Direct download: Humour.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:05pm EST

I had an opportunity to attend the outstanding Marketing Profs B2B Forum and witness a truly tour-de-force speech by my friend and podcast co-host Tom Webster. Although we had mentioned this talk in a previous podcast episode, I had not seen Tom's presentation and I found his insights to be remarkable and very relevant to marketing today.

I thought our Marketing Companion fans needed to hear some of those insights. Using lessons from his political research, Tom makes the case that you can't win in marketing today by staying in the "treetops," by immersing yourself in dashboards. You need to get down in the trees and get back to basics by visiting customers. He argues for radical segmentation to the point that "personas" may be out of style. In the new episode we also discuss quite a remarkable revelation made by Dharmesh Shah, one of Hubspot's co-founders.

Shah said that content marketing is now pay-to-play and that content today has a "cover charge." In addition, you'll hear these snippets:

  • "I'm feeling this in my loins"
  • "I've found a younger podcast host."
  • "We want our freedom, we want more Mark."

You'll have to hear it to believe it, I suppose. 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 and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

88% of Consumers check online before making a purchasing decision. Brand24 gives you instant updates about what your customers are saying about you. Now you can give them timely responses and give your customers peace of mind. With Media monitoring you can search the web for key topics, trends, or discussions. Brand24 enables you to reach customers, so you can react and engage quickly to real-time comments made about your brand. Imagine having all your channels in one place - that’s Brand24. Plus, with Apple and Android apps, you can track customers, trends, and insights on the go. At Brand24.com/companion you’ll receive THREE MONTHS FREE, just for our podcast fans!

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typeform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Try this extraordinary application today and go to Typeform.com/companion for a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

SoloSegment's Site Search Inspector illuminates a huge blind spot for marketing teams and helps them unlock the revenue trapped there. If you're like 85% of companies, you have no idea what's going on in your site's search engine. You either don't have measurements or you ignore what you have. Up to 30% of your visitors search and they could be your best customers. Site Search Inspector targets the site search customer experience with a set of proprietary measures designed to improve success. They're so convinced you're going to improve your success rates, they've tripled the free trial period to 45-days and they're offering 10% off an annual subscription. You can find this special offer on solosegment.com/companion

Direct download: Lazy.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:45am EST

There's a lot of pressure to create content today. Epic, authentic, viral content. But perhaps the key to content success is not necessarily through originality, but through creating a wise curated content stream that helps people save time and money. Most industries have at least one go-to newsletter of curated business highlights.

If your industry doesn't have that, maybe it's a golden opportunity. I've seen people create curated content in pharma, tech, defense, and entertainment. Many have gone on to leverage this real or perceived expertise into consulting, books, and speaking careers. But summarizing the work of others isn't necessarily easy.

In fact there is a certain art to it which we cover on the newest episode of The Marketing Companion. In this episode, Scott Monty takes over as co-host for a day and explains his process behind the Full Monty newsletter. He explains how an internal newsletter at Ford Motor Company was the inspiration for what has become the go-to weekly content in the digital marketplace. We also explore why there seems to be a "Tom Webster bias" creeping into the show ... 

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.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typeform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

Between 30 percent and 50 percent of your online visitors use your website’s search function. But analysis proves that customers rarely see the precise content that leads to a sale. Why leave this conversion opportunity to chance? Deliver search results that create sales conversions by deploying the powerful machine learning intelligence of Site Search Inspector from SoloSegment. Site Search Inspector can be set up quickly and continuously “learns” how to improve your search conversions. Visit the SoloSegment discount page to get 10 percent off your order for Marketing Companion fans!

Direct download: Marketing_dominance.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:48am EST

In this new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I cover some of the highlights of the 2017 Content Marketing World. It was the first conference Tom and I attended together for some time so it was a good opportunity to compare notes on the content marketing spectacular. We discuss:

  • Why Tom faced a nearly empty room for his politics-related talk
  • Why Mark thinks "loyalty" is a fading marketing idea
  • Content Marketing World hits and misses
  • And as a bonus, we announce new plans for Companion Storm 2!

Check it out! 

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.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typeform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

Between 30 percent and 50 percent of your online visitors use your website’s search function. But analysis proves that customers rarely see the precise content that leads to a sale. Why leave this conversion opportunity to chance? Deliver search results that create sales conversions by deploying the powerful machine learning intelligence of Site Search Inspector from SoloSegment. Site Search Inspector can be set up quickly and continuously “learns” how to improve your search conversions. Visit the SoloSegment discount page to get 10 percent off your order for Marketing Companion fans!

Direct download: TMC_New.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 9:33am EST

It seems like everywhere you look the news is bad for the ad industry. In just the last few weeks, the news has reported ...

  • The stock value for many large agencies is in decline as company billings fall.
  • Traditional ad impressions are down almost everywhere as newspapers, radio, and magazines struggle to survive.
  • Many of their customers -- the big CPG brands -- are cutting ad spending as their most valuable products struggle to be relevant to today's digital consumers.
  • Ad blocking continues to rise in developed nations (Ad Age called it an "apocalypse")
  • Many companies are bringing the rising areas of influence and content marketing in-house to save costs and maintain direct relationships.

Like I said ... a mess. What's the future of Madison Avenue and how does it turn things around in this rapidly changing world? That would be a fun discussion to have ... which is exactly what Tom Webster and I do in this new episode of The Marketing Companion. You won't want to miss this scintillating analysis!

Resource mentioned in this episode WSJ article on advertising decine 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.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

Between 30 percent and 50 percent of your online visitors use your website's search function. But analysis proves that customers rarely see the precise content that leads to a sale. Why leave this conversion opportunity to chance?

Deliver search results that create sales conversions by deploying the powerful machine learning intelligence of Site Search Inspector from SoloSegment. Site Search Inspector can be set up quickly and continuously "learns" how to improve your search conversions.

Visit the SoloSegment discount page to get 10 percent off your order for Marketing Companion fans!

Direct download: 112.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:03pm EST

In this very personal episode of The Marketing Companion, hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster reveal their own best marketing successes and failures. Learn why desperation may be a key to success, how money is made in the margins, and why a dial-up internet connection destroyed a great business. Mark and Tom also announce plans for the first human-powered self-driving vehicle!

Direct download: Personal_marketing_successes_and_failures.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:45am EST

Starting a new social network is a perilous prospect. The battlefield is littered with companies that had big ideas and little results ...

  • Meerkat
  • Ello
  • Path
  • Google+

It's a tricky business. A new social platform needs to solve a unique customer problem or find an under-served niche and then avoid assassination by Facebook (by having intellectual property and a huge war chest to protect it).

It has been so difficult breaking into the pantheon of elite social networks that in the past five years there has only been one new entry (Snapchat) that is attracting significant advertising dollars.

Until now.

Amazon Spark is news

This month Amazon launched its own social network, Spark. Amazon Spark is available through the mobile app and is sort of a mash-up of Instagram and Yelp. And I think it's going to be a hit for several reasons.

It passes the Schaefer sniff test: It occupies a unique niche and Amazon has the war chest to do it right. Also, unlike Google, which seems to use its best customers as guinea pigs as it tries to "fail fast," Amazon is more methodical. When it introduces something new, it is usually done right.

Another reason I think this is going to work is because it is addictive. Since you get to tailor your experience, you only see posts about products that will delight you. It's like flipping through an Instagram account of awesome products and how people are using them.

It's early days. Will it work? Who knows, but as a marketer, I am certainly paying attention to ANY significant new effort from Amazon and I think this is a winner.

And there's more.

In our new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I discuss this new social network and more. We also get into:

  • Projections of augmented reality dominance
  • YouTube versus Netflix in the video wars
  • Lessons in customer service (or the lack of it)

Also, Tom and I experiment with "Chipmunk Speed." You'll have to hear it to believe it. 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.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!

Direct download: Amazons_new_social_network.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:00am EST

Google search goes away?

You might think this title is ridiculous. Maybe even sensational. But traditional web search is changing dramatically and it's a real concern for marketers and traditional SEO. Let me explain ... As consumers, we depend on a reliable list of products and references from Google to get through our daily lives, find the right dress, or answer a question in an argument. Google now processes 40,000 search inquiries every second of the day! On the business side, we want to be the answer. This is the heart of the digital marketing battle -- Whether organic or paid, we want to be at the top of the search results. This is the penultimate goal of content marketing - to earn our way to the top of that list of Google content recommendations. But what if there was no longer a list of results? What if there was just one answer ... And it wasn't coming from Google.

The new way to search emerges

In 2015, voice search went from a statistical zero to 10 percent of all search results and ComScore estimates that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be by voice. While it won’t likely replace existing screen-based search, voice search is already enough of a factor that businesses need to understand strategies for being found this way. And a significant portion of those strategies will be new: No one I know of really has an existing SEO strategy for Siri! As evidenced by a new Smart Audio Report from Edison Research and NPR, smart speakers are becoming part of our daily lives, and at least at this point, the winner is Amazon Echo (better known as "Alexa.") Google has its "Home" product and Microsoft, Apple and other companies will have serious entries soon, but the biggest beneficiary of the boom in voice-controlled personal assistants and search has been Amazon.

An indispensable voice

This new home appliance is having an increasing impact in people's lives. Developing a "voice search skill" is like learning to type with your thumbs five years ago. Smart speakers are becoming part of the fabric of our lives:

  • 65% of smart speaker owners indicate they would not want to go back to life before getting their devices, and 42% say their device is now “essential” to their everyday life.
  • 70% of smart speaker owners say they are listening to more audio at home since acquiring their device – across news/talk, podcasts, audiobooks and music.
  • Among smart speaker owners, 45% expect to purchase another device – and, of the non-owners surveyed, more than half say they are likely to purchase their first smart speaker in the next six months.

Another important finding is that smart speaker owners are using the devices to manage their homes. Owners who make their home “smart” say they most often connect smart speakers to control home lighting, the thermostat, home security systems, and outdoor lighting and sprinklers.

Smart speakers are also particularly appealing to parents. Eight-in-ten parents say these devices have made it easier to entertain their children.

The economic on-ramp

From a marketing standpoint, the idea that fascinates me is that increasingly, these speaker will be the "economic on-ramp" for commerce, as Google search is now. However, Amazon will try to direct you to the Amazon eco-system and Apple will try to keep you in the Apple eco-system. This is where the real battleground will be. Who will "own" or partner with the Wal-Mart eco-system? Will we choose a car in the future due to the brand of smart speaker we like best? Will one part of our home be controlled by Google, another part by Amazon, while an Apple device plays out TV and music? What IS the strategy when Google search becomes less important, at least as we now know it? It makes for a fascinating discussion ... and in fact Tom Webster and I had one on a new episode of The Marketing Companion podcast. You won't want to miss this debate! 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
 
The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!
 
CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.
 
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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!
Direct download: A_new_marketing_channel_emerges.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:37am EST

Back in 2010, I wrote one of the most fun and fascinating blog posts of my life. A new trend was coming into view, led by a company called Klout. By analyzing millions of bits of social media data and the reactions the posts caused, the company proclaimed it could estimate your social media influence. At the time, it was a revolutionary idea. My post, which projected some of the implications of such an application, seemed to rock the social media world. It was shared more than 2,000 times and attracted hundred of comments, many of them harshly critical of this company and their bold claims. People lamented that they didn't want to be ranked and rated and that their social media presence was not something that could be assessed and dissected.

But there was something there ...

But I disagreed. I was intrigued by the idea. Using big data and algorithms to judge social media effectiveness made sense. Klout was a blunt instrument ... but it was also a start-up that I thought I was on to something. And, believe it or not, I was about the only blogger out there who did! I saw a huge potential in what I called at that time "social scoring." The term did not catch on, but Klout did, a forerunner to the many sophisticated social media influence measurement systems in the marketplace today. A few months after I wrote the post, I had a chance to meet the company's founder, Joe Fernandez, at SXSW. Joe was taking a tremendous amount of heat from the social media analysts and bloggers ... but I also learned that he receiving a lot of traction with some of the biggest brands in the world. Despite the fury in the world of bloggers, his idea was catching on. with corporate marketers. This was a new way to actually discover the passionate product advocates in the world, those who were gaining massive audiences through their independent content creation.

The cusp of a revolution

The world of power and influence was being flipped on its head. The traditional media editors and executives in the corner offices weren't calling the shots like they used to.  We were on the cusp of a marketing revolution, led by anyone willing to step up and let their voice become heard through blogs, videos, and podcasts. Most exciting to me, companies were actually enacting the first influencer marketing programs -- and seeing amazing results. While the social media world was pounding Klout, the critics were missing the bigger picture, the entire new influence trend! A frenzy was building to connect with these new media stars. Eventually my early interest in influence marketing helped me land a book contract to write Return On Influence, the first book on the subject of social influence marketing. The book came out in 2012 and at the end of the book I predicted that within two years this would become a mainstream marketing channel. And, it has.

The rise of influencer marketing

Five years later, I jumped at the chance to help Traackr, a frontrunner in the influence measurement space, to create a new piece of research aimed at determining the state of the art of the field from a B2B perspective. I interviewed leaders from Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Samsung and many other companies and discovered that the channel was maturing, and becoming quite sophisticated compared to those early days. In fact, today influencer relations is on par with how companies interact with the press or industry analysts. This marketing revolution became a fascinating podcast discussion with Tom Webster and I'm sure you'll love 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 and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!

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

Like many digital marketers, I look forward to the epic internet trends report produced each year by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Better known as "The Meeker Report," the epic slide deck is an exhaustive summary of the relevant trends we need to be considering for our companies as the digital world moves forward. Over the past few years, Tom Webster and I have discussed this report on our podcast, The Marketing Companion, and it has always been one of my favorite episodes of the year. However, this year, my keen-eyed co-host (who knows a thing or two about research) noticed a pattern that arguably tarnishes the reputation of the report. Much of the report obviously features Kleiner Perkins' investment partners, its specific financial interests, and it even has a section sponsored by another company. Sponsored content in a research report? Over the years, I've read a lot of analysis of the Meeker Report and I've never heard another person connect the dots like this. Kudos to Tom for his sharp-eyed observation. In the new episode of the Marketing Companion, Tom and I begin by dissecting the report, culling out data points which may impact our listeners, but we also look at this from a content marketing angle. What makes this report important, effective, and distinctive ... and will Kleiner Perkins ruin it over time by catering to sponsors and its own self-promotion? We don't imply that Kleiner Perkins has done anything sinister. In fact, we like the report. But at the same time, it is not necessarily an "Internet Trends" report ... it is a report that supports KP's investment decisions. This is a unique analysis and an important new perspective about our industry's most notable annual research. Listen to this episode and let us know what you think ... Resources mentioned in the podcast 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.

 

 

CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

 

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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!

Direct download: 106_Should_you_believe_the__Meeker_Report__.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:54am EST

My Marketing Companion co-host Tom Webster told me that within a few weeks, three of his clients all came to him with the same question: How do we get our content discovered? The answer you typically hear in our space is "create quality content and it will rise to the top" but that does not work any more. Perhaps it never has. There are content discovery algorithms and bots working behind the scenes that hold us in our place. The digital world is presented to us in an ever-shrinking filter. Tom uses some examples from the music industry to show how content is starting to rise to the top through a never-ending popularity "loop." This reality  -- and how companies are dealing with it -- makes for an incredibly interesting episode of our podcast.

Content discovery strategies

Tom makes the point that in our digital world so much of the content we see is issued to us based on some popularity formula that we don't have the experience of surprise and delight we used to experience looking through a record store, a book store, or a magazine stand. Our options for discovery might are more limited in the digital sphere than in the "real world!" And that makes it harder for new content, new brands, and new ideas to be discovered. What we want is what we know, what is familiar. This implies that the goal for marketing in this environment is to create "habit," more than "loyalty." We also get into a great discussion on differentiation, segmentation, and lessons from a new New York Times blueprint to get their content discovered in the future through technology, quality and new content forms and new skill sets. You won't want to miss this!

In our show, we also introduce our new sponsor CoSchedule, the world's greatest marketing scheduling utility. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com, you can receive your exclusive Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

And, on the lighter side, I reveal to Tom surprising common business phrases I picked up on my recent visit to Eastern Europe. Ready? 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 and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

CoSchedule is the world's number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!

Direct download: EscapeVelocity.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:39am EST

The inevitability of a business world dominated by artificial intelligence seems to be the headline of the day, and yet the notion for many marketers may seem distant and unreal. On our Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I have been toying with this subject for years and decided it was time to devote a full-blown episode to the topic. Artificial intelligence and marketing -- what's real, what's now, what's ahead? Our latest episode is a far-ranging discussion that gets into:

  • Customer service -- brighter days ahead
  • The incremental change that is happening now
  • AI as a source of innovation
  • The revolution in marketing technology ... it's more than automation
  • The impact on our jobs (Tom and I disagree on this point)

You won't want to miss this timely and important discussion. 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.

 

SaneBox is like a super-smart assistant who’s been with you for years and knows what’s important to you. It moves unimportant emails from the inbox into a new folder and summarizes them in a digest, where you can quickly bulk-process them. An average SaneBox customer saves 12+ hours/month. It works with any email provider, client or device. And we have a special offer for you. Simply go to sanebox.com/marketing to receive a risk-free 14-day trial and $25 off your initial subscription! With glowing reviews from TechCrunch, Forbes, The New York Times and emailers everywhere, you will fall in love with email again.

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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!

Direct download: AI.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:16am EST

For decades, I've been a big fan of the sports channel ESPN. They have a great brand -- serious about sports, but not too serious about themselves. Their bold style of storytelling went far beyond the cable TV channel to web, print, apps, satellite radio, social media, and podcasts. They created exceptional content, bought into premium sports events, and seemed to be nurturing their brand as effectively as any company. From a content standpoint, they seemed to be doing everything right in the digital age. And they just laid-off 100 people. It just made no sense. ESPN is an iconic standard of multimedia content excellence. If they can't make money with their content, who can? What went wrong?

The content monetization challenge

When I dug into it, it became clear that the ESPN story provides a great case study about the bigger picture of content, branding, the expense of producing content, the success of Facebook and mobile ads, channel fragmentation, the transition from advertising to subscription models, "cord-cutting" in the television business, and more. It turns out that this is not just an ESPN issue. It's a content monetization issue. ESPN's parent company Disney said that interest in the sports network has never been higher -- it's just that the subscription audience has moved online where the content is free and ads have not caught up. This ad-industry fall-out may just be the tip of the iceberg. A recent New York Times article points out that TV ad spending is still probably too high and out of touch with the reality of where consumers are spending their time -- online and social media. Exploring the problems with ESPN reveals the rifts in the dynamic world of content and business today. And, it made a fantastic podcast topic! Please join me and Tom Webster as we dissect this case study, the content monetization challenge ... and the world's worst games. Ready? 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.

SaneBox is like a super-smart assistant who’s been with you for years and knows what’s important to you. It moves unimportant emails from the inbox into a new folder and summarizes them in a digest, where you can quickly bulk-process them. An average SaneBox customer saves 12+ hours/month. It works with any email provider, client or device. And we have a special offer for you. Simply go to sanebox.com/marketing to receive a risk-free 14-day trial and $25 off your initial subscription! With glowing reviews from TechCrunch, Forbes, The New York Times and emailers everywhere, you will fall in love with email again.

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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!

Direct download: The_content_monetization_minefield.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:31am EST

This headline is a bit misleading. In fact, you will probably receive far more than 20 incredible insights from our Marketing Companion conversation with BuzzSumo founder Steve Rayson. The episode posted a few days ago and we have already received more comments on this conversation than any other episode.

Arguably, Steve Rayson analyzes more content than any other person in the world -- billions of pieces in all. Tom Webster and I tap into his years of experience and I think you'll find some of his insights both remarkable ... and perhaps even a little controversial. Here's a sample:

Content doesn't go viral

Don’t bank on your content going viral. Content NEVER goes viral in the true sense of two people share and two of their friends share, then two of their friends share etc. It just doesn’t happen. Studies show that over 90 percent of content people read from social comes from just one point of separation from the original source. To get content to "move," you need multiple influential broadcasters at the same time.

Links are more important than shares. Links give your content longevity.

Most people share without reading

A big influencer recently shared a post on Twitter but forgot to include the link. It was still shared more than 50 times. None of them added the link and I assume few, if any, of them read the post. We see many examples where a post gets more shares than views.

People link and share for different reasons (can discuss the different reasons)

Both shares and links matter but links give your content longevity. Personally I much prefer links to shares.

Content marketing is hard work, not rocket science.

You need to produce regular content that is helpful to your audience. However, to produce unique and valuable content you need to be an expert or very knowledgeable. Otherwise it is difficult for you to add value. The data show the value of original research content as it gains both shares and links.

Try to help people and expect nothing in return. Share your knowledge, your network and your compassion. In time this will be returned and more.

Steve hates pop up forms and landing pages

As Mark Schaefer says in his speeches, "love is the killer app." Give away your content for free, don’t barter for an email address.

"I hate landing pages," Steve said. "I never use them on our site. If people like our content they can sign up. I particularly hate the forms that say sign up or click agree I am an idiot who doesn’t want more sales. However, the data suggests that pop up firms work, so we are likely to see more of them."

Content shock hasn’t even started yet.

Content Shock is real and here but we are just starting to see the impact. The number of internet users is growing, tools to create content are easier to use, and BuzzSumo is seeing significant growth in auto-generated content. Still early days. but content writing algorithms and tools are getting better every day. They will also get cheaper.

More content means you can cater to a wider range of audience interests, the long tail. It's easier to cater for multiple niche audiences if you write ten articles a week rather than one. Steve's research suggests that as sites increase frequency of content publishing they actually get more traffic and more shares, not less, though often less per article on average.

Once people realize "more is more" we will see very significant growth in content.  There are limitations like minimum quality, max frequency, etc. but lots of scope for growth.

Starting to get the picture? This episode is jam-packed with interesting insights you won't want to miss. let's get started ...

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.

SaneBox is like a super-smart assistant who’s been with you for years and knows what’s important to you. It moves unimportant emails from the inbox into a new folder and summarizes them in a digest, where you can quickly bulk-process them. An average SaneBox customer saves 12+ hours/month. It works with any email provider, client or device. And we have a special offer for you. Simply go to sanebox.com/marketing to receive a risk-free 14-day trial and $25 off your initial subscription! With glowing reviews from TechCrunch, Forbes, The New York Times and emailers everywhere, you will fall in love with email again.

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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!

Direct download: TMC_-_Known-latest.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:35am EST

I recently had a conversation with pioneering blogger Chris Brogan and he mentioned that he had ended his latest podcast series and had begun a new one. "I just thought it was time to create something new," he said. This seems like such a simple idea, and yet it set my wheels spinning. Creating content means building equity in an audience and a body of work. What would make you decide to walk away from that? My promise to you on this blog is that it will always be relevant, interesting, timely, and entertaining. It will be worth your time and I will never let you down. But what if the ideas no longer come to me? What if it becomes a chore? When is it time to end this thing ... or any content project on the web?

The art and science of stopping

I've been consistently creating content for eight years. I've blogged at least twice a week, every week, since 2009. I've written six marketing books in that timeframe. Tom Webster and I have published more than 100 episodes of The Marketing Companion podcast over four years. I've consistently posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn (and less consistently on YouTube and Snapchat) ... and I've never considered the thought of quitting. It's a delicate subject but an important one. What are the signs that you're getting stale, that your audience is dis-interested, or that it's simply time to start something new? Tom and I had never debated this before. We started The Marketing Companion in 2013 without ever having a discussion about our long-term goals, and our purpose ... let alone the end the game. We did it to learn about podcasting and have a little fun along the way (and we do). But the show has become a "thing" now. We have sponsors. We have thousands of people all around the world who listen to every show. But one day we will have to pull the trigger and stop. What does that look like? So this new episode of the podcast is dedicated to "stopping." Tom and I have a frank discussion about our expectations and endings. We reveal for the first time a period last year when the show was in crisis and what we did about it.  We're NOT stopping, but I think you'll enjoy this very unusual show on endings ...

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.

SaneBox is like a super-smart assistant who’s been with you for years and knows what’s important to you. It moves unimportant emails from the inbox into a new folder and summarizes them in a digest, where you can quickly bulk-process them. An average SaneBox customer saves 12+ hours/month. It works with any email provider, client or device. And we have a special offer for you. Simply go to sanebox.com/marketing to receive a risk-free 14-day trial and $25 off your initial subscription! With glowing reviews from TechCrunch, Forbes, The New York Times and emailers everywhere, you will fall in love with email again.

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. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. 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!

Direct download: Your_content-_When_is_it_time_to_pivot_or_quit.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:38pm EST

In 2012, I escaped the crazy crowds of SXSW to have dinner with my friend Tom Webster and his wife Tamsen. We had a magical evening and at the end of our time together I commented that I wish we had recorded the conversation. A lot of people would have loved to hear that debate! A year later, I was thinking about starting a podcast. It was a difficult decision because I didn't want to begin anything that would distract me from creating great content on the blog. I decided I needed a podcasting partner and there was literally only one person I could do it with -- Tom. When I asked him, he didn't hesitate. Would he want to do a podcast with me? "Absolutely," he said. And with that one word, we began a four-year journey together that has culminated this week in the 100th episode of our show. For 99 episodes, we have torn into marketing's biggest issues but for this milestone, we asked our friend Douglas Burdette to interview us about the process and perils of creating 100 episodes of a podcast. I think you'll enjoy a bit of reflection on our show and as always, we can't let a show go by without having a good bit of fun along the way. Thank you so much for supporting us in this journey. We never take you for granted and we'll always be committed to creating the world's most entertaining business podcast for you!

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!

Direct download: A_special_100th_episode_1.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:48am EST

Is social media turning into a three-horse race? New research by Edison indicates that Americans are starting to migrate to three big social media platforms, while usage and preference is flattening out on secondary platforms. In this scintillating, 99th episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster reveals a study 2o years in the making: The Infinite Dial. Some of the highlights of this show:

  • The social media shake-out: Why Snapchat will last and Twitter is in trouble
  • Emergence of smart speakers (like Google Home and Alexa) ... and why Apple is falling behind.
  • The profound implications of the extraordinary growth in video subscriptions
  • The decline of advertising opportunities and the impact on marketing
  • Surprising listener trends in podcasts (and why young people aren't going there)
  • The rise of YouTube as a music channel

In this episode, Tom and I also read our spam, because we can. Who's ready to rumble? Resources mentioned in this podcast: Edison's Infinite Dial Report Norm McDonald's Moth Joke.

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!


If you've been following popular culture at all, you've probably learned by now of the downfall (at least temporarily) of YouTube's greatest star, PewDie Pie. PewDiePie, a Swedish gamer and humorist, is the first person alive to hit 10 billion views on YouTube. He pulls in more money each year than most Hollywood movie stars and he's the epicenter of YouTube culture. And then it all went south. The Wall Street Journal documented at least nine of his videos that had anti-Semitic messages. Two in particular went viral, one were two people in Africa held up a provocative sign and another where an actor dressed as Jesus explained that Hitler had done nothing wrong. The outfall was swift. An affiliate of Disney terminated his contract with a thud. His career was over, right? Not so fast. Here's the rest of the story.

  • In his initial apology video, PewDiePie seemed stunned. He said, "What I really don't understand is how you people did not get the joke." In a second video he railed at The Wall Street Journal for not understanding new media and accused the organization of targeting him.
  • Millions of online fans around the world defended him, and after the article, his subscriber base increased at its fastest rate ever.
  • Several journalists also came to his defense, including a prominent Jewish writer.
  • Nonplussed, PewDiePie created a video where he goes back in time and kills Hitler to clear his name. It received over 6.5 million views.

On the surface this makes no sense. How can people rally behind a person who sponsored those kind of messages? The truth is deeper, more subtle, and there is a profound message here for every company employing Millennials or selling to them. Something has changed. This is the topic of a fascinating new episode of The Marketing Companion. Any show that begins with rich Corinthian leather and ends with Hitler has to be interesting (you have to hear it to believe it). I think this is one of better shows and it pulls in some help from Chris Brogan. If you've never listened to the Marketing Companion before, give it a try. If you don't laugh in the first 90 seconds I'll give you your money back. 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 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!

Direct download: New_media_influencers_are_changing_marketing_forever.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:12am EST

Three years ago, I was working on what would be the biggest consulting contract of my career. It was a potential deal with a U.S. government agency and as part of the bidding process I had to be interviewed by their senior procurement professionals via Skype.

It was a bit intimidating. The stakes were high and I was facing a table full of people I didn't know.

I started to introduce myself but two sentences into my presentation, the procurement director interrupted me. "Oh Mr. Schaefer, we all know who you are," she said. "We've read your blog for years."

At that moment, I knew the competition was over. I was going to get that contract, for this simple reason: I was known, and the other bidders were not. Of course I was capable and competitive, but all things being equal, being known provides a powerful edge in the business world. I knew this contract was going to come my way ... and it did.

This is a powerful example of the critical role your personal brand can play in the world today. Whether you just want more doors to open for you, you want to write a book someday, or speak before an important industry event, if you're known, you're going to have more success. There are so many personal and professional benefits that depend on becoming known today.

And it might mean something more than that very soon. Being known might mean "relevance" in an imploding world of white-collar employment. Economists say that technology could kill 5 million jobs in the next three years -- mostly "knowledge worker" positions. Things are going to get competitive out there.

Becoming known may be the only permanent, sustainable competitive advantage we have in this tumultuous world. But where do you start? How do you do this? What is the role of social media? Blogs and video? Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat? How much time does it take?

This seems so overwhelming.

Well, until now. It does not have to be.

In this new episode of The Marketing Companion, I give the inside story of my new book. How I wrote it, why I wrote it, and how you, too, can become known.

Please enjoy a FREE CHAPTER of the new book > Free chapter of KNOWN

Now, on to the podcast -- KNOWN, or "GNOME," as Tom refers to it, lays out an actionable plan to develop a profound digital presence that is accessible and achievable. Let's dig into this together, shall we?

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!

Direct download: Fame_fortune_and_the_art_of_becoming_known.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:56am EST

Is your head spinning over the prospect of digital transformation and marketing? Certainly the change ahead might seem dizzying. Social media and social selling, Big Data and analytics, new listening platforms, and artificial intelligence are just a few of the ideas gaining momentum. How does a marketing leader manage through this level of change? In this new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I interview Bryan E. Jones, VP North America Commercial Marketing for Dell Technologies. I have known Bryan for four years and I always learn something from him. In all my travels, I've never met another executive who is more tuned-in when it comes to the integration of technology and sales and marketing. Our latest episode of The Marketing Companion is an extraordinary conversation, revealing:

  • The importance of cultural support and leadership in a digital transformation.
  • Why you can't "metric" a digital culture.
  • How Dell is using training as a core component of employee involvement and social selling.
  • What is the difference between IT transformation and digital transformation?
  • How do we make technology work for us in marketing?
  • How Bryan challenges his commercial team to take risks, experiment, and push the boundaries of social media through innovation contests.
  • How do you keep focused on the technologies that will have really have an impact?
  • The shift toward video.

And of course Tom and I have a little fun along the way, revealing the secret behind the Marketing Companion Headquarters and why Meerkat is the ideal sponsor: 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!.

Direct download: What_does_digital_transformation_mean_to_marketing_.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:51pm EST

The polish is off the Apple.

  • One tech commentator said there was something missing from the recent Consumer Electronics Show: Nobody was saying they were the "next Apple of ..."
  • Paypal founder Peter Thiel told the New York Times that the age of Apple is over. Provocative? Sensational? Or is there a kernel of truth there?
  • The company seems to be focusing on incremental change instead of bold new life-changing tech. They are falling behind in AI and smart speakers. IOS-based phone sales have been flat to declining for years.
  • The Apple laptops are getting unfavorable reviews from consumer sites. The company seems to be solving problems that consumers aren't having. Microsoft sales are surging with historically Apple markets like creatives.

What's going on and what can be done? Is the Age of Apple over? Sounds like a great topic for a podcast, right? Right! Tune-in as Tom Webster and I explore the future of the world's most valuable brand and their decision to get into original 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 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!

Direct download: Is_the_Age_of_Apple_over_.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:03pm EST

I've been in marketing more than 30 years and I think we're facing the period of greatest change in my experience, probably the greatest period of change in the history of marketing. In this new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and explore the bold ideas that will have a profound impact on marketers including smart speakers, artificial intelligence, and the "streamification" of content. You won't want to miss this episode. We also get into our new app SlapChat. You need it. We all need it. Resources mentioned in this podcast The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future By Kevin Kelly

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.


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

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

What impact does social media have on politics? In this episode, Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster look at current events in the marketing space including Twitter's marketing strategy, the impact of social media on politics, the expectation of authenticity and Millennials in the workplace.

Direct download: TMC.65.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 12:39pm EST

The Star Wars editon of Google pants. Let's just get that out of the way. Yes this is part of the cherished and much-anticipated Marketing Companion Holiday Catalogue. It's not just the dream book of 2016. This may be the Dream Book of the Century.  At this point you may wondering, "Mark, where can we get this spectacular book of wonder?" The answer my friends is blowing in the wind. No it's not. There is no wind on a blog. The secret is in the latest edition of The Marketing Companion podcast.

In our annual holiday extravaganza, my scintillating co-host Tom Webster and I tantalize and tease your deepest desires with brand new products such as CrapChat and your very own You Can Be An Influencer Starter Kit. And thanks to our creative friend Ralph Cipolla (ralph.cipolla@me.com) for the Catalogue design. Alas, The Marketing Companion is a serious podcast for serious people and we also grudgingly cover a REAL topic -- our projections for the marketing trends to watch in 2016, including:

  • The rise of advanced new opportunities for sampling and trials
  • The fourth digital epoch is ushered in by Facebook Oculus, opening amazing new business models.
  • Two trends that will make podcasting the best advertising value.
  • We begin to leave our content "homebase" and build a stronger presence on Facebook as the content "magnet" drifts away.
  • Why computer-generated content could transform the marketing function.
  • Why personal branding is even more important in the marketing world of 2016.
  • ... and more! Seriously. There's more.

And did I mention CrapChat? Yes! Get you some. OK, time to put down the holiday punch and click this audio file to check out our marketing madness for the month ...

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.64.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:42pm EST

make money from your content

I went into the business for the money and the art came out of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I'm sorry. It's the truth. -- Charlie Chaplin

There are lots of amazing ways to use content for your business. You might want to establish your voice of authority, use content to educate, to help with customer service, perhaps even to entertain. But some of us want to make money. The opportunities to make money from content have changed dramatically in the past 18 months. Traditional methods like inbound marketing and advertising have been under attack while new models like "rented" content and patronage have emerged. In this environment, what is the best way to make money from your content? In this new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I assess every opportunity for monetization including:

  • Indirect
  • Subscriptions/paywall
  • Advertising
  • Affiliate links
  • Sponsored content
  • Native advertising
  • Rented content
  • Inbound leads
  • Re-purposed content through events, book, webinars
  • Micro-payments
  • Patronage

Which ones are going up? Which are going down? Which do you need to keep your eyes on? Tune in to the latest episode of The Marketing Companion to find out! Resources mentioned in this podcast: Ian Cleary Kim Garst Written.com Patreon NBA Savant

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. Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Photos of Money

Direct download: TMC.63.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 8:10pm EST

I'm a data junkie. So this is a good time for me to be in marketing because we sure have a lot of amazing facts and figures at our finger tips. But once in a while I see some fact that is mind-blowing and I thought it would be fun to share some of these with you! On our latest podcast episode, Tom Webster and I dug deep into the bowels of the Internet to explore some of the most amazing facts and figures from the social web. It's social media BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

  • The number one pinned item on Pinterest (MOUTH-WATERING!)!
  • The most photographed brand on the web (BY FAR!)!
  • Mind-boggling data on Snapchat (GASP!)
  • The biggest messaging app in the world (NO WAY!)
  • The number one social network in the world (it's NOT Facebook?)
  • The magic of Kik (WHAT???)
  • The huge slide in Facebook posting! (MIND-BLOWING!)
  • Ads -- the most effective content type (HUH??)
  • The mind-numbing impact of mobile on content distribution (DEATH DEFYING!!)

... Plus SHOW TUNES!!!  You simply have to hear to believe it! Are you ready for this? Here we go ...

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.62.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:59pm EST

digital marketing rants Bollywood dancing. You know you love it. You know you want to do it. So join Tom Webster and me on The Marketing Companion to learn of our new "product line" (many thanks to out friend Ralph Cipolla for the awesome graphic!). Tom and I also get a little prickly on the new edition of podcast. After a brief dance routine (really) we tee-off on online trends that drive us a little nuts:

  • Faking your way through the work-life balance
  • The "live your dream" fallacy
  • Bizarre eMail marketing mis-fires
  • Android podcast dreams
  • Inane round-up blog posts
  • LinkedIn spam

Ready to join our podcast Bollywood-style? Put on your dancing shoes and let's dive in:

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.61.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:28pm EST

marketers becoming redundant There is no corporate function that has been transformed more quickly -- and more dramatically -- by technology than sales and marketing. In this episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I look at the state of the art of sales and marketing, and discuss the role and relevancy of this career path in a digital age. Some of the incredibly interesting topics we cover include:

  • Emerging technology focuses on many traditional marketing functions. Are marketers becoming redundant?
  • Are we in an era of real-time sales ... or real-time marketing? Or both?
  • Sales has always been day-to-day/tactical, marketing is normally more long-term,  and cerebral ... but is this still true? Are the roles merging?
  • We unpack the key ideas behind marketing today -- maneuverability and demand.
  • Daniel Pink and the idea of the age of "servant sellers" -- Isn't that what content marketing is about? Is that enough?
  • Google's Moment of Truth -- People consult 10 pieces of content before making a decision, double what it was a few years ago. What is driving this?
  • Content Shock and analysis paralysis -- How is this affecting sales?
  • Does content mean anything in the decision process? Isn't much of what we want simply an irrational and emotional decision? Can content contribute to that?
  • Forrester projects that a quarter of the sales job will be eliminated in the next few years. WIll algorithms replace marketers?
  • Why Tom believes CMO's are an endangered species (and why I disagree).
  • Why start-ups are particularly vulnerable to marketing issues.

You will NOT want to miss this. Ready? Here we go ...

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.60.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

transforming content marketing Tom Webster and I have the opportunity to experience a broad swath of marketing ideas, organizations and people during our travels and it's always fun to compare notes on what we're seeing out there. In this episode of The Marketing Companion we look at some interesting things that will be transforming content marketing efforts in 2016 and beyond. Some of the things we cover in this new episode of The Marketing Companion ...

 

  • Is content marketing about leads or relationships? How is this shifting? What is Inbound Marketing? Is it merely a source for potential cold calls or something else?
  • Ad blocking. What does this have to do with content marketing? A lot!
  • New investments in influence marketing are on the way. Trusted friends -- and even celebrities -- matter. Why are ad agencies in an influence feeding frenzy?
  • The impact of Millennials -- how their buying habits will make us adjust our content marketing.
  • Back to the Future -- the return of true sponsorship?

Scintillating? Of course. Provocative? You bet! Let's dig in ... Resources mentioned in the podcast A list of all the podcasts and show notes for the Marketing Companion Scott Monty Mike Hind Joe Chernov Social Brand Forum Crystal Ad Blocker Article: Crystal impact on legitimate eCommerce sites like Wal-Mart

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.59.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:17pm EST

marketing lessons 2015 is going down in the books as a transformational year for the discipline of marketing. There is just so much going on ... and it's going on so FAST! As Tom Webster and I compared notes from our recent journeys we began to see some themes and marketing lessons that we thought would be entertaining and useful to discuss on our podcast. So ... we did! On the latest episode of The Marketing Companion we get into some wild discussions on some thought-provoking developments such as:

  1. Branding is more important that ever. In fact we're at a tipping point where every person must be a brand to be relevant in this digital age.
  2. Relationship mode versus sales mode in content marketing
  3. Facebook is slipping through our fingers as a business tool, as the most important social channel evolves into something new.
  4. Content monetization at the point of contact
  5. The renaissance of social media engagement and interactive media
  6. Growing sophistication of social media marketers
  7. Courage as a core marketing competency

This is a podcast you cannot miss. Here we go: Resources mentioned in this podcast

Kristian Strøbech

Kelly Michael 

Ulrik Heilmann CEO of Bolius

gShift's new URL innovation that will allow marketers to track the value of content and influencers.

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.58.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:04pm EST

facebook marketing Have you figured out Facebook marketing? What if I told you that organic reach is GOING UP for many businesses in 2015? Impossible you say? Well, then you will need to catch up with our new episode of The Marketing Companion where we discuss the "secondary advertising ripple" and how it's creating new complexity for companies trying to figure out what's happening on their Facebook page. But wait! There's more! Some of the other ripped from the headlines topics on this episode include:

  • A discussion on new data on how an increase in negative feedback can actually be a positive for some businesses that are increasingly turning to Facebook as a customer service channel.
  • 1 billion people logged into Facebook on a single day last month. We discuss Facebook as a sociological driver of community and connection. Or, are they just in it for the money?
  • Blab -- Meerkat killer or just another app in the line of streaming video innovation? I like it a lot, but Tom has some reservations about using this technology for marketing purposes. Bottom line: Live is hard.
  • A live Blab for Mark and Tom and our loyal listeners? Yes, it is going to happen.
  • The latest innovation from The Marketing Companion laboratories: Mashley Addison.

With no further delay, let's dive in shall we? Resources mentioned in this episode The worst song in history - Escape: The Pina Colada Song AgoraPulse The End of History and the Last Man Blab Kerry Gorgone's post on the legal issues with live video streaming

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.57.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:33pm EST

call it quits The entrepreneurial spirit was strong in me, even at an early age. I always had some gig going. I sold Christmas cards door-to-door. I raked leaves and cut grass. I watched kids and dogs. I did anything I could to make a buck. But my first entrepreneurial venture was also my shortest one and it occurred when I was five years old. That's right. I started my first business before I entered the first grade!

My family home at that time was at the intersection of two busy streets. When people stopped at this corner from any direction, they would throw their cigarette butts out the window. I noticed that most of these butts still had a lot of tobacco in them. So my idea was to unwrap the used cigarettes, recover the unused tobacco and sell it. Now, in hindsight, that is a pretty gross business. But for a five-year-old kid, this was a vision of money falling from heaven.

Of course when my mother found out what I was doing she made me stop right away (and take a bath). My first start-up literally went down the drain at that moment. Which brings me to today's topic. If you have an idea you love, and you're driving a new business as hard as you can, how do you know when it's time to finally call it quits? Probably one of the hardest moments in your life, right? My Marketing Companion co-host Tom Webster and I have both had to give up on start-up businesses and decided to devote some time to discuss ... when is it time to call it quits?

  • Is the biggest problem quitting early or quitting too late?
  • A discussion of the number one reason for new business failures
  • Following your heart versus your head - the chronic entrepreneurial failure
  • The pervasive and mythological legend of entrepreneurship in America
  • Why "intrapreneurial" efforts are so difficult
  • The rise of the entrepreneurial unicorn

And as an added bonus, Tom and I review the worst mobile apps of 2015. You won't want to miss this episode! Resources mentioned in this podcast Failure of Zirtual Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker Clay Hebert Chris Brogan's podcast

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.56.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

advocate marketing Advocate marketing is getting a bit ... prickly. While there are undoubtedly some wonderful programs out there, and many brands are doing it well, there is a rising tide of weird stuff going on in the influencer space, as we explore on the latest episode of The Marketing Companion. The ability for anybody to publish content and gain an active audience has transformed the media world and democratized influence. Many companies are becoming aaware of these "citizen influencers" and how they might be impacting the attitudes and buying behaviors of a target audience. Connecting to these trusted influencers and advocates and their engaged audience can provide an effective and rapid opportunity for content transmission. In this edition of our Internet radio show, Tom Webster and I crack open a case of advocate marketing topics such as:

  • How companies are gaming influence and cheating brands blind.
  • The advantages of advocate marketing
  • Influence marketing done right -- What make an effective campaign?
  • Examples of brands using influencers to successfully connect to new audiences and new platforms
  • Why influence marketing is becoming a gamble
  • The burned-out influencer
  • Becoming a human NASCAR jacket
  • Authentic Advocacy versus celebrity endorsement
  • The model for influence marketing, Bethany Mota

Pretty amazing discussion, right? Let's do this thing! Resources mentioned in this podcast The book on influence marketing, Return On Influence Crowdly The book The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business Augustine Fou's Slideshare channel on ad corruption New York Times article on why brands and influencers are getting picky

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.55.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:15pm EST

real time marketing Real-time marketing is one of the hottest trends around, prompting entirely new agency specialists and tactics in the last few years. But it has also proved to be disastrous for several brands and the trend might even be losing some steam. This is an issue for rich discussion on the latest Marketing Companion podcast and, in fact, Tom Webster and I disagree on the promise and potential of this marketing trend. In our latest episode we discuss ...

  • Are brands still holding onto old business models because real-time marketing is disruptive
  • How real-time marketing (like the Oreo moment) might be "extraordinarily dangerous" for brands -- why Tom thinks it is "improv advertising," and why I think it is something more.
  • Can you sustain "clever" as a strategy? When companies like DiGiorno issue tweets that backfire, is brand value erased?
  • Can real-time be successful when it creates provocations that lead to awareness and conversations?
  • Why a company's organizational structure may determine whether "real time" works.
  • Is real-time marketing a tactic or a strategy?
  • Brands responding to each other on Twitter -- effective moments, or brands pleasuring each other?
  • Seasonal Advertising Disorder -- latching on to weird trends to make a brand relevant
  • Is real-time marketing about an ad or a relationship? Does this trend help describe why marketing business is coming back in-house?

Are you ready for this? Let's go!

Important resources mentioned in this episode:

PR News article on real-time marketing A discussion on several real-time marketing movements, including DiGiorno Pizza Jerry Seinfeld's Pop-Tart joke Post on bringing marketing work inside

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.54.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:40pm EST

In this era of complex and overwhelming information density innovation will rule as brands find ways to cut through the clutter. In terms of leading content innovation, there is no better leader to observe than Jay Baer of Convince and Convert. Two years ago I would have introduced Jay as a blogger but that is not nearly sufficient enough to describe America's foremost new media mogul. In the past 24 months Baer has introduced rapid short-form videos, a new curated content property, five new podcasts and flurry of new publishing innovations on channels like LinkedIn and Facebook. In this amazing episode of The Marketing Companion, Jay was my pinch-hit co-host and we cover vital content marketing topics such as:

  • Why video rules as a content form and the demographic change driving growth in this channel.
  • How to maintain a cost-effective content creation strategy
  • The myth of audience overlap
  • Why Jay has launched seven podcasts and his monetization strategy
  • Why curation has opened up a new customer connection
  • The content strategy pivot that was "scary" for Jay
  • Thinking through a content "funnel" for your business
  • The future of content marketing strategy
  • The platform changes that are forcing "liquidity" in marketing strategy

Fasten your seatbelt. Here we go ... Important resources mentioned in this episode: Jay Today video series Convince and Convert podcast programs Blog and Definitive newsletter Mark's post on Facebook and content distribution strategy

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.53.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:34pm EST

truth If you read through one piece of research this year it might just be a new report from the University of Pennsylvania on marketers, consumers, and privacy. The research is important not just for its surprising revelations about privacy but also for its unapologetic scolding of the way marketers have been mis-leading their customers. The new Annenberg survey results indicate that marketers are misrepresenting a large majority of Americans by claiming that Americans willingly provide personal information as a tradeoff for benefits they receive. To the contrary, the survey reveals most Americans do not agree that "data for discounts" is fair. The researchers say that Americans are resigned to giving up their data -- and that is why many appear to be engaging in tradeoffs. Americans believe it is "futile" to manage what companies can learn about them.

Getting furious with marketers

The study reveals that more than half do not want to lose control over their information but also believe this loss of control has already happened. By misrepresenting the American people and championing the tradeoff argument, marketers give policymakers false justifications for allowing the collection and use of all kinds of consumer data often in ways that the public find objectionable. The researchers write that the futility they found, combined with a broad public fear about what companies can do with the data, portends serious difficulties for the institution of consumer commerce. This remarkable study provided a source of rich conversation for Tom Webster and I and we captured this conversation on our latest Marketing Companion radio show. You won't want to miss our observations on:

  • The shocking way marketers are manipulating our personal data
  • How most Americans overestimate the extent to which the government protects them from discriminatory pricing
  • Why honesty can serve as a point of differentiation
  • Facebook's leadership role in this issue
  • How companies are using personal information to institutionalize a profound form of discrimination

I believe this is one of the most illuminating discussions we have had on the podcast and I hope you'll tune into this crucial discussion:

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

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to reach your audience, build your brand, and develop sales leads, try GoToWebinar, from Citrix. GoToWebinar is a great way to share live presentations right from your computer, reach, and influence an audience of hundreds of people. Its button-click simple and rock-solid reliable. All you have to do is work on your presentation. GoToWebinar does the rest. Learn more at GoToWebinar.com

 

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.52.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

In a scathing blog post, the co-founder of Ello blasts Facebook as monstrous entity dedicated to hurting people in the margins of society. In this episode, hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster blast Ello back and explain why Facebook's "real name" policies provide a healthier and authentic social media platform.

Direct download: TMC.51.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:13pm EST

It's hard to believe but Tom Webster and I have been making beautiful podcast music together for two years and in this anniversary extravaganza we have a long list of celebrity appearances. None of them could actually make it to the show, but we did have a long list. 50 episodes

Thanks to Marketing Companion Super Fan Rev Ciancio for this awesome graphic![/caption] Actually we do have moderately interesting guest stars on the show including the robot from Lost In Space. His price was right and he did not eat much. We also use this opportunity to explore the idea of the incredible rate of change and strategies we employ to keep up. We discuss things like:

  • The surprising roles of conferences in knowledge transfer (not much impact)
  • Appointing a personal board of directors
  • Does grad school matter?
  • Our top choices for reading material that keeps us ahead (check out a list of resources below)
  • Can't miss resources to move your brain in new ways

BTW, if you are a regular listener of The Marketing Companion it would be great if you would consider leaving a review on iTunes and express your fandom. Ready to pick up some great new ideas? Here we go!! Resources mentioned in this podcast Fortune article on best graduate degrees Flowing Data Freakanomics McKinsey Quarterly Economist Daniel Kahneman Brain Pickings by Maria Popova Pew Center for Research on the Internet and American Life Scott Monty's This Week in Digital News Round-up Christopher Penn's blog Awaken Your Superhero Post on Gray Social Media Social Media Marketing World Rand Fishkin of MOZ Marketing Profs B2B Forum  

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

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to reach your audience, build your brand, and develop sales leads, try GoToWebinar, from Citrix. GoToWebinar is a great way to share live presentations right from your computer, reach, and influence an audience of hundreds of people. Its button-click simple and rock-solid reliable. All you have to do is work on your presentation. GoToWebinar does the rest. Learn more at GoToWebinar.com.

The Marketing Writing Bootcamp is our most popular course from MarketingProfs University and as a podcast fan you can get $200 off the normal $595 price. The course is 13 classes, each 30-40 minutes in length, for more than 7 hours of on-demand learning. Learn from your desk, on your commute, or your couch. The course begins June 11. You will be awarded a certificate from Marketing Profs upon completion of course. Register through this special link: http://mprofs.com/companion.

 

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.50.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:55pm EST

buyer personas On The Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I continue to plow new ground. For example, in this latest episode, we become the first on-demand radio show to mention The Kardashians and B2B buyer personas in the same sentence. We discuss why Zappos employees are fleeing the holocracy, and explain how this concept began with Star Trek. Sort of. And just when you thought it could not get any more interesting, Tom Webster defines the "rectally derived persona."  It's insane I tell you. But we also get into some pretty awesome discussions on the Verizon-AOL deal, why sender-centered content  is killing some businesses, and the critical difference between an audience and a customer. Please, for the sake of all that is good and true in the world of marketing, click below and listen to this jam-packed 30 minutes of awesomeness.

Resources mentioned in this show

Mark's article on customer personas

Interesting further reading -- Zappos War on Management by Gianpiero Petriglieri

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

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to reach your audience, build your brand, and develop sales leads, try GoToWebinar, from Citrix. GoToWebinar is a great way to share live presentations right from your computer, reach, and influence an audience of hundreds of people. Its button-click simple and rock-solid reliable. All you have to do is work on your presentation. GoToWebinar does the rest. Learn more at GoToWebinar.com.

 

The Marketing Writing Bootcamp is our most popular course from MarketingProfs University and as a podcast fan you can get $200 off the normal $595 price. The course is 13 classes, each 30-40 minutes in length, for more than 7 hours of on-demand learning. Learn from your desk, on your commute, or your couch. The course begins June 11. You will be awarded a certificate from Marketing Profs upon completion of course. Register through this special link: http://mprofs.com/companion.

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.49.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:57am EST

content forms One of my predictions for 2015 was that the incredible wave of information density we all face as marketers will force innovation in content forms. Let's face it, the way we create and consume content has not changed significantly in a decade. The need to stand out will finally force companies to help us create and consume in new ways. And change is in the air. A few new ideas are percolating out there and that is just one of the subjects covered in a very entertaining episode of The Marketing Companion (how many podcasts feature McDonald's characters, an imitation of Ringo Starr and talking apples in the same show?). Here are some of the topics on our mind as Tom Webster and I explore the depths of marketing goodness and light:

New content forms. Yahoo is preparing to release its first major consumer product in almost three years and the first product built from scratch under CEO Marissa Mayer. The company is said to be unveiling a mobile app that combines live and recorded video and text, blending aspects of live video apps like Meerkat, YouNow and Skype and the recorded video messages popularized by Snapchat.

Can this revolutionize video storytelling?

What about the hot new video creation app Storie? It allows you to easily piece together video stories on a smartphone.

New audio apps Opinion and Spreaker are creating what amounts to audio text messaging.

And of course Meerkat and Periscope have ushered in the era of video streaming -- and some legal concerns (The NHL recently announced a ban on streaming apps at their games).

Facebook is here to stay -- We discuss new research that shows (once again) there is no mass evacuation from Facebook. We have a discussion on Facebook and the apparent stranglehold they have on teens. Tom discusses why a Facebook account is the new driver's license. Finally some good news on the publishing front -- A newspaper success story? YES! Learn how the Harrisburg Patriot-News and its Penn Live site is the leading the way with a social-media-first news strategy. An inspirational and bold strategy! And what about the Google network? Last week, Google announced that it is working with carriers Sprint and T-Mobile to offer a wireless service that will seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi hotspots and 4G LTE cellular networks called Project Fi. The move isn't likely to threaten the dominance of Verizon and AT&T, by far the two largest carriers in the nation, but it's potentially a big deal to the cable companies. We discuss the innovation ... and the idea that Google may finally have to pay attention to customer service.

Podcasting -- The best advertising investment? Tom and I discuss the fact that advertising becomes trusted content on a podcast -- could podcasting become the most valuable advertising ever? Can it scale?

And if that were not enough, we also reveal a gigantic gShift giveaway -- The first 50 podcast fans to hit the Marketing Companion landing page and register for a cool eBook will get a copy of The Content Code for free! We also unveil a big discount for a new Marketing Profs writing course!

Now, you're probably wondering, how did we fit all that in a 30 minute podcast? Well, push play to find out!

Resources mentioned in this show Forbes article: Podcasts Are Doing To Advertising What Uber Has Done To Transportation

Don Imus

Chat app Kik.

Pew research on teens and social media.

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

The Marketing Writing Bootcamp is our most popular course from MarketingProfs University and as a podcast fan you can get $200 off the normal $595 price. The course is 13 classes, each 30-40 minutes in length, for more than 7 hours of on-demand learning. Learn from your desk, on your commute, or your couch. The course begins June 11. You will be awarded a certificate from Marketing Profs upon completion of course. Register through this special link: http://mprofs.com/companion.

 

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.48.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:17pm EST

podcast Last week I was having a new Internet line installed at my home. I explained to the workers, all under 30, that I needed a period of quiet during the middle of the day because I was about to record a podcast. "What's a podcast?" one of the young crew asked. "It's an Internet radio show," I explained. "Oh," he said, "I have heard a few of those. But what's a podcast exactly?" I then launched into an impromptu lesson on podcasts but it dawned on me that this fellow, like about 20 percent of Americans, was indeed listening to a podcast ... and like the majority of the world, he didn't know what a podcast is. This underscores some very interesting research revealed on the latest episode of The Marketing Companion. Calling a podcast a podcast is confusing to many people. We don't call an online magazine a printcast. It's still a magazine. We don't call an online newspaper a journalcast. It's still a newspaper. Why do we treat audio differently? One podcaster who has broken away from the podpack is Mike Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner and the talented host of the SME podcast. "We call the Social Media Marketing podcast an on-demand talk radio show," he said, "because everyone knows what talk radio is, and on-demand is an easy way to distinguish it from traditional radio." This might seem trivial until you hear the explanation from my podcast ... er ... on demand talk radio show ... co-host Tom Webster and why this nuance might be a huge hurdle to mainstream growth. I learned something important through this discussion and I think you will too. Let's dive in, shall we?

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.47.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

social media engagement Remember when social media was about engagement? I could argue that the biggest trends we are witnessing are all about NOT engaging! For example,

  • The hottest apps right now are Meerkat and Periscope, essentially turning you into your own live-streaming channel. In other words, you're broadcasting.
  • One of the fastest-growing platforms is podcasting. In essence, there is no engagement.
  • Likewise, fast-rising channels like Pinterest and Instagram don't have the engagement levels we used to see on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Several popular blogs including Chris Brogan, Jay Baer and Copyblogger have eliminated their comment sections.

Without question, "engagement" is not as fashionable as it once was. Does it still have a place in the social media eco system? This is the topic tackled with my erstwhile podcasting partner Tom Webster on the latest edition of The Marketing Companion. We would be most pleased if you listened to it. Here it is, in all its auditory glory:

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.46.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 1:06pm EST

book publishing In the latest Marketing Companion, we take a "behind the scenes" examination of The Content Code, a new book that charts a course for winning in a world of overwhelming information density. But along the way, Tom Webster and I also discuss ...

  • A few takeaways from SXSW 2015
  • The virtures of a sub-premium dating service
  • Why the four benefits of traditional publishing are obsolete, and what I did about it.
  • The reason why this is the hardest time to be in marketing -- ever.
  • The Alpha Audience -- Why this is the bedrock of your business.
  • Why you should be writing for the smallest possible audience.
  • Why it's time to re-evaluate the sacred cow of SEO.
  • Why the success of digital marketing might rely on gray social media.

Wow. That sounds like one great podcast, doesn't it? Well let's stop this dilly-dallying and get right to it!

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.45.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

company culture I used to work for a big metals and mining company called Alcoa. Whenever I worked on a new customer contract, we always had an extremely conservative legal position, especially when it came to anything that had to do with the competition. Everybody in sales and marketing had to go through annual training programs about what to do if we ever saw a competitor, or a competitor spoke to us. If we were attending a trade show where a competitor would be, we had to get written permission ahead of time from the Legal Department and brush up on our training again. Does this sound like overkill to you? It might make more sense if you knew that the company was the subject of the most famous lawsuit against a corporate monopoly in U.S. history. Alcoa actually lost the suit, leading to the break-up of the company into smaller parts that eventually grew into the company's competitors. Can you imagine what that would be like? Your former manufacturing plants and employees turn into your competitors almost overnight? Obviously something that dramatic would have a powerful impact on the company culture. No wonder Alcoa was so conservative when it came to anything that looked like monopolistic behavior. Oh by the way ... that famous legal ruling?  It occurred in 1944.

Company culture rules.

Can you see how complex and important corporate culture can be? An event that happened decades ago still influences the company culture today. You really have to dissect the cultural DNA of a company to understand how it works. And I believe there is no more powerful influence on a company's ability to change and adopt new marketing practices than culture. This is the subject of an extremely interesting new Marketing Companion podcast. Of course Tom Webster and I also introduce three new Marketing Companion products including a discount escort service and subpar child care. Simply a natural connection, right? But that's another story. The challenge of corporate culture and how to get over the resistance to change is a struggle for almost all of us today. In this podcast we discuss:

  • Why so many executives are slow to change and what to do about it
  • How to get a change effort started: education, quick wins and the safe sandbox
  • The foundational blocks of leadership
  • Why you MUST document your progress as a buffer against future change
  • The social media quote that gives Mark a stomach ache.
  • The march of Milennials is on. How will this impact culture?
  • Culture swap -- Can we cross-pollinate cultures?

Are you ready? Let's do this thing!

Resources mentioned in this podcast episode:

Merav Chen

Douglas Burdett

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 game, analytics, and polling platforms.

 

Direct download: TMC.44.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

ad blocking Ad blocking seems to have the advertising industry in crisis but there doesn't seem to be a unified plan to do anything about it. Why? If you haven't become addicted to The Marketing Companion podcast yet, this would be a good episode to try it out. Tom Webster and I cover some amazing topics ... with a little humor and fun thrown in the way as well.  In the latest episode, we unwrap: Ad blocking -- A crisis is emerging in the online ad industry. 9 percent of all Internet ads are now being blocked. To make things worse, Ad Blocker is holding the Internet hostage and extorting money to allow ads through to customers -- ads that have already been paid for. Why are marketers playing along with this? Where is the reaction from businesses? We propose that no less than the future of content on the Internet is at stake. An advertising victory or disaster? McDonald's is having problems executing on the "Love" campaign introduced during the Super Bowl. When they actually introduce the idea to customers, it might put them on the spot and embarrass them.  Is it brilliant? Is it the worst marketing campaign in history? Tom proposes a solution: a "pay with hate" campaign. The resurgence of SEO -- Ad agencies report that SEO is hot again. Staffs at many companies have doubled in the past 12 months. Why? I propose this is a natural consequence of Content Shock -- brands are pouring money into content that isn't being seen. Now the cost of content marketing is increasing as brands try to figure out how to get their content to rise to the top. Tom and I debate the budgeting implications of this. Podcasting and brands -- Tom reveals new research on podcasting use, reach and ideas for brands. He points to the reasons for this growth and the implications of companies. Are you ready to dive into this? Let's go: Resources mentioned in this podcast episode: Scott Monty and article in Mother Jones about McDonalds Love campaign Lee Odden and the TopRank blog AdAge article on the resurgence of SEO Jay Baer's Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype Infinite Dial research

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 game, analytics, and polling platforms.

Direct download: TMC.43.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:04pm EST

social media in the workplace A lot of people are ga-ga over the "social enterprise," a nirvana state where every employee is a brand advocate blissfully tweeting and posting on behalf of the company each day. Obviously this is far-off dream for many organizations, and perhaps not even desirable (gasp). The issue came to the forefront again last week when the web blew up over possible legislation in the state of South Carolina banning the use of social media in the workplace. Outrageous you say? Unheard of? Dystopian? You might be surprised to know I agree with the legislation, and after Tom Webster heard my argument, he changed his mind and agreed, too. Luckily, we have the whole conversation recorded on our podcast this week. We also have a lively discussion of the best and worst Super Bowl ads ... and we have some pretty divergent views! Ready to listen to another awesome adventure with The Marketing Companion? Let's do this!

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 game, analytics, and polling platforms.

Direct download: TMC.42.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:54pm EST

SoundClown In the latest edition of The Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I climb all over today's hottest marketing topics. Here's a sampling of our latest audio adventure:

  • Tom amazes Mark with his knowledge of the Seven Dwarves.
  • Cancelling Google Glass -- Is this a blip on the wearable tech radar or has Google set the industry back a step?
  • Under-used social media platforms -- Mark tried an experiment that increased his page views by more than 10X. Would it work for you? What platform seems to be attracting more thought leaders than any other? Clever ways to use a new Soundcloud with audio content.
  • Mark declares that they are the World's Dumbest Marketers. Tom agrees.
  • Personal marketing priorities -- What are Mark and Tom working on to get more bang for their marketing buck?
  • Mark's advice on the very first step you should tackle if you are starting a new marketing job.
  • Tom embarrasses himself by momentarily forgetting he is on mute.
  • What are most exciting digital trends? Mark and Tom weigh in the most interesting digital developments to watch. One of them could turn into a big business.
  • SoundClown. You need to hear it to believe it.

Now I know it's hard to believe we fit all of this into a 30 minute podcast. You're just going to have to hear it to believe it:

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 game, analytics, and polling platforms.

Direct download: TMC.41.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

internet haters This week we scrapped plans for the podcast we had planned to address a controversy that emerged at Edison Research, Tom Webster's company. It was time for us to reflect on the great two-edged sword we all face on the Internet: the historically important opportunity to publish and be heard, and the vulnerability we face to be skewered without compassion ... or facts. Overall, the Internet is a good place. A VERY good place, in fact. But it is also a reflection of the human race and about 2 percent of the population discovers some psychological reward in being angry. Twenty years ago, a business could probably ignore those people without much damage but today there is a very real chance that strategy will make the problem worse. Big business or small, we must be aware of these risks and the appropriate responses. In this discussion, we cover ...

  • Guidelines for responding or not responding to Internet haters
  • The fear of toxicity ... real and imagined
  • Learning to handle trolls
  • When to go to the mat and when to walk away
  • Showing your true colors in the face of hate
  • Is 100 percent customer satisfaction possible?

Ready to do this thing? Here we go: Resources mentions in this episode The Infinite Dial blog post by Larry Rosin A six-step plan to respond to negative comments on the web Research on 98 percent customer satisfaction survey Illustration: Check out the beautiful peace sign art by Laura Barbosa

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 game, analytics, and polling platforms.

 

Direct download: TMC.40.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:32pm EST

google pants We've had a great year on The Marketing Companion podcast and Tom Webster and I thought we would end 2014 with a bit of fun. We've compiled a few of the most hilarious highlights from our podcast so you can ring in 2015 with a laugh.  Nothing But the Funny Bits features some of our most popular "products" that got us laughing the hardest, including:

  • Google Pants -- The Party in your pants!
  • Ass Ads -- Monetizing your wearable technology
  • Mark and Tom's first movie "Drone Wars: Rise of the Machines" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christian Bale as Jeff Bezos.
  • Prickstarter: When the BS is Getting Thick, Come be a Prick
  • Mark and Tom's Darn Good Content including Daily Affirmations, Cats & Kids, and Breaking Bieber.
  • Americans versus Europeans: Who has the best underwear?
  • Social media booktitles you will never see
  • Get a Room, The social media platform for lovers
  • The Worst Apps in the World
  • Sticker Shock, our therapy program for Facebook sticker addiction
  • The Marketing Companion Holiday Catalog including Social Media Action Figures, Facebelt and Magic Seth Ball

Thanks so much for supporting us and being part of our podcast in 2014. If you enjoyed our work, tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, and help us spread the word! We enjoy bringing you the podcast and look forward to another fun and fascinating year of marketing discussions in 2015!

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 game, analytics, and polling platforms.

.

Direct download: TMC39.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:23am EST