The Marketing Companion (Social Media Marketing)

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.

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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

Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster have been creating written, video, and audio content for years. In this episode, they share with you some of the lessons they have learned from the mistakes and victories they have experienced along the way.

 

Direct download: TMC.38.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:08am EST

marketing companion
New from The Marketing Companion! Your favorite social media personalities as bendable action figures.
Just $12.99. Limited quantities available except for the Mark Schaefer edition. We have plenty of those.

One of my favorite activities is thinking and talking about what's coming next and there is nobody more fun to have that kind of discussion with than Tom Webster as we take on what's next in digital marketing. On the latest Marketing Companion, Tom and I introduce the Marketing Companion Holiday Catalog (and our new League of Legends Action Figures!) and dive into some things we're watching for 2015:

  • Why podcasting is having "a moment" and why agencies are behind a growing success
  • The mega-trend that may be forging all other digital trends
  • Billboards ... a trend?
  • The missing link to integrated marketing
  • Malignant complexity and its challenge to every marketer
  • Facebook -- are businesses going to be in or out? A flight away from Facebook and how it might play out.
  • The commoditization of Big Data and the trickle down to small businesses.

And many thanks to our friend Ralph Cipolla for the Awesome Graphic today! Ready to rock? Here we go!

Resources mentioned in this show

Content Shock post Old Spice integrated campaign Tableau software

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.37.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:27am EST

facebook changes our behavior I always find it curious when people compare our social media presence with our REAL presence in the "real world." What makes people think that Facebook is NOT the real world? Increasingly, we are beginning to see these lines blur. We create our personality on Facebook. But Facebook is also creating our personality. Facebook changes our behavior. Seriously. Recently, Facebook demonstrated how it can alter our moods by manipulating our content.  This is a company that can affect our opinions. New research shows that social proof on Facebook contributes to our view of our self-worth, quantifies the value of friends and shapes what content we share. Where will it lead, and in the near-term, what does this mean for marketers? Fascinating question, right? So fascinating in fact, Tom Webster and I devoted an entire podcast to it. This one covers a lot of territory in 30 minutes!

  • The power of social proof in our online marketing world
  • Content competition and the homogenization of our streams
  • How we are being "trained" on what to post on Facebook
  • The Facebook reward system that is creating our online personas
  • What are the implications for brand content
  • Could Facebook manipulate political campaigns? Is it already happening?

I'm sure you are anxious to get right into this one! Let's get on with the show! Resources mentioned in this show The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) by Donna Tartt Suttree by Cormac McCarthy The Counselor by Cormac McCarthy Marketing Podcasts Dotcom by Jay Baer Original Atlantic article on Facebook numbers by Benjamin Grosser

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_36.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:28pm EST

personal brand Do you nurture your online personal brand? Or is your brand simply your personality? Does your personality create your brand or does your brand create your personality? Tom Webster and I had a disagreement on this and the discussion was so compelling we decided to create some content around this in the form of a podcast. In fact, Tom characterizes personal branding as a "load of crap."

  • What is the role of personality containment? Vulnerability?
  • Is there a formula for a personal brand?
  • Opportunities for power today that didn't exist 10 years ago.
  • Creating transferable assets with a personal brand
  • Are skills more important than "brand"?
  • Should you be creating a personal brand in your current company?
  • The Dark Side of personal branding
  • Personal networking, weak links and business value

We also talk about the very real crisis of addictions to Facebook stickers, also known as Sticker Shock.

At this point you are probably nearly frenzied. Am I right? Let's get to the podcast!

Resources mentioned in this podcast: Tom Peters: The Brand You 50 : Or : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! Christina "CK" Kerley

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.36.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:29pm EST

mobile commerce revolution

It seems at the end of every year, pundits predict that "this is the year of MOBILE!" And perhaps it is finally true. But as my podcasting partner in crime Tom Webster writes in his new book The Mobile Commerce Revolution: Business Success in a Wireless World (with co-author Tim Hayden), it is mobility, not just "mobile", that is changing the world. You are not going to want to miss this insightful discussion on the new Marketing Companion podcast about Tom's new book. You also do not want to miss our discussion of the world's worst mobile apps, which caused us to crack up so much we could not even speak! But we do eventually get to the meaty stuff like ...

  • The difference between mobile technology and mobility
  • Creating an app today is more about sociology and psychology than IT
  • How to adjust organizationally to the commerce revolution?
  • Why you should not be wedded to technology
  • What does a mobile commerce team look like today?
  • Why many large companies are failing at mobile commerce
  • The importance of removing institutional barriers to create meaningful apps
  • How would a small business start creating a meaningful mobile app?
  • Personalization versus privacy
  • A mobile strategy based on poop. Yes. It's true.

Yes, we cover a lot of ground in just 30 minutes. What's that you say? You can't wait a moment longer? Well let's get 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 game and polling platforms.

Direct download: TMC.35.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

ello govna The advent of Ello has been one of the most interesting developments of the year. The new social network promises a simple, ad-free platform to connect and share. Wait. Ad-free you say? In fact, the platform's founder, Paul Budnitz, has been making the media rounds proclaiming he "doesn't care about money." While there is probably more to this network than pure virtue, Ello is undeniably HOT, signing up 30,000 new users every HOUR. Many bloggers are trumpeting this little start-up as the Facebook killer but is that realistic? Is it possible? And when the stripped-down application offers significantly less functionality than the ad-free Google+, why is this even catching on? Is this something important, or simply a reaction to failures of other networks? Tom Webster and I could not resist exploring this topic on our latest podcast which is sure to get you thinking about social media platforms in a new way. This is a jam-packed 30 minutes and just a few of the nuggets include ...

The advent of Ello has been one of the most interesting developments of the year. The new social network promises a simple, ad-free platform to connect and share. Wait. Ad-free you say? In fact, the platform's founder, Paul Budnitz, has been making the media rounds proclaiming he "doesn't care about money." While there is probably more to this network than pure virtue, Ello is undeniably HOT, signing up 30,000 new users every HOUR. Many bloggers are trumpeting this little start-up as the Facebook killer but is that realistic? Is it possible? And when the stripped-down application offers significantly less functionality than the ad-free Google+, why is this even catching on? Is this something important, or simply a reaction to failures of other networks? Tom Webster and I could not resist exploring this topic on our latest podcast which is sure to get you thinking about social media platforms in a new way. This is a jam-packed 30 minutes and just a few of the nuggets include ...

  • Social media and the advertising "bargain"
  • Ello and the implications for brands
  • The economics of privacy -- Why don't Americans care?
  • The biggest problem facing Ello -- it's not what you think!
  • Dynamics of Ello may force better content
  • Economic models that are under-utilized on the web
  • Opt-in advertising for brands -- the future or a privacy nightmare?

Ready to roll? Here we go:

Resources mentioned in this podcast

Ello

Scott Monty

The questions that aren't being asked about Ello, a blog post by Douglas Karr

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 and polling platforms.

Direct download: TMC.34.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:29pm EST

authenticity My friend Justin Levy just had brain surgery. He went into the operation not quite knowing what would be on the other side. Despite this personal nightmare, Justin's social media presence was extraordinarily brave, honest, and revealing. Through his timely and detailed posts, his friends and followers could get a daily peek into every aspect of his trial. His successful operation was finally trumpeted with a triumphant "thumbs up photo" on Facebook. Thousands of people felt relief.

levy

This very public, courageous journal of his trials made a big impact on me and my podcasting mate Tom Webster. In fact, it became the seed for our newest Marketing Companion podcast. Under the same circumstances, what would you do? And let's take the conversation a step further. What is the professional expectation of the much-discussed "authenticity?" Is anybody really authentic? Can you be strategically authentic? The result is a fascinating discussion and I think you are really going to enjoy this episode. Here are some of the topics we cover:

  • How important is establishing your personal social media "character?"
  • The difference between transparency and authenticity
  • The burden, privilege, and complexities of representing your brand online
  • The tightrope between personal and professional revelations on the web
  • Drawing the line -- over-sharing and personal authenticity in service of the business
  • Social Accounts: The Resume of Your Life
  • Social media ambassadorship -- The new professional skill?

Are you ready for this? Of course you are!  

Resources mentioned in this podcast

Content Marketing World

Kevin Spacey speech at CMW

Tom Webster Share of Ear for podcasting presentation

Justin Levy and his new Unstoppable Blog

Scott Monty

PEZ T

top Illustration "Shadow Selfies" taken by Mark Schaefer in Wales 2014

Our podcast is brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. 

Direct download: TMC.33.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

boundaries of inbound marketing One of the most interesting aspects about being an observer in this particular time and place in the history of marketing is watching the continuous cycle of innovation, experimentation, and maturity. The dynamics of our age are unprecedented and exciting. For example, let's say we were in the 1970s. In that entire decade, what innovation caused us to re-think marketing strategy? There was probably one in the entire ten-year-period: the emergence of cable TV. If you compare it to what we face today, it really re-defines what marketing is all about, doesn't it? We need a core competency in the ability to effectively assess the relevancy of a technological innovation and rapidly reject it or deploy it. Another advantage we have today as marketers is the wave upon wave of data coming at us to help us make these decisions. One interesting data point emerged last week that was the catalyst for a much-needed conversation -- what are the boundaries of inbound marketing? The data point was a public filing revealing that HubSpot -- which defined the term "inbound marketing" -- is still hemorrhaging money after eight years and its sales and marketing costs are arguably higher than what would be expected from a "traditional" approach. On the surface, this would seem to break the inbound promise. Or does it?

The boundaries of inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a concept that certainly should be reaching some level of maturity by now. The strategy works, in most cases. But the revelation from Hubspot provokes the question ... does it work everywhere, and for how long? In our latest Marketing Companion podcast Tom Webster and I dissect this issue, starting with the fact that inbound marketing might mean different things to different companies based on industry structure and size. Let's hold this trend up to a strong light and take a look at the possible boundaries of inbound marketing.

  • Does content marketing work in a highly-competitive space?
  • Is content marketing as efficient as we think?
  • Should the goal of inbound be leads, relationships, or both? Is that possible?
  • Hubspot shows that you also need traditional sales and advertising tactics. What is the balance? What can we learn from this?
  • Do quarterly sales goals and the financial responsibilities to shareholders inhibit the potential of content marketing?
  • Is there an eventual diminishing return to content marketing and how do we anticipate that?

Ready to learn more? Here we go:

Resources mentioned in this podcast

Tom's blog on the Hubspot earnings announcement Is Inbound Marketing Profitable or Simply a Slogan?

Z.E.R.O.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model by Joseph Jaffe

Marcus Sheridan's idea about Content Saturation Index

Direct download: TMC.32.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:53pm EST

facebook reach Is there any greater source of emotional debate and mis-information on the web today than Facebook reach? I recently had a little debate on this subject with a person who wrote a glowing article on the promise of Facebook reach -- despite what appears to be pretty bad news in this corner of the web. I challenged him -- Why write an article that seems to be so counter to the facts? "I'm tired of so much negativity about Facebook," he said. "I wanted spin the facts in a more positive way." With so much at stake and so much mythology out there, it is certainly difficult to know who to believe or what to believe any more .... and we certainly do not need to be "spinning the facts." Part of the reason for so much confusion is that the truth is hard to come by. The real numbers are hidden behind company administrative accounts. There are only a few companies in the world with access to enough of these Facebook pages to make a meaningful statement about the true nature of Facebook reach.

The truth about Facebook reach

One of these rare companies is AgoraPulse, and my friend Emeric Ernoult The company's founder) was kind enough to share his raw data with Tom Webster and I to dissect on our latest episode of The Marketing Companion podcast. We were able to dive into the numbers behind 8,000 Facebook pages over the past 12 months and we found some surprising facts:

  • More than 70 percent of all companies across 104 industry designations had a decline in organic reach of 30 percent or more in the past year. I think it is accurate to say the decline in Facebook reach has been incredibly steep and rapid.
  • While Facebook brand pages reach an average of 6 percent of their fans, there is wide variation by company and industry. The declines ranged as low as 1 percent to as high as 65 percent
  • Only 6 percent of the industry categories have seen Facebook organic reach grow or remain steady in the past 12 months.
  • There is definitely a "hierarchy of conversation" among brands that leads to higher Facebook reach. Certain types of companies are just more conversational, leading to better reach. For example, nearly 550 pages consistently still have organic reach of 40 percent or more. Media companies and sports-related brands top the list.

This last point was especially interesting to Tom and I and one of the things we discussed on the podcast was the concept of using the data as a predictive model -- Could you guide a Facebook strategy based on a number that indicates potential engagement level?  Let's look at some of the numbers: high facebook reach   low facebook reach The decline in organic reach was steeper and more rapid than I expected. No wonder marketing strategies are in turmoil if organic reach has declined 30 percent or more for some companies in such a short period of time: facebook reach 3

What's the recipe for higher organic reach?

AgoraPulse gets to see more Facebook success stories than almost any company out there. So what is the key to success? The company's founder Emeric Ernoult shared these tips: "As with everything in the online world, there's no one-size-fits-all recipe. But to help focus on some success themes, I've hand-picked four Facebook pages that are doing extremely well and enjoying an average post reach above 50 percent of their fan base. Let's learn from them." Animals Australia OK, granted, this non-profit is about protecting animals and people love visuals of animals (and love their pets!). But they don't only post good looking puppies, they also post a lot of very interesting content relating to their cause. You're in the animals business? Facebook will make you happy. The Daily Muse Career advice? Yes, the Muse is a real business with a real business model (selling job postings to employers) but they also have so much content (very helpful and insightful content!) that their fans are engaged way above average. Super Chevy Mag Car lovers love to share their passion. And they usually love to read magazines that focus on that passion. Having a Facebook page for such a magazine cannot be a bad idea. Maxxess Maxxess is a French e-commerce site selling motorbike accessories. There is no doubt that motorbike owners are very passionate about their bike and the biking lifestyle. If you sell stuff to people who have a passion, Facebook is a must.Episode 31 What do these 4 pages have in common:

  • They target an audience with a strong passion
  • They publish very good content (at least, very good for their target audience)
  • They publish very consistently (at least once a day, often more)
  • They get a LOT of shares (thanks to the 3 points above), and shares are what offers the highest level of "viral" visibility for a page's content.

I'm sure you'll agree this is pretty interesting stuff but to get the inside scoop, you'll want to check out our new podcast, which also covers a hilarious new social media app called "Get a Room!" 

Direct download: TMC.31.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:27pm EST

time for twitter   Are you using Twitter for your business? Maybe the time for Twitter is now if you consider some of the trends on this popular social media platform:

  • Twitter has momentum. Revenue jumped 124 percent in the latest quarter, and it "beat the Street" estimates for user growth.
  • Twitter shined during the World Cup, owning the online conversation for the planet's biggest sporting event.
  • It appears that Twitter is preparing a "buy now" button.

In our new Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I dissect the economics of Twitter for business and demonstrate why this might be the best time to integrate Twitter into your marketing plans. Some of the podcast highlights:

  • How Twitter is giving a free advertising bonus most businesses don't know about.
  • How to use Lead Generation Cards as a free business-building tool.
  • Twitter has become the de facto "second screen" for television -- what does this mean to the value of Twitter for business?
  • Although only 16 percent of adult Americans have active accounts, more than three times that number actively see tweets or watch a Twitter stream without logging in -- a "ghost audience" for businesses that does not show up in the numbers.
  • Why analysts should not keep lumping Twitter in with Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Businesses are overlooking powerful free research capabilities -- we provide a real example and look at the three levels of free Twitter search
  • The meaning of Twitter for personal networking

Both Tom and I agree on this one -- this is an excellent time for businesses to look at Twitter as a research, advertising, and networking platform, Ready to check out the podcast?

Resources mentioned in this podcast

The book The Tao of Twitter, Revised and Expanded New Edition: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time Songza, a curated music channel Christel Quek of Twitter Jay Baer's book Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

Direct download: TMC.30.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

the right to be forgotten Have you tried The Marketing Companion podcast yet? People seem to love the humor and intelligence of our audio marketing adventures. If you have not listened in yet, this would be a great edition to begin with. In this show, Tom Webster and I were far too caffeinated to stick to one subject so we decided to go through a grab bag of current topics including: Erasing yourself from Google. New European Union legislation on "the right to be forgotten" allows people to remove themselves from search results. Why hasn't this been an issue in the U.S,?  And what happens when you have the ability to remove yourself from history? There are also some profound implications for marketers and content creators. Buyer personas -- Tom and I open up a "mental can of worms" when we discuss the use and perhaps over-use of buyer personas and the difference between "audience" and "buyers." Are you sure you know who your buyers are? Are personas always necessary? Do personas kill great content? LinkedIn blogging -- An important source of business content or more Content Shock? Tom and I disagree on this topic. Content inspiration -- Tom and I share key tips for finding new topic ideas for our blogs. My goodness. It is a veritable cornucopia of marketing delight! No time to waste now, click here to dive in:

Note August 18, 2014: Since we did this podcast, Shel Holtz added this comment for clarification which I wanted to add to the show notes: "I just listened to the latest Marketing Companion (which I enjoy tremendously). I'm sure you've heard this by now, but Google does not ask anyone to remove content based on the European Right to be Forgotten. They're sending notices to people whose content is affected, but all Google does is remove the link -- and only in Europe. The metaphor: They're not asking the library to remove any books, but they ARE removing the card from the card catalog so the book can't be found. For really good, eloquent rants on this, listen to Jeff Jarvis on recent episodes of This Week in Google." 

Direct download: TMC.29.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

king of facebook Complaining about Facebook has become one of the web's favorite spectator sports. But if you were the king of Facebook, what would you do to fix it? Well, Tom Webster and I decided to do something about it. We appointed ourselves the potentate and caliph of Facebook for a day and solved all of the company's problems in 30 minutes. Impossible you say? Well, we can cover a heck of a lot of ground in just one podcast, like ...

  • Can Facebook be a profitable company without pissing people off?
  • How much personal information is too much?
  • Is Facebook lacking data or insight?
  • Why is Facebook advertising no better than TV?
  • The dynamics that will drive Facebook's content quality down.
  • Facebook Deluxe -- a new revenue model?
  • The ethical house is not in order -- Why this is bad business and what to do about it.
  • Data reserves as a strategic weapon and how Facebook can create competitive advantage by leading on the data protection issues.
  • Why doesn't Facebook pay us for our content?
  • Should Facebook take the comapny private?

Like I said -- A lot of food for thought here. What's that you say?

You can't wait another minute?

Well, let's get to it!

Resources mentioned in the podcast

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination (Vintage)

Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams

Mark's post about the Facebook experiment

Tom's post about the Facebook experiment

Content Shock blog post

Why Facebook will be the most dangerous company on earth

Direct download: TMC.28.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

disruptive strategy It seems everywhere you go these days people are talking about Disruption as the next big business "thing." There are packed disruption conferences, disruption books, disruption consultants. But here is the nagging question I've had tumbling through my mind. Is it really possible to be strategic around disruption?  Is it possible for disruption to be a plan ... or is disruption the explanation of what happened after the fact? I've been conflicted on this because it runs counter to what I've learned and experienced. In graduate school I had the amazing experience of classes from Peter Drucker just as he completed his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In my mind this is the finest book on innovation ever written! Some of main points of the book include:

  • Effective innovation is continuous, not disruptive
  • Almost all innovation aimed at disruption fails. Let others fail and then pick up their pieces (Apple has been brilliant at this)
  • The most effective entrepreneurs manage innovation in a way to minimize exposure and risk.

Obviously these lessons from the master have had a big impact on me. They formed my key approach to innovation for more than a decade. This is why it has been difficult for me to jump on the disruption and Cult of Failure bandwagon. Of course disruption happens. But can you really MAKE it happen any more than you can MAKE "viral" happen? So it was timely when my friend Billy Mitchell of MLT Creative turned me on to an article in The New Yorker called The Disruption Machine by Jill Lepore. In this brilliant piece Lepore dissects the famous The Innovator's Dilemma (an argument against continuous improvement) and makes a compelling case against Disruption as a strategy. This article became the cernterpiece of the latest Marketing Companion podcast between myself and Tom Webster. The synaptic connections were really humming on this one as we debate the idea of Disruption Strategy. I think you'll love it:

Other resources mentioned in this podcast:

The Strategy Paradox: Why Committing to Success Leads to Failure (And What to do About It)

Podcast on 3D printing as a disruptive technology

Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance by Michael Porter

Book links are affiliate links.

MLT Creative is an occasional business partner and an advertiser on {grow}.

Direct download: TMC.27.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:24pm EST

disruption There are so many shifting sands on the marketing landscape that it might seem overwhelming. But there are two trends that deserve to be on your radar screen and that is the topic of the latest scintillating edition of The Marketing Companion. After Tom and I enjoy a non-traditional gift exchange for the one-year anniversary of the podcast, we dissect what we believe to be important trends to consider moving forward:

1) The use of "big data" to actually predict mega-trends and market outcomes

2) 3D Printing.

The second one might seem a little strange to list as a marketing trend but if you listen to the logic on the podcast I think you'll agree that this could have a huge impact on cost and price, delivery, availability, sourcing, distribution models ... well, just about everything marketers should care about. What's that you say? You want to get to the freaking podcast and fast? Well here it is, with no further delay!

Direct download: TMC.26.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:08pm EST

invisible blogger By Mark Schaefer My friend and podcast co-host Tom Webster recently penned a really honest and thought-provoking post called "Authorship." In the post, Tom laments that the more he guest posts and syndicates his writing, the less relevant he may become. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but he makes some good points. The web cares about CONTENT, not necessarily authors, and Tom postulates that in our frenzy to write and distibrute content, we may be creating more and more work only to become less and less visible. Are you getting lost in the ether of the blogosphere? Are we writing content that benefits others while our own authorship gets buried? It is a very different conversation from what you usually see on the web and we thought this topic would make an extraordinary podcast ... which it did. We cover a lot of ground, including:

  • Should you find your audience, or let your audience find you?
  • What is the benefit of syndicating your content? Statistically, it may not make sense!
  • Is the age of the independent blogger over? Has the paradigm shifted?
  • Where are the new voices in the field? Are there any?
  • Can a solo blogger compete with corporate sites?
  • What is the true ROI of "exposure?" What is the risk of over-exposure?

You're probably half-crazed by now waiting to hear this podcast so let's have no further delay: Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Gini Dietrich's post on the end of the independent blogger

70 Rising Social Media Stars

Blogging platform Medium

Twister (analog version)

Direct download: TMC.25.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:56am EST

rube goldberg
How do you get it all done?
If I had a nickel for every time I heard this question ... well, I wouldn't be rich (let's be honest) but I could probably treat you to lunch. google pants recall
It seems that people have an endless curiosity about how I get things done. Tom Webster and I thought marketing lifehacks would be a very interesting podcast topic -- and it was, because Tom and I had some pretty divergent views on tech solutions versus old-school lifehacks to manage a busy schedule. Some of the topics we covered:
  • Multi-tasking
  • eMail management tricks
  • Tricks to staying disciplined and focused
  • When to out-source tasks and what to out-source
  • How do you handle business upsets
  • Dealing with the tyranny of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
  • The "Swiss Army Knife" of marketing tools
  • Productivity on the road
  • Hacks for expense reports
And wait ... there's more! Where else you can hear about the hottest Internet sensations FaceMat and iTwister? Nowhere but here:
Companies mentioned in this podcast:

 

Direct download: TMC.24.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:00pm EST

fix google plus Whether you think Google+ is dead, dying, or still on the rise, one thing is certain: something has to change. This post will tell you what and why. Google+ was meant to take on Facebook. This is an economic imperative for a company built on: a) collecting personal information that can be turned into ads and b) finding ways to have you spend more time on their sites so you can see those ads. Facebook was capturing a disproportionate share of our personal information and Google had to do something. Their aim was to build a better social network and expose all of Facebook's flaws. You could argue that it did that ... so why is Google+ in turmoil? (And it is). The reason Google+ has never gone mainstream is because the world does not want a better social network, It wants a COOLER social network and Google+ is not cool with the young people who could move it into the mainstream.

It's not about tech. It's about cool.

Facebook is vulnerable as Millenials move into other places like Snapchat, Twitter and Kik. Google is simply not on the radar screen of the folks who are going to determine the Next Big Thing. High school kids don't give a damn about better SEO results. They want to be cool. Instead of building engineeringly-beautiful new features and integrating with other Google products (who trusts that any way?) Google should hire Bruno Mars or Katy Perry to be the Google+ spokesperson and launch a massive media campaign to attract the hearts and minds of taste-makers under the age of 19. Marketing its products has always been a problem for Google and I think we're seeing this vulnerability in full view right now. There are a lot of aspects to this discussion beyond the Google+ cool factor (or lack of it) and that is the fodder for the conversation between Tom Webster and I on the latest Marketing Companion podcast.

  • Do we really need to fix Google Plus ?
  • If the numbers on Google+ up, why the organizational disharmony?
  • Is Google+ going to be another "fast fail" or a lasting part of the company's strategy?

All this and more will be revealed right now:

Direct download: TMC.23.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

tron bad guy A few months ago, my blog was a target for a denial of service attack. What this meant was that a "bot" was set up by somebody (in this case a person in The Netherlands) to hit my site over and over so many times that readers cannot access the blog. It was a random attack and this might seem like a pretty dumb business plan, but apparently a lot of companies are obsessed with breaking into my site ... and probably yours too. The result was that I had to spend many hours and thousands of dollars to recover from the problem and guard against future attacks. My hosting company set up an app that would send me an alert when somebody tried to log into my site five times in a row, I had to turn off these notifications when they started arriving every five minutes. That's right. New attacks were occurring hundreds of times a day! That gives you some idea of the relentless barrage of bad stuff coming at our websites. More seriously, some of these bad guys are getting through. You have probably read recently about a number of bloggers turning off their comments because of the new spam attacks that are getting through to their blogs. Anecdotally, it seems in the past few weeks more people are also suffering from websites that are hacked or crash under denial of service attacks. And of course, there have been several high-profile stories about companies experiencing serious data breaches that compromise their customers. All this makes me wonder ... Are the bad guys winning? In our latest Marketing Companion Podcast, Tom Webster and I explore this topic and much more. In fact, we begin with an enlightening discussion about the diplomatic opportunities for American bacon but then also get into:

  • Are we seeing smarter spammers or the unintended consequences of Internet complexity?
  • Does Google actually play an indirect role in spam attacks on small businesses?
  • What is the business cost to keeping the bad guys away?
  • Highlights from the new book Social Media Explained
  • A trick to get to the heart of social media strategy
  • New thoughts on measuring social media marketing ROI
  • A discussion on who should be leading your social media marketing effort

Ready to listen to this discussion? It couldn't be easier to do

Direct download: TMC.22.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 10:05pm EST

online radio In the newest episode of The Marketing Companion Tom Webster and I examine a brand new study from Edison that reveals some eye-popping new insights on podcasting, online radio and social media consumption. Some of the highlights of this podcast episode include:

  • Introducing "Poodle King" Webster and Social Media Explained
  • The explosion of online radio and the implications for content consumption
  • Extraordinary changes in podcasting content, consumption, and audiences
  • Mobile implications for content consumption and "digital snacks"
  • Surprising new numbers on Google+ (is it finally a real thing?)
  • The phenomenon of Instagram and Snapchat
  • Where is Facebook in the mix ... declining, growing in new ways?
  • Facebook as the "plumbing" for teens

Ready for more? Of course you are!

Direct download: TMC.21.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

marketing conferences

I go to a lot of marketing conferences and they are undeniably a great way to learn, network and stay up to speed on the human and technological breakthroughs that are transforming our business. But how are they changing? How important are they? Does it make sense to attend? To sponsor? This is probably a topic on a lot of minds as our personal time is compressed and travel budgets are slashed so Tom Webster and dove into this topic on our newest Marketing Companion podcast. Some of the topics we cover include:

  • The truth and myth of SXSW
  • The "beating heart" of great conferences and the one thing that can kill an event
  • Conference networking strategies
  • Large - regional - local conferences .... which are thriving, which are dying and why?
  • The conference "glass ceiling"
  • The minor leagues and the major leagues of marketing conferences
  • Conferences and content strategy

  • Are conferences becoming elitist?
  • Does it make sense to sponsor a conference?

Ready to learn more? Of course you are! Here we go!

People mentioned in this podcast:

Jay Baer

Mitch Joel

Gini Dietrich

Jason Keath

John Jantsch

Scott Monty

Direct download: TMC.20.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 1:26am EST

influence marketing is hot As many of our channels for reaching customers are getting strangled, brands are turning to new ways to connect and communicate with customers. One natural opportunity is to align with the authentic advocacy represented by bloggers and other powerful content creators. In an information-dense world where it is more difficult to become the signal instead of the noise, blogger outreach is escalating, providing both financial opportunity and ethical dilemmas. This dynamic provides fascinating and entertaining fodder for the latest Marketing Companion podcast. Tom Webster and I dissect some of the most important issues in the field today like:

  • Flout: The New Standard for Influence. Really.
  • Why bloggers are trumping mainstream media
  • A first-hand account of escalating influence marketing
  • Why 95 percent brands are stumbling in the influence marketing field
  • Stepping over the line -- Influencer or infomercial?
  • How to create raving advocates the right way

Hey! I'm ready to listen to this all over again! Are you ready?

Direct download: TMC.19.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:58pm EST

marketing mix A number of news items coalesced recently and made me wonder ... what is the true role of social media in the marketing mix today? How has it changed? Is it really about connection? Is it still a way to engage with customers? Or, has it been so overrun by agencies and programmed content that it is little more than advertising? Maybe you have been wondering the same thing? This is such a vital topic that Tom Webster and I decided to tackle this on the latest edition of The Marketing Companion. Have you listened to our podcast yet? If not, please give it a try. We always aim to deliver entertaining and thought ideas to help you through the latest marketing trends and you might have some fun along the way, too. In this edition, we explore:

  • The time element --- social media versus advertising
  • Estimating the sales power of social media
  • Weak links versus strong links and how this converts to sales
  • The correlation between share of conversation and market share
  • Social media at the top of the sales cycle and at the end of it
  • Is social media more like advertising or marketing?
  • A case study illustrating the impression power of social media
  • How will social media platforms re-invent themselves to ignite a "wow factor?"

Yes, we covered a lot of ground in just 30 minutes! Are you ready to give this a listen?

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading: A Comprehensive Guide to the Most Persuasive Psychological Manipulation Technique in the World

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy

The results are in: A case study of social influence

Posts about Esurance Super Bowl ads referenced to in the podcast

Why the little guy won marketing's biggest prize

The missing link between awareness and action

The mind-boggling lunacy of people who were impressed with Esurance's Super Bowl ad

Direct download: TMC.18.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

incorporating public speaking into your marketing mix

Over the past decade, companies and executives have re-discovered the power of incorporating public speaking into the marketing mix. Some of the advantages include:

  • Creating high-quality content that can be leveraged in many places
  • Cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience with a message
  • Good PR opportunities.
  • Building a personal brand that also can accentuate a product and company brand (think of Richard Branson)
  • Leveraging a position of personal thought leadership to promote a company

This growing trend has impacted marketing strategies and transformed the professional speaking industry. One speaker told me that it is more difficult getting high-level paying engagements now because so many companies are willing to offer their executives as speakers for free. This opportunity is not often evaluated in terms of marketing strategy so Tom Webster and I thought it would be an ideal topic for our latest edition of The Marketing Companion podcast. We had a lot of fun on this episode and begin by rolling out a new content marketing "product" that includes "Breaking Bieber." You have to hear it to believe it! But we also roll up our sleeves and get into a discussion full of tips on how you can be more effective in adding public speaking to your marketing mix:

  • Ideas on how to be a more effective and entertaining presenter
  • Structuring your speech for maximum impact
  • Overcoming nerves -- The introvert's guide to public speaking
  • Rule the slides -- Keys to preparation
  • Is your speech intellectual property that needs to be protected or do you want it to go viral?
  • Leveraging speaking-related content in other marketing formats

Are you ready to rumble? Of course you are!  

Folks mentioned in this podcast:

Mitch Joel

Tom Martin

Tamsen Webster

Direct download: TMC.17.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 10:53pm EST

leadership When I was in graduate school I took a class that examined the qualities of leadership. I have to make a confession ... the only reason I took it was because I thought it was going to be an easy blow-off class! I was completely wrong. This turned out to be one of the most interesting and inspiring classes of my career and it ignited a lifetime of study on the subject. It turned me into a leadership junky.

My fascination with this subject was one of the reasons that drove me to write Return On Influence. I became obsessed with this idea -- how do you become a leader on the Internet -- a place that HATES leaders! Trying to understand those changes was a lot of fun and believe me, leadership DOES exist on the Internet, whether people want it or not. To a large extent, I think the "You're not my boss" attitude of social media has made the idea of leadership an unpopular concept. I see this anti-leadership mentality dripping from online posts and comments.

And, to some extent, the attitude may have been codified when Zappos recently announced that it was eliminating titles and organizational charts. This was too good of a topic to pass up for me and I think you'll enjoy the discussion Tom Webster and I have on this topic on the newest edition of our Marketing Companion podcast. But that's just the beginning. Tom and I cover a lot of ground in this edition. As you may know, a recent post I wrote called Content Shock went crazy.

Suddenly, I felt like I had become the center of attention for a large portion of the marketing dialogue. When we recorded this episode of the podcast, the personal implications of all this attention and the clubbiness of the social web were weighing on my mind. This led into a discussion of "content curation" versus "content assembly." Is curation a legitimate way to stand out today? Isn't every move Google makes HURTING the idea of curating content as a strategy? Tom does a great job in this podcast providing some tips for skillful content curation.

Are you ready for some podcasting fun? Well, wait no longer.

 

Direct download: TMC.16.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:15pm EST

information overload

Over the past few weeks the interweb airwaves have been humming and buzzing with data pointing to the increasing costs of getting your content seen and distributed through an over-crowded web.

  • In a recent Advertising Age article, Facebook reports: "Content that is eligible to be shown in our news feed is increasing at a faster rate than people's ability to consume it."
  • study by InboundWriter shows only 10 to 20 percent of a company’s website content drives 90 percent of its online traffic.
  • Social platforms are creating programs to highlight organic content from the brands that spend the most money on their ads. So paid ads and sponsored content will soon be driving the “organic” reach of content.
  • Reports claim the price of social media monitoring is going up because there is so much more content to process
  • According to a recent IZEA survey, 61 percent of marketers have paid "influencers" to mention their product and share their content.
  • According to a LexisNexis (client) study on International Workplace Productivity, 62% of white collar workers admit that the quality of their work suffers because they can’t sort through the information they need fast enough.

All of these trends support the idea of a "Content Shock" that is coming -- if it isn't here already -- for many businesses. Businesses who just pump out more content -- even "better" content -- are engaging in a strategy that is becoming increasingly difficult because the cost to succeed is going up, up, up. What are you going to do about it? That is really the dialogue that has to be happening next, right? And that is the conversation that begins here, in this new edition of the Marketing Companion podcast I created with Tom Webster. We start with a little fun, introducing a new idea called "Prickstarter" and then get into some pretty deep ideas about content and audience that includes:

  • The advantage of "ether" in the marketplace
  • The decline of RSS and the coming Age of the Great Algorithm
  • Media is media. Integrating channels to present one message to your customers is a key idea.
  • Audience is not the same as "buyer" -- Creating personas may be an out-dated strategy?
  • A focus on emotional ties and "human" as a competitive strategy
  • Bronies and the Celine Dion play -- you just have to hear it to believe it
  • Passionate content versus content and why "helpful" is not a point of differentiation

Pretty amazing, right?

Resources mentioned in this podcast

Comment from Ken Rosen that served as an example of Content Shock

Three phases of the web reference from Microsoft's Dean Hauchomovitch Shel Holtz post on consumer view of Content Shock

Christopher Penn discussion on owned, earned and paid media

Website of Dr. Robert Cialdini

Website of Voices Heard Media

Illustration courtesy BigStock.com

This content was created as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions. hits counter

Direct download: TMC.15.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:39pm EST

reach

In our latest Marketing Companion Podcast, Tom Webster and I examine three ripped-from-the-headlines topics critical to digital marketing: A decline in Facebook reach?

-- New research from several sources indicates that Facebook algorithmic tweaks could be dramatically depressing the visibility of brand posts to their audiences. We dissect this data and discuss whether this is real or something that could actually get much worse.

Are we safe? -- Our last podcast covered 2014 marketing trends and I predicted that the "malignant complexity" of Internet systems would provoke more attacks to a vulnerable system.

We look at the recent Target breach -- 40 million credit card profiles were stolen -- and an analyst remark that indicates something even more sinister could be going on here.

Influence marketing trends -- An influence marketing company released some eye-popping data about the number of marketers who are actively paying influencers to promote their brands.

The trajectory of this trend is remarkable and strikes at the heart of some moral issues of content creators. I think this will be a profound topic for 2014 and beyond and I think you will enjoy this lively debate!

Are you ready for this? Of course you are!

Here is the podcast, at your service:

References in this podcast:

Jim Tobin article on Facebook reach

Agora Pulse article on Facebook reach

Scott Stratten

Direct download: TMC.14.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:41am EST

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This not your normal 2014 forecast post about Facebook advertising and "the year of mobile" (yawn). Tom Webster and I put our heads together to really think through some of the implications of what we're seeing out there and the six projections we developed are not exactly run of the mill social media fare. I think you are going to really enjoy our latest Marketing Companion podcast. It is going to surprise, and perhaps even startle, you.

The podcast starts out with a visit from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christian Bale (you have to hear it to believe it!) and then untangles six marketing mega-trends:

1) Malignant complexity

2) Re-aggregation of audience

3) The cost of security

4) The death of "last touch" attribution and implications for search and offline marketing

5) Dis-intermediation of manufacturing (the biggest impact on marketing since the Internet?)

6) Atomization of content This podcast is guaranteed to get you thinking about our marketing future in new ways.

What's that you say? You can't wait to dive into it?

Well I certainly can't blame you so here it is in stunning high-definition technicolor:

References in this podcast:

The password management tool is Dashlane.

Direct download: TMC.13.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:23pm EST

sponsored content

Sponsored content is probably the hottest -- and most controversial -- marketing trend around. Embedding advertising messages in the editorial portion of online properties is an act of desperation -- Traditional advertising is in decline as technology allows people to avoid ads The fact of the matter is that sponsored content works best when you don't know it's an ad. This raises so many questions about best practices, disclosure and regulations. On our new Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I tear this issue apart from every angle:

  • Does sponsored content demonstrate that the advertising industry is in crisis?
  • Sponsored content -- only effective if it's sneaky?
  • Will the FTC regulate this trend?
  • Is a company blog sponsored content? Where do you draw the line?
  • Will sponsored content bolster confidence in a brand or jeopardize it?
  • Is this trend necessary to save traditional media? Ad agencies?
  • Radical honesty as a point of differentiation.
  • When do guest posts become sponsored content?
  • Could sponsored content actually be better than organic content?

This is a vital and fascinating topic and by this point you are probably ready to go. Well, here it is: By the way, if you are enjoying our podcast, why not let others know by leaving a rating on the iTunes site. It’s so simple and much appreciated!

Direct download: TheMarketingCompanon.12.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 12:44pm EST

google pants An early Google Pants sighting[/caption] Companies like Forrester and Gartner -- who used to make their money providing expensive and exclusive research reports -- are finding it impossible to "contain" the data. If somebody buys just one report, it's likely to very soon be distributed widely on the web for free.

As a result, there is a very subtle but important change going on in the world of research with profound implications for what we can see and believe on the social web. In our latest Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I explore some of the implications of this as we look at a case study where Forrester recently skewered Facebook with some provocative, but not necessarily accurate, claims.

A company VP added fuel to the fire with an "open letter" to Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook called the claims "irresponsible." Why would a company built on providing dispassionate data and insight make a sensational move like this?

Data and research are certainly taking on an interesting new role in the field of content marketing. Some of the ideas we discuss in the podcast ... If companies can't make as much money from their research, are they using their data as a content marketing promotional tool?

If businesses won't pay for research, what happens to the quality of the research? What can we really believe right now and how do we know if the claims we are looking at on the web are to be believed?

Most important of all, how is Tom Webster getting rich from Google Pants and Smithfield Hams?

At this point, you might be asking, "How can I listen to this gem of a podcast right now?" I'm happy to report that all you have to do is click this button:

By the way, if you are enjoying our podcast, why not let others know by leaving a rating on the iTunes site. It's so simple and much appreciated!

Direct download: TheMarketingCompanion.Episode11.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:19am EST

data Here's the number one business opportunity in marketing today: Teach marketing leaders, social media gurus and SEO professionals how to ask the right questions about data. I'm serious.

There is a golden opportunity here because many businesses leaders don't seem to know enough about basic marketing analytics to know whether their programs are growing or not. We are leading "by our gut" in a world that promises true wisdom and insight if we can understand the numbers.

The implication is that we are potentially (and probably) making incorrect decisions because we're mis-interpreting the numbers ... perhaps we don't even know the right questions to ask. If you're in marketing, you MUST understand this issue! I believe that just a basic knowledge of measurement tools can go a LONG WAY in helping to propel and differentiate your business ... and so does Tom Webster, the co-host on the Marketing Companion podcast. While this may sound boring, I promise you that our latest edition of the podcast is not. In fact, as you will soon hear, it is downright magical.

We explore what we consider the number one issue for most marketing leaders today: Understanding metrics to make business decisions --

-- The biggest business opportunity in marketing today

-- The danger of focusing on the what instead of the why or the how

-- Tom's five fundamental questions to guide a content marketing strategy -- Getting drunk on growth

-- The importance of talking to people

-- Content marketing at the end of the sales cycle

-- Content marketing as "fishing"

-- are you even in the right lake?

-- Guest appearances from Gini Dietrich and Sean McGinnis -- The magic metrics for content marketing and lead conversion

Are you ready for this? Can you HANDLE THE TRUTH? Here we go:

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

The book Good to Great by Jim Collins Our friends Gini Dietrich and Sean McGinnis

Doug Henning

Voices Heard Media

Further reading:

Marketing and social media measurement

This content was created as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions. hits counter

Direct download: TheMarketingCompanion.9.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

twitter and NYSE

Twitter is at a crossroads. It's in the process of becoming a public company which will inevitably affect how they monetize, where they monetize, and perhaps even influence the type of content they are willing to allow on the site.  A bastion for free speech, how will Twitter react when Wall Street pushes back on controversial content? As little Twitter has grown up it is now squarely in the gunsights of Facebook, which can only survive and thrive by increasing its "marketshare" of our personal information. Twitter is experiencing a youth movement, driven in part by the fact that mother (and even grandmother) is on Facebook now, directly threatening a core Facebook audience. Twitter is also in the middle of placing a bold bet on becoming the go-to "second screen" for television viewing. Twitter has changed my life so these are vitally interesting topics for me and many in the marketing field ... and an awesome topic for our next Marketing Companion podcast. And if these topics are not reason enough to tune in, you should listen to this episode just to hear Tom Webster state that he no longer has to suck on the teet of social media. It's a fun and lively debate which also covers:

  • Why Twitter may be a better investment than Facebook
  • Facebook's pre-IPO sneak attack
  • The critical importance of owning the "second screen"
  • Why a Twitter-Nielsen partnership is dynamite
  • Twitter as a shelter for cowards and how dimwits define the conversation
  • The IPO's possible impact on Twitter and free speech?
  • Why Twitter needs celebrities to fuel the youth movement
  • The three unique value propositions of Twitter
  • The new monetization models for Twitter -- "reach" versus "targeting"

At this point you are probably experiencing a Pavlovian-type response and are reaching for the "play" button. Well, here it is:

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Christopher S. Penn

Venture Capitalist John Frankel of ff Venture Capital

The Book The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time

Direct download: TheMarketingCompanion.8.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:49am EST

what does it take to succeed in marketing

I have a new Twitter follower who has branded herself as an "authenticity coach." This puzzled me. Is that a real business?  Is "authenticity" a critical business skill so important it has become a cottage industry? And perhaps the bigger question is, exactly what DO you need to learn to succeed in a marketing career today? This is a complex question because marketing as a career discipline has evolved differently than other areas of business. If you are a finance professional or you work in accounting or economics, the fundamentals of your career success are not sliding under your feet. But if you are trying to establish a career in marketing, not only are the tools of your trade changing, the rules of engagement are changing every day. If you want to aim to land a marketing job, what should you study in college?  Do you even need to go college? If you are an established marketing professional, how do you stay relevant?  Are you doomed to be in a constant state of catch-up? This is a fascinating topic and that's why I think you will particularly enjoy the latest edition of The Marketing Companion, a 30-minute podcast I create with the amazing Tom Webster. We cover a lot of ground in a short period of time, including:

  • The gap between marketing business needs and today's marketing education
  • Real world experience versus a college education - Do you even need a degree any more?
  • Why marketing education is different than other disciplines in the business school
  • Is "social media" an entire degree program, one class, or an essential life skill?
  • Community manager - The hardest job in marketing?
  • Five critical marketing career skills you will never get in school

At this point, you probably can't wait to wrap your ears around this podcast, so here it is!

 Other helpful resources mentioned in this podcast:

Book by Tom Peters:  The Brand You Book by Dr. Robert Kelly:  How to Be a Star at Work: 9 Breakthrough Strategies You Need to Succeed

Blog post by Mark Schaefer: The crisis in marketing education and what to do about it

Illustration courtesy of BigStock.com   Book links are affiliate links

Direct download: MarketingCompanion.7.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:09pm EST

content tsunami

The blogging life used to be so easy. Just five years ago, a blog was still a novelty and if you started one, you would probably occupy a niche in your industry. But since then, the world has conspired to make blogging very difficult ... "Content marketing" also means "content overload," -- this is a crowded and noisy field for newcomers. The dynamic world of search engines and SEO has made it complicated for bloggers to become discovered. New entertainment alternatives and social media distractions have probably challenged blogging's role as the king of content. Even technology like smartphones has made blog consumption, sharing, and commenting more difficult. What's a blogger to do? That's the question Tom Webster and I tackle in our latest Marketing Companion Podcast. We explore the topics of:

  • The challenge of information density
  • The entertainment edge - Next big thing for blogging?
  • Expertise and the content saturation index
  • Content quality, optimization, or both?
  • The most important blog metric ... perhaps the only one?
  • How much time should you put into promotion versus content quality?

This is a fascinating topic and we cover a lot of ground in just 30 minutes! I think you'll love the podcast and hope you'll also leave a comment below. Can't wait to listen?

Of course you can't! Well here it is right now!

There are several blog posts referenced in this podcast so here are some handy links if you want more depth on this subject:

From Mark: How the physics of social media is killing your marketing strategy From Tom: When Content Marketing stops working

From Marcus Sheridan: A discussion of Content Saturation Index

Direct download: TheMarketingCompanion.6.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 10:22am EST

Newspapers are dying. Local TV stations are struggling. Many radio stations have been in decline for more than a decade. And then, Jeff happened.

jeff bezos

This has been a fascinating couple of weeks if you're interested in newspapers and digital media. John Henry (owner of the Boston Red Sox) bought the Boston Globe and Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon) bought The Washington Post within the same week. When I first heard about the Bezos move, I thought "huh?" But the more I considered it, the more excited I became.  

The Post and many other traditional media outlets have been dying, primarily because they fell behind the digital revolution and have been unable to monetize fast enough. But a few years from now, we may look back and see that all that finally changed in this seminal "Jeff Moment."

Jeff Bezos is a master of media distribution and has boldly led Amazon into the publishing business. If anybody can lead The Washington Post into the digital age (and beyond), wouldn't it be him? In fact, couldn't the world benefit from more digital innovators making a move into "traditional business?" Wouldn't it be great to see an executive from Amazon, eBay or Apple take over the US Postal Service, The Department of Motor Vehicles, or a major state university? This is the topic that fuels our latest Marketing Companion Podcast.  Please listen in as the scintillating Tom Webster and I explore ... Can the Amazonification of journalism save newspapers? Will The Washington Post be the next great social media start-up? Does Bezos represent a new breed of

Wouldn't it be great to see an executive from Amazon, eBay or Apple take over the US Postal Service, The Department of Motor Vehicles, or a major state university? This is the topic that fuels our latest Marketing Companion Podcast. Please listen in as the scintillating Tom Webster and I explore ... Can the Amazonification of journalism save newspapers? Will The Washington Post be the next great social media start-up? Does Bezos represent a new breed of

Please listen in as the scintillating Tom Webster and I explore ... Can the Amazonification of journalism save newspapers? Will The Washington Post be the next great social media start-up? Does Bezos represent a new breed of benefactor?

Will more digital leaders move into traditional business spaces? What are the possible implications of this move for advertising and marketing? If you had $250 mm to spend, would you invest it in the content business? What are the implications for personalized content delivery? Is this purchase really an offline play? ... and much, much more.

Please enjoy the podcast and let us know what you think! Can't wait? I know! This is good stuff! Listen now:

Direct download: TMC5.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 10:34am EST

wearable technology

Can you imagine anything that would inspire marketing creativity more than a device that allows you to view the Internet all the time, everywhere ... like a digital layer across the world?

That certainly seems to be the promise of Google Glass, perhaps the boldest step forward in the trend of "wearable technology."  In my mind, this will be a transformational opportunity for, well ... everything!

Education. Connection. Discovery. Entertainment. Business. But my wise friend and podcast co-host Tom Webster is not so sure.

In the latest edition of The Marketing Companion, Tom and I debate a wide range of topics surrounding this exciting, and to some folks, disturbing, technology.

Some of the topics we tackle include:

scoble-heres-how-i-know-google-glass-is-a-big-deal.

Lesson 1: Never become a meme.

 

  • A lesson in how NOT to become a meme like Robert Scoble
  • Is Google Glass a win for wearable technology or the next Segway?
  • Do the "eyes" have it, or does wearable technology belong some place else?
  • What business problems does Google Glass really solve?
  • A can of worms for privacy, or just another Kodak moment?
  • Does "cool" trump "dork?"
  • The Devil's bargain with privacy.
  • A practical view from Jamie the bartender.
  • The porn indicator, and Google's interesting new investment
Direct download: TheMarketingCompanion.4.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 12:28pm EST

content millI think the role of "content" in the marketing mix is one of the most fasciating discussion topics around. How much is enough? How do you break through? Can you win on the back of quantity alone by overwhelming competitors? So I was delighted to have the opportunity to thrash this discussion around with the brilliant Tom Webster on our latest Marketing Companion podcast. In this latest edition, we talk about:

  • The dirty little secret of content marketing
  • How quantity works against quality
  • The Hubspot Problem and the content mill
  • Quantity and the discoverability advantage
  • Guest posts -- Strategic advantage or content snacks when you need a meal?
  • How is SEO adapting to new content realities and search?
  • The most important content-related metric
  • How content marketing is like a retail price war
  • Why content marketing encourages plagiarism

Yes, that is a lot of ground to cover in a 30 minute podcast but I think we get the job done and have some fun along the way too. Hope you enjoy the show and I would love to see your comments in the comment section below. To listen now:

Hope you enjoy the show and I would love to see your comments in the comment section below.

Program note: Christopher Penn weighed in with another perspective on this topic of content and SEO. Worth a read!

Direct download: TheMarketingCompanion.3.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 9:53am EST

business failure How many times have you led a business failure? Do you have to experience catastrophic failure to be successful? If I fail more than you, will I ultimately be more successful than you? These are some of the questions and topics creeping into the blogosphere over the past few years as the notion of failure seems to take on an almost romantic quality. I find this strange.  As an entrepreneur, I want to do everything I can to AVOID failure. Sure, if you are trying something new, you are bound to fail. I fail in some way every single day. But I never want to fail in a way that prevents me from getting back up again.  And yet, I have this feeling that if you've never been part of an entrepreneurial wipeout, you're not considered "legit" these days. There seems to be a growing acceptance of The Failure Manifesto. My podcast partner Tom Webster and I explore this interesting idea on the latest episode of The Marketing Companion. I really think you'll like this edition, as we explore:

  • The romance of catastrophic business failure
  • Why Seth Godin's "Just Ship It" mentality leads to problems
  • The true source of business innovation and progress
  • The untold side of the Apple story and survivor bias
  • The strategy paradox --why we don't learn from failures
  • Why you can't be Zappos
  • Is technology an enabler or a leveler of business innovation?

Do you need to be "all in" to be successful in business today?  I hope you'll listen to the podcast and tell us what you think!

Direct download: TheMarketingCompanion.2.m4a
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:11pm EST

The Marketing Companion Episode 1: Flouting Klout

  • Klout steps into the ring as a content creator
  • Influence at the top of the search rankings
  • Guest appearance by Ringo Starr as a talking apple
  • Is Klout re-defining "expert?"
  • The search for "warmer" search
  • Klout and corruption
  • The emotional hook of Klout
  • Could your Klout score become a global VIP card?
  • Will we be seeing Klout optimization experts?
  • What Klout does well.
  • Tom reads his spam

 

Direct download: The-Marketing-Companion-1.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 1:39pm EST