The Marketing Companion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This seems so overwhelming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The polish is off the Apple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

We cover amazing topics such as IoT and ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new media economy and advertising

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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