The Marketing Companion

Research shows that book readership is up, especially with digital natives. How could writing a book help you establish thought leadership, open new opportunities, and grow your business? Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster explore these issues and open the Marketing Companion Holiday Catalogue for exciting gift "ideas."

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

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

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

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

Facebook evil, the inside story

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

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

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

Is social media addiction OK?

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

Let's explore some more ...

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

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You'll have to hear it to believe it, I suppose. Here we go: 

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

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

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

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

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

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

Check it out! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resource mentioned in this episode WSJ article on advertising decine Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro.

Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Meerkat
  • Ello
  • Path
  • Google+

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

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

Until now.

Amazon Spark is news

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

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

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

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

And there's more.

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

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

Also, Tom and I experiment with "Chipmunk Speed." You'll have to hear it to believe it. You won't want to miss this!

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

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

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

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

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

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