The Marketing Companion (Social Media Marketing)

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT