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Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 | 0 comments

3 Little Words for Branding Success

3 Little Words for Branding Success

  I recently interviewed Bob Domenz, CEO of Avenue, a B2B brand strategy and activation firm, as part Branding Magazine’s Branding Roundtable on Rebranding. One of the questions was “What are the most common causes of failure in rebranding?” The first three causes he proffered certainly rang true: First, “not having the direct involvement of the CEO and leadership; Second, not deeply involving the customer and customer insights in the process. [and]   Third, approaching the rebranding initiative as just a logo and advertising change.” But it was the fourth that grabbed my attention, both for its economy of phrasing and its simple truth: “Fourth – and most important – is getting your ‘Be.Do.Say.’ out of order. In other words, not aligning your market promise with the actions of the company and your ability to deliver.” Yes that will sink you. Conversely, getting your “Be.Do. Say” in the right order can also make you rise above the competition. In a branding world that loves to beat buzzwords like “authentic” into...

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Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 | 2 comments

12 Articles on Native Advertising, and One Sad Song

12 Articles on Native Advertising, and One Sad Song

  This didn’t start off as a post on the many different perspectives on native advertising; my intention was simply to feature the always interesting, insightful and blessedly reasonable Lou Hoffman as the subject of this month’s #SocialSong (please see last month’s post for an explanation of the new format for what was formerly called #SocialSong Saturday).  However, in following Lou more closely this month, I was particularly taken by his comments on the promise and perils of native advertising, especially within the context of a torrent of other commentary – and even potential regulatory activity – swirling about sponsored content or native advertising or whatever you prefer to call it. Pros and cons (pros as cons?) of native advertising As a result, I decided to do two things Research, and offer up, a variety of articles on the pros and cons of native advertising Respond to my own rather emotional reaction to the topic in my favorite fashion – with a song You’ll find the list of articles at...

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 | 6 comments

How To Improve Your Blog by Dreaming a Little Bigger

How To Improve Your Blog by Dreaming a Little Bigger

 Or… #SocialSong Saturday Changes its Tune Conventional wisdom holds that improving your blog starts with improving your writing.  Unfortunately, the more conventional the business wisdom is, the more conventional the results tend to be. We all need to stretch beyond what everyone else is doing if we ever hope to stand out as our true selves, or help a brand communicate what I like to call it’s own “simple truth,” and thereby serve up unique, helpful content from something other than a me-too perspective. For a little more than a year now my principal approach to “stretching beyond” has been #SocialSong Saturday, the weekly Twitter Love Song in which I literally sing the praises of people I find worth following on Twitter.   It’s been fun, and to me at least a more meaningful recommendation than a facile #FF, but by trying to feature four people a week I find that I’m barely skimming the surface of what they have to offer. With that in mind, I’ve decided to switch...

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Posted by on Dec 7, 2013 | 0 comments

Who to Follow on Twitter for Content Creation (and other Stuff)

Who to Follow on Twitter for Content Creation (and other Stuff)

How can you tell who to follow on Twitter for content creation… or small business marketing… or digital marketing strategy… or digital learning (with wine in hand)?  Why, right here, of course.  This week the Twitter Love song is singing the praises of: @Hannah_Barnett  Hannah Barnett is a new discovery to me, a multi-talented content creator from London who caught my eye with a beautifully simple take , in video, on telling a much-told story, the Annunciation (I don’t just do research online for my client content creation purposes… I also do it for teaching Sunday School, itself a great exercise in keeping a message simple and engaging, and in getting out of the way of the story enough so that the simple truth shines through).   Hannah is a writer, musician, producer, filmmaker – in short, she makes me jealous.  I wish I could play, and write for, guitar as well as she does… but I will not hold that against her. @LizReusswig has never before been featured in...

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Posted by on Nov 23, 2013 | 0 comments

Who To Follow on Twitter for Content, Social and Advertising: #SocialSong Saturday No. 44

Who To Follow on Twitter for Content, Social and Advertising: #SocialSong Saturday No. 44

  Martin – my guitar – couldn’t make my trip this week, so we’ve got our first a capella #SocialSong… So sing along! I should be home by the time you read this, but my travel this week got in the way of my usual recording of #SocialSong Saturday, and I had to make do as best I could in my hotel room, sans self-accompaniment… well, at least as far as a musical instrument goes. Watch the video and you’ll see me, myself and I sing the praises of: @digitaljgo   John Gregory Carlson is one of the people I follow because they seem to share my judgment as to what’s worth sharing – which means John’s tweets are always worth keeping an eye out to catch. @hessiejones   Hessie Jones is a brand new tweep to me – this week we connected in the comment section of her blog for ARCompany, where she is CEO. @rskin11  Ryan Skinner is a senior analyst for content marketing at Forrester –...

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2013 | 2 comments

Who to Follow on Twitter for Social Media and Content Marketing: #SocialSong Saturday No. 43

Who to Follow on Twitter for Social Media and Content Marketing: #SocialSong Saturday No. 43

  Or… You Shall Know Them By Their Tweets Besides giving myself a good excuse to sing at least once a week, I started #SocialSong Saturday as a hopefully more substantive way than #FF to share recommendations on who to follow on Twitter for social media, content marketing, creativity and the like.  Overall I’ve gotten a pretty good response, as in one of the latest posts from Ted Coine, wherein he gives me and my little song a gratifying shout out.   This week I’d like to do something a little different in the post: I’ll do the singing, but I’m going to let the Tweets do the talking, and simply embed what each of my recommendations shared to catch my eye. @joecardillo Joe, I know we’ve met ever-so-briefly IRL, but I didn’ t catch how you pronounce your last name, so forgive me please if it’s incorrect.  Others should simply know that you work at the content visualization firm Visual.ly, and you have a lot of good things...

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 | 0 comments

Who to Follow on Twitter: #SocialSong Saturday No. 42

Who to Follow on Twitter: #SocialSong Saturday No. 42

A little Twitter Love (Song) Beats #FF Any Day And now, for this week’s musically-made recommendations as to who to follow on Twitter for branding, content marketing, social media, and general creativity…   @igornaming  I’ve followed these brand-naming specialists since before I was on Twitter.  I particularly recommend their naming guide “Building the Perfect Beast”. @griner   Are there any AdFreak fans out their today?  David Griner is a contributing editor, which is enough reason to like him.   He also paved the way for social media and content marketing in the unlikeliest of environments – gasp! – an ad agency.  And now he has a mysterious entrepreneurial adventure in the works. Stay tuned. @paulmrand  I briefly met Paul Rand in real life at Social Media Week Chicago this fall, where he was neglecting his duties as the head of Chicago-based agency Zocalo Group to play the part of the upbeat and ubiquitous SMW host/emcee. He’s also written a book, “Highly Recommended: Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth and Social Media to...

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Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 | 0 comments

Content Marketing in 2014: 3 Things You Need to Prepare for NOW

Content Marketing in 2014: 3 Things You Need to Prepare for NOW

  Why The High Quality Content Everyone is Yammering About Requires a New Creative Approach   If you take a close look at full version of my recent Branding Magazine interview with David Armano, the newly elevated global strategy guru at Edelman Digital, I believe you’ll see and hear fair warning as to why content marketing in 2014 – your content-centered marketing – could get left behind for lack of the right content strategy and creativity team. Digital marketing must dare to be more traditional First, Armano said something that both warmed my traditional marketing heart and also made me shake my head in disbelief as I tried to imagine it being implemented beyond a few visionary firms:  “We are adding traditional skills like traditional planning or traditional creative, and I feel like the future model is … where on the content side it’s been the creative director and the copywriter and maybe a planner, for us the… trio is the creative director, a planner and a really savvy social...

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Posted by on Nov 2, 2013 | 6 comments

Who to Follow on Twitter: #SocialSong Saturday No. 41

Who to Follow on Twitter: #SocialSong Saturday No. 41

Where can you find out who to follow on Twitter for content marketing, social media and advertising and branding?  Right here. Is this your first time visiting #SocialSong Saturday? Then suffice it to say that this is where we go #FollowFriday one better and literally sing the praises of those sharing the really good stuff on Twitter, including: @KateUpdates   Kate Finley is one of those bright lights that is just getting started and immediately gives you the impression that you want to follow along and see just how much of the world she lights up.  She’s not actually just getting started in PR, but, rather, in her own business, Belle Communications, which is not quite a year old, and has more of an integrated marketing spin than pure PR (sort of in the model of Gini Dietrich, through whom I met Kate, and who inspired the very first #SocialSong Saturday). She has a niche (“natural food brands, specialty food brands, startups…”) plus a command of the content and social...

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