25 Content Strategy Blog Posts I'd Like To Read

You read Content Strategy for the Web or maybe just some blog posts on the subject. Maybe you attended the Web Content conference last week or just think content strategy could be for you. No matter your expertise, there's no mistaking: we need more intelligence devoted to content strategy. Here are 25 ideas for content strategy blog posts you should think about writing. How about tackling one this week?

If you do, feel free to link back to this post so your readers can get inspired too. In that respect, props to Chris Brogan and his post, 50 Blog Posts Marketers Could Write for their Companies, for inspiring this post.

Which post are you going to write?

For the content strategy newbie:

  • How did you first hear about content strategy? What piqued your interest that first time?
  • What are the top 3 benefits of a content strategy program, in your opinion. Or what 3 ways will it change the way you work day to day?
  • How are you educating yourself about content strategy? What blogs or books are you using?
  • How does your previous (or current) job prepare you for future content strategy work?
  • Some say that content strategy practitioners are to copywriting as information architects are to design. Have you found this to be the case in your position?
  • How do you explain content strategy to your closest co-workers? What metaphor aptly describes content strategy in your office?
  • From where do you draw your daily inspiration? This could be a person, place, experience, book, or feeling.
  • What do you most enjoy about content strategy? What makes you the happiest in your job?

For the content strategy journeyman:

  • What has been your most successful content strategy effort? What one thing helped it work?
  • How do you explain what you do to your grandparents?
  • What personality traits have you found serve you well? Which ones trip you up?
  • What's the biggest hole in your industry that content strategy can help fill? How is your industry in particular reacting to content strategy?
  • In the latest action movie you've seen, which character would have been most like a content strategist? Why? Is the content strategist the hero?
  • Having had some experience in the practice, what are you most looking forward to in the next year in content strategy? Where are the biggest opportunities?
  • How have you gotten involved in the content strategy community? Have you joined a Google group? Your local CS meet-up?
  • What's been the biggest internal dispute you've had this year regarding content strategy? How about with your client?

For expert content strategists:

  • What are you doing to promote content strategy in your organization? How are you a content strategy ambassador?
  • How has your agency or business implemented content strategy in the last year? What was the impetus?
  • How did your college degree prepare you for your content strategy job, especially since it's highly likely you did not major in content strategy? What path would you recommend to future strategists?
  • What are some new opportunities you see in the field this year? What stands out to make an impact in the next quarter?
  • Failure can often provide priceless insight. What have you learned from recent failures?
  • What's the first thing you do in the morning to prepare for your work each day? How does it help your content strategy work?
  • What processes have you set up in your agency or business to improve your content strategy? What's been your biggest hold-up?
  • How have you customized your offerings to match your client's needs? Did it make the end strategy result better or worse?
  • What leadership are you showing outside of your own organization? How are you expanding your influence for the betterment of content strategy?

Which topic will you take on? Please leave a comment on this post if you answer these, so the rest of the community can read your answer.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for updates via email or RSS. Also, please share this post on your favorite social media site.

Heath Brothers' Switch Not Perfect But Definitely Worthwhile

Chip and Dan Heath's new book, Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard, is not perfect, but it will certainly be useful to marketers.

The book focuses on ways to harness logic and emotion to guide the way to change (and the path that will help get you there). It's a metaphor that business owners and marketing professionals will find especially useful.

I've already written about this book - you can find it referenced in recent posts - but I wanted to devote the sixth episode of my Marketing Minute podcast to the book.

Find my review directly below or on the OMB YouTube channel.

What did you think of the book? Am I correct in my assessment? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Read up on more of my recent book reviews or buy Switch on Amazon. You can also subscribe to the podcast for updates only when I post new videos. Thanks!

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for updates via email or RSS. Also, please share this post on your favorite social media site.

Is There No Way To Prove The Value Of Content Strategy?

I'm trying to convince non-creative folks about the value of content strategy. I need facts and figures. Bonus points for graphs.

All I need to prove is that the stuff on your website is valuable to visitors. That content matters.

But there is a serious lack of empirical research to prove this. Why aren't there studies done on the value of content strategy? Is the topic too broad? Is it just common sense?

Proving Our Value

As content strategists, we should be able to appeal to emotion, common sense, and hard logic to convince skeptics of our value.

Emotion I can do. We're solving user's problems and creating a great experience. Common sense is a little fuzzier, but it still works - after all, why wouldn't the content on your site be valuable?

But hard logic - numbers and graphs - I'm having a tough time here.

Melissa Rach from Brain Traffic gets the award for closest to the mark, but even this is too convoluted for an internal or client presentation.

Content Strategy, Not Social Media

I can show you a dozen studies - Forrester, eMarketer, MarketingSherpa - that prove social media's worth. The ROI of social media topic is so 2008.

But broader content - not just on a Twitter feed or blog, but incorporating all website text, metadata, videos, etc. - finding hard evidence for that is proving impossible.

Please Prove Me Wrong

I've searched on paid and unpaid professional research sites. I have worked the limits of my Google powers. But maybe you can help.

As a content strategist, how do you prove your value, in real, empirical numbers? What studies do you use? What have I missed?

I cannot honestly believe there has not been a study of this information (and if so, what a huge oversight!). Content strategists are in a battle to prove their relevance. We'll need research, studies, ROI figures, etc to do this.

I would love to hear what studies you've seen or learn how you are coping with this challenge.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on TwitterStumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

(Image courtesy of chrisbb@prodigy.net via Flickr)

5 Ways To Promote Creative Marketing

Last night I was perusing an article from the Harvard Business Review by Ed Catmull, cofounder of Pixar, entitled "How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity." I was really struck by how their principles for inciting creativity are the very same I've written about here for marketers.

It shouldn't be surprising; anyone who has been in marketing for some time knows just how creative you need to be to succeed. Sometimes it's the "big idea" kind of creative. Other times it's a creative endeavour to include 10 message points in one sentence or create a feasible campaign in a week and a half. That's creative too, believe me.

There are 5 ideas in this article that Catmull speaks to that really struck a nerve with me. I'm going to link to some past articles that relate to these points - I hope you take a minute to read them. It proves that not only is marketing a creative field, but that creativity is an exercise only for the brave.

How Do You Promote Creativity?

1) Embrace Fear: Catmull says, "[I]f we aren't always at least a little scared, we're not doing our job...This means we have to put ourselves at great risk."

Not too long ago, I wrote about how risky marketing is, and how we should embrace the fear that comes from it. Today, as I read this quote, I think it's even more true now than it was when I mentioned it.

"Once you get over the fear of being different, of possibly failing, a world of possibilities opens up. Are you still worried? Well, maybe this will help tip the scales:

You’ve got no choice."

Embrace the fear. Everyone feels it. And fear can be debilitating or any amazingly creative stimulus.

2) Welcome Risk: We work in an ever-changing industry. It will never be the "same old, same old." If you don't want to risk your ass, you shouldn't have put it on the line by placing it in a marketing office.

Catmull has some advice for the leadership: "[W]e as executives have to resist our natural tendency to avoid or minimize risks, which, of course, is much easier said than done."

This reminds me of my "Failure Isn't Fatal" post:

"As I wrote earlier in the week, our job as marketers is not to mitigate risk by going along with the status quo. Our job is to manage the risk and sometimes we fail.

That stinks, but there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s inherent to the job. So it’s better to get in there and figure out your best odds of success (and learn from your mistakes)."

Which leads perfectly into...

3) Learn From Failures: You won't get rid of risk and you are going to fail at some point in your career. But the most creative marketers are the ones who figure out why they failed and learn from it. Failure is inherent in creative people.

From Catmull: "If you want to be original, you have to accept the uncertainty, even when it's uncomfortable, and have the capability to recover when your organization takes a big risk and fails."

4) Realize That Community Matters: Catmull contends that "community matters" in the sense that a group of highly talented creatives can turn out extraordinary things.

For marketers though, community is something outside of our team usually. They are the hordes we hope to influence (hordes in the nicest way possible, I mean). And we can't do that by simply interrupting more loudly or more often.

I think Joseph Jaffe is correct is his definition of the new creativity - one in which a piece of marketing is gauged by the community's adoption of it.

"I don’t know how much originality is in the idea itself, but it’s in the execution where you see the real beauty of it. And ultimately that control and that power – and to what degree it becomes a meme and to what degree it lives on and gets a life of its own and gets embraced by the consumer – is ultimately in the hands of the consumer.

And maybe that can become the new definition of creativity."

5) Always Be Excellent: Catmull states that the success of Toy Story 2 was, "[I]t became deeply ingrained in our culture that everything we touch needs to be excellent."

It's easy to be crass about excellence. "Blah, blah," you might be thinking.

But I've seen it happen a bunch of times: the kid who excels in everything he does - though he might fail and get scoffed at and underestimated - he eventually almost always reaches that gold ring he'd been shooting for.

It's intimidating to see someone so much an active participant in their success. Intimidating and awesome.

What Did I Forget?

What did Catmull and I miss? How do you promote creativity in marketing?

There's a lot to worry about, a lot of potential pitfalls. But that's never going to change. How are you seizing the awesome today?

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on diggStumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

(Image courtesy of scragz via Flickr)

Does Your Social Media Strategy Need A Zen Alarm Clock?

I'm a terrible sleeper.

No, scratch that - I'm a terrible waker-uper.

I set at least two alarms - one placed clear across the bedroom - and hit snooze enough times to wake and enrage BG (rightfully so). While I used to be disciplined enough to rise at 4:45am to write, I'm not disciplined enough to get up at 6am to even go to the gym.

That is, until I got a zen alarm clock (if you've never heard of this, you're not alone. This is one type we've got.)

This morning, progressive bells gently roused me from sleep instead of the heart-palpitation-inducing air raid siren alarms of the past. Slow and steady chimes was the order of the day and damned if it didn't work. I was up and out the door quicker than ever.

What does this have to do with your social media strategy?

I see so many people rush into things. They're scared - "We don't have a Twitter!" - and with a sudden burst they emerge on the scene. They follow 2,000 Twitterers or flood a blog with 20 posts in a week. And what inevitably happens?

They sputter out. They podfade. They don't garner followers or readers or friends.

Is your social media strategy the equivalent of an air raid siren alarm? Is it sudden, panicked, and rushed? These are not qualities of good strategy.

Instead, try a slow, reasoned approach to social media. Develop your tribe over time. Find an audience organically. Give before you get.

Try the zen alarm clock approach to your social media strategy. I can't guarantee you'll succeed, but you will definitely do better (and get more out of it personally) with this approach.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

(Image courtesy of Mecridis via Flickr)

Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click? - For More Than Just Designers

Neuro Web Design cover Dr. Susan Weinschenk was the subject of one of my first blog posts back in November of '07, but I'm so pleased to again mention her and her book, Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?

Dr. Weinschenk is definitely ahead of the curve. In this era where every click can be counted, expect to see clinical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologist and other highly skilled professionals applying their craft to business, especially online. This trend arrives just as online marketer's palates are craving more numbers to show the ROI of their strategies.

A Formula That Works

Dr. Weinschenk usually begins each chapter with an easy-to-read explanation of a seminal study, then delves into the ramifications of the findings, and finally relates these findings to online business. It's a familiar formula as you progress through the book, but it definitely works.

It's easy to make the connection between the study and the marketing goal; it never feels forced or phony. There were, in fact, a few instances where I wanted way more depth.

This flow - from science to application - is smooth and natural. There were a few instances where more science would have been welcome rather than colloquial stories, but these instances were few and didn't take away from the major, and very pertinent, lessons.

Good For Everyone

Don't let the title of the book fool you: Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click? is for more than just designers. Anyone who works in an agency - especially copywriters, content analysts, information architects and of course designers too - will get a lot out of this book.

In fact, I would agree there is at least as much here for copywriters and content analysts as there is for designers. Studies in human behavior can be applied to a number of disciplines, but copy's natural adherence to business objectives and messaging (usually a little more than artists) lends itself to this sort of rigorous study.

Science Or Theory?

One small note: I find that marketing books generally fall into two categories - think-y books without many citations like anything by Godin or Toy Box Leadership and then those with copious notes like Made To Stick.

Weinschenk's falls in a strange middle area. I understand this is likely an attempt to appeal to a broad audience, though I would have liked to see it fall onto the meatier side of the equation. She's so strong on the science, I hope her next book delves deeper into the studies, even if it's less accessible. I think many readers would find it worth the effort and it would be truly unique for the professionals who live and breathe online marketing.

Final Word

Get this book. It's accessible, compelling, and unlike anything else you're likely to read.

It doesn't matter your experience level or job title. Anyone who works in marketing, especially at an agency, needs to read this book.

Her Other Work

Read more about Dr. Weinschenk's work on her blog at http://www.whatmakesthemclick.net. She also has two podcasts (one audio, one video) on iTunes that summarize key stories in her book. Dr. Weinschenk - those are great, please make more!

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

Smart Gifts For Smart Marketers

Train Reading1

I love this time of year. It's the season when people slow down, plan, and re-focus on their goals. I do it. You do it.

For smart marketers, a great way to stay up to date is through the very best information (makes sense, right?). So here are some of the books that I've found most helpful, most insightful, and the best guides for marketing in the coming years.

You can purchase items I recommend at the OnlineMarketerBlog store, including Kindles and books like these that I reviewed in 2009:

  • - Mitch Joel's Six Pixels of Separation In my mind, this is the first post-web 2.0 book and a must-read for savvy online marketers.
  • - Paul Gillin's Secrets of Social Media Marketing This is a great book to take your online marketing to the next level. However, newbies might be frustrated by the scope of experience needed to fully understand all of the lessons in this book. That said, this is great for those generally familiar with online marketing tools.
  • - Goldstein, Martin, and Cialdini's Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways To Be Persuasive This is a book every marketer should revisit every couple of years. If you want to convince people - and who doesn't? - you should read this book.
  • - David Meerman Scott's World Wide Rave The perfect primer for business in a web 2.0 world. It offers a great entry point for new marketers and fresh ideas for more familiar readers.
  • - Scott Fox's e-Riches 2.0 This is a must-read for anyone dipping a toe in the online marketing world. It details everything one could hope to know and offers an in-depth look at the tools and philosophy behind today's online marketing. A little more basic than World Wide Rave, but a great primer.
  • - Hunter and Waddell's Toy Box Leadership This book is a good reminder of how to lead, without taking too heavy a tone. For the ambitious and parents, especially.

I spend over 500 hours per year writing this blog. And even more time reading and researching the material that goes into it. A lot of that material comes from books like these.

Marketers can gain the smarts and skills needed for success through books like these. But like Lavar Burton says, "Don't take my word for it." Try out some of these books, or others I've discussed on the blog, and let everyone know what you think of them in the comments section below.

You can read full reviews for all of these books on the Book Reviews page. Plus, my reviews from last holiday season might give you some more ideas as well.

(The links used above are affiliate links which means I get a small referral fee from Amazon if you purchase them from this page. This does not raise the price for you and it's a nice way to show appreciation if you enjoy this blog. Thanks!)

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below. You can also show some love by buying stuff from the nice people advertising to the right.

(Image courtesy of morizo via Flickr)

How Marketers Can Ruin Video Sites Like Hulu For The Rest Of Us

Smug1

A Brief Intro...

I started this three-part series with a discussion of "the new creativity" and asked if the freemium business model would be better for video content sites like Hulu. Then, I outlined 7 ways Hulu could benefit from a freemium model.

And finally, after all of this persuasive writing, I'd like to examine how a few boneheaded marketers will probably f*ck up the whole "free video content" thing for everyone.

Intrigued? I thought so. Let's get into it.

They'll Never Pay For It. Until They Do.

In my last post, I outlined a plan where Hulu could profit by packaging some already- (or mostly-) existing assets into an awesome premium package some viewers would gladly pay for.

Hulu would be happy because they'd be making money. Their free audience would be happy because they'd still get great shows for zilch. And their premium audience would be happy because they'd get a bunch of perks and cool stuff for a nominal fee.

You'd think everyone would be happy, right?

Peter Verna, senior analyst with eMarketer is pessimistic that these perks could be bundled together into a premium package. He was quoted in a November OMMA article, "Trim Marks":

"It's fair to say that consumers are generally not willing to pay directly for online video...

I also think that if Hulu and YouTube are going to start charging for some of their content, they should limit it to feature films. Virtually everything else they offer seems to work better in an ad-supported context, with the caveat that user-generated clips are challenging to monetize through any model."

True, most of the examples in "Trim Marks" were from digital studios creating original content. But comments like Verna's certainly apply to sites like Hulu and the lessons ought to be applied to any website specializing in video content. The history of online video over the past 10 years or so would support his notion that people generally won't pay for online content.

My point is that premium customers aren't paying for online video. They're paying for more flexibility. They're paying for the ability to suggest shows or brag to their friends. They are paying for a better user experience.

A Lonely Voice Crying Out From The Wilderness

Of course, not all agencies are going to challenge their clients to try new business models. Many are happy to pretend the world isn't changing.

In that same OMMA article, John McCarus, VP and director of brand content at Third Act, said "We have made an investment in this and we are doing everything we can to connect the stars in the content-creation community with clients that understand the space and have an appetite."

OK, that's McCarus' idea, but will this sit well with content creators? Isn't this the definition of selling out? If online trust is built through honesty, sincerity, and reputation, I don’t see how this will work long-term. Sure, one-offs will flock to it, but creators looking to connect will likely shy away from this business model.

But the suits go ever further! Studios need to "make room for advertisers to play an active role in the shape of a show," says Alan Schulman, executive creative director for The Digital Innovations Group.

Are you friggin' kidding me? So instead of advertising against content, they will dictate the content as well?

Schulman pushes it even further: studios "should expand their base of business from pure narrative storytelling to weaving other types of narratives like brand-centric edutainment into their offerings."

Edutainment? Yeah, nothing says viral video success like "edutainment." This is a guy with his finger on the pulse on the YouTube generation alright </sarcasm>.

Let me be clear: These are really, really bad ideas. It's wedging the old model (selling ads next to content) into a new form (online) while diluting the content that attracted your viewers in the first place (edutainment).

This is a recipe for failure.

Smart Video Advertising

If you're going to sell ads, you need to be smart about it. Here are a few hints about video ads you should know if you plan to be in this business 2 years from now:

  1. Ads need to be contextual. Since there is no AdWords for video, this means a lot of work either tagging or actually selecting the ads that run against your content.
  2. Users will not pay for content. As I mentioned in my last post, they will pay for a package of perks. They will also (for now) tolerate a pre-roll ad. But dictating the content? Good luck!
  3. Any product placement should be handled subtly. Yes, it was Nestea that was spilled on and gave magical powers to the keyboard in CTRL. But no one needed to shove it in our faces or “educate” us about how great a sponsor was. Just make it work.

In short, if you want to create business advocates – and you should – you must think of their needs first.

And that has been the point of this blog series. It began with a discussion of which business model is best for online video consumers. Then there were suggestions for Hulu to improve their user experience. And finally a warning against putting your desires before the customer.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

(Image courtesy of Charlottedallot via Flickr)

7 Ways Hulu Can Benefit From A Freemium Model

Hula2

This week I've been positing a theory to you folks: That the new creativity is ideally expressed through a freemium business model.

And today, I'd like to apply this theory. Let's kick this idea around:

I believe a freemium model would best suit video sites like Hulu and others, rather than a traditional "subscription" model where some content lies behind a firewall. A bunch of video sites like Hulu are looking to monetize, but who will find the process that entices viewers to pull out their wallets?

Today, I will outline 7 ways Hulu could package what they already have into a freemium model users would willingly pay for (clamor for, more like it).

[Quick sidenote: For the lead-in and first official post in this series, check out the links in the first paragraph. Since this is #2 out of 3 in the series, subscribe to ensure you receive the third in this series and all subsequent posts. Now, back to the fun!]

Let's See It In Action

If the new creativity is getting someone to tell their friends about your product, how much is a crappy ad going to convince me? Not much. And when was the last time you bragged to a friend about an old-school subscription?

The new creativity and the freemium model were made for each other.

Consumers tell their friends about great new services, especially free ones. As virally distributed critical mass builds, a certain fraction of those folks will opt for a premium version of that service.

The new creativity brings people in. A freemium model expands this audience and makes the whole endeavor profitable.

But what about Hulu? It's nowhere near as big as Google-owned YouTube, but Hulu almost certainly has more pressure to produce profit. Ad overlays are tolerated, but a subscription model was recently mocked by CNN because it "may send most of Hulu’s users searching for alternatives."

Consider this:

What if Hulu adopted a freemium model? What types of premiums could they offer for a small cost to a fraction of the tens of millions of people who watch?

And what if the premiums were outside the narrow realm of "content"? Ad Week reported that "A Hulu rep said the company's strategy of offering high-quality content supported by advertising remains unchanged, while leaving the door open to adding paid content." But what if it wasn't just content they charged for?

If the new creativity is a method of encouraging consumers to talk about the brand to other consumers, while creating more direct access to the brand…let's think creatively about how Hulu can create something users will not only pay for, but tell their friends about as well.

7 Ways Hulu Can Benefit From A Freemium Model

Here are just a few premiums Hulu could offer (most of which would have the secondary effect of attracting even more viewers/paid traffic). Let's consider what conveniences Hulu really has to bargain with, and how they could be packaged:

  • Access:

1. Give premium members advance notice. Allow members to view shows before the rest of the Hulu viewing audience.

2. Give members the opportunity to provide feedback. Use members to test out pilot episodes, to become a focus group of sorts. Use Hulu as a testing ground for new content such as webisodes, rather than just a repository. Let members help the show sidestep potential disasters while still in beta.

  • Convenience:

3. Allow members to automatically or easily transfer their favorite shows to their smart phone or portable device. Let users create a watch list and automatically pull episodes from the web portal into whatever device they choose. Compatibility is the new convenience, so allow me to take The Office with me on my iTouch or PSP.

  • Whuffie

4. Raffle off the name of a show's character to premium members . Aussie radio hosts Hamish and Andy recently teamed up with a popular writer to name one of his main characters after a lucky listener (minute 8 in the audio). It's a great idea to arouse support and build an audience.

5. Give away video birthday/anniversary wishes from the actors. Prominent actors in web-only shows, like Tony Hale from CTRL, give members a chance to interact on a closer level. Imagine while filming these short interviews if Hale had sent a personalized message to a winning member. A contest for this privilege would spread like wildfire considering his Arrested Development fame and it would cost the show nothing.

6. Allow members to create their own channel and earn cash. Ads still run if non-paying users watch a member’s channel. Allow the member to keep a small percentage of that income. That will fuel their desire to share the channel and push more content in front of users (allowing Hulu to charge more for ads).

  • Time

7. It should go without saying, but don’t make members watch commercials ever. Period.

Some Pessimism From The Back Pew

Some experts will disagree with me, saying that viewers will simply never pay for online content. I have quotes from some top agency minds saying just that.

But later this week, I will outline why they (and that mindset) are soooo wrong. Stay subscribed and please feel free to comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

(Image courtesy of AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker via Flickr)

The Freemium Option Better For Video Sites?

TV2

This week, I am writing a three-part series about business models for online video websites. Sites are changing. Online business is changing. Video is blowing up.

It's time we really thought about the best way to profit from creating and displaying video, while providing the best experience for the user.

Let's get to it.

(Quick note: Subscribing ensures you won't miss subsequent posts.)

What's A Hulu Subscription Look Like?

In recent days, Hulu – the NBC/Fox/ABC-backed video site – released and then recanted news that it intended to charge for service via News Corp. Deputy Chairman Chase Carey.

Carey said that Hulu would need to incorporate a "meaningful subscription model as part of its business." But he didn’t go into any more detail than that.

Most pundits assumed this meant a firewall-blocked subscription model in the works – a slightly backwards-looking model that succeeds best in scarcity: scarcity of quality content and scarcity in access.

But we don't live in that world anymore. The online channel has tons of quality content and most content creators/publishers are tripping over themselves to provide online access to their work.

The old version of a subscription model would be met with great hostility considering 1) there is no lack of free video content online and 2) it reeks of a bait-and-switch to start charging for something that had already been totally free.

So how can Hulu make money?

The New Creativity

I had already been thinking about this in my review of old business models (easily or not-so-easily) moving into the digital space. I detailed the changing business models in my post Why The New Creativity Changes Everything.

I advocated what Joseph Jaffe dubbed "The New Creativity" in The Beancast episode #76 around minutes 37-38. The short version is this:

  • The old creativity was centered around innovative ways that advertisers and marketers could loudly/rudely/creatively interrupt a consumer's day in order to push their brand message.
  • The new creativity requires that the advertiser or marketer create an experience so compelling that consumers share it amongst their peer groups.

So, instead of a one-way marketer-to-consumer system, we now have a system where marketers try to influence the influencers, while also realizing that they are in a dialogue with all consumers and potential consumers as well.

Sounds simple, right? It helps explain why we’ve seen the boom in things like social media marketing and the downward trend in direct marketing and TV/radio ads.

The "Freemium" Option

If Hulu is to succeed, especially when in direct competition to Google-owned YouTube, it needs to be nimble and creative. They need to think beyond non-contextual ads and firewalled content.

Largely embraced by social networking sites, a freemium business model hasn’t been adopted by many larger, more traditional companies. But it has the potential to provide a great customer experience and differentiate Hulu from well-known competitors.

A recent eMarketer study reported on an Abrams Research survey in which social media leaders were asked the best way to monetize social media (note: it doesn't say how they determined who was a "social media leader," but just go with me for a second).

The most popular answer? 45.5% of respondents answered that a freemium model would be most profitable – more than double the next most popular response.

Chris Anderson defines a freemium business model in The Long Tail:

"Already, one of the most common business models on the Internet…is to attract lots of users with a free service and convince some of them to upgrade to a subscription-based 'premium' one that adds higher quality or better features."

It is roughly a business where most of the basic services are free, but a percentage of uses pay for more/better/quicker elements of that basic package.

Flickr is a common example. Anyone in the world can start an account and upload 100MB of photos and 2 videos per month. This satisfies a great (happy) majority. However, a "Pro" account provides unlimited uploads, archiving, high-res options, and expanded groups.

The key is that the paying customers – the committed 10% let’s say – cover the cost of the 90% using a basic service for free.

A freemium model isn’t for every business. It favors businesses that are tech-centric, start-up/new, agile, and almost exclusively offering an online service. But what model could be more perfect for the era of social networks?

Let's See It In Action

Tomorrow, I will outline seven ways Hulu could package technology they already have into a freemium model users would willing pay for (heck, I sure would).

Sites like Hulu, facing competition from Google and a number of start-ups, will need to be nimble and smart. I hope you join us tomorrow to gauge for yourself whether my suggestions would be worthwhile for sites like Hulu.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

(Image courtesy of (A3R) angelrravelor (A3R) via Flickr)

One Of The Best Tools For PR Pros

If you are considering a career in PR, or are just starting out in the biz, you might be surprised by one of the most important skills you need. To find out what it is, watch the video below or on YouTube.

What do you think? Am I so right or so wrong?

I'd love to hear from PR pros as well as folks just starting out. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

Why The New Creativity Changes Everything And Will Punch You In The Face

Sad Businessman

If you’re a marketer in love with the status quo, you should quit right now.

This isn’t a post about the fast pace of change or an “X is dead” post; rather, it’s an “I friggin’ love our business and evolution of marketing” post. Yeah, I said friggin’.

Fundamental business models are changing – you can see it everyday. We hear news all the time about another sacred cow being slaughtered (newspapers – Moo!).

But not everyone is losing money. Why?

Innovative businesses are using what Joseph Jaffe dubbed “the new creativity” to reach and connect with a new generation of consumers. It’s simple to understand, an art to produce, a feat when accomplished, and willfully ignored by most businesspeople.

This Blog Post Brought To You By…

In the old days, businesses bankrolled the creative process (“Welcome to Guiding Light, brought to you by Dove Soap”). Businesses placed their ads against creative work to cover the cost. Those 2 minute bathroom commercial breaks are the reason you could watch “Everybody Loves Raymond” for free (lucky you).

Other models came about, notably the subscription model, which offered the convenience of delivery by trading money up front and in advance.

The early days of the internet brought us contextual ads. Glory upon glory, we could now (sorta) sync up ads with the actual content. Sure, it’s awkward when McDonald’s ads show up against stories about childhood obesity, but whatevs.

Web 2.0 botched it all up though. People ignored or rebelled against ads in their social spaces. Impressions plummeted in value. The general public (hell, you and me) got used to free content online and no RIAA or anyone else would tell them different.

What Is The New Creativity?

Last week, I serendipitously caught up with back episodes of The Beancast and saw a new study released by eMarketer.

In episode #76 of The Beancast, Joseph Jaffe described “The New Creativity:”

“I don’t know how much originality is in the idea itself, but it’s in the execution where you see the real beauty of it. And ultimately that control and that power – and to what degree it becomes a meme and to what degree it lives on and gets a life of its own and gets embraced by the consumer – is ultimately in the hands of the consumer.

And maybe that can become the new definition of creativity.” (minutes 37-38)

The old creativity required advertisers and marketers to create something interesting enough (or loud enough) that would effectively interrupt the user’s day so that they’d pay attention to it. It’s a one-way street. And kinda inherently douche-y.

But the new creativity is a little different. Advertisers and marketers are encouraged to tell a compelling enough story to entice the user to tell their friends about your product. Plus, the marketer often gets the benefit of instant feedback from the user about their pitch/story/content.

It looks roughly like this terrible sketch:

Biz models 1

As you can plainly see, the old way involved a lot of yelling marketers and irritated consumers. (See those lines coming off the consumer? In the biz, we call those "irritation lines." They're usually accompanied by a "Grrrr!" sound.) With the new creativity, communication goes both ways between a marketer and consumer, and between a consumer and their friends. (Many thanks to Jonny, our 5-year-old neighbor for contributing this work of art.)

The Results

We see this everywhere.

We can see evidence of this in the obsession with (and success of) social media marketing, the decline of direct marketing, the spread of viral – it’s everything we used to do, but now the more profitable interaction is between friends (rather than between marketer and user).

The tools – and it’s important to remember that these shiny objects like Twitter, Flickr, delicious, etc – are just that: tools. Now, they can amplify each person’s voice. Blogs allow a personal publishing platform never conceived of in all human history. Influencers arise, the same way they do in your social circles. The only difference is that the bullhorn these influencers use is a hell of lot bigger.

And when the important (read: profitable) interaction is between friends, the old business models don’t work as well. Would you mindlessly slap an ad on the Starbucks table while sharing a cup of joe with a friend? Would you insist that friends “subscribe” to your future conversations?

Of course not. It’s weird. It’s anti-social. And it’s not working. (Cue marketer panic from recent years.)

That's why marketers in love with the status quo should quit right now. If you're not ready for it, the new creativity will punch you in the face.

Um, So Like…What Do We Do?

So while some Luddites continue to completely block content with a firewall and a few lucky ones have made a subscription model profitable (I’m looking at you, WSJ), most are waking up to the new world.

It’s time we look at another business model. Tout de suite.

But I’m going to make you wait for it (it’s OK, it’ll build tension and that’s fun). Later this week, I will suggest a business model that is showing great potential to marketers…especially those embracing new social networking tools (that's the eMarketer study I mentioned). Plus, I will apply this to a business desperately in need of a new path. Hopefully that application - the execution of an idea that gives power to the consumer - will be enlightening.

Please come back for that post (subscribing is uber-easy). And please leave comments below about the new creativity. Is it bitchin’ or bogus?

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below. You can also show some love by buying stuff from the nice people advertising to the right.

(Image courtesy of THRILLHO via Flickr)

Experience Marketing

spa

(This is guest post contributed by Yolanda A. Facio who writes about marketing at MarketingUnhinged.com. Follow her on twitter @yolandafacio.)

Are You Giving Your Customer Something To Talk About?

It’s spa day, I’m jazzed. I’ve been waiting all week for this! Time to relax, unwind. Just mellow out! I pull up the spa’s website one more time; the pictures look great, so peaceful. And now I’m thinking I might need to get one of those cucumber things…

It’s 10: am, I’m on time. I pull open the big glass door and pull off my sunglasses… and blink. And, then I blink again. It’s awfully bright in here... Hmmmm. I walk up to the counter but no one’s around. The phone is ringing and ringing. So, I figure I’ll just wander around a little. There are knick-knacks here and there on the shelves; candles, lotions, oils. I lean over to take a closer look at the soaps and notice that the packages look dusty, hmmmmmm. Well, maybe they don’t sell a lot of stuff.

Finally, someone walks up to the counter; she looks busy - frazzled almost. She grabs the phone but doesn’t see me. Of course, I’m standing right in front of her, which is how I notice the jet black hair with one purple streak running through it. I’m having a hard time looking away… She’s talking really fast on the phone and I’m starting to break out in a bit of a sweat… and I’m starting to feel my blood pressure spike, just a little….

The Customer Slide Show

Your marketing creates preconceived ideas, a slide show, in your potential client’s mind about what doing business with you will be like.

The design of the marketing pieces you use, the tone, the words, all of it create an impression. The person who answers the phone is part of it. The recording a person receives if the phone isn’t answered is part of it.

The slide show your potential customer creates is an image of the expectations they have about doing business with you. Your job is to make sure that all the bits and pieces, the slides, fit together so that the client’s actual experience matches his expectation.

If slides are out of place or don’t reflect the marketing you’ve put out then the customer is let down. Sometimes it’s small and sometimes it’s big enough to lose a sale.

The good part is that you control the slide show.

Make The Experience As Good As The Slide Show

Now, here’s the thing, sometimes those out of place slides are things your customer doesn’t even realize. And that is why you must be diligent about consistency in the presentation of your business.

If you offer blue pineapple, it better not be green when the customer shows up because then there’s a disconnect.

It never ceases to amaze me how car dealerships miss this point. They put an advertisement in the newspaper for a new Red Lexus and it has a great price listed. The consumer shows up with the newspaper and say’s, “I saw this ad (he points to it in his paper) and I want to buy a Red Lexus, it’s a great deal.” And the poor sales guy says, “Well, we sold that Red Lexus but I have another Red Lexus over here, the wheels are a little different and the price is different but it is essentially the same car!” So now the consumer wants to know, “Well why is this one more expensive?” And the car salesman, “Well we only had ONE of those Red Lexus cars, but this one here is great.”

I’m sure you can see the problem. Consumer has his slide show created. It includes a slide of the Red Lexus and him holding the keys. Then there’s the slide where he’s showing all his pals how much money he saved. Except, wait, the dealership trashed that slide.

The best part is the part where the dealership doesn’t think it’s an issue. After all they have all these OTHER Red Lexus cars…..

Do you think the consumer will be happy? Do you think he’ll come back?

I probably wouldn’t and neither would you. Why risk giving your customers the same kind of experience? And worse yet, now the consumer has a new slide show in his brain about doing business with the dealership and it includes a slide of him telling all his friends about his experience.

Creating an exceptional experience for your customers, one that matches the slide show they have in their minds is a win-win. And, most importantly, it has little to do with the product or service you sell. If you can successfully satisfy the customer’s expectations, then when they finally do get home with their purchase, they speak less about it and more about you.

Experiences matter. They are the most memorable part of the sales process. People will remember how they felt when they made the purchase not just the purchase itself.

The take-away: Give the customer an experience they won’t forget!

About the Author: Yolanda A. Facio writes about marketing at MarketingUnhinged.com. Follow her on twitter @yolandafacio.

(Photo Credit: Dirk Herrmann)

tweet thisTweet This Post!

The Most Difficult Conversation? - The Marketing Minute #2

Last week's Mad Men inspired my second Marketing Minute vlog. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below. You can also show some love by buying stuff from the nice people advertising to the right.

Here's To The Rabble-Rousers

Rabble-rouser1

I failed last week.

I got into a big argument over a project I'm doing on the side. That's not the big failure though.

The big failure is that it took this long to have the fight. I'd acquiesced and tried to find parity and compromise. I had grown too tired too quickly of defending my ideas which, after so much work, have proven prescient.

My strategy was sound, but I hesitated.

It doesn't matter that the ideas were correct. Because I didn't fight for those ideas, they're long gone.

So, here's how I hope to ensure this never happens again. I'm making a public pledge today - to you and to other marketers who may fall into the same trap.

I pledge to offend the status quo for the good of my clients.

I promise to be a change agent, even though I may be blamed for the painful symptoms during that change.

I will ruffle feathers. I will not shut up.

If it's good for my client, I will spit on the path of least resistance.

I will be a rabble-rouser.

The client may not accept my ideas, but those ideas are what they're paying for. To give anything less would be tantamount to stealing their money.

Have you ever felt like this? What did you do to get yourself back on the right path?

Could you make this same pledge? Is there anything you would add? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below. You can also show some love by buying stuff from the nice people advertising to the right.

(Image courtesy of damian 78 via Flickr)

Who Guards Your Website Content - The Marketing Minute #1

I've just started reading Kristina Halvorson's Content Strategy for the Web (review forthcoming).

She contends (and I wholeheartedly agree) that a major problem with the current state of web content is that no one owns it (pg 19).

That sentiment inspired me to create the video you see above. If all goes well, I intend to keep filming occasional "Marketing Minute" segments. (So feel free to let me know what you think about it.)

One clarification I'd like to make, however: in the video, when I speak about the necessity of an executive editor, I don't mean literally.

You do not need to give someone that exact title. It doesn't need to read "Executive Editor" on their business card.

But my thought about the powers of that job remain the same. (To hear those, watch the video above or check it out on YouTube.com.)

What about you? Do you think I'm right on or way wrong? We would all love to hear your thoughs in the comments section below.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below. You can also show some love by buying stuff from the nice people advertising to the right.

Join Me At The MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer in Chicago, October 21-22, 2009

The MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer is being held next week, Wednesday and Thursday, October 21-22, 2009, and I hope you can join me there.

I will be at the conference on Wednesday, October 21, and I hope to meet as many of you as possible. The program looks terrific and even if you can't make the event, there is a free happy hour on Wednesday evening from 5-7pm.

I hope you introduce yourself to me - there will be a lot of great marketers there and we should all take advantage of it. See you in Chicago!

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below. You can also show some love by buying stuff from the nice people advertising to the right.

7 Reasons To Stick With Agency Smarts Rather Than The Wisdom Of Crowds

Baby in bath

I was catching up with my Beancast podcasts yesterday morning at the gym and found episode 71 to be a real gem.

In this podcast, there is a fascinating story about Unilever's brand Peperami forsaking their agency in favor of a crowd-sourcing/consumer-generated content method (found around minute 53 of the podcast).

As this blog is a celebration of new media and consumer control of brands, you might think I'd laud this as a great move. Surprisingly, you'd be dead wrong.

Before I launch into why I think this is a bad decision, let's get a couple of assumptions down:

  • Yes, I work at an agency. But please presume that I am able to take an unbiased view of this story as (I like to think) I do of anything else I write about here.
  • I don't know anything about Peperami's agency, Lowe. They could have been doing a dismal job, but that's immaterial. The issue of this post is whether the wisdom of crowds (hat tip to James Surowiecki) is better than an online marketing agency.

On the Beancast, the guests discuss how Lowe, the agency in question, created the "Animal" campaign for Peperami which was terribly successful. But, once the campaign was up and running, Peperami felt that the agency was no longer necessary.

Crowdsourcing is really cheap while agencies can be expensive. Crowdsourcing is in; traditional advertising/marketing agencies are hurting.

So why in the world is it smarter to stick with an agency rather than outsourcing your marketing needs to the community?

Just like stage-diving, it's sometimes stupid to trust the crowd. Here are 7 reasons to stick with your agency rather than crowdsourcing your marketing.

  1. Repeatability - Your agency gave you the big idea - You've Got Milk, you'll Just Do It, you're Living Strong. What happens when you wake up the morning after that idea has gone stale? Where does the next big idea come from? Who knows the history of your brand? A 15-year-old with Photoshop? Good luck.
  2. Scalability - As in the Peperami example, let's assume a campaign is already established. What happens when it explodes on a global, rather than just national, stage? Are your servers prepared? Can you translate it? How many banner ads can you create per hour? How many consumers can you help? If your agency's ideas are as good as they should be, consider who manages these tasks when they're gone.
  3. Staffing - Speaking of help, who is doing the day to day work after you fire your agency? It isn't the crowd, believe me. Can you hire developers, designers, copywriters, and anyone else you need, all at a moment's notice? Agencies have experts like these ready whenever you need them. You...don't. (Not to mention needing someone managing the brilliant crowdsourcing experiment too.)

    Consider the Ajira Airways site. This airline doesn't exist - it was created solely as an immersive experience for rabid LOST fans, courtesy of ABC (only noticeable in the footer). That unique experience is simply impossible for a guy in his basement to create while aligning this creativity with business objectives.

  4. The Ruse of Savings - Bill Green, Publisher of Make The Logo Bigger, added this insightful comment on the podcast:

    "It's not that they [clients who drop agencies in favor of crowdsourcing] want better ideas. They want cheaper [ideas].

    Creative has always been the lowest priced - when you're doing TV, they're going to make their money on the TV end of it and the production end of it. You can't tell me that they aren't still going to have to go out and get a production house and buy the media. None of those elements are going to discount their price.

    They're not saving anything by doing [crowdsourcing]. I find it ridiculous to say that 'We'll go out and find a couple of kids just out of art school to come up with our ad campaign.'" (minute 104)

  5. Accountability - If you work for a public company, you probably need to clear this decision with someone. At the highest levels, that's the stockholders. Are you prepared to tell them that your marketing budget (though reduced) is now being funneled to a retiree who won your crowdsourcing campaign? Plus, if it goes sour, you just replaced your agency's head on the chopping block with yours. Have fun with that.
  6. Safety - The agency I worked for previously dealt only in online marketing for rare or orphan diseases. The writers and designers on staff had the experience to keep the clients from any trouble with the FDA or other regulatory bodies. The client often didn't realize this. Like a lot of other good pharma-familiar agencies, it was just a value-add. There are companies in many industries that need this kind of guidance from their agencies.
  7. Decency - OK, this is just my opinion, but I certainly would not work for a client who made such an illogical, but hugely impactful, decision. To make a move to a new, better agency I can understand, but thinking you can handle it all requires such hubris that I'd be hesitant to deal with that company. Ever. If other marketing folks are like me, you'd better pray that this crowdsourcing experiment works out.

Maybe Peperami believed the social media pendulum had swung far further than it has. By that, I mean the strength of the consumer in regards to ownership of the brand.

Wise up. From Mitch Joel:

"The idea that the consumer is now not in control is anathema to what most people think. The general drum-beating is that the consumer is in control, not the company. But it's not true." (page 94)

Someone still needs to guide the strategy. Someone needs to come up with the big ideas, the tag lines that seem so easy your mother-in-law could create them (but somehow, she never does). Someone needs to stay up to date with emerging trends, new technology, and the ever-evolving world of media.

Is that you?

If you're in charge of a big brand, or can't do it all no matter your size, perhaps you'd better take another look at your agency. Maybe it's not the right one for you. Great, change up - it happens all the time.

But throwing the agency baby out with the marketing bathwater - that's just crazy talk.

What do you think? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

P.S.: Brian Sheehan has some good comments about collaboration regarding this story.

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below. You can also show some love by buying stuff from the nice people advertising to the right.

(Image courtesy of AllyGirl520 via Flickr)

Mitch Joel's Six Pixels Of Separation: The First Post-Web 2.0 Marketing Book And Why You Should Buy It

MitchJoel

I attest that Mitch Joel's new book, Six Pixels of Separation, is the first (and best) post-web 2.0 marketing book.

Strong statement? Damn right.

Here's why I believe it and why you can't miss his book.

In A Nutshell...

For my money, Joel's is the first new media marketing book that assumes knowledge of the basic moving parts and launches right into how to use them for business. This book really is about how to market in a new age.

Most web 2.0 marketing books explain the basics (what is a blog/delicious/Twitter, etc), give examples (i.e. Zappos, ComcastCares, Amazon, etc.), and suggest you connect the theory and those examples in your own business.

And that's OK. There is plenty of room for books like that. (I recommend Scott Fox's e-Riches 2.0 or Chris Brogan and Julien Smith's Trust Agents).

These books help a lot of people and that's great. But there hasn't been a serious web 2.0 marketing book that went far beyond it.

Until now.

Why Is This Book So Great?

So why should you spend your hard-earned money on this book? Here are a few reasons.

First, Joel gives you the tough medicine you need to hear. It's not always easy or expected, but you're in the advanced class now, buddy.

I love the against-the-grain statements you get with Joel that throw the new conventional wisdom on its head. Gems include:

  • "The general drum-beating is that the consumer is in control, not the company. But it's not true." (page 94)
  • "The assumption here is that whatever it takes to get your message through all of the clutter is fine, as long as you disclose and are transparent about your intent. But that simply is not the case." (page 172)
  • "Until now, you may be thinking that everything we've talked about is about getting you and your business online. It's not. Getting online is easy." (page 187)
  • "[B]eing wrong suddenly becomes a powerful entrepreneurial force." (page 209)
  • "Let people steal your ideas." (page 213)

If those quotes don't pique your interest, you can stop reading now. Close this window and come back when I've got something better for you.

But I think it's more likely that thinking like this is interesting to most of you. It's not the normal stuff about community and the blogosphere and kumbaya crap. It's tough minded and it's about your business.

Another thing that is great about Six Pixels of Separation is that it lives up to the values espoused within it. Trust is a seminal aspect of web 2.0 and the future of business. But trust is rarely spoken about overtly (see pages 34, 123, and 125 for explicit mentions of trust).

Trust is less a topic point or chapter subject, but rather more of a moral to the story. And the book itself builds trust by building a case, point by point.

The Trouble With Link Bait

Is this a perfect book? Of course not.

I was particularly confused by his section on link bait (page 170-2). It was confusing and clunky. The section lacked a clear definition and I couldn't even tell exactly what he thought about link bait, much less his definition of it.

Having been on the receiving end of this topic before, I expected a refinement that was missing here.

But honestly, missteps like this are small potatoes in a book that is otherwise fantastic.

One Final Note As A Writer

I read a lot of marketing books. No really, like A LOT. (This is a small sample from just the last couple years.)

And no matter how good the author, new releases always contain at least a few typos. It's to be expected.

But this book has none! ZERO. This might not be a big deal to you, but to the writers out there, you know how cool that is.

The Final Word

If you know the basics, but want to be challenged, I wholeheartedly recommend Six Pixels of Separation. If not, this isn't the book for you.

If you agree or disagree, I'd love to hear your comments below.

P.S.: This book is available for the Kindle as well and you'll save a couple bucks. (Plus, Kindles are only $299. Just sayin'...)

P.P.S.: If you enjoyed this review, you might also like my recent reviews of other marketing books.

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below.

(Image courtesy of MitchJoel via Flickr)

Who Is Your Human? The Power Of Employee Personal Brands

pezz

In a recent post, I mentioned that I was struck by a quote from Mitch Joel, author of Six Pixels Of Separation in which he discussed the power of the personal brand within a corporate structure.

“[I]t is not about how your business connects and communicates in online channels, it’s about how you (or your employees) as an individual build, nurture, and share personal brands. A company is no longer made up of anonymous people building one brand; rather, it is made up of many personal brands that are telling your one corporate-brand story in their own, personal, ways.” (page 126)

I encourage you to read the whole post found on Experience Matters.

In it, I explain why employee' s personal brands can be a great boon within a corporate structure, how to properly support employees in their marketing of your company, and why you should consider using employee personal brands to your advantage.

How big are your employee brands? Potentially bigger than your company. Again from Joel:

"I was not afraid to be told that I was an idiot for thinking that individuals would soon have personal brands that would rival even the biggest corporate brands out there..." (page 213)

Is it possible? Maybe so.

I really enjoyed writing this piece and think it could be quite helpful to a lot of people. Do check it out.

P.S.: I will be posting my full review of Mitch's book Six Pixels of Separation on Thursday. Subscribe to be notified automatically. Thanks!

tweet thisTweet This Post!

*

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for free updates via email or RSS. Otherwise, I hope you share it on digg, StumbleUpon, or the other social media tools found below. You can also show some love by buying stuff from the nice people advertising to the right.

(Image courtesy of broma via Flickr)