Category Archives: In person

8 Great Content Marketing Takeaways from 2009 Custom Content Conference

Marketing experts shared invaluable insights about how to market in turbulent times through the effective use of content online, in print, and in person.
Custom publishing has gone from being an ancillary, add on component of marketing strategies to becoming a vital ingredient. Why? Because content marketing is so important to an increasing number of marketers and companies of all sizes. Therefore, creating custom content is no longer a nice to-do, if you have the money. Rather, it has become an absolute must-do as part of an integrated content marketing strategy.

The strategic importance of content marketing, and of its first cousin, social media, was front and center at this year’s Custom Content Conference.

Here are 8 great takeaways that I brought home with me from the conference:

Also posted in In Print, Marketing Basics, News, Online, Social Media, Tips & Mini-Guides, Trends, Websites | Comments closed

The Huge Marketing Reality That EMBARQ Forgot

Just like the Swiffer, “Baby, come back” TV ads, once you’ve lost your long-time customers, you may have to forget about getting them back–even if you send them flowers or sing under their window.

For many years in our part of the world, Southwest Florida, EMBARQ offered solid reliable phone service that originally ran under the Sprint banner. But, over the past six months or so, we ran into lots of annoying problems.

When we called them, rather than taking a proactive approach to figuring out what was wrong and fixing it, they suggested that we must be doing something wrong. They wanted to blame it on in the presence of a wireless phone that might have a dead battery. They insisted that we go through all kinds of gyrations to test it out and warned us that, although they could send out a service person, they would have to charge us if it turned out that the fault was ours.

Of course, we moved on. And, they made a cute but hopeless effort to get us back.

Also posted in In Print, Marketing Basics, News | Comments closed

6 Key Content Marketing Lessons to Learn from Great Presenters

Nick Morgan’s great book not only teaches what it takes to become a great speaker. His lessons apply equally to effective content marketing.
Poor presenters and mediocre marketers share certain traits.
They cannot explain concisely why their audience should care about the information and services they provide.
They lack focus.
They do not understand their audience.
They are more focused on themselves then on their audience.
They fail to engage in dialogue with their audience.
They don’t urge their audience at the end of their presentation to take specific next-step actions.
It might seem obvious that speakers who exhibit the traits above would do poorly and probably bore their listeners to tears. But, as marketers, we too often fall into the same bad behaviors.

Here the six content marketing lessons we can take from Nick’s book

Also posted in Business, Marketing Basics, News, Online, Persuasive Presentations, Tips & Mini-Guides | Comments closed

Here’s a Content Marketing Conference You Shouldn’t Miss

Content marketing is now a strategic imperative for companies of all sizes.  Doing it well is challenging because it requires a new mindset for most marketers.  When you add in rapidly evolving digital technology and a plethora of social media

Also posted in Blogging, eNewsletters, In Print, Marketing Basics, News, Online, Social Media | Comments closed

Will Starbucks Instant Coffee Be Their ‘New Coke’ Debacle?

Are they tossing authenticity right out the window just like Coca Cola tried to do its much loved ‘classic’ version?
I may be all wrong. After all, the folks at Starbucks have undoubtedly spent a bazillion dollars in research to show that there is a need for a new kind of instant coffee. I simply have a gut reaction that their new Via Ready Brew, misses on three counts:

Starbucks is all about fresh brewed, freshly ground coffee served up in an authentic Starbucks environment. Instant coffee, by any other name, is a throwback to a time when it was a very low-cost solution to having a single cup at home or in the office.
Starbucks has a hard one image as an environmentally sensitive company that understands issues of sustainability and conservation. How do individually plastic wrapped portions of instant coffee square with that company image?
Starbucks is already bucking a new cost-conscious trend among American consumers. Now are they are asking us to shell out 80 cents for cup of instant coffee, if you buy the 12 pack. Of course, that’s cheaper than what we would pay for a small cup in a Starbucks retail store. But it’s 10 times more expensive than if we brew Starbucks coffee at home from a bag we can buy at the supermarket.

Also posted in In Print, Marketing Basics, News, Online, Tips & Mini-Guides | Comments closed

Small Business Survival: Your Customers Must Trust You Completely

Essential content marketing advice from the Red VW Bus blog

Blogger, Tim Moore, wrote recently about the need to give up old school marketing and replace it with a new approach is based on understanding buyers as “prosumers.” A prosumer is actively involved in researching and interacting with the companies from whom they will buy. They expect to find accurate, objective, and trustworthy information from every vendor. If they don’t find it, they will head off to evaluate someone else. Worse, they will probably never return.

Old-school marketers are uncomfortable with this concept. They are used to one-way marketing communication and a sales approach that talks at the customer rather than with the customer. That just doesn’t work anymore.

According to Tim, the Apple store is a perfect example of an environment in which prosumers are welcomed with open arms.

Also posted in Blogging, In Print, Marketing Basics, News, Online, Tips & Mini-Guides, Trends | Comments closed

Two Content Marketing Secrets from The Ritz Carlton Sarasota

You Don’t Have to be the Ritz to Deliver Superb In Person Content Marketing
My recent stay at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota reminded me of all that’s wonderful about every one of their hotels. In fact, they just won the 2008 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for quality.

On the rare occasion when I have the opportunity to enjoy a stay at a Ritz Carlton, I grab it. Why? Although the quality of their facilities is suberb, it’s the quality of their legendary service that creates such a talkable experience for me and for their fortunate guests. That makes for great in-person content marketing. It’s the final element that makes all the rest of your content marketing completely authentic. That’s what your customers will share with the world. In fact, here I am talking about that very experience with you.

The Ritz-Carlton folks have determined that its sumptuous facilities are necessary but not sufficient to make their hotels so highly rated. Rather, it is the lofty level of customer service that makes the difference.

If you emulate their approach to hiring and looking after the right people and to developing a quality customer process, you can become the customer service Ritz-Carlton of your industry.

Also posted in News, Success Stories, Tips & Mini-Guides, Trends | Comments closed

How To Create the All-Important Elevator Speech For Your Presentations and for Your Content Marketing

It is so hard, but so important to explain what it is that you do and how it will benefit the person to whom you are communicating. Not at length. But so concisely that it can be communicated in less time than it takes in elevator to go up a few floors. And, so compellingly that your listener will remember and repeat it to others.

Actually, Nick Morgan is even more precise than this. He says your elevator speech must be a single sentence.

I have just begun to read his wonderful book, Give Your Speech, Change the World. It is absolutely must reading, even if the only speeches you give are internal presentations within your organization.

Nick is the founder of Public Words, a communications coaching company. So he gives speeches–and teaches people how to give speeches–for a living. It’s obvious from reading his book that he is a very, very good at it. Listen to what he has to say about that all-important elevator speech.

Also posted in Business, Marketing Basics, News, Online, Persuasive Presentations, Sales, Tips & Mini-Guides, Top Posts, Websites | Comments closed

Small Upscale Shopping Center Shows Opportunities & Challenges of Social Media

A creative mindset enhances what are certainly limited marketing dollars in a tough economic climate.
The Bell Tower Shops is a relatively small but charming shopping center in South Fort Myers, Florida.

It is anchored by a Saks Fifth Avenue on the north and a Fresh Market on the South. Shoppers can stroll in the shade as they traverse the nice blend of stores and restaurants.

Also posted in News, Online, Social Media, Success Stories, Tech Tools, Trends | Comments closed

Yes, It’s True! Interruption Marketing Still Works If It’s Done Just Right

Charmin goes right to the bottom with its big and bold Times Square campaign.
Thanks to Neil Davidson in a guest post at Avangate’s blog for reminding us that interruption marketing is not dead.

Sure, we are bombarded by way too many messages in way too many places. We are practically numb from the information and advertising onslaught.

But, that doesn’t mean we can’t be influenced by genuinely creative interruption marketing. See if you can apply this kind of creativity in your own marketing efforts, so that you are generating a different kind of relevant and compelling content.

Also posted in Advertising, News, Online, Success Stories | Comments closed