Cross Posting: Are you “Content Marketing,” or Just “Marketing?”

As part of my newest role working with the Gabriel Marketing Group on marketing strategy projects I put together my first blog post this past week.  With so much discussion about Content Marketing today I have noticed the beginnings of a schism in the definitions. Some folks are beginning to push the higher ideal of “tell your story, and they will come” as the only true definition of content marketing. Read my full post here:


My MarketingProfs Article On Measuring Content Marketing Effectiveness

A little while back I wrote an article about how best to measure content marketing effectiveness. That article ran on MarketingProfs this week and the response has been very positive so far.

This issue of measurement is something that we marketers grapple with frequently, and it’s an emerging area that we need to get right.  It’s far too easy to just “assume” that your content marketing efforts are paying off. But if we don’t get hyper focused on measuring its impact in tangible ways, content marketing will get relegated to the same dustbin as Public Relations—you know, that thing that we all do, but really can’t figure out how to measure effectively?

In the article, I have proposed a few ways to push the envelope of your measurement:

Tip 1: Expand your traffic-counting tools: count everything you can to show true ROI

 Tip 2: Use your tags: just like you tag campaigns, tag your content

Read the full article on MarketingProfs here:

Be sure to share your ideas in the comments here, or there. 


Home Is Where The Heart Is, But Is Your Heart In The Facebook Home?

No surprise, there is an amazing amounts of buzz around the Facebook Home launch, and well over 500,000 downloads in the first 10 days (though with some pretty poor user reviews) And considering the relatively fluffy cover piece in Fortune this week timed to coincide with the Home launch, it’s clear that the “House of Zuck” is borrowing straight from the Steve Jobs product launch playbook. To that I say, Well Done!

I am not going to try to add to the dialogue on if Home is any good or not. The numbers and opinions will surely change rapidly. As a recent iPhone convert (from a Blackberry, gasp!) Home will not encourage me to make the switch to Android. And when my nearly teenage daughter gets her first cell phone this summer, it will probably be an Android device, but I will not be downloading the App for her either.

You see, I am just not sure I am ready for Facebook to be THAT ingrained in my life.

I wrote some time ago about whether or not Facebook was becoming a classic walled garden along the lines of AOL in its early heyday. You can read that post if you would like (Is Facebook Now the Internet?), but the point was simply that as more and more brands adopted Facebook, and promoted their presence on it, the web experience would be different if you just lived in Facebook without exploring the broader web.  

While there is no chance we will ever go back to the AOL days (remember the disks of free hours?) I remain convinced that your web experience is going to be increasingly influenced by your network. As a result, my web experience will be different from your web experience. And once the web becomes merely a conglomeration of individualized experiences, things like Home will not be as jarring for many of us.

And consider this. 10+ years ago we didn’t really expect to be worshipping at the “Altar of iJobs” either. And yet, Jobs and Apple managed to disrupt the music industry and phone industry in short order. (Yes, you can argue the PC disruption thing too, but I think one Gates, Bill might have something to say on that one!) Apple has dramatically changed how consumers think about their devices, and really, their life. (also well documented by others) While Android continues to make inroads as a device platform, I don’t think Google is anywhere close to having the same sort of connected power across platforms that Apple has mastered. 

As the Fortune article reveals, Home is a fundamental re-think of how Facebook is approaching mobile. From this path however, It’s not a very big leap to Facebook becoming our interface to the world at large across every connected device we use—from phone to tablet to PC, to TV, to Google Glass, to your car dashboard. And if the House of Zuck is indeed borrowing a page from Jobs, 5 years from now we could be wondering what all the fuss was about.

Stay tuned, it’s going to be a fascinating ride!   


Content Marketing Challenges: Getting More Contributors

Cross posting my content marketing blog post published over on the Percussion blog today. In Content Marketing, getting quality content from your extended team is hard–I have provided my six tips to enable your content contributors. 


Your organization is likely filled with smart people who have strong points of view on relevant topics for your business.  Even if you have a very-engaged core team of bloggers and contributors, or are buying content from third party content services like WriterAccess or Scripted, there are always people at the periphery who *should* be involved with your content creation efforts, and they are not.

Read the full post on the Percussion Web Content Management Blog

Interview at Inbound Marketing Summit 2012

Dug this out of the archives, my interview with Tyler Pyburn of the Pulse Network at the Inbound Marketing Summit 2012. Speaking about my mantra that “everything is content” and the concept of “extreme reuse.”

Happy New Year: Marketing Focus for 2013=SCALE!

This blog has gone a little dark over the last few months as I have focused on writing for my company’s Blog at Percussion Software, the MarketingProfs Blog, and for Content Marketing Institute’s Blog. Feel free to follow me on those channels as well!

For each of the past few years I have written about my marketing focus for the coming year as a way to reflect on what has worked and what has not.  You can read my 2010 post about focus,  my 2011 post about what works, or my 2012 post on being different using the embedded links.

So, what will 2013 marketing strategy centering on? In a word: Scale. In 2012 my team focused on thinking as far outside the box as possible to create a brand persona that is accessible, fun, engaging, and just a touch irreverent.  That is embodied in Percussion’s new logo that we occasionally tweak to look like the emoticon made with a colon followed by a P, :P, or sticking your tongue out.  We will continue making irreverence and fun a priority, we have found that it makes things more interesting.

But our core strategy for 2013 is how to build on the great foundation we created in 2012 and deliver on the goals of the business. Not surprisingly, our best leads come through two major channels: The website, and our email campaigns. Our publishing model will focus on engaging prospects more dynamically across channels, and we will be investing substantially in testing to ensure that we are hitting the mark, refining along the way to optimize our efforts.

We will continue to run events and other targeted campaigns of course as they add significant value, and revenue to our pipeline. In short, I am very excited to get the year rolling!

What about you, what are you focused on for 2013?


Lance, Livestrong, And A Message Of Hope

Like many of you, I have been following the Lance Armstrong saga with mixed emotions. I alternate between sadness that such a larger than life image is being systematically torn apart, and incredulity that we are surprised by any of this. In the end, given how unbelievably dirty the sport of cycling  seems to be, I don’t think we can hold Lance to any sort of a higher standard than we do anyone else. If everyone is dirty, and he just happened to be better than everyone else, then so be it.

But where things get tricky for me is when it comes to his Livestrong foundation, and what that has meant for millions of people diagnosed with cancer, or for their loved ones impacted by that diagnosis.  (And yes, I have heard the rumors of gross mismanagement there as well.)

I put on a yellow LiveStrong bracelet for the first time in April of 2006. That was days after my diagnosis of a Myxoid Liposarcoma in my left leg. I haven’t taken it off since. Through many a dark moment during the hellatious 9 months of treatment that followed I found myself routinely and absentmindedly playing with it as if to remind myself of the message it contained. I vividly recall lying in bed after a much more difficult than expected surgery that required that I miss my niece’s Bat Mitvah, and just reminding myself of the message, and to get through. The next day would be a better day, and so would the one after that. 

Over the years since, on many, many occasions, people would ask me about my bracelet and if I rode. I would just nod and smile, and say that no, it was the message that mattered. I never thought of the bracelet as a support for riding, just a support for the mission.

I was reminded of the conflict around the man, the message, and the sport this past week when a good friend of mine posted the following on Facebook:


As I read that, I was instantly awash with emotions from anger to sadness that it had come to this. Where does the message and the man diverge? Does it matter that he came to fame by cheating? Or does it matter more that he dedicated that fame and his considerable resources to shine a light on a segment of the population that could really use some light? Where do these things split apart? I never really cared that he was a cyclist that beat cancer. I only cared that he used his fame and wealth to try and provide support for others who were going on the same journey. Some like me who won, and many others who, unfortunately, did not. 

This is what I commented back on my friends post (unedited):


In the end, you will make your own choice about the man, the message, and the foundation. I have made my choice.

My bracelet remains on.