January always delivers tons of articles predicting the year’s trends. One article I particularly liked was 9 Ways Social Media Marketing Will Change in 2014 recently posted on Mashable. Each prediction was offered by a topic expert. The pain point for SMBs is what to do about it. If you don’t have an in-house team, or they are already stretched too thin, you’ll need to flex your marketing muscles with some out-of-the-box solutions.
The following are the predictions and some suggestions: Read more…
As companies build their brands, engage in branding or re-branding programs, their attention turns to a mission statement building exercise. Sometimes mission statements are the result of an organization’s efforts to build corporate culture. These efforts most often become an exercise that produces far-reaching and vague statements.
What is typically missing in mission statements is a unifying belief.
One of my favorite mission statement mis-messages is “to be a world leader” and for me this one always elicits an inner giggle. This statement sounds more like an ego trip, and I wonder how a work force supports this mission, let alone how it inspires stakeholders or instills trust with clients and prospects?
The purpose of a mission statement is to set the direction and guide the actions of the people in the organization, and yet it is regularly delegated and written as a marketing exercise. The result is then distorted as it is meant only to impress an audience of prospects rather than inspire and guide the company’s management and work force.
The best mission statement I’ve seen is the one for America. America is a world leader and has a wonderful mission statement known as The Pledge of Allegiance. While most would consider this an oath or a pledge of loyalty “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands”, it is absolute statement of a core belief and identity that conveys an unwavering commitment to ‘what it stands for’ and the outcomes that are expected – “with liberty and justice for all”
While the original Pledge was written in the 1800s to help sell flags to schools and other public institutions, Congress made it official in 1942. Today, politics and controversy make the Pledge a religious battlefield, but it was intended to instill pride in being an American and both affirm and gain commitment toward the behaviors that made us a great country –setting a standard in our actions, the belief that we can live a good life, and above all else – freedom.
Companies, like countries, are engaged in community building. The community of the company’s employees, the community of its vendors, suppliers, stakeholders and customers, and the communities where they exist. This is why the ‘unifying belief’ is critical as it is what bonds any community together.
The mistake is making a statement that the company wants to be a world leader, rather than expressing what actions will direct it towards world leadership.
I believe that the build up from the past few years will make 2014 The Year of Content Marketing.
If you are like me, then you enjoy reading what the experts say about what will trend in the New Year. And why not — we want to make this year better than the last don’t we?
One common theme is the emphasis on changing marketing messages from marketing talk to educating. This isn’t really anything new as articles and books on this topic have been entering the market over the past few years, and as far back as 1975 Sy Syms trademarked the slogan “An educated consumer is our best customer”. That insight, nearly 40 years ago, is the core of what is needed to become relevant in this age of information overload.
Just think about your own email inbox, your Facebook and Twitter news streams – I will lay odds that ads and marketing emails are ignored, trashed, and possibly tagged as spam. Read more…
Forgive me for having been absent for months and hardly visible or engaged on the social sites where I am usually active. If you think I missed something or was ignoring you – I wasn’t – really it wasn’t you – it was me. (That may sound like a line but in this case it is the truth.)
Starting late September, early October both business and personal projects took on lives of their own and I confess to having been stretched beyond thin. While intensely focused and producing good work for our clients, being physically and mentally challenged with some life changing projects, I made our client projects a priority and let some things slip. I hope that you understand and have not given up on me.
In the next few weeks everything will settle back into the usual hectic program and schedule, and I will again be writing and posting regularly – so much has happened that will impact your marketing outcomes and I want to make sure you have the information you need to make great marketing choices.
To sum up – 2013 was something else. Business Q1 and Q2 was on par with 2012, and then the summer got scary slow, which frankly for us is unusual. I used that time for internal projects. Then Q4 blew up to more than make up for the summer and put us beyond our goals.
Through all of this, we still got the list of ‘things to accomplish in 2013’ completed and I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited about what is to come in 2014 as a result of the groundwork laid.
I am so grateful for the wonderful people who have recommended us, referred us, hired us, and grateful for the mentors and friends who have coached me when I needed help and direction. You all have made 2013 a great year and hope that we have done the same.
I hope that your holidays were filled with joy and love, that your businesses finished 2013 on a strong stand, and that you are in good health and good spirits.
Okay – let’s make 2014 A VERY GOOD YEAR!
Copywriting, content marketing, advertising, marketing – any way you slice it – it still comes down to words and sentences. To have the desired impact and effect, they need to be the right words, phrased well.
Oh now that may seem a tad obvious, so why write a post about it?
The cautionary headline to choose your words wisely is meant to get your attention rather than using phrases like ‘jargon busting for effective copy’ or, how about, ‘writing well for marketing’ – eeek. I know.
Blogging, creating marketing material or writing for your website, you have to make a choice about the words you use.
We become so accustomed to speaking our own special lingo with staff and associates that we forget the rest of the world may not be tuned into our acronyms, or know the meaning of industry specific terms. To make matters more challenging, we are motivated to impress our audiences with our special knowledge and grasp of complex ideas surrounding our products and services in hopes of winning a client. However, what we might be creating in the process of using acronyms and lingo is a barrier that keeps a prospect from becoming a client. Certainly with the new search engine from Google – Hummingbird – by using words and phrases a prospect may never type into the search bar will certainly limit your chances of having your web page delivered in a search result. Read more…