Category Archives: Positioning

Six marketing blogs that help you run your business

There is a great deal of content floating around on the Internet about marketing, especially when it comes to incorporating social media into the traditional marketing mix.  I find myself saving posts from these blogs on a regular basis.  In reading them, I find workable ideas for clients, whatever their size and scope.

MyVenturePad.  Written for the startup but appropriate for organizations at all stages.  The writers address all aspects of running a business.

Branding Strategy Insider.  Produced by The Blake Project, offers the best descriptions and guidelines for the branding process.  The writers also help to cut through the jargon.

Small Business Trends.  Good for anyone who wants to grasp marketing from the ground up — including corporate executives.  A useful tool for testing the performance of large marketing functions as well as building a marketing focus in a small or medium business.

MarketingTech Blog.  Writers well-grounded in social media, based in the US Midwest.  This blog provides a counter-balance to the echo chamber populated by the self-proclaimed social media gurus.

Radian6 blog.  How to make social media a rich channel for connecting with stakeholders.  The company offers clients a technology platform for engaging with stakeholders online and measuring the results.  The team also produces eBooks that are easy to digest.

HubSpot blog.  Inbound marketing focused.  That's the official term for the marketing processes focused on direct connection with a company's customers.  In its blog, HubSpot addresses the nitty-gritty aspects of managing these processes.

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The seven business books I believe are right for right now

These books, which I've read or am reading, are works whose content can inform business life. 

The Power of Pull:  How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in MotionJohn Hagel III, John Seely Brown, Lang Davison.  Aptly describes the change that is afoot and how anyone — and any business — can sustain relevance and connection.

Team of Rivals:  The Political Genius of Abraham LincolnDoris Kearns Goodwin.  Shows how competitors can collaborate when their leader is clear about the objective and recognizes how their motives can help reach the goal.  [Side benefit:  I found the description of the actions of biased journalists soothing.  If this country survived a civil war and those reporters, it can survive anything.]

The Divine ComedyDante Alighieri [The John Ciardi Translation].  Amazing that despite every other kind of growth, the human character really never changes.  Very useful.

I Hate People:  Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your JobJonathan Littman, Mark Hershon.  The authors do an outstanding job of categorizing every personality you can encounter in the workplace.  The psychology and the comedy of pathological behavior.

Delivering Happiness:  A Path to Profits, Passion and PurposeTony Hsieh.  Sometimes nice works. Here's how to do it and prosper without becoming a patsy.

Power:  Why Some People Have It — and Others Don'tJeffrey Pfeffer.  How to get comfortable with power and decide whether you want it.

Overlook Much, Correct a Little:  99 Sayings by John XXIIIHans-Peter Rothlin, editor.  The musings of an enlightened mind, these thoughts inspire action that benefits every stakeholder in an organization — most especially, oneself.

 

 

 

The future of marketing

It's refreshing to see writing at the top of this list from The Future Buzz, capturing the writer's opinion about the 15 necessities for tomorrow's marketing career.  Usually, if someone can write, he or she can think.  "Can write" means more than stringing together words; it means making a point with a beginning, a middle and an end.  Whether or not you're writing a blog post or a brochure.  I'm glad to see writing make the top of one list, at least.

The folks at the Marcus Graham Project know this.  Their presentation during a week of AAAA gatherings in San Francisco was refreshing because it addressed an old problem in new way.  They are shining a big, bright light on television and how we watch it, and they're integrating the traditional message — caution of over-watching — with delivery that young people can understand.  Without sacrificing the quality of the writing.  The project is asking questions many entrenched advertising gurus should be asking — and the project's leaders are offering solutions that make sense and entertain while they engage a new demographic in industry leadership.

I hope these guys keep writing.

Social media tips from Kodak: February 23 2010

Today's Social Media Hour, a really useful weekly radio program about social media created and moderated by Cathy Brooks, included an interview with Jeff Hayzlett, Kodak's chief marketing officer.  Click here to download the company's excellent, and complimentary, guide to social media use.

Social media reading for those dipping their toes into the ocean: February 22 2010

These are on my radar screen today, courtesy of the talented bloggers and execs I follow. 

Liberty Mutual at BlogHer

When I was at BlogHer last weekend, I was pleased to find a Liberty Mutual booth.  The company runs my most favorite television commercials today, the ones that show people helping each other along a theme of personal responsibility.  Powerful humanity without the schmaltz.  It's remarkable how thought provoking the content is within the short timeframe.  The commercials are part of a larger campaign called The Responsibility Project.

The company was at BlogHer as a sponsor and to do some more outreach on its campaign.  Liberty's PR firm, Ketchum, had folks manning the booth. I asked the Ketchum people to give me some background on the Responsibility Project, and here's what they wrote:

"Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility
Project was a sponsor of this year’s 2009 BlogHer conference. The Project was
created in 2008 and uses entertainment content to create a forum for people to
discuss what responsibility means to them. The Responsibility Project has
covered a number of topics including parenting, education and the environment,
among others.  The  Project never takes a stand on what we feel is
right or wrong – we are simply creating a forum for discussion. Knowing that
BlogHer ’09 would be a strong gathering, Liberty Mutual decided to sponsor the
event and present an opportunity for influential women to voice their opinions
and join the discussion on what it means to 'do the right thing.'"

Rather than just hand out toys, Liberty conducted a survey — and not just on responsibility in general but on the responsibility of bloggers.

With the FTC looking into the question of bloggers accepting products for review and whether there's some underhanded quid pro quo happening, the Liberty Mutual survey featured a quick but interesting set of questions about things like the proposed FTC revisions to the Guidelines for Endorsements and Testimonials, sponsored blog posts and appropriate blog content.  I asked the PR reps to share the results.  Here they are.

  • 98 percent believe it's acceptable to receive a free product
  • A majority of participants cited transparency, disclosure and honesty as key caveats to receiving free products and to writing sponsored posts
  • 84 percent say that honesty is a key trait of a responsible blogger, followed by transparency — 66 percent, and reliable sources — 56 percent.

Liberty also conducted video interviews of bloggers, and Ketchum shared the link.  Click here.

I'm not sure yet what I think of these results, except to say that the more we can discern between bloggers and journalists, the better. We are just at the beginning of this process, however, so patience is key.

By the way:  BlogHer itself was a fun, interesting experience.  It is terrific to see so many people dedicated to writing and to exercising their franchise for free speech as well as building rock-solid businesses.  It was a good weekend for seeing the right kind of branding, from participants, to sponsors, to BlogHer itself.